I will be in Barcelona and then on a cruise around the western side of Italy (Malta, Naples, Rome, Pisa, Cannes). I was planning on taking my I-pod touch and hoped to be able to use it for internet access, e-mail, etc. Does anyone know whether free wi-fi is generally available in those areas at coffee shops, cafes, etc.
Starbucks and McDonalds locations usually offer 30 minutes of free WiFi with a purchase, reasonable rates after that. It's rare to find Wifi that is completely free, you typically have to pay for it. There are some merchants that give it away but they are the exception.
On the cruise, WiFi will probably be available, but will be expensive. I must admit I use it because it is convenient, if somewhat slow, but I pay for it! If you are in hotels, you MAY find they have free WiFi, but sometimes they charge you so much per day, or they may use a third party - Orange, for example - and you pay them directly with your credit card when you sign on.
usually with an wi-fi device(either a phone or laptop) you only need to click on "connect".
As long as you are in a wi-fi range and the network is not secured , you can get free wi-fi. No need to do anything else..
Some peopel have a wireless router at home, so if you are close enough to one and it's not secured are in luck.
Otherwise paid wireless internet in Europe is very expensive. T-mobile charges $10/1 MB.
The Italian providers are even more expensive.
With my limited knowledge of the iPOD touch...does it pick up in open wifi for free? If so, no worries. But if you have to pay for it then you are a little screwed...best of luck!
The IPod Touch picks up all available Wi-Fi, but the user must select which network to connect to.
If the "Settings" menu is clicked, a list of all networks is displayed. Some will have a small Padlock symbol indicating thay're "locked" and require a Password; any of the ones without the lock can be selected.
I'm still undecided about how functional the IPod Touch is for travel. It works fine most of the time, and even the small Keyboard isn't bad once you get used to it. However, if opening E-mails with a lot of graphics or whatever, it slows right down and seems to go into "brain lock".
In the last 16 month, I have spent 26 nights in 14 places in Germany. For 16 of those nights (7 places) I had free WiFi connections where I stayed. For one other night, the hotel had a T-Mobile (pay) "Hotspot"; I didn't bother to use it. In five of the remaining 6 places, I was able to find a Cypercafe nearby.
But that was Germany; I can't say about Italy.
Another thing to keep in mind with regard to Internet access in Italy, is that users must be "registered" before obtaining access. Net Cafes are required by Law to record the user's Passport information before allowing Internet access.
I'm not sure but I believe that when accessing the net via Wi-Fi, credit card information is considered adequate. I asked about that at one Hotel on the Amalfi Coast, and that's what I was told - they also said that having a terminal in the Hotel was a lot more trouble and more expensive for them, as it had to be "approved" by the Police; there were fines for non-compliance with the regulations.