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Getting on the web?

I am not going to bring a computer with me. I was thinking about bring a Nintendo DS that could get on the Internet via any Wi-Fi hotspot. It’s the smallest device I can find and is cheap. Also if my little brothers can beat theirs up it must be rugged. I am wondering if anyone has experience with using a Wi-Fi device? Is it worthwhile to have the internet at your disposel?

Posted by
2779 posts

Where are you traveling to? In most European countries Internet Cafés offer free Internet access provided you drink a cup of coffee, buy a soda etc. Also there is (by the owners of easyJet) where you can surf the net from a few cents per hour... The problem about Wi-Fi is that absolutely nothing you do online is save, especially when using a small mobile device where you can not dial into a VPN.

Posted by
683 posts

While we have found internet cafes everywhere in France,Italy,Germany,Spain and so many other countries, we have seldom encountered even a HINT of wi-fi.
Maybe we arent looking or seeing, but it doesnt seem there is much of that in Europe

Posted by
2779 posts

There are plenty of what you call "wi-fi" spots in Europe, it's just not called wi-fi. In most countries it's referred to as WLAN, T-Mobile Hot Spot, Vodafone Live etc.

Posted by
80 posts

I just completed my doctoral degree last May. I travelled throughtout Europe, US, South America, through the 4 years it took to complete and used internet cafes to perform research, post papers, and participate in online chats without problem. My professors and class mates usually didnt evenknow I wasnt in the US. It seemed like I was out of the country more often than in. The internet service was easy to find and usually free, if not the charge was something like 1Euro for 5 minutes. I wouldn't bother with bringing a device.

Posted by
505 posts

If you can't find WiFi in Europe, you aren't looking properly. It is everywhere, much more so than in the U.S..

Most BT phonebooths in the UK are WiFi hotspots, there are tons of cafes with WiFi, almost every airport and some trains have a free or paid network, not to mention umpteen private networks. Most of the high speed internet companies here now give you wireless for free so you don't have to plug in at home. Plus free minutes to use on their WiFi network.

In Copenhagen, there is wifi in just about every public square and around every Seven-Eleven.

There are lots of websites which list hotspots:

Posted by
20 posts

This info is a bit dated, as it is from my summer 05 trip.

Wise move on not taking the laptop. I took mine while backpacking to complete an online course I was taking. It was cumbersome, made airport security a slight bit of a hassle, and when I did find Wi-Fi, I didn't always find a power outlet conveniently near a table. As the previous poster said, you have to look for the service brand name posted on the establishment. "Wi-Fi" is not used as much. I was surprised at how few places had Wi-Fi. It's still a growing thing there. From what I saw Europeans are not laptop-toting people like we are.

Internet cafes were in every train station that I was in. The price did greatly vary (usually by decor). If you just need web access, these will serve your purpose just fine. If you do decide to take a machine, here is a list of free Wi-Fi spots:
Two years ago this list wasn't the most accurate, but maybe it has been updated since.
Happy Travels!

Posted by
9109 posts

My experience with WiFi in Europe is completely different. In my travels through Europe, I've found it to be more available than in the US. One of the most reliable places to find it is at McDonald's locations. They usually have the cheapest rates, and if you purchase something they will usually give you a coupon for 15 minutes of free access. If your hotel doesn't have it, simply go to the lobby of another hotel to get online in the comfort of the comfortable sofas:). In fact, I've found that as the price of laptops has decreased over the years, so have the number of Internet cafés. Internet cafés are turning into dinosaurs.