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Wifi in Europe

My understanding of technology is extremely limited. I've read 8 or 10 articles regarding sim cards and roaming...but I still don't understand. What do I need to buy in order to have wifi access throughout my 2 month trip? I have an old Galaxy J7 V, can I use it for internet access? I would like to have it up and running before I leave, if anyone could suggest a specific product, I would really appreciate the help. Thank you, tech wizards!

Posted by
9609 posts

Take SIM card out of it. Buy a SIM card that covers the parts of Europe where you will travel. Put it in the phone when you arrive in Europe. Now you can make local calls throughout Europe with your new SIM card phone number.
I assume you have another phone that you use in the US? Either put that on airplane mode and use it only for wifi when you want to in hotel room. Turning airplane off then.

Posted by
3198 posts

If all you want is Wi-Fi, than put your phone on airplane mode before you leave. This way you won't have any out-of-country data charges while you're away but you'll still be able to log into wife at your hotel, and most restaurants and sites you visit.

Posted by
44 posts

Do you access wifi on your Galaxy in the US? If so, you shouldn't need anything for wifi access in Europe. Most phones, tablets and laptops that work in the US work equally well with any wifi network anywhere in Europe. Your hotel, museums you visit, many resturants and coffeshops, and a few shops will have open wifi access.

If you want to use celular data to make calls and access the internet without using wifi, then you will need a SIM card or a provider data plan. Check your US provider website for what they may offer if this is what you need.

I have AT&T and purchase their internation data plan for $10 per day when I travel. I am only billed for the days I use the data plan. I expect a SIM card would be less expensive, but I don't trust my skills inside of an iPhone. I turn off my cellular data (via iPhone settings) on the days I don't want to use the plan. If I want to use my cell data during the day for directions, calls, etc., then I turn on my cellular data. I keep wifi on most of the time and only turn if off when it's using too much battery power searching for wifi hot spots.

  • James
Posted by
3643 posts

you say you have an old phone, that is probably the biggest concern here. If you want wifi, it might be easier to get a small wifi tablet here and start using it. Wifi in Europe is like it is here, some places of business have it and offer it to anyone, some only to customers with a code. Most hotels have it and will give you the login info upon arrival.

if you want wifi on your phone, well that's the subject of many, many internet articles about the many possibilities. If you're not tech savvy, probably the easiest thing is to change your phone over to T Mobile and have the folks in their store explain the various plans for European use and show you exactly what to do. Or you could get a new phone and service with them just for your trip and then cancel afterwards.

Posted by
3190 posts

Rebecca, just so I'm clear, you are looking for wifi only? Keep in mind that this limits you to internet access only in spaces that have wifi (usually hotel rooms, trains, trams, airports, some shops and cafes and a few public places). If that works for you, then as the others have said, you can access wifi in Europe the same way you do at home.

However, if you would want to occasionally access the internet, you will need cellular data for that and that comes from your phone. It would help if you would tell us your cell phone carrier, because each carrier has a different international plan. For example, I used to have Verizon, which charged its customers for int'l access - $10 a day OR $100 a month. That allows you to use your phone for internet access and calling privileges.

I have switched to T-Mobile, which does not charge for international plans, although there are low charges for phone usage, but that's it. So I will be able to use Google maps, internet surfing and so on outside of places that have wifi, which is a plus for me, because I use it a lot.

Another options would be to buy an eSIM plan. This effectively gives you the ability to use cellular data in Europe via an embedded SIM in your phone, without going through your carrier. Unfortunately, since you have an older phone, it does not look like that particular phone has eSIM capability.

So your last option would be to get a physical SIM card for Europe. This you would swap out with your current SIM card (a very easy procedure) and it would allow you to make phone calls in Europe (with a European phone number) and access cellular data for internet use.

If you want to share who your cell phone provider is, we can give you more information about what it would cost you with them to have an international phone plan.

Posted by
114 posts

Make sure phone is unlocked. Upon arrival go to a phone provider (eg Orange in France or Vodafone in the UK) and have them set you up. Do not set it up before you leave home. You are complicating your life.