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Using broadband while abroad

Nowadays it has become even easier to use your mobile device or laptop abroad with good broadband coverage. In past years there have been many reports of sky-high data roaming charges which have justifiably put consumers on guard about using broadband while outside the country, but thankfully there have been many measures taken and laws passed to limit the average surcharges charged to customers.

Many providers can also give you a good roaming rate, which can sometimes be paid for in advance. It is worth checking your provider’s offerings in this regard, and perhaps contacting them to give you a quick list of options.

And there are of course other ways to access the internet while abroad. Most hotels will offer broadband, in most cases free of charge, and public wifi is extensively available in most countries in cafes and restaurants. It is best to have broadband enabled on your phone at least in case of emergencies.

And remember that in most countries internet cafes are everywhere, especially in tourist areas. A final option is picking up a throwaway sim card from a local provider that you can top up and be sure you are getting a reasonable deal on data, which you could have just as backup or if you plan to use a lot of broadband while over there.

Whatever the approach you go for, it might be useful to know what the main providers in each country are, so here are the major networks in each of the main 5 holiday destinations (according to gov.co.uk):

  • Spain – Movistar, Orange, Vodafone
  • France – Bouyges, Orange, SFR
  • Italy – TIM, Vodafone, Wind
  • Ireland – Vodafone, 3, Meteor
  • USA – Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile