Using broadband abroad
One of the big advantages of 3G and 4G mobile broadband technology is that you are able to connect to broadband abroad. Whether you are using a laptop or desktop computer, or a USB dongle, you can still get connected overseas or if you work from home. It’s possible to utilise one USB broadband connection in several locations.
Connecting to the internet when abroad
As long as you are in an area where there is a mobile network you’ll be able to receive mobile broadband. Whenever you try and use your mobile phone abroad the strongest network will be what you connect to.
This applies to 3G and 4G dongles, too. When your preferred network can’t be accessed you will instead be connected to broadband via the next strongest domestic network.
Generally speaking, most of Ireland and Europe offers good coverage. You will find more information regarding these settings in your manual or through your network provider. Compare the best mobile broadband deals today.
Wireless broadband is something that is becoming increasingly popular, and WiFi hotspots can be found in a lot of coffee shops, hotels and public areas. You will also be able to easily connect to WiFi, if you have a wireless-enabled laptop, in a large number of European cities. In most cases WiFi will be free, with Barcelona’s WiFi network being one example.
Internet cafes are friendly and inexpensive, but they don’t offer the type of ‘anytime-anywhere’ flexibility that personal users and heavy-use business users often need.
Charges for broadband abroad
Mobile broadband charges are down to your broadband provider but can sometimes be quite costly. An EU ruling has meant that prices have been reduced and consequently improved accessibility for broadband abroad.
Charges can also vary regarding internet cafes and WiFi. Hotels, coffee shops and educational institutions may offer free access, but it can be pricey elsewhere.
Connecting to broadband while on holiday
Find out whether broadband can be accessed in the country you’re visiting through your mobile broadband providers. This will be the best option regarding reliability and efficiency - and could be more cost-effective. If you have worries about mobile broadband check out our guide on clearing up some of the top mobile broadband myths.
Internet cafes may be the best choice if you are worried about cost, security issues with your laptop, or if you only want to use the internet occasionally.
- UK - The main broadband providers here are Virgin Media, TalkTalk, BT and Sky.
- USA - Leading brands of American broadband include AOL, Verizon, AT&T, Road Runner and BellSouth.
- Australia - Major broadband operators here include Netspace, DoDo, Optus and Virgin.
- Spain - DSL Spain, Telefonica and Jazztel are among the top Spanish broadband providers.