WiFi and Mobile Broadband Guide

Every month mobile broadband providers, as with broadband providers generally, are adjusting their packages as they try to tempt new customers.

WiFi hotspots

Free wireless internet access is increasingly available in Ireland in a number of WiFi hotspots. WiFi is a handy way of accessing broadband for customers afraid of using up their inclusive allowance, and is aimed at people who regularly frequent coffee shops and public places. It’s also a convenient way for travellers to access the internet.

There are, however, differences between mobile broadband and wireless. Mobile broadband, i.e. mobile internet involving 3G or 4G, runs via mobile phone networks. WiFi hotspots and wireless broadband are different to mobile broadband because they don’t use phone networks. They require a cable or an ADSL connection together with a wireless router.

Where WiFi may be available

A variety of famous retailers and restaurants in Ireland, offer broadband through a free WiFi service, including the likes of Starbucks, McDonalds and Costa Coffee.

eircom recently launched a service called WiFiHub which allows their customers to access WiFi hotspots in public places for free. eircom WiFiHub hotspots are located in many of the usual places that WiFi is located, such as hotels, train stations, pubs and even in eircom payphones.

Locating WiFi Hotspots

If you have a smartphone you can download apps, such as “ WiFi Finder”, to help you find free WiFi hotspots in your area. These use GPS technology and built-in maps to locate the nearest WiFi hotspots to you.

Some websites will also have directories with useful information for accessing broadband through WiFi.

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