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Internet access?

ericdouglas

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Future Camino de Santiago (April 2014)
Hi all. I am thinking of buying a tablet to use for music, photos, e-mail and internet access on the Camino next April. What is the internet access like? is it worthwhile me buying a tablet to take with me? I don't want to do so and then find no internet access.
Any ideas anyone?
Cheers
Eric.
 
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WiFi has become quite common in bars and hotels. PC's still rule in albergues.
 

piogaw

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino frances (05/06 2012) sjpdp-sdc; vdlp/camino sanabrea (02/03 2013) sevilla-sdc; hospitalero sdc june 2013, august-september 2013; caminho portugues (03 2014) lisboa-sdc
there are abundance of internet access on the camino frances route. one word of caution, do not leave your tablet unattended anywhere.

buen camino.
 

wayfarer

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
2012
A smart phone will do all that and is smaller, easier to carry and lighter, you can even put some books on it. I prefer android as a personal choice, Samsung s3 to be specific as its easy to share data between phones via sd card and you can bring a spare battery in case you have problems getting a charging point.
 

pilgrim b

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Caminos Frances 2013-Ingles 2014-Frances 2015
St Cuthbert's Way 2017-Via Francigena 2018 & 2019
I tend to agree with wayfarer I have an ipod not too big which can do most things (except I carry a tiny phone) I didn't take it with me on my last Camino and was glad I didn't, but not too sure if I should this next time.
 
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Bajaracer

Camino Frances 2013 Jun-Jul SJPDP to Finisterre
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2013) Jun-Jul SJPDP to Finisterre
Wifi can be found at most bar/cafe's and albergues, you just have to ask for the password. A tablet is too big to me, maybe an iPod touch or an unlocked smartphone would be ideal.
 

grayland

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
Yes
Two comments....

1. The phone does not need to be unlocked to use WiFi (pronounced wee-fee in Europe).
Using a Spanish or French phone SIM requires an unlocked phone.

2. Most bars, albergues and other wifi spots use the modem generated passwords and don't change them to a easily input password. They are long and an awful mix of numbers, caps and lower case and symbols.
It is difficult to input in the blanked out sign-in.
I found if I type it into " notes" I can proof read it and then copy and paste into sign in block.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
I haven't walked the Camino Frances in years, but if my experiences on the more remote caminos are representative, wifi is everywhere. I walked the Camino Levante from Valencia this year and found wifi in towns of 40-100 inhabitants! Grayland's comment about the passwords reflects my experience as well, but I found that most bars had little printed strips of paper with the password on it, which they would give you when you asked about logging on.

In Mombuey, a small highway town with two or three bars, the owners told me they all had to have wifi or risk losing business to their competitors.

I used the wifi to skype home to my 90-year old parents and found that bar owners more often than not tried to find me a quiet place to connect, sometimes in a store-room or even in the attached home of the bar owner!
 

NicoZ

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2013
There are smaller tablets and bigger phones. My Nexus tablet is thinner then my phone. It might even be lighter.

A phone can be fine for just reading email but if you intend to compose replies the tablets bigger screen makes a big difference. Even if it's only a 7" tablet.

The OP also mentions looking at photos. If the OP is connecting a camera then the bigger screen will make it easier to select keepers versus trash.

The choice depends on what the OP intends to do.
 
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tploomis

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances Sept. to Nov., 2013
I remember asking the manager of a hostal somewhere in the Meseta why we weren't getting the free WiFi they claimed to have. Her reply was, "That's the thing. It's free, but unfortunately it doesn't work!"

WiFi in accommodations tended to be pretty erratic, often a signal too weak to use from the room, although at times the signal was adequate or occasionally one spot in the room would have a barely usable signal, which would shift around. I would be moving around a room for a signal, looking like a metal detector scanning the beach for lost rings and watches. More often the WiFi was working down by the front desk, and if I was desperate, I would hang around there for a bit. Bars seemed to have more reliable WiFi.

I did not want to carry the weight of a laptop or tablet and instead used my Android cellphone and typed on it with a lightweight keyboard connected by bluetooth. That worked out well.
 

gerardcarey

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
CFx2, CPx1
There are smaller tablets and bigger phones. My Nexus tablet is thinner then my phone. The choice depends on what the OP intends to do.
How'd you find that Nexus 7 Nico?
I'm swinging on one. For Skype, reading books, Camino guide, checking/sending emails.
I kept a Kindle in my side cargo pants pocket (not the Kindle fire). While excellent for reading it was no good really for web surfing or emails.
Regds
Gerard
 
Past OR future Camino
2022
WiFi is available, but not everywhere. What device to take? It depends on what you plan to use it for.

I planned to blog while on the Camino, so I needed something with a reasonable sized keyboard. I took my iPad and it worked out well. I did not use my iPad to take photos - I used a small digital camera, although I'd probably just use my cell phone for photos now. Nevertheless, I was easily able to transfer my photos from my camera to my iPad. I used it to Skype, listened to podcasts, and very occasionally read a newspaper or book.

If you just want to be able to stay in touch, Skype, check FB and e-mail, maybe just a phone would be enough. You'll be able to connect in enough places that you should never feel isolated (although, again, you won't be able to connect everywhere).

Referring to a previous poster, I did take it with me wherever I went, including the showers and dinner. I had no problems and I would probably take my iPad again.

FYI, my phone was a Samsung S4. Unlocked and bought a Spanish SIM card in Estella on the CF.

Hope this helps. Buen Camino.
 

NicoZ

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2013
How'd you find that Nexus 7 Nico?
I'm swinging on one. For Skype, reading books, Camino guide, checking/sending emails.
I kept a Kindle in my side cargo pants pocket (not the Kindle fire). While excellent for reading it was no good really for web surfing or emails.
Regds
Gerard

I don't Skype but everything else works great. The new one has a nicer screen then the older one. The only thing I wish for was a card slot. There are work arounds but a card slot would be nice
 
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Joni40

Member
I took an Ipad mini. I loved it. I used it for pictures, and blogging. I was also able to facetime with my family whenever there was wifi, which was readily available. I kept it in a pouch, off of waist pack, and it was easily accessible for everything I needed, and it also kept it safe. the mini is pretty lightweight, with a decent sized keypad. I blogged using the blogspot app, which was nice, because if I was sitting for a snack or something and had some thoughts I wanted to diary, it allowed me to do it and post later. I kept it in a plastic bag, from home to protect it from the rain I hit. Have fun.
 

Magwood

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
See signature line for links to daily posts to blogs from many caminos
My vote is with the ipad mini. I did exactly the same as @Joni40 and set up a system to clip it to my bum bag. Very convenient. Just missed the ability to zoom in on certain subjects. Next time will also take compact camera.
 

jmcarp

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances, 2013
Camino del Norte a Chimayó (USA), 2015
Camino Portugues, 2017
[snip]...
WiFi in accommodations tended to be pretty erratic, often a signal too weak to use from the room, although at times the signal was adequate or occasionally one spot in the room would have a barely usable signal, which would shift around. I would be moving around a room for a signal, looking like a metal detector scanning the beach for lost rings and watches. More often the WiFi was working down by the front desk, and if I was desperate, I would hang around there for a bit. Bars seemed to have more reliable WiFi.
...[snip]

That pretty much matches our experience with wifi, at least along the CF. A lot of places advertised it, but we were generally disappointed with its real time availability. The problems seem to be 1) limited range of the wifi hotspot antenna, 2) very slow speed -- almost like dial-up, and 3) inadequate bandwidth, especially in the albergues. The latter was surely a result of so many many pilgrims trying to access the internet at the same time -- everyone arriving in the mid-to-late afternoon and wanting to get on the internet right away. Everyone talks about the wonders of Skype, but any app that uses live video (and to some extent voice only apps that use VoIP) is a real bandwidth hog. That makes it extremely difficult when a lot of people are trying to use wifi. Also, as cellphone and tablet cameras grow in resolution, uploading those megapixel photos via wifi can gobble up bandwidth as well. I don't mean to discourage wifi use, but just to warn users to be patient and considerate to your fellow pilgrims when it comes to apps that require a lot of bandwidth.

Jim
 

Canucks

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino frances, SJPDP to Santiago (2013), Le Puy to SJPDP (2014), Porto to Santiago (2019)
We took ipad minis as they are much much lighter than the regular ipad. We had wifi access in all but 1 place......the tiny little settlement where the two brothers own the only bar and only hostel. There was a standalone internet station but we didn't need it. No problems with connections and all went well.
 

ericdouglas

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Future Camino de Santiago (April 2014)
We took ipad minis as they are much much lighter than the regular ipad. We had wifi access in all but 1 place......the tiny little settlement where the two brothers own the only bar and only hostel. There was a standalone internet station but we didn't need it. No problems with connections and all went well.
Thanks very much to you all for your responses. I purchased a Sony Experia tablet as it is one of the lightest ones on the market. I decided the phone screen was too small.
 
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Larazet

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances "2013" had to stop half way due to tendonitis ... Continuing May 2014..postponed to 2015. SdC to Muxia 2016.
Hi all. I am thinking of buying a tablet to use for music, photos, e-mail and internet access on the Camino next April. What is the internet access like? is it worthwhile me buying a tablet to take with me? I don't want to do so and then find no internet access.
Any ideas anyone?
Cheers
Eric.
Hi Eric, I took my ipad mini (wife only)in May last year. And found it invaluable. Found wifi in most villages/cafes on the Camino Frances for making calls, emails and reading a newspaper with my coffee and bocadillo. I made a strong lightweight silk sack for it, strung it round my neck and had music when I needed a little diversion. Turned it off when passing or being passed by other pilgrims who were having meaningful thoughts!
However, am finishing my Camino in May this year.....now also have an iphone. Do I take that as well, its really too small for writing my blogs? Anyone got any ideas? Virtual keyboard?
Karin
 

AnnieH61

Member
Past OR future Camino
April (2013)
April/May 2014 (planned and booked).
I used an ipad mini also on my Pamplona to Burgos trip last year and will definitely be bringing it this year to hopefully finish my Camino. It's pretty light and has so many useful functions. I walked alone so the Kindle app was fabulous. Skype is amazing and diary/blogging is great too. Buen Camino.
Annie
 

jl

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances('05, '07), Aragonese ('05), del Norte / Primitivo ('09), Via Tolosana (Toulouse '05), Via Podiensis (Le Puy '07), Via Lemovicensis (Troyes '09), VF ('12), Winter Camino ('13/'14) Cammino d'Assisi ('14) Jakobseweg (Leipzig - Paris '15) San Salvador/Norte ('15) Ignaciano ('16) Invierno ('16)
I am on the Camino at present, have found WiFi almost always when I want it, and am using a Nexus 7 tablet for my blog, skyping home at Christmas time, and for reading with a kindle app. Sometimes the WiFi has been slow, but it has been easy enough to sit in a different place etc. as there are so few about. Janet
 

GuyA

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2022
For those who used an iPad mini did you protect it in any way? I have an Otter Box for my iPad mini at home but it nearly doubles the weight? Guy
 

Magwood

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
See signature line for links to daily posts to blogs from many caminos
For those who used an iPad mini did you protect it in any way? I have an Otter Box for my iPad mini at home but it nearly doubles the weight? Guy

My ipad mini was kept in a neoprene case to which I attached two hooks. I wore a bum bag (waist pack) and sewed a couple of carrier rings to this. So the ipad was easily and conveniently available for photos and remained with me when I removed my backpack. I will probably do the same this year, although I will be taking a camera with me next time. The ipad was great for most photos (see the images in my blog), but I really missed the zoom facility that a camera offers. Incidentally, I find that the weight carried in my bumbag doesn't seem to count, I am not aware of it as a burden for some reason.
 
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Maggie97520

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
CDF Fall 2013, CDF Spring 2014
I kept my ipad mini in a loksak dry bag - I did not use it as a camera, but only for blogging, etc. Will use the same set up next time, too - it worked great.
 

jl

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances('05, '07), Aragonese ('05), del Norte / Primitivo ('09), Via Tolosana (Toulouse '05), Via Podiensis (Le Puy '07), Via Lemovicensis (Troyes '09), VF ('12), Winter Camino ('13/'14) Cammino d'Assisi ('14) Jakobseweg (Leipzig - Paris '15) San Salvador/Norte ('15) Ignaciano ('16) Invierno ('16)
I told a furphy when I said that WiFi is readily available in albergues! In Galicia it seems that the xunta albergues don't all have it. Of the three xunta albergues I have stayed in thus far none have had WiFi - O Cebreiro, Sarria, and Ferreiros. In some cases there has been access at other venues, but in the smaller places there hasn't been. No doubt a different story in a better season. This is the winter story! Janet
 

Bajaracer

Camino Frances 2013 Jun-Jul SJPDP to Finisterre
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2013) Jun-Jul SJPDP to Finisterre
I told a furphy when I said that WiFi is readily available in albergues! In Galicia it seems that the xunta albergues don't all have it. Of the three xunta albergues I have stayed in thus far none have had WiFi - O Cebreiro, Sarria, and Ferreiros. In some cases there has been access at other venues, but in the smaller places there hasn't been. No doubt a different story in a better season. This is the winter story! Janet


Don't expect too much from a Xunta albergue in Galicia other than a bed, and a shower, they have non functioning kitchens, what makes you think they'll have functioning wi-fi? And this is the summer story!
 

jl

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances('05, '07), Aragonese ('05), del Norte / Primitivo ('09), Via Tolosana (Toulouse '05), Via Podiensis (Le Puy '07), Via Lemovicensis (Troyes '09), VF ('12), Winter Camino ('13/'14) Cammino d'Assisi ('14) Jakobseweg (Leipzig - Paris '15) San Salvador/Norte ('15) Ignaciano ('16) Invierno ('16)
Yes that maybe so. A bonus for all the cold frogs out there is that the heating is generous, going all night. Easy to dry the washing!
 

Kiwi-family

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Past: (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018)-Frances, Baztan, San Salvador, Primitivo, Fisterra,VdlP, Madrid
However, am finishing my Camino in May this year.....now also have an iphone. Do I take that as well, its really too small for writing my blogs? Anyone got any ideas? Virtual keyboard?
Karin
I'm taking an iPhone and intend to blog with it. I have a small portable keyboard that connects via Bluetooth to make the typing easier - viewing pictures will not be ideal, but I'm happy to keep weight down.
 
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Olivia Luna

Member
For those who used an iPad mini did you protect it in any way? I have an Otter Box for my iPad mini at home but it nearly doubles the weight? Guy
I protect mine with Lifeproof cases. Expensive, but worth every penny put into them. My iPhone, iPad, and mini all sport one. No worries about waterproofing them with extra gear. The cases are shock- and water-proof. After years of travel, I share a credible tale :). I will not truly admit as to how many toilets and public restrooms floors my iPhone has met intimately.... I know, YUCK!!!
 

Pelgrimpaul

Member
I had a smartphone and tablet on 2012 frances and 2013 norte/primitivo. Frances: almost always somewhere wifi available, just some evenings without it. Norte: more places without wifi, but only few days without it.
Mainly used the tablet for blogging, gps & navigation, offline maps, email.
It depends on what you want and do, but I would walk without them.
Regards, have fun on your journey, paul
 

Left Coaster

Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2014)
Camino Primitivo (2017)
Starting my Camino in late April and have been planning to not take a smartphone etc. Are Internet stations frequently available?
 

Bajaracer

Camino Frances 2013 Jun-Jul SJPDP to Finisterre
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2013) Jun-Jul SJPDP to Finisterre
Starting my Camino in late April and have been planning to not take a smartphone etc. Are Internet stations frequently available?

Internet Stations are going the way of the pay phone, most are very slow and cost €1 per 20 minutes.
An iPod touch would be ideal if you didn't want to take your smartphone.
 

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