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WiFi/4G access?

hdduff

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (October 2019)
Hi everyone! I'm wondering about WiFi / 4G access along the French Way. Anyone have any insights to share? I've just been accepted into a fellowship program and introductory calls are going to be happening when I'm walking in October.

I don't need non-stop access, but it would be great to know how many of the auberges have internet access and whether you can usually access 4G with a Spanish sim card. Thanks in advance for your help, all!
 
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Juspassinthrough

in our minds, we're vagabonds, you and I
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2017)
Camino Inglés 2019
Leon-Sarria, June (2019)
Camino Aragonés (2023?)
WIFI is very available in Bars and allergies. 4G is available, 3G more common depending upon the carrier and location.
 

Anamya

Keeping it simple
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (2015)
Portugues (2017)
Lebaniego (2019)
Hi hdduff
If you have a Spanish SIM, 4g should not be a problem, coverage is pretty decent. Not sure about Wi-Fi in albergues, but in small private accommodation it was not an issue from Ponferrada onwards when we walked in 2015. It is probably even better now :)
 

hdduff

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (October 2019)
WIFI is very available in Bars and allergies. 4G is available, 3G more common depending upon the carrier and location.

Thanks for your quick reply! I've already got a Spanish sim (based in Valencia) so I'll check coverage for the area. :) And hahaha, I thought allergies may be an autocorrect!!
 
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hdduff

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (October 2019)
Hi hdduff
If you have a Spanish SIM, 4g should not be a problem, coverage is pretty decent. Not sure about Wi-Fi in albergues, but in small private accommodation it was not an issue from Ponferrada onwards when we walked in 2015. It is probably even better now :)

Great, thank you! Sometimes a shame that we can't escape internet access / 4G anymore, but a bit of a relief in this specific case!
 
D

Deleted member 43780

Guest
few of the municipal (govt) alburgues have WiFi.
Some may. But not 100% all.
Almost every bar, cafe, private hostels, private alburgues, hotels etc have WiFi.
Now if you get 4G or snail’s pace connection is another question.
For those from US good deal, that is super great in Spain and rest of Europe, is TMobile’ s 55 plus plan.
Believe for those over 55.
Unlimited data, voice, texting.
No sim changing. No special travel plan before you go.
No notes from mom or your first grade teacher. Just go and use.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Roland49

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2019
Hello fellow pilgrim,

I've walked in July and did find only very few spots (municipal albergues, handful of bars) had no WIFI offered.
Most Albergues, most bars, restaurants and a growing amount of tiendas (small shops) offer free WIFI-access for their customers.

I have prepaid Vodafone and had almost all the time on the CF 4G available. As a european customer I had the chance that I could roam for my local plan w/o paying extra. 1.5gig included traffic was good enough to get from SJPdP to SdC doing all the "big" stuff via WIFI.

Have fun!
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2022
few of the municipal (govt) alburgues have WiFi.
Some may. But not 100% all.
Almost every bar, cafe, private hostels, private alburgues, hotels etc have WiFi.
Now if you get 4G or snail’s pace connection is another question.
For those from US good deal, that is super great in Spain and rest of Europe, is TMobile’ s 55 plus plan.
Believe for those over 55.
Unlimited data, voice, texting.
No sim changing. No special travel plan before you go.
No notes from mom or your first grade teacher. Just go and use.


One trick to use with the t-Mobile plans. As has been established, t-Mobile permits you to use your data package in most of the world, including all of Europe. (NOTE: They only start to get techy once you use data heavily for more than a month continuously. After 30-days of continuous use, they start sending you text reminders that the feature is for visiting, not residing foreign... no big deal. Nothing bad happens, at least in my experience)

However, this also includes UNLIMITED text and data use, up to your packages data limits.

Finally, you can easily use your data to make FREE VOIP phone calls. Here is the "hack"

Go into /SETTINGS/CELLULAR
Enable "Allow WI-Fi calls"
Go to /SETTINGS/Main Menu
Turn on Airplane Mode
Turn on Wi-Fi
Place your voice call.

The phone will use your smartphone data to make a Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) voice call. I use this to call my mom each week near Rochester, NY from Santiago, or while on Camino. It works fine.

The only thing is that I sometimes get a short lag between speaking and hearing. But, IMHO this is a very small inconvenience to get FREE unlimited voice calls.

Not using this feature, t-Mobile charge 25 cents USD for each minute for calls from mainland Europe back to the US or Canada.

Hope this helps.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
Google's Project Fi plan works much like the T-Mobile feature described by @t2andreo above. There are differences in details (like WiFi calls costing 2 or 3 cents per minute) but if you were curious about Fi continue to check it out.

Google charges $10 a GB for cellular data whether overseas or a home. That could be a deal breaker for some and swing them over to buying a SIM card for the camino.

My Google Pixel phone has an eSIM and it makes the phone essentially dual SIM. In a few days I'll be in Spain and likely will buy a SIM card there and software switch between numbers. The strategy I'm thinking of is having my US number be normally the active one to allow getting calls from home without confusing people with dialling overseas. That costs me 30 cents a minute and the US callers their normal US domestic rate. I'll call back when connected to WiFi at 2 or 3 cents per minute (and no-one needs Skype or Viber or such). I'll use the EU number for local calls and, when not connected to WiFi, for cheaper data than what Fi charges.
 
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MichaelF4

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Portuguese Coastal 2017
Camino Frances 2018
Camino Frances, Camino Invierno 2019
I used a SIM from Orange in France while walking. It worked very well. Good coverage pretty much everywhere and easy to top up. Available on Amazon in North America.
 

Oddyspapa

My soul is staying on the way, always.
Year of past OR future Camino
Full CF (May/Jun of 2014, 2018 )
Full CF+Finisterre (2016 May/Jun)
Will go again 2020
After I use Google Project Fi, I never worry about the connection all over the world.
 

NorthernLight

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Le Puy to Santiago via the Frances 2012-2013. EPW2015
Aragonese & Frances 2016
Burgos to Muxia 2017
Once you hit Galicia, the municipal (Xunta) albergues have a free wifi provider, BUT, to connect you have to register and give it a phone number so they can text you your password.

Even so, across the Frances, there's probably only a couple of villages where you can't find wifi.
 

Bilbo

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
One started september 2020 ,Frances from sjpdp
I found the data signal to be great ,much better than where i live in uk ,im with o2 on contract so valid europe wide ,noticed i ended up on the movistar network . the wifi was very easy to find but sometimes slow
 

MikeJS

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Francis (2011), Norte (12), VdlP (16). Sureste/Invierno (17). Olvidado/San Salvador/Primitivo (19)
I found the data signal to be great ,much better than where i live in uk ,im with o2 on contract so valid europe wide ,noticed i ended up on the movistar network . the wifi was very easy to find but sometimes slow
Same for me. I have often found that 4g access is better on a mountain top in Spain than in my local village!
 
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Telboyo

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
I intend to leave the UK the day Before Brexit and walkMarch -April 2019 Camino Frances
I found the data signal to be great ,much better than where i live in uk ,im with o2 on contract so valid europe wide ,noticed i ended up on the movistar network . the wifi was very easy to find but sometimes slow
The trick for coverage in Spain is to use a non Spanish but EU SIM card, this way you get full covetage. I used a UK O2 SIM in April and had excellent 4g coverage all the way. So good that I shared my data by setting up an access point in the Albergues. I nearly used my 50 gig allowance in the month I was on the Camino.
 

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