More on mobile wifi in Europe

Mar 14, 2005
I've been looking at mobile wifi hotspots for use in Europe ( our phones are PAYG and I don't want to get involved with tethering).
Friends have used Vodaphone with a 50 GB monthly data allowance for about £30/month monthly contract plus a small upfront charge for the device itself but Vodaphone now tell me you can only use this in Europe for two consecutive months. . Friends started some time last year but didn't hit any problem.
O2 have the same limit but also want a 2 year contract.
There's an American based company which rents a mobile hotspot with unlimited data at around 100 USD a month for 3 to 5 months which sounds quite attractive relative to site wifi charges ($G connection) but I am a little chary of going with this without more information.

My requirement are for coverage for up to 122 days mainly Spain with week or so in France coming and going and then a second period of say 42 days France only. 4 month summer gap between the two. Need a pretty high monthly data allowance as both have computers and we use for streaming TV iand audio books.

Any advice very much appreciated
Apr 19, 2017
A lot will depend on just how much TV you want to stream.

The best deal for us is a '3' PAYG data sim , which we use in a mifi router. 12GB/12month currently costs around £29 on Amazon/Ebay ; 24GB/24month is around £50 (prices do fluctuate a lot, but are always cheaper than direct from '3'.) In theory there is (or used to be) a 2 month limit abroad, which reactivates once you are back in UK. In practice I have never been cut off, but the answer is just to carry another sim in case. I do suggest that you buy a fully unlocked mifi (I recently paid £27 for an excellent Huawie 4G).

Be aware that in some locations the mobile network bandwidth may not be adequate for streaming. The other thing to consider is that many Spanish sites have excellent wifi with huge incoming bandwidth. On the site we overwintered at we could stream easily (without impacting others).

Be aware also that if you want to stream BBC/ITV (or use catch-up) you will need to use a VPN. (A free one seems to suffice for ITV, but BBC needed selected servers on a paid-for VPN......though the situation changes constantly).
Oct 8, 2006
Re the VPN, look at Kaspersky Secure Connection. If you get the paid-for version (for a phone or tablet its about £3 a year for five users) you get the choice of country in which the server should reside, so you can choose UK.
I haven't been abroad since I have had the facility but if I select non-UK and try to get to it will trip over to, the overseas version. Select a UK server and it works correctly.
You don't need to use Kaspersky AV or IS to be able to use Secure Connection although it is a good idea to do so. Ignore the scare stories about the FSB spying on you - they have much more to deal with (like Donny) - but anyway Kaspersky are moving part of their operation to Switzerland to overcome these allegations/fears.
Mar 14, 2005
I've now bought a Vodaphone mobile wifi device with a monthly contract of 50Gb at £30/month.
Vodaphone shop ( VERY much easier to deal with than on-line) assure me the European use is 3 months dating from the time you make the first connection outside UK. There is also the possibility that a Vodaphone shop in Spain cold fit a local data card to extend the 3 months if you were staying longer. Device is locked to vodaphone network.
Device works well at home particularly upstairs and gives speeds of around 20Mbs whereas our normal broadband ISP gives only about 5 over the copper lines. Seems to work quite well in the car too - I ran live google maps on a recent outing.

If you follow this route, try to get as much including registration of account done at the shop as the vodaphone website, online chat and complaints service leaves much to be desired.
I'm told that for the time I am back in UK I can change the monthly contract to a lower use allowance/ payment contract 'easily' but I shall not try this until late next Spring.

I'll try to update this after our upoming trip to rural France
Nov 11, 2009
Sounds a good price but after four weeks in a WiFi free zone staying in Leicester I’ve used 5 gig of my 13 gig monthly allowance using 4g. I pay about 6£ pm firceach of our phone contracts with minutes text and data. Think I’m classed as a loyal customer from 121 days. They give me oodles of data knowing I don’t use it. Guess I must stay in more!
Nov 2, 2005
This is so hi tech
I just use free wifi in places but never took a tv to france, but only gone on 3 week holidays...

it's just dvd's and laptop


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