A smartphone gives you access to the internet through 3G or 4G mobile phone networks, so you can surf no matter where you are. But your carrier charges you for how much you surf (data traffic). This may be inexpensive where you reside, but it could become costly when travelling abroad if you’re not careful. No need to panic though. By connecting to a free WiFi network you can surf essentially for free.
What is WiFi?
The term “WiFi” refers to the wireless networks available in restaurants, coffee shops, airports, hotels, trains, airplanes, etc. Some cities now also offer free WiFi everywhere. When you use WiFi you don’t have to worry about runaway costs or using up all the data included in your plan while abroad. Always look for places that offer free WiFi when you need to check something on the internet, or want to use social media or MMS to stay in touch with the grandkids.
Watch out for “Data roaming” abroad
If your plan includes data, your smartphone will automatically update apps and email via “Data roaming” – data traffic via cellular networks that can become very expensive if you are abroad. To avoid costly surprises you should always make sure that this is switched off when travelling abroad:
• In the menu on your smartphone, choose "Set" or “Settings” (depending on your phone model)
• Tap "My Internet connection" followed by “Mobile data”
• Tap "More..." and make sure that “Data roaming” is disabled
How to connect to WiFi
WiFi is available at most restaurants, cafés, hotels, etc. just about anywhere you travel. If you don’t see a WiFi sign, ask the staff. Ask for the name of the WiFi network, and the password. Then follow these steps to get connected:
• In the menu on your smartphone, choose "Set" or “Settings”
• Tap "My Internet connection" followed by "Wi-Fi"
• When the list of available WiFi networks appears, tap the name of the network you want to connect to
• If a password is required, you will be asked to enter it and must type it in exactly as it is spelled
• Tap "Connect"
• Once the connection is complete, you can surf for free
Keep in mind that the connection will only work as long as you are within range of the WiFi network. Once you leave the premises, you will no longer be able to surf over that WiFi network until the next time you come within range.