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longtemps

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I have just tested out the new service for WiFi at the CC site at Durham. In fairness to the club the process was easy, the connection speed is reasonable and the price is now competitive. I have chosen the 168 hours for a tenner and as long as you remember to log out after each session, then this outlay should last the average user for a couple of months.

Well done CC. I am not your greatest fan particularly on the issue of designated awning or non awning pitches etc (today I was told that there are on this site now, no less than 4 pitch types!), but on the issue of Wi Fi you have certainly got it right.

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longtemps - 2014-03-31 9:36 PM

 

I have just tested out the new service for WiFi at the CC site at Durham. In fairness to the club the process was easy, the connection speed is reasonable and the price is now competitive. I have chosen the 168 hours for a tenner and as long as you remember to log out after each session, then this outlay should last the average user for a couple of months.

Well done CC. I am not your greatest fan particularly on the issue of designated awning or non awning pitches etc (today I was told that there are on this site now, no less than 4 pitch types!), but on the issue of Wi Fi you have certainly got it right.

 

I read in the Caravan Club magazine this month that there is a new system for WoiFi. The way it reads to me is that the 168 hours is one week from your first logon not a total of 168 hours of WiFi use as most campsites around Europe opperate

 

I hope I haven't burst your bubble.

 

 

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longtemps - 2014-03-31 9:36 PM

 

I have just tested out the new service for WiFi at the CC site at Durham. In fairness to the club the process was easy, the connection speed is reasonable and the price is now competitive. I have chosen the 168 hours for a tenner and as long as you remember to log out after each session, then this outlay should last the average user for a couple of months.

Well done CC. I am not your greatest fan particularly on the issue of designated awning or non awning pitches etc (today I was told that there are on this site now, no less than 4 pitch types!), but on the issue of Wi Fi you have certainly got it right.

Unfortunately you will only have 7 days to use your £10's worth!

 

168-hour (7 days) package, £10

 

Unlimited use of Wi-Fi within a 168-hour period (from when you first sign on) for one device at a time.

(Perfect for users who want on/off access - In 2013 it wasn't possible to buy a weekly Wi-Fi access package!)

 

Taken from their web-page here:

 

http://www.caravanclub.co.uk/uk-holidays/advice-and-information/wi-fi

 

If this was NOT explained to you then I would suggest you go and get a refund! :-S

 

Alternatively you could see if you can 'upgrade' it to the 12 month one for £25.

 

•12-month package, £25

 

Unlimited use across all Club sites with Wi-Fi available for 12 months.

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I doubt if there is a perfect answer to WiFi on the move but I've had a smartphone on a Three contract for a while at £15 per month which includes unlimited data and "tethering", so I can connect other devices to the internet using it as a "local hot spot". I get a huge number of phone minutes and texts too.

 

There is bound to be some caravan site somewhere I can't get Three reception but I've done well so far - and Three is already offering normal use (i.e. using your normal monthly allowance) of your phone and data in several European Countries, with a plan to extend reciprocal cover across all Europe as soon as practicable.

 

I have tried CC's on site WiFi in the past but got variable results. I'm planning to stick with Three as long as it does the job. The technology of tethering other devices via the phone is a doddle, even I can do it!

 

Last year in France I bought a little WiFi gadget from SFR and that wirked very well. You have to buy it (Ithink it was €50) and then you pay for access and I bought 30 days for €30, although I didn't realise there was also a total usage limit so I allowed other campers to use it freely and ran out in 14 days! Next time in France I will simply buy (unless Three includes France by then) another 30 days for €30.

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Guest JudgeMental
I thought roaming charges were to be abolished this summer making using smart phones abroad far more reasonable. I have a phablet phone and it's big enough to do anything on to be honest....if not can thether it.
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Why on earth is anyone praising them, get real they had to bring down the prices because no one was using it. most people use smart phones as an access point, or pop down the road to the local pub or supermarket where you get free wifi, should be free anyway with the prices they charge.
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lennyhb - 2014-04-01 9:46 AM

 

... most people use smart phones as an access point, or pop down the road to the local pub or supermarket where you get free wifi, should be free anyway with the prices they charge.

 

I've got to agree with you there lenny'...a few of the comparably priced "commercial" sites we've used(and even a few of the small "pub type" campsites), have just offered us their wifi code when we book in...

(..not that we ever bother using it, so I've idea on "limits" though )

 

But it does seem strange that they can offer it for nowt(inclusive) but the CC can't/don't..... :-S

 

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pepe63 - 2014-04-01 10:06 AM

 

lennyhb - 2014-04-01 9:46 AM

 

... most people use smart phones as an access point, or pop down the road to the local pub or supermarket where you get free wifi, should be free anyway with the prices they charge.

 

I've got to agree with you there lenny'...a few(most?) of the comparably priced "commercial" sites we've used(and even a few of the small "pub type" campsites), have just offered us their wifi code when we book in...

(..not that we ever bother using it, so I've idea on "limits" though )

 

But it does seem strange that they can offer it for nowt(inclusive) but the CC can't/don't..... :-S

 

There's a very good reason. Small sites and many sites in Europe that I've used offer free wifi but it's just the same wifi that you have at home. In other words it's a normal telephone line with a single router and wifi is only available within a short distance from the office. It costs nothing to install and requires no maintenance.

 

The wifi used on CC sites and other large sites (which usually charge) is totally different. First of all it needs a dedicated data line in order to cope with the very high traffic. Systems such as the one used by the CC then have repeaters all over the site to enable wide coverage. These need a power supply so that has to be installed for each one.

 

All this costs a lot of money to install and then there's a very high annual bill for the necessary maintenance and the cost of the data line.

 

Most free systems have very little bandwidth and in the evening when you get a few people using them they are totally useless. Even in Europe recently, on sites where I've paid much more than the CC charges, I found that wifi was poor or non-existent at peak periods.

 

If I had a pub site or a CL I could provide free wifi easily as all I have to do is to give them my log-on details, and as long as they are very close to the router it will work and I know that the line isn't going to be swamped with dozens of users. But giving good coverage on a large site for a large number of people is a different ball game and a very different financial investment and much higher running costs.

 

The CC's prices were expensive at first as it tried to recoup the massive investment that it made on each site but now they compare favourably and are lower than many private U.K. or Continental sites. £10 for a week for 'proper' wifi is very reasonable and for regular site users £25 for a year is superb value.

 

The time will come when, like showers and EHU, wifi will be considered to be something that should be priced into the site fee. But we just know what will happen don't we? There'll be a a number of people who'll then be moaning that they are paying for something that they don't need or use! It'll be the EHU argument all over again.

 

And I find it quite amusing that the people who tell us that they don't need EHU are often the same ones complaining about wifi being a separate charge and demanding that it be included in the site fee!

 

Nothing is free. If a site has a proper dedicated wifi system everyone is paying for it in their fees. Just as everyone is paying for the shower block, even if they never use it.

 

 

 

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Had Enough - 2014-04-01 10:36 AM

 

pepe63 - 2014-04-01 10:06 AM

 

lennyhb - 2014-04-01 9:46 AM

 

... most people use smart phones as an access point, or pop down the road to the local pub or supermarket where you get free wifi, should be free anyway with the prices they charge.

 

I've got to agree with you there lenny'...a few(most?) of the comparably priced "commercial" sites we've used(and even a few of the small "pub type" campsites), have just offered us their wifi code when we book in...

(..not that we ever bother using it, so I've idea on "limits" though )

 

But it does seem strange that they can offer it for nowt(inclusive) but the CC can't/don't..... :-S

 

There's a very good reason. Small sites and many sites in Europe that I've used offer free wifi but it's just the same wifi that you have at home. In other words it's a normal telephone line with a single router and wifi is only available within a short distance from the office. It costs nothing to install and requires no maintenance.

 

The wifi used on CC sites and other large sites (which usually charge) is totally different. First of all it needs a dedicated data line in order to cope with the very high traffic. Systems such as the one used by the CC then have repeaters all over the site to enable wide coverage. These need a power supply so that has to be installed for each one.

 

 

Oh! I see..I had assumed that there'd be some "technical" reason..but as we don't use wifi that much anyway, it's not something we've really bothered ourselves with...and it's certainly not a "deal breaker", when it comes to where we do or don't pitch our van... ;-)

 

edit:..and thinking now, on those larger commercial sites that we've used, any "free" wifi , has only been available at specific areas..and not scattered around the whole site... :$ ;-)

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In this day and age WiFi is a commodity and should be free or added as part of the EHU package (and I don't mean increase that price).

 

These places spend more on the setup so they can charge and have it locked down then the actual service costs. A simple setup with either a WiFi password changed annually and given with your membership of changed weekly and posted on the reception notice board.

 

Starbucks, Costa, McDonalds learned this long ago....

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sean.clarke - 2014-04-01 10:57 AM

 

In this day and age WiFi is a commodity and should be free or added as part of the EHU package (and I don't mean increase that price).

 

These places spend more on the setup so they can charge and have it locked down then the actual service costs. A simple setup with either a WiFi password changed annually and given with your membership of changed weekly and posted on the reception notice board.

 

Starbucks, Costa, McDonalds learned this long ago....

 

The first thing that you need to realise is that nothing is free. The correct term is 'included in the price' and that's why you pay four quid for a cup of coffee at Starbucks!

 

And I'll be interested to see your breakdown of the CC's investment in its wifi network per site and the revenue it raises from it. Do you know something we don't?

 

If a hotel charged £100 per room and then decided to offer a very good (and consequently expensive) wifi system that needed thousands of pound spent per year on data lines and maintenance do you really think that they'll shrug their shoulders and say: "Oh well chaps, we won't cost that into our prices like we do wages, advertising, business rates etc."

 

Or do you think that they'll recoup the cost by eventually adding a few quid to their room rate?

 

Wifi at the places you mention is an operating cost and is calculated as part of the profit percentage required.

 

But we come back to the point I made earlier. If we accept that proper site-wide wifi should be included in the site fee, what do you say to those people who never use it and are, in effect, subsidising those who do?

 

Some people never use the site showers or lavatories. But the point is that these facilities could be used by every single member so perhaps not charging separately for them makes sense.

 

But not everyone uses wifi so why should they be forced to pay a small part of their site fee for a service that they can never use?

 

Nothing is free, no matter how much you want to believe it! Everything has to be costed in when the operating costs are calculated.

 

 

 

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JudgeMental - 2014-04-01 8:58 AM

 

I thought roaming charges were to be abolished this summer making using smart phones abroad far more reasonable. I have a phablet phone and it's big enough to do anything on to be honest....if not can thether it.

 

The law abolishing European roaming charges has been passed by the EU and comes into force on December 15th 2015 although I believe that there will be some data reductions from July this year.

 

Operators claim that it will increase domestic prices as it costs them more to process charges between companies in several different countries. That makes sense to me. It must be more expensive filtering out for instance, calls made by a Slovenian in England, and billing his Slovenian operator and then handling the financial aspects of say, Vodafone UK being paid by the Slovenian phone company.

 

Personally, I'm not sure that domestic price increases will happen, except perhaps for downloading data. Competition is a wonderful thing and telecommunications is one thing that has become much cheaper to operate over the last few years.

 

Data will be the big problem as people will end up downloading films and TV programmes when on holiday. I can see companies hiking their domestic data costs or reducing the monthly allowance. So it may not cost you any more in France to download data than it does in the UK but your UK package may well be more expensive in the first place!

 

 

 

 

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Had Enough - 2014-04-01 11:45 AM

 

sean.clarke - 2014-04-01 10:57 AM

 

In this day and age WiFi is a commodity and should be free or added as part of the EHU package (and I don't mean increase that price).

 

These places spend more on the setup so they can charge and have it locked down then the actual service costs. A simple setup with either a WiFi password changed annually and given with your membership of changed weekly and posted on the reception notice board.

 

Starbucks, Costa, McDonalds learned this long ago....

 

The first thing that you need to realise is that nothing is free. The correct term is 'included in the price' and that's why you pay four quid for a cup of coffee at Starbucks!

 

And I'll be interested to see your breakdown of the CC's investment in its wifi network per site and the revenue it raises from it. Do you know something we don't?

 

If a hotel charged £100 per room and then decided to offer a very good (and consequently expensive) wifi system that needed thousands of pound spent per year on data lines and maintenance do you really think that they'll shrug their shoulders and say: "Oh well chaps, we won't cost that into our prices like we do wages, advertising, business rates etc."

 

Or do you think that they'll recoup the cost by eventually adding a few quid to their room rate?

 

Wifi at the places you mention is an operating cost and is calculated as part of the profit percentage required.

 

But we come back to the point I made earlier. If we accept that proper site-wide wifi should be included in the site fee, what do you say to those people who never use it and are, in effect, subsidising those who do?

 

Some people never use the site showers or lavatories. But the point is that these facilities could be used by every single member so perhaps not charging separately for them makes sense.

 

But not everyone uses wifi so why should they be forced to pay a small part of their site fee for a service that they can never use?

 

Nothing is free, no matter how much you want to believe it! Everything has to be costed in when the operating costs are calculated.

 

 

 

I guess my point is, they need not have an exotic system costing thousands of pounds... they do spend that, but only because they want to offer it as a premium - it's the 21st century, it's commodity.

 

I gave up on this many years ago when I was looking at getting WiFi in marinas - very good systems with a small one off cost were being ignored, all they saw was an opportunity to screw their client base. I see your point but those not using the services, and that is a fair point - however I do not know of one scenario where they give a base price then charge for extras and it doesn't work out like they were screwing you.

 

I understand profitability, I run my own company - hence the approach to marinas in the late 90's/00's - I firmly bevel everyone deserves to make money and earn a living, but there is an awful lot of greed and exploitation.

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sean.clarke - 2014-04-01 12:37 PM

 

 

I guess my point is, they need not have an exotic system costing thousands of pounds... they do spend that, but only because they want to offer it as a premium - it's the 21st century, it's commodity.

 

I gave up on this many years ago when I was looking at getting WiFi in marinas - very good systems with a small one off cost were being ignored, all they saw was an opportunity to screw their client base. I see your point but those not using the services, and that is a fair point - however I do not know of one scenario where they give a base price then charge for extras and it doesn't work out like they were screwing you.

 

I understand profitability, I run my own company - hence the approach to marinas in the late 90's/00's - I firmly bevel everyone deserves to make money and earn a living, but there is an awful lot of greed and exploitation.

 

But they can't win can they? What you consider an 'exotic' system is simply one that is actually site-wide and comprehensive. If they put in a system such as is operated on many small sites, where you have, in perhaps the pouring rain, to walk to the office to get reception only to find that it's so slow as to be unusable as many others are online, you may well be wishing for a more 'exotic' system and could well be on here complaining about the pathetic wifi service the the club offers.

 

And where the CC wifi is concerned, which is what this thread is about, I see no greed and corruption! They've installed a very comprehensive system on each site, where everyone can log on from their own 'van and where there is no limit on data.

 

And the cost for this? At worst £1.43 per day if you buy a seven day ticket, but for regular site users it's £25 for an entire year!

 

But I don't understand the argument from some, which appears to suggest that they should provide this free of charge and swallow the cost! If you have a marina and you invested £100K in improving it you'd want a return on that money. I doubt that you'd be keeping prices the same.

 

One of the problems with wifi is people who simply don't understand the difference between a domestic system, which costs peanuts and which they'll come across on a pub site or a small site and the kind of site-wide system that has to be employed to give full coverage. They get it free from the former and then expect it to be free from the latter. They are very different and the cost difference is very large!

 

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At least the CC listened to its members and dropped the price of internet usage. And it is also a secure network unlike most of the coffee and supermarkets come cafes are that’s because it is a closed network unlike the others which are open. So you want free WIFi consider this.

So you're at your favourite coffee shop and have hopped on to the free WiFi with your tablet to check your social networks, read the latest news, and maybe take a quick peek at your bank balance while you're enjoying your latte. We're so used to having Internet access whenever and wherever we need it that we don't often stop to consider whether logging into a public network is safety. For lot of people, the first thing they do when they wander into a coffee shop or hotel lobby or the airport is to flip on their WiFi and try to find a free hotspot rather than use your own data plan or buying time from a hotspot

 

The risks of free WiFi

 

Using public WiFi isn't unlike having a conversation in a public place: Others can overhear you. If you don't take precautions, information your devices send over a public WiFi network goes out in clear text — and anyone else on the network could easily take a look at what you're doing with just a few simple software tools. Someone spying could easily pick up your passwords or other private information. If you use the same password on multiple sites, that could be a big problem. This is the biggest concern with public hotspots.

 

The next potential problem is what is called a honeypot. Thieves might set up their own WiFi hotspot with an unassuming name like "Public WiFi" to tempt you to connect so they can grab up any data you send. These are easy to set up without any kind of special equipment — it could be done just using a laptop or smartphone — so you could run into them anywhere.

Finally, using public WiFi puts you at risk for session hijacking, in which a hacker who's monitoring your WiFi traffic attempts to take over an open session you have with an online service (like a social media site or an email client) by stealing the browser cookies the service uses to recognize who you are. Once hackers have that cookie, they can pretend to be you on these sites or even find your login and password information stored inside the cookie.

Check to make sure your computer or smartphone is not set up to automatically connect to unknown WiFi networks — or set it to ask you before connecting — so you're sure you know what you're connecting to when you connect.

Make sure to connect to websites via HTTPS, which encrypts anything you send and receive from the website. While a VPN service encrypts everything you send, HTTPS ensures that communication to and from a particular website is secure. To verify if you're connected via HTTPS, look at the address bar of your browser window; you should see "HTTPS" at the beginning of the web address (or, on some web browsers, a lock icon).

DO you have any software for protection on your Tablet or smartphone? . I bet you don’t. I recently reset my tablet back to the factory settings and forgot to reinstall my virus software. I currently have no active credit or debit cards as my cards have been compromised. So if you don’t like paying for your internet use then put up with the consequences that could come your way

see this web site for tips on how to keep safe

http://blog.laptopmag.com/9-tips-to-stay-safe-on-public-wi-fi http://www.howtogeek.com/178696/why-using-a-public-wi-fi-network-can-be-dangerous-even-when-accessing-encrypted-websites/

 

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It seems to me that the CC have done with WiFi what they did with EHU. They have gilded the lily, and in so doing have made life expensive for themselves and users. I have always been puzzled that every pillar on the UK club sites is rated at 16A. This generosity of supply encourages folk to be extravagant, because they feel they have "paid for it, so they'll have it". Electric underfloor heating, for example, fan heaters being run in awnings, 3kw electric kettles, electric hobs etc. Madness! Restrict the supply to 6A summer and 10A winter, and the cost of the service, based on what I have seen, would fall substantially to the considerable advantage of all.

 

So, it seems, with the WiFi. Frank might be able to say how much it has cost, per site, to install what the club has put in? He seems to know. However, what many want is simply a facility to pick up e-mails and do a spot of browsing, not to stream live TV or play on-line games. Most of the European sites I have used with free WiFi have some kind of limit on time, or on download volumes. They can be a bit slow, but e-mail and minor browsing don't require fibre optic speeds. They do get slower as more log on, but how much time does one actually want to spend on-line when away? If the speed gets painful, I just log off. True, some have only a low range hotspot, but others have installed simple repeater aerials, often on the facilities block, to bounce the signal around the site. It doesn't cost thousands, it isn't always perfect, but it provides a service that is valued and is more and more demanded. Some do charge per hour, others by the day, week etc, others again metre use by the hour that only runs while you are connected. I have not noticed huge differences in speeds between those that are free, and those that charge.

 

Most of those who charge the higher rates, when asked, concede that not many users sign up. Frequently they say they have done a deal with an independent provider, who makes the installation, sets the rates, and takes the risk. From what I have seen, a number of these providers are going to struggle for revenue! Spending a lot on a Rolls-Royce installation does not mean the customer will happily pay the consequent charge. I somewhat suspect the CC has done a similar deal with a provider, and has allowed the provider to go over the top on specification. All CC sites seem to have on-line terminals at their reception desks, so they presumably have a distributed private network they are already paying for. Once the office closes, which is seldom late, that equipment does nothing. It could, if members could access it.

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I cant understand why everything is more expensive to use over here, I certainly wont be using it!, in Trier on the stal I paid around 60cents for 4 hours on their wifi and a lot of them are free it just means sitting nearer the office as in Bad Sobernheim and Fussen although the latter I got a good signal sat in the van.
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maggyd - 2014-04-01 6:55 PM

 

I cant understand why everything is more expensive to use over here, I certainly wont be using it!, in Trier on the stal I paid around 60cents for 4 hours on their wifi and a lot of them are free it just means sitting nearer the office as in Bad Sobernheim and Fussen although the latter I got a good signal sat in the van.

Actually Maggy, sorry to disagree but 60c for 4 hours is expensive by comparison to the CC charge!

 

60c divided by 4 hours = 15c an hour, x 168 hours = €25.2 for a week, compared to £10 for the CC, however, if you only use it for say 4 hours every day, then that comes in at €4.20 ... so if really depends on how much you want to use it I suppose to get your money's worth out of the CC! :-S

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Brian Kirby - 2014-04-01 5:55 PM

 

It seems to me that the CC have done with WiFi what they did with EHU. They have gilded the lily, and in so doing have made life expensive for themselves and users.

 

However, what many want is simply a facility to pick up e-mails and do a spot of browsing, not to stream live TV or play on-line games.

 

We'll agree to disagree on this. You may only want to pick up a few emails and do a bit of light browsing but many don't. Half the people I meet on sites these days seem to be Skyping their families and I use Skype regularly to contact my business.

 

I also upload all photos that I've taken that day so I know that they're safe should I ever lose my camera or have it stolen. And have you noticed how many people make extensive use of this forum when they're on holiday, either in the UK or in Europe. You may not as you are a tourer, like me, but think of those who spend two weeks or more on a site. Some of them can be heavy users.

 

What you call gilding the lily I call looking ahead to the time that everyone uses wifi and uses it for more and more applications. Putting in a simpler system now would be the equivalent of building a two lane motorway only to find five years later that it should have had three lanes and that the cost of converting from two to three lanes is actually more than the initial cost of building the motorway in the first place.

 

And your office wifi system example is wrong. This will be similar to home wifi, on a normal phone line and would be swamped if used by just a small number of people. And try using one of these free systems when it's pouring down and the office is closed and the signal is too weak to be received more than twenty yards away.

 

And as for it being expensive? Well, clearly it's more expensive than the free, simple 'within 20 yards of the office' very limited systems but it isn't expensive compared to many sites I've used that have proper site-wide coverage with decent bandwidth.

 

£2.50 for 24 hours, which with careful timing would cover two days, say from 1700 to 1700 the next day. and £10 for a week of unlimited use. But the real bargain for regular CC site users is the £25 for a full year, with no download limits.

 

In my opinion, putting in a good system, with decent bandwidth is sensible and forward thinking. Wifi use is going to increase enormously over the next few years.

 

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maggyd - 2014-04-01 6:55 PM

 

I cant understand why everything is more expensive to use over here, I certainly wont be using it!, in Trier on the stal I paid around 60cents for 4 hours on their wifi and a lot of them are free it just means sitting nearer the office as in Bad Sobernheim and Fussen although the latter I got a good signal sat in the van.

 

Then don't try the site I used in Bavaria, that was five euro a day! WiFi is no dearer in the UK than anywhere else. I've been charged a lot of money for poor wifi in France, Spain and Portugal and the worst example was in Croatia.

 

If you were charged for a system that was only operable within a few yards of the office you were overcharged at 60c. This kind of primitive system is often free as it clogs up at night when several people are online.

 

If you read my post higher up you'll have a better understanding of simple home-type wifi as opposed to proper site-wide systems with repeaters and dedicated data lines.

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