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How can I access free local wifi on my Galaxy S4 during 1 week in Paris?


[b]How can I [b]access free wifi on my Galaxy S4 during 1 week in Paris? I have no data on my local phone plan now. My air bnb will have free wifi, as do many other places. Do I need to unlock my phone to do this, or buy a roaming package? There seems to be only 1 roaming package for Europe available. I'm told I should buy a local SIM card at the airport. Do I need to unlock my phone to use one? I don't need to make calls, but want data for maps and "what's on", as well as a few text messages. Thanks!

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No there is nothing u need to add. You will simply connect via wifi in your settings just as you would via your home wifi network. Just make sure they leave the network name and password for you and make sure they have the ssid broadcasting so u can see the network.
That didn't work last summer. I was there for 3 weeks and couldn't get onto any of the open networks with this phone, even with their passwords. Not one worked in Vienna, Venice, Istanbul or Santorini.
How do I find or set up SSID broadcasting? I don't know what that is. I would think places like Starbucks in Europe would have it, but it didn't work either.

I appreciate your help. I don't mind buying roaming or a local SIM card if that will ensure me access to data when I'm not in my air bnb. If I should do this, do I need to unlock my phone to use a local SIM card?
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Elaine wrote:

How do I find or set up SSID broadcasting? I don't know what that is. I would think places like S...

Correct.  you can unlock with Koodo for $35 or you can find an unlock code on ebay for cheaper.

There is currently no roaming add-ons for Europe for prepaid.
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Elaine wrote:

How do I find or set up SSID broadcasting? I don't know what that is. I would think places like S...

You do not need to unlock your phone to use wifi. Maybe the wifi is different over there? I'm not 100% sure. Wifi works without addons as the wifi adapter is built into a phone. Not something that is added by the telecoms.
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Elaine wrote:

How do I find or set up SSID broadcasting? I don't know what that is. I would think places like S...

Sorry to clarify I was responding to the second paragraph
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Elaine wrote:

How do I find or set up SSID broadcasting? I don't know what that is. I would think places like S...

Free wifi should work.  if free wifi works for yo uin Canada then it should work over there.  if it works for someone else's phone then it should work for you.
If it doesnt work for someone else's phone, then there is an issue with the wifi or charge for the internet.  Hard to say after the fact.  
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Data. And wifi are two different things. If you mean access data while ur over there you will need addons. But wifi is free. SSID is just a name for what they call the name of a network. Confusing I know.
Chadwick wrote:

Data. And wifi are two different things. If you mean access data while ur over there you will nee...

hmmm . . .  I feel like a luddite, but I thought "data" was what you got either by subscription OR over free wifi, like looking up the location and hours of a venue, checking email, or watching a video online. If not, how is it different, and do I need an add-on to do any of these things when I have free wifi? Thank you again Chadwick!

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Chadwick wrote:

Data. And wifi are two different things. If you mean access data while ur over there you will nee...

Data is what streams over the internet. Data is what your charged for. Yes data freaks over wifi but wifi access, if unlocked or given the password, your not paying for it. If u want to use data while on vacation anywhere like in a bush or walking down the road, you will need an add on for that as your not getting free wifi anymore
Chadwick wrote:

Data. And wifi are two different things. If you mean access data while ur over there you will nee...

If there is no add-on for Europe for my regular, non-data monthly Koodo plan, do I need to unlock the phone and get a SIM card over there if I'm not making phone calls, but accessing the internet or using apps? Thanks for clarifying. It is a bit confusing.

Chadwick wrote:

Data. And wifi are two different things. If you mean access data while ur over there you will nee...

Is "pre-paid" what you're calling my local monthly service, or is that a pre-paid data access or SIM card. Thanks for your patience.
Chadwick wrote:

Data. And wifi are two different things. If you mean access data while ur over there you will nee...

Also if I have my phone on "airplane mode" does that cut out access to free wifi? Maybe that was why I couldn't access it last year?
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Chadwick wrote:

Data. And wifi are two different things. If you mean access data while ur over there you will nee...

Are you on prepaid or post paid?  I saw prepaid in your categories so I thought you were prepaid.

Prepaid is where you buy buckets of minutes and data and you can never go over.  Once you reach the limit it stops.  Also the minutes and data carry over until it is all used.

Post paid you have a bucket as well but you can go over and incur overages.  Everymonth there is a new bucket of mins and data to use.

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Data is internet usage.  Can be over a cellular network or over wifi.  Sometimes when loggin into free wifi like at mcdonalds or starbucks you have to sign in and agree to their TOS.  SOmetimes there is a password to get pass this too (especially if they charge for wifi).

In airplan mode you need to turn on wifi manually in order to use wifi
Chadwick wrote:

Data. And wifi are two different things. If you mean access data while ur over there you will nee...

Post paid then. I pay a regular service charge monthly here, based on minutes of airtime. It has no mobile data on it though, since I have unlimited data at home and at work.

So airplane mode disables data use completely?

Chadwick wrote:

Data. And wifi are two different things. If you mean access data while ur over there you will nee...

I checked pre-paid because I thought that related to buying a SIM card - I assumed they are pre-paid packages.

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Chadwick wrote:

Data. And wifi are two different things. If you mean access data while ur over there you will nee...

Airplan mode disables all connections.  So no calling, texting, wifi or data.  You can turn on airplane mode and then turn on wifi to turn off everything except for wifi.

When traveling I recommend a local prepaid sim with data.

See here:
http://prepaid-data-sim-card.wikia.com/wiki/Prepaid_SIM_with_data

Note that you will need to unlock you phone before it can use a sim card from another carrier
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When using public wifi you will need to connect like you would your home wifi within the phones wifi settings menu but then open up your browser and a page will automatically load to accept their terms or sometimes you need to go to a specific Web page yourself and accept the terms of using the specific public wifi. Not all places do this but definitely quite a few I've used do require this to fully connect.
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Paul "Kid Android" Deschamps wrote:

When using public wifi you will need to connect like you would your home wifi within the phones w...

Was just about to say, I wonder if they have the browser login like some public wifi over here. Makes sense.
Paul "Kid Android" Deschamps wrote:

When using public wifi you will need to connect like you would your home wifi within the phones w...

Yes that could be it. And I couldn't read it in Turkish or Greek or German. 🙂
Paul "Kid Android" Deschamps wrote:

When using public wifi you will need to connect like you would your home wifi within the phones w...

Does airplane mode block access to free wifi?
Paul "Kid Android" Deschamps wrote:

When using public wifi you will need to connect like you would your home wifi within the phones w...

So if there is no Koodo "add-on" for Europe with my regular Koodo plan, do I need to unlock the phone and get a SIM card over there if I want to access the internet when not in a free wifi zone?

It looks like Koodo has a 50MB roaming add-on for Europe for 1 month for $40, or is that just for phone calls?
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Paul "Kid Android" Deschamps wrote:

When using public wifi you will need to connect like you would your home wifi within the phones w...

Yes, Airplane mode turns off Wi-Fi, but you can turn it on again while still leaving all the other things Airplane mode does turned off.
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Paul "Kid Android" Deschamps wrote:

When using public wifi you will need to connect like you would your home wifi within the phones w...

If you have a post-paid plan where you receive a bill each month, then you can buy an add-on package for your travels. You will have to set a few things up on your phone before you go to make it work, so let us know the plan you have, and if you are going unlock your phone to buy a local SIM in France.

50MB is not much data. It would be consumed very quickly if you use it for maps. If you want maps for travelling, I suggest an App which stores maps on your phone before you go, rather than downloading maps on the fly, as they consume a lot of data. I use Copilot, and download maps for the area I am travelling before I leave. Others recommend HERE maps, which also lets you download the maps in advance before you travel.
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Paul "Kid Android" Deschamps wrote:

When using public wifi you will need to connect like you would your home wifi within the phones w...

Hi Elaine.   I do not recommend you buy an international plan from Koodo.  I bought the US plan -- which isn't cheap at all -- twice last year and had trouble with it both times (and Koodo treated me fairly and reimbursed my cost but the inconvenience I experienced couldn't be undone).  I just got back from Europe.  I put my phone on airplane mode and made sure I had my wifi on like Dennis suggested above.  For me, that was sufficient. Sometimes wifi was slow (where lots of North Americans were clustered, uploading pix to Facebook, lol) but it always worked. 

As Dennis explained, sometimes your wifi will say "connected" but you still have to get to a sign-on page and click your agreement to the terms of the site providing the wifi before you can surf or send emails.  Where you have trouble, asking a waiter/librarian/hotel clerk for help.

The alternative is -- as Dennis suggested -- is to but a cheap local phone and package.  This is usually ok if you plan to stay in one area in one country.  Otherwise, it is complicated and may need to you assessed for roaming charges.  Far better, imho, to eliminate that possibility by restricting yourself to data.

You have a decent camera on your S4 phone, it is also more convenient to use the same phone for wifi and photos rather than carry two devices.

Hope this helps!

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