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

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How can I 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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Elaine

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Posted 2 years ago

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Chadwick, Mobile Master

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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.
(Edited)
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Elaine

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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.
(Edited)
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Elaine

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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?
(Edited)
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Dennis, Mobile Master

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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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Chadwick, Mobile Master

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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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Dennis, Mobile Master

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Sorry to clarify I was responding to the second paragraph
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Dennis, Mobile Master

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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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Chadwick, Mobile Master

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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.
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Elaine

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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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Dennis, Mobile Master

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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
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Elaine

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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?
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Elaine

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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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Dennis, Mobile Master

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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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Paul Deschamps, Mobile Master

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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.
(Edited)
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Elaine

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Thanks all of you! I hadn't thought of buying a cheap local phone and package there. However, I'm comfortable with my phone, and would prefer to stick to what I know since I'll only be in 1 country for 1 week this time around.

Why turn airplane mode off and wifi on if no longer on the airplane?

I thought 50 MB was a pretty small amount too. How much data do you estimate I should get for a week if I buy a local SIM card?

Pre-downloading maps is a great idea to save data - thanks for the tip!
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David, Mobile Master

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Why turn airplane mode off and wifi on if no longer on the airplane?
Prevents unexpected charges from roaming on another carrier's network. Forces you to not automatically answer the ringing phone.

How much data do you estimate I should get for a week if I buy a local SIM card?
Data in Europe tends to be cheap. 400MB to 1 GB should be available for a reasonable price.
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Dennis, Mobile Master

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You dont need a local phone.  just a local sim card and your phone carrier unlocked
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Elinor

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Airplane mode got the name from planes not wanting to have cell signals bouncing around. Essentially it cuts you off from texts, phone calls and data. So  to protect yourself from any cell phone charges abroad, you use airplane mode on land too!
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Elinor

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Koodo does not provide a data only plan abroad.  So you may be paying for more than you want.  If they have a one week plan, that may be simplest, provided it gives you enough data for your purposes.  Otherwise, stick with wifi is my suggestion.




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