Wifi in Vienna: mobile wifi device
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WiFi In Vienna Austria: Where To Find Free Wifi, and Safe Pocket Wifi

Wifi in Vienna is free through hundreds of access points – both public and private. Apart from that you can rent your own mobile hotspot if you want to communicate sensitive data or just be safe from potential hackers. If you live in the European Union, you can use mobile data networks of mobile phone operators in other EU countries such as Austria without extra costs, thanks to the EU Data Roaming Agreement.

Free Wifi Hotspots In Vienna

Wifi in Vienna. While most hotels in Vienna offer good wifi access, many cafés, restaurants and attractions offer free wifi hotspots. On top, the Vienna Municipality runs its own ‘public WLAN’ hotspots in public places.

This city map shows you all free Wifi spots in Vienna. Many of them are located in coffeehouses and restaurants, and some museums offer free Wifi, too. Usually, the transmission rate of the free public wifi hotspots (in red) is just 1 Megabit per second to enable a maximum of users at any one time. The transmission rate of private network Freewave is a bit under 1 Megabit per second. When you sign up to the free public wifi and accept the user agreement you also agree to a fair use of your internet access and avoid using multimedia services and other data intensive services and applications.

 

If you have a wifi hotspot finder on your smartphone, you will find the hotspots even more quickly. If you download the Vienna Municipality’s live app (in German only for the time being) for on Google Play Store for Android and the App Store for iOS you can access wifi hotspots directly. As of June 2020 wifi hotspots were not yet available for iOS 13.

Vienna Cafés With Free Wifi

In the city center and central districts most coffeehouses and restaurants offer free wifi access using private operator Freewave. Usually you will find a sign with the wifi password on the counter or on your table, though do ask the waiter if you can’t find one. If you want to ensure a phone call in a quiet spot, get a café with a backroom, such as Café Museum. Here is a list of all cafés offering free wifi via Freewave in the city center:

Café Bäckerei Ströck (Schottenring 30, Ringturm; Stephansplatz metro station); Café Central (Herrengasse 14); Café de l’Europe (Graben 31); Café Engländer (Postgasse 2); Café Hawelka (Dorotheergasse 6); Café Hofburg (Hofburg, Innerer Burghof); Café Korb (Brandstätte 9); Café Landtmann (Universitätsring 4); Café Mozart (Albertina-Platz 2); Café Museum (Operngasse 7); Meinls Café (Graben 19);  Café Oper Wien (Operngasse 2); Café Prückel (Stubenring 24); Café Schwarzenberg (Kärntner Ring 17); Café Votiv (Reichsratsstrasse 17); 

Wifi Spots At Vienna Airport

As long as you have a wifi compatible device you can connect to the free Wifi service of Vienna’s International Airport in Schwechat. Not just the gates but also the local restaurants and cafés offer good connection. If you need to work, gates F and G offer special work stations equipped with electrical plugs and a worktop. Around gates B and C the seating areas also offer integrated plugs and USB ports.

How Safe is Free Wifi in Vienna?

Essentially, Vienna’s public wifi does not require a password but the acceptance of the user agreement.

With Freewave, the connection is not encrypted. This means you should transmit sensitive data only when you have a secure connection to a website. Data which is transmitted between your browser and a “secure site“ will be automatically encrypted. As for sending emails, Freewave recommends using secure connections between your email application and mail server. Whether encryption can be used depends on your email provider and your email application. To avoid sharing your data automatically turn off the respective settings on your device.

Portable WiFi Hotspot

portable mobile hotspotWiFi in Vienna.  Because I often use Google Maps and make online calls when in Vienna, I use a mobile wifi device.  With a wifi hotspot I can also check my emails safely and transfer as many pictures on social media as I like. A portable wifi hotspot means you carry around your own hot spot, and pay a fixed price for unlimited usage where ever you are. The one I use lets you connect up to 10 mobile devices for the same price, so our whole family can use it when we are out and about. Since the device covers the whole of the European Union we could also use it when traveling to other countries.

Before I travel to Vienna I have the wifi hotspot be sent to the address where I stay. The hotspot has one big button,  a charger, three simple visual instructions along with my ID and password, and a return plastic envelope with stamp and address. When trying it the first time I’d like to say I was smart enough to simply charge it before using it – I found out eventually. Now I keep the mobile hotspot together with my cell phone so I remember to charge it when back home. 

The internet speed (4G/LTE) was always great and never changed – unlike other providers this one never manipulated the browsing experience.

As for speed, I compared my portable wifi hotspot with the public wifi hotspot in a local café. Actually,  there was hardly any difference to my mobile internet hotspot but then the café was almost empty. However, the mobile hotspot managed to outperform the WiFi network of a prestigious luxury hotel where I had a meeting.

How To Avoid Roaming Charges in Vienna

WiFi in Vienna. Let me share two tips to avoid roaming charges in Vienna and rest of Austria. 

If you are from a European Union country, you will pay NO roaming charges if you use your phone in EU countries like Austria. Since the EU banned telecoms operators from charging other EU operators for using their networks, EU mobile phone users pay the same price as at home, without extra charges.

If you are, for example, from the United States or other non-EU countries, you will pay roaming charges. Before you read on here is one tip upfront: To make cheap international calls, use free voice over IP (VoIP) services like Skype and Viber which are covered by data roaming.

Before one of my journeys to Wien I bought an international SIM card for my cell phone (voice and data). Expensive mistake. While I bought the SIM card for a reasonable price I used all the credits after one day of MODERATE usage. Consequently, the provider asked me to top up my card.

Fixed Fee Versus Roaming Charges

WiFi in Vienna.  You can rent the mobile wifi device  that covers the whole of the European Union for a group of up to 10 for a fixed fee from 3 to 14 days (from USD 66). If you have several mobile devices like smartphones, tablets or laptops you pay the same price. International carriers charge different fees for data roaming in Austria. Check back charges by your phone and data carrier and compare them with the fees for the mobile hotspot.

get more practical travel advice in Visit Vienna
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