back to article Holiday HELL: Pourquoi, monsieur, why is there no merdique Wi-Fi here?

DAY 1 I arise at 02:00am and clatter about the house noisily. This is my preferred method of waking up the family without the ignobility of knocking on bedroom doors or the inevitable upset that follows from vigorously shaking shoulders or throwing iced water into faces. I have booked a cheapskate pre-dawn flight and I do not …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sad

    Really sad that people can't go more than a few days without their fix. Rather defeats the whole point of a holiday.

    1. Steve 13
      Mushroom

      Re: Sad

      It might defeat the point of a holiday to YOU. But it's worth remembering that we aren't all the same.

      Take the holiday that you want. Go to the middle of nowhere and have no signal if it makes you happy, but don't criticise someone who likes to be able to stay in touch. It's their holiday they are talking about, not yours.

      1. raving angry loony

        Re: Sad

        I agree that not everyone wants to be the same. I also think it's bloody sad when someone can't think of anything else to do while on holiday than get on the wi-fi and do everything they did when they were at home.

      2. Benchops

        Re: Sad

        The main benefit of being a man is that I CAN monotask! When I'm on holiday, I'm on holiday.

    2. Mike Banahan
      Unhappy

      Re: Sad

      It's a fair point, and would be even fairer if everyone else says 'Oh yes, he's on holiday, so I won't email him".

      I'd rather be able to delete all the pointless emails and reply to the odd one that NEEDS a reply, instead of having them all stack up and make the first few days back home a maelstrom of urgent replies to messages that are now a fortnight old and have had three increasingly testy follow-ups because everyone thinks everyone is connected all the time nowadays. Knowing that I'll have that shitstorm to deal with actually spoils the holiday for me.

      And the later comment about having a daughter - yes, spot on.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Sad

        My boss is currently on holiday, before he left he said that if we needed any expenses to be approved so that they can be paid this month to send him an SMS and he'd connect and do so. I have some expenses, I didn't send an SMS, he's on holiday. The whole point of holidays is to get away from work. Anybody calls me from work when I'm on holiday and they will know about it when I get back(*).

        Later comment about having a daughter. What difference does it make unless you're one of those namby pamby parents who give in to their children at every turn. If you can't handle a tantrum you shouldn't have become a parent.

        If you can't cope with a shitstorm as you call it then your problems run deeper. you need to relax. The world isn't going to end or the company go under because you can't cope with your job. When I get a heavy workload I do it at my pace, I'm not going to run myself into the grave for anybody. If that's not good enough for the company then they can either get an extra resource or someone else.

        (*)This won't happen for two reasons. Nobody at work has my personal telephone and even if they did I do go on holiday where there isn't any mobile phone coverage unless I walk 1Km up a hill to get a signal.

    3. big_D Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Sad

      Exactly Chris, the whole point of a holiday is to get away and relax. I'd be very happy with no mobile signal and no Internet.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. Number6

        Re: Sad

        I'm happy with no phone, but a bit of internet can be useful, if you're trying to work out how to get somewhere for tomorrow's trip[*], or finding a good place to eat for this evening. For security purposes, a few normal, bland and pointless comments on Facebook means that it's not obvious that I'm on holiday apart from the occasional apparent 3am post courtesy of being in a different timezone.

        [*] Although I'm quite good at the mystery tours where I miss a turn and then have fun trying to get back on track without having to retrace my steps.

    4. disgruntled yank Silver badge

      Re: Sad

      Well, sure, but then what would he write about this Friday?

    5. Mr C

      Re: Sad

      Why is he downrated??

      I happen to share his sentiment, i never realized having WiFi is a prerequisite for having good holidays.

      If having no WiFi is a holiday-ruining-factor i suggest taking a good hard look at what holidays means.

      Ofc everyone is entitled to their opinion, but remember that not so long ago we didn't have WiFi and it didn't ruin our holidays then, did it?

    6. Azzy

      Re: Sad

      Don't tell me what to do on my holiday!

      I go on vacation to do WHATEVER THE HELL I WANT! If you want to live like we didn't have telecommunications, you can go right ahead. You can stay in a cave, butcher animals with stone tools, and contact your family back home using smoke signals for all I care! I don't judge - but please return the favor! If I'm traveling, I expect to have reliable internet to stay in touch and have something to do other than pickle my brain with margaritas after the sun goes down. No squalid caves, no "no signal", no stone tools, and no smoke signals (unless I'm going to Amsterdam - but apparently there's wifi there anyway)

      I want my vacations to be a break from work, not a break from modern civilization.

      1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

        Re: Sad

        > I want my vacations to be a break from work, not a break from modern civilization.

        The advantage of holidaying in France, at least the French know that WiFi and 3G are not prerequisites for civilization.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Sad @Azzy

        >Don't tell me what to do on my holiday!

        Tell me exactly where I said what you can or can't do on holiday(*). I merely expressed my opinion that I thought it was sad that some people cannot get away without yearning for what they do everyday.

        Having said that, maybe on your next vacation you should learn to comprehend what you have read.

    7. Eddy Ito Silver badge
      WTF?

      Re: Sad

      What's really sad is that he couldn't watch a bloody video without a fucking internet connection. I guess the movie industry really wants you to download videos. Since the damn disc won't play there isn't much point in paying money for it in the first place. Seems like a bizarre way to crack down on piracy to me but then it's becoming more typical to punish the folks who follow the rules in an effort to stop the folks who don't.

    8. cs94njw
      Thumb Up

      Re: Sad

      I remember having a job interview on the phone while on holiday. Needed to happen, how else was I going to pay for the holiday? ;)

  2. Ambivalous Crowboard

    I miss my Blackberry Bold 9700

    It would automatically join unencrypted wireless spots, and the UMA gave me free voice calls over internet while roaming (all encrypted, as per Blackberry stuff. Lovely). I used to take a trip around a foreign town (the week I spent in Menorca springs to mind), leave wifi on, turn mobile network off, and every now and then a pulse of messages would come in. Process my replies, deletions, updates, uploads, whatever, keep walking and eventually they'd sort themselves out.

    But yes, it's a shame we can't go without Internet for a few days.

  3. YP
    Meh

    A sad inditement on modern society

    I like how you managed to avoid all teh usual German stereotypes, well done :-)

    However the fact that you can be away from Wi-Fi for a week is very very sad. I usually chose holdiays where can't be reached by phone, let alone where they have WiFi. I am amazed though that you actually took physical discs, rather than ripping them, I thought you were a tech journo

    1. Alistair Dabbs

      Re: A sad inditement on modern society

      Ripping the Holy Grail Blu-ray remains a challenge too far for me. It is a very fussy disc.

      1. Khaptain Silver badge

        Re: A sad inditement on modern society

        Isn't that exactly one of the reasons that TPB is so popular and I mean for the legit stuff. It is far easier to download a TPB copy than it is to rip legally owned material.

        ( Obviously without Wifi, TPB is difficult ).

        PS : I wonder what "terms" the Germans use for the Brits....

        1. Irony Deficient

          what “terms” the Germans use for the Brits

          Khaptain, Der Spiegel uses “unconcerned”.

  4. Joefish

    Two-step programme

    First - get off Facebook, please!

    Second - go to Greece instead. First off, they need the cash more than the French. Second (and especially in the Ionian) they're actually grateful for your custom. Third - everyone's got Wifi.

    1. Alistair Dabbs

      Re: Two-step programme

      Went to Greece. It was raining. Went for a walk to watch the rain on the beach and sat on a wet sun lounger. Within a minute, a man ran out of a shed and tried to charge me for use of the sun lounger. In the pouring rain. Stuff Greece.

      1. Joefish
        Facepalm

        Re: Two-step programme

        Yes, but at least he'd have probably thrown in free WiFi...

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Two-step programme

        > Stuff Greece

        Ever think you might have offended the holiday Gods? Can't imagine how...

  5. Atonnis

    How very sad...

    You go on holiday and don't actually want to take a holiday FROM anything. At the end I was a bit embarrassed to be reading a supposedly tech-based publication that posted something from someone so utterly devoid of the capability of getting away and trying new things, or experiencing a life that can't be wiped when the electricity goes off. (Although I suppose Alzheimer's could do it later)

    What happened to exploring, sitting out, meeting people, visiting landmarks, taking two or three hours for lunch just because you can, trying shops, visiting museums, etc?

    The whole problem with the Mac was your own stupid fault, all you did there was show your own lack of preparedness and foresight.

    The whole German thing started out as quite funny, but then it actually DID turn into a Sun-newspaper-type anti-German rant, the first/second paragraph where you rant at them in an obviously pisstaking way had me chuckling, but then you didn't stop. Eventually the whole piece turned out as something you should be ashamed of posting.

    I'm sure someone will point out that the whole post was satirical and a look at the way people nowadays are so incapable of getting along with technology. I call bullshit.....or, if it was, it was even worse than I thought.

    1. Alistair Dabbs

      Re: How very sad...

      Is this post real? Doesn't seem possible.

      1. amanfromearth

        Re: How very sad...

        Yes it's real and your stupid attempt at comedy is of a style last seen in 1975.

        Would we have had a similar screed if the people upstairs were black?

        1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

          Re: How very sad...

          Whatever their colour, DON'T MENTION THE WAR!

          Or, these days, Allah.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: How very sad...

          What Susie says of Sally says more of Susie than of Sally.

          Nuff said.

        3. Alistair Dabbs

          Re: How very sad...

          Who's to say they weren't black?

    2. Martin 47

      Re: How very sad...

      You don't have kids do you? Or more specifically you don't have daughters.

      1. big_D Silver badge

        Re: How very sad...

        I have 2, and they didn't want to use wi-fi on holiday, when we visited the UK. They were happy to go sight seeing.

  6. Neil Barnes Silver badge
    FAIL

    And yet, and yet...

    The whole bloody cloud nonsense is predicated on permanent connection...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: And yet, and yet...

      Internet in Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus was fast/cheap via MiFi with a £10 tourist SIM, had to buy a new SIM each week, {but they still work great in our OpenBts USRP now I'm back from hols}.

      Greece on the other hand, island of Rodos, villa in the middle of nowhere had twelve Wi-Fi in range of a 2011 MacBook Air. All must have been kilometres away! Half were open, eg from local monastery, other villas, half were WEP keys from local cafés, which we broke by buying beer! (Passwords were inevitably "12345..."sometimes up to "9") . When on last day of Greek hols I gave Vodafone permission to roam data on my phone I lost €36 faster than I could switch roaming back off!

  7. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge

    During my holidays the internet connection was very patchy, much to my relief. I did manage to get a message through to some students: don't bug me, I am on vacation. Bliss.

  8. petur

    Schiphol

    Schiphol has the free wifi attached to your MAC address, enjoy the unlimited free wifi ;)

    1. NightFox

      Re: Schiphol

      Jeez, even Manchester Airport has free* Wifi these days. North/South divide I guess.

      As regards Schiphol, why do they have security right at the gate, so any drink you've bought in the lounge for the flight has to be binned when you go to board?

      *30 mins, but there's obviously ways round that if you want longer

      1. Alistair Dabbs

        Re: Schiphol

        The security at Schiphol was so laid back, I can't honestly remember it. Did they check anything? Oh yes, they had one of those Total Recall full body X-ray scanners. I was itching for them to ask me how long I'd been staying just so I could say "Two weeks... t... tw... two weeeeeeks..."

        1. OzBob
          Thumb Up

          Re: Schiphol

          Unless my eyes deceive me, she got to reprise the lines again in the remake. (but without the head exploding this time).

        2. Matthew 3

          Re: Schiphol

          Advice for you: don't follow it up with 'Get ready for a surprise!'

  9. BigAndos

    It always annoys me how complicated it is to pay for wifi, I'd obviously prefer if it was free but at least make it simple to sign up and pay for it. I'm reluctant about giving out my personal information given the number of security breaches we see these days, especially if is to a wifi provider I haven't heard of.

    What about simpler options like pay by SMS where the only personal details it would need is a mobile number to send a verification text? Even The Cloud wants personal information from you despite it being free.

    (Although, PROTIP: The Cloud doesn't need you to confirm the email or details you supply. As it is owned by BSkyB I signed up as Rupert Murdoch).

  10. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Going to la bell France?

    You obviously have forgotten France 101.

    1) Things in France ONLY ever work for French Nationals

    2) Your Wi-Fi card/devices obviously do not speak French

    3) Shouting only makes it worse and the Gallic shrug gets bigger.

    4) The Germans were trying to get WiFi just like you. Their shouting is even louder than ours

    5) French Police only ever give tickets to us Brits. (Not got that breathalyser? that will be 200 Euros in cash now)

    6) The rural/coastal French think that people from Paris are from a different planet and behave totally differently between 14th July and 1st Sep when Paris is on Holiday. They might have switched off all the WiFi to stop those parisienne freloaders...

    7) Many coastal resorts virtually close down in the 1st week of Sept. The whole place is much nicer.

    8) Still 1) applies even if you are a resident foreigner.

  11. Oor Nonny-Muss
    Coat

    Why not quit the freeloading?

    Buy a local SIM and some airtime/data - it's not rocket science.

    Mine's the one with a stack of SIMs from many nations in it.

    1. SteveK

      Re: Why not quit the freeloading?

      Except that there was clearly no signal from any local networks or else the phone would have roamed onto one, albeit at an extortionate rate.

      Personally, although on holiday I like to switch off from email and such like, it is really handy to be able to just check up on a phone or whatever (ideally without requiring a second mortgage) for ideas on restaurants and the like. I'm not someone who just stays by the pool and eats in the hotel for a week, or who meticulously plans ahead to have organised where to go, so it's good to be able to check up on places and so on as the mood takes me.

    2. Hayden Clark Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: Why not quit the freeloading?

      Have you tried that in (non-Parisian) France? Only the operator shops in big cities could sell you a SIM, and then only after much paperwork and muttering. I gave up in an SFR shop aftder 20 minutes where no sales assistant even looked up from their paperwork. Oh, and the Orange France shop more or less told me to go away and enable roaming on my UK SIM.

      So, OK, for international jet-setters flying through CDG, less good for holidays in the pretty bits.

      1. Uncle Slacky Silver badge
        Stop

        Re: Why not quit the freeloading?

        Couldn't you buy a SIM in Leclerc? http://www.leclercmobile.fr/

    3. Dan 55 Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: Why not quit the freeloading?

      It so happens I want to keep up with my personal e-mail while on holiday and I can't be arsed with wifi spot nonsense. So I had it all planned beforehand...

      1. Buy local prepay SIM, activate, top up, activate data subscription. All of 10 euros.

      2. Bring old candybar Nokia with JoikuSpot installed to share said prepay SIM mobile data connection via wifi to other kit I've got wherever I may be without having to faff about swapping SIMs.

      So far so good. Then...

      3. Discover yet another artificial limitation of Android on my other kit, this one being it doesn't find ad hoc networks. Probably because that would mean Google would be deprived of four fucking K of fucking targeted advertising data if people decided to use ad hoc networks instead of a direct connection. Fuck Google and fuck Android.

      I think I have expressed my feelings adequately on this subject.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Down

      Re: Why not quit the freeloading?

      That might work in Paris, but in most places in France they'll only sell that SIM to a resident. The same applies to all of Luxembourg (you need a services bill or other proof of residence) and to Italy (you need a codice fiscale card).

      Apart from that, you're forced either to "freeload" or pay extorsion roaming rates.

  12. frank ly Silver badge

    re. switching off the cable modem

    If you switch off your cable modem for a long time, you risk having a new IP address when you switch it on again. I use my consistent IP address for convenient access to my little home FTP server. It's very useful for saving those 'irreplaceable' holiday photographs, etc.

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      Re: re. switching off the cable modem

      Many 'home' routers support DYNDNS so you can get a domain name and when your ISP gives you a new IP Addy, the router sends the update to DYN and the DNS System gets updated.

      Simples.

    2. Steve 13
      Facepalm

      Re: re. switching off the cable modem

      You should use a free DDNS service instead. Your IP address isn't guaranteed to stay the same even if you leave your router on.

    3. Gene Cash Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: re. switching off the cable modem

      And some of us are smart enough to set up a script that emails us when the router IP changes, however infrequently that happens.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: re. switching off the cable modem

        and sme of us have their router set to renegotiate a new IP every night at midnight.

    4. Alistair Dabbs

      Re: re. switching off the cable modem

      Fair point but I most definitely do not want to keep the same IP address. I prefer to be random. It makes me harder to track.

  13. Uncle Slacky Silver badge

    Best connectivity ever this year

    Every year we tour various French regions by camper van, and this year had wifi at nearly every site, either free or for a euro or two for a couple of hours (although we had to walk a little way from the 'van to get within range at one of them). In previous years it's been almost non-existent. We did make an effort to locate sites which claimed to have wifi, though - but they are becoming more and more common.

    It's very handy for checking on where you'll be going the next day, both for reviews and Streetview (to figure out if your 'van will fit!) if nothing else. Being able to torrent the latest Futurama episodes was a bonus!

  14. Cavan
    Go

    wiffee

    Our last two ski trips I was presently surprised to find free wiffee on offer not only in the resorts, but up the mountains as well zut allors.

  15. Cavan

    re wiffee

    also pleasantly; (you can't edit comments and you say the french are backwards).

  16. simonorch

    Top tip

    Next time, book through Gites de France (which doesn't translate to 'French gits' as you may well be forgiven for thinking), simply click the box for those appartments offering internet\wifi and search away...

    Alternatively, holiday in Norway next year where you can revel in almost unparalleled wifi coverage, with many restaurants offering free wifi, not to mention airports, hotels and many other places...and at the same time pay through the nose for pretty much everything else.

    1. Alistair Dabbs

      Re: Top tip

      Thanks, Simon. I may well do that. The choice of apartment this year (I normally book a villa) was my own fault for leaving the booking so late.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ditch it

    My rule of thumb on holiday is:

    "Fuck the world"

    to which all devices capable of allowing myself and my wife to keep in touch with work get locked in the little safe they usually provide, or else hidden in the bottom of our luggage.

    We know we'll come back to a mountain of urgent emails, but a simple Out of Office reply covers your back. My wife is a lawyer but still doesn't fret about what emails will build up in her absence. Her stance on the matter is: "Fuck them, I'm on holiday."

    It makes for a great, relaxing time. Being connected is great, but it has a time and a place. The worst example I can recall is a group of Brits we bumped into in Croatia, who were using their phones satnav to guide them to where they wanted to go in Korcula Old Town.

    Whatever happened to exploring!?

    *faceplam*

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Ditch it

      "A lawyer: Fuck them, I'm on holiday/not on holiday."

      Is more akin to my experience.

    2. Uncle Slacky Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Ditch it

      Upvote for mentioning Korcula!

      Sadly it's way too expensive to (re)visit since the breakup of Yugoslavia...

  18. Dr_N Silver badge

    What backwater of France do you vacation in?

    No WiFi?!

    German tourists?!?

    Unrecognizable. Sounds more like the UK on the 00s.

    Public WiFi from the like of Orange/SFR are freebie add-ons to most mobile contracts.

  19. Nifty

    In olden days part of the holiday was taking maps and even reading the occasional UK newpaper bought at a holiday resort in France.

    Now the same things are done by Internet.

    Main point of a hol is to get away from the office and work. Never had a problem with that.

    Oh, and if everyone in this story had put a £2 per day for 25 MB roaming data o2 SIM in their phones, the story would not have been such fun to read.

    1. djack

      Typical O2 Rip-off

      £2 for only 25MB ??!

      Get on Three, throughout most of Europe it is £5 a day (note the lack of a data cap) - that was cheaper than the WiFi in the hotel I was in :)

    2. PhilBuk
      Thumb Down

      Try reading the article. There was no mobile signal most of the time.

      Phil.

  20. EddieH

    Wifi/internet is part of our everyday life and its something we come to expect. I spend a lot of time hillwalking in Wales and the café in llanberis has free wifi. Great for uploading photos of the maountain when you have just got down and enjoying a hot cuppa.

    Just spent two weeks as a volunteer at the Jambe 2013, Belgium International Scout Jamboree where over 1000 scouts from around the world lived in harmony camping in the woods. However as a means of communication it was one of the most hi-tech I have seen. The venue was out in the middle of nowhere but they had multiple wifi networks for staff use based on roles and criticality. Also for camp attendees they had a participant wifi network that enabled online social interaction between attendees. Lots of multi media and communications. The camp was covered by the national press both newspapers and TV and the online footage from the Belgian TV stations was viewable by people at the camp. It was a huge success. Because it was the norm and was available attendees didn't spend all day on their smartphones or tablets. They preferred to take part in the camp activities and just catch up online during breaks in the eve. It was a FREE. Bonus after leaving this is that people who used facebook/twitter at the camp are still communicating globally with each other now its all over. It has helped create friendships that will persist over time. Am attending the UK Scout Associations major global reunion in a couple of weeks - free wifi in Essex - not a chance, not even paid wifi.

    On the subject of airports/boats. On the way to Belgium - on the ferry you had to pay for access and it was so slow it was not usable. I was in Australia 4 weeks ago. Flew Emirates - internet available on the flight - though expensive. Dubai, Sydney and Melbourne airports all had free wifi and it was fast. In Sydney, lots of bars/cafe's with free wifi as it was in my hotel.

  21. Flat_Steve

    Had the same during a five-day jaunt to Disneyland Paris last week. I get that it's supposed to be about escaping your daily routine, but it is nice to occasionally check your email/facebook/twitter or whatever when you're in a two-hour queue for the Dumbo the flying elephant ride, and this kind of enforced behaviour grates. It felt very 20th-Century using payphones and internet kiosks (especially when both chewed through the Euro's like a particularly sad old dog), and at the prices Disney charge for even their cheapest rooms it does feel a bit like they are using the 'get away from it all' tagline as an excuse to be cheap.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Disneyland Paris

      There is a starbucks in Disneyland Paris. You could do as most of those there, buy a cup of that crap they sell, and let it cool forgotten on a table while you use their free wifi.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Humm... don't they get the free WiFi in the lower part of the village then? I can get it from my terrace if I want it as have most of those on holiday in the old part, although they either sit in a window or out in the road because of the signal loss through the stone walls. It would have saved you having to borrow Bruno's WiFi.

    1. Alistair Dabbs

      Actually, I was staying in Villefranche this time, Ivan.

  23. aBloke FromEarth

    Mmm... casual racism

    I'm all for a bit of national sterotyping, but do you really have to call the Germans goose-stepping Nazis in search of Lebensraum?

    At best it's lazy writing based on 70 year old clichés.

    (Although, Germans are noisy on holidays, and they do munch a lot of sausage. I'll give you that.)

    1. Alistair Dabbs

      Re: Mmm... casual racism

      Oh for crying out loud.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Mmm... casual racism

        How did you get there? BMW or Audi?

  24. Dan Paul

    What Holiday? Leave the internet at home next time....

    Honestly, if you are doing anything worthwhile at all on a holiday vacation, it should be so entertaining that no one needs to be connected.

    If that's not good enough, then you and your friends/family have an obvious internet addiction. No one "needs" to be connected all the time or even at all.

    On the other hand, if you are staying in high priced accommodations that are obviously "connected" civilized hoteliers should include free wifi these days. Otherwise they are just cheap nasty thieves.

    However, the comments on the German tourists were rather amusing, to me at least. At least they were not loud in bed (cringes at the mere thought of ecstatic Teutonic vocalizations)

    1. Triggerfish

      Re: What Holiday? Leave the internet at home next time....

      Not necessarily.

      I was in Thailand earlier this year, it was quite handy being able to sit in my hammock and do a quick surf of the web. Do some ID of things I had seen on a dive, look up ferry times for an island hop, check out some recommended places to wander across to, stuff like that.

      It didn't detract from my holiday to laze in my hammock for an hour or so doing this, and it didn't mean I wasn't keeping myself plenty occupied during the rest of the days or evenings.

      I wouldn't have missed it much either though I'd have just read a book, and I definitely wouldn't have answered an email from work that was work related.

  25. WylieCoyoteUK

    Not on my holiday

    We went to France in May, went over on the Plymouth-Roscoff overnight ferry, free wifi, the apartment had a wifi router, 10meg broadband...Heck even the Boulangerie's cafe and the Hypermarche had free wifi.

    And it's useful, we could check out local restaurant menus, reviews, prices, through L'internaute or their own websites, Google maps and street view to check out routes, even tracked down the Vineyard where our favourite Grolleau Gris came from and bought a few cases.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not just for work

    The internet is not just for work. I love taking a holiday from work but the internet is used for much more than work as you might have noticed.

    When I was in Australlia for the elipse last year I used it to book a boat trip out to the reef. Without WiFi I wouldn't have been able to compare prices, reviews, and get the best deal rather than be ripped off in town.

    Restaurants, maps, personal finance, translations, and yes even email can be useful on holiday.

  27. Jerky Jerk face

    Holiday HELL: Pourquoi, monsieur, why is there no merdique Wi-Fi here?

    Sorry to be that guy, but shouldn't it be Pardon, instead of pourquoi

    1. Alistair Dabbs

      Re: Holiday HELL: Pourquoi, monsieur, why is there no merdique Wi-Fi here?

      Well, to translate directly, this headline reads: "Why, sir, why is there no crappy Wi-Fi here?" You have to understand that the excellent editors and subs at The Register do this kind of thing on purpose in order to give you something to write it about.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Wifi? its all 3g here mister. Everyone I know has a 3g sim in their android mobey from the company Free as part of a package deal with their dsl, and has unlimited 3g as they roam. Failing that, find a flunch which is usually attached to the local leclerc supermarket chain or the like. They all have free wifi via some account you sign up to using the wifi there and then. Plus the usual suspects macdonalds etc.

    Before the free 3g deal came out I used to use a yagi and 2w wifi amp in the camping car but even that wasn't very good. Wifi? c'est démodé, n'est-ce pas?

  29. Mookster

    All the crappy hotel chains in France (Ibis, Best Western, ... ) have free Wif-fi for guests.

  30. DJ 2

    Your daughter can't find wifi in paris?

    Parcs have free wifi, many bars and cafe's do. Try asking.

    Lots of resturants have a "WIFI" sticker in the window telling you about it.

    Starbucks *there are bloody loads here*, and if you have / know someone with a mobile / fixed line in france you can piggy back off 100's of locations.

    try going to cartewifi.sfr.fr

    Davy.

  31. Maharg

    As the German Comedy Ambassador Henning When once said…

    (in comedy German accent ) In Germany we do not understand why the English sing

    “Two world wars and one world cup”

    For we cannot remember the USA winning the World Cup…

  32. HKmk23

    WIFI in France if you know where to look

    Every Macdonalds...and it often works from the car park, Leclerc supermarkest have a cafe called Flunch again free wifi.

  33. Vociferous

    Fesse de Bouc

    Yep, I've found my new insult for Facebook.

  34. Old_Polish_Proverb

    Went on vacation to the lovely island of St. Marten last year. Hotel had the option of wireless in the room for only $15 per day. I said no, I was on vacation. I was surprised at how quickly the craving for a connection hit me. I quickly became very fidgety without my devices. Luckily some time in the sun on the beach cleared that up. Later I discovered free internet at the hotel/lounge and I limited myself to about an hour a night. When the cocktail glass was empty it was time to quit. Before the trip I never realized how much I was on line. It was a concerted effort to go on line.

  35. joanbee
    Meh

    What is this "holiday" concept you are all on about?

    Wait.. I think I remember...

  36. Andrew Jones 2

    What a bunch of intolerant wankers!

    Wow - all these people who are moaning that *other people* use the internet when they go away on holiday?!

    I find it fascinating that they are calling people sad for requiring access to global communications when vacationing - but the telling part is how they are all bleating the same tune "you go on holiday to get away from work" - yes.... yes we do - but here is a secret you might not of heard..... the internet..... is for MORE than just work *gasp* yes that is right - there are all sorts of non work related stuff you can do on the internet!

    As well as planning your following day, researching the best spots to visit etc - the internet can also be used for entertainment - sites like Netflix (other streaming video services also exist) - and what about people like me? I suffer from Panic Attacks, they are not regular and I cannot predict when I might get one, however I prefer to go online and speak to some of my friends in different timezones - instead of waking up the family when I get one, sometimes no-one is online - in which case I will read the latest tech news - anything to get my mind off the panic attack.

    But of course all you high and mighty people don't consider that people use the internet for more than reading emails, and as far as you are concerned - holidays should be completely devoid of any form of technological communication medium - you will of course be the very same people who claim to be liberally minded and tolerant of others, and yet - here you are displaying exactly the opposite mindset.

    1. PhilBuk
      Thumb Up

      Re: What a bunch of intolerant wankers!

      I agree, have an upvote. I usually chose a villa in France with internet so I can get tourist info, read up on historical sites where info in English was a bit thin (and get the other sides version of conflicts), travel stuff and world news. Email is for family - work can go and screw itself.

      Phil.

  37. Jay 2

    When staying just outside Paris last year the hotel threw in "free" WiFi with the room. Generally I don't need t'interweb connectivity when out and about on holiday, but I do find it very useful when back at the hotel to help plan where to go, online check-in etc.

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I went Into Costa once for free Wi-Fi as I don't have a mobile, but you need to give your mobile number so they can set you up. Crazy.

    1. Alistair Dabbs

      Costa

      This does not surprise me. Every Costa branch seems to implement its own rules for WiFi. The one I hate the most is when you have to request a special code at the till, and if you don't specifically ask, you don't get it. So you sit down with your drink, try to connect, get prompted for a code and have to rejoin the queue at the till just for a slip of paper, then the barista doesn't recognise you or the till machine stops working.

  39. carlos_c

    wifi france

    Mcdonalds is usually a good bet.....if you can cope with food/coffee

  40. Sil

    McDo

    You could have gotten your WiFi fix for free in any McDonald's and most shopping centers. List not exhaustive.

  41. Dick Emery
    Paris Hilton

    Do the French pronounce...

    ...WI-FI as WEE-FEE?

    Curious minds need to know.

    1. Alistair Dabbs

      Re: Do the French pronounce...

      Yes but a bit quicker - sounds more like "whiffy". This adds emphasis if you tell someone that their whiffy stinks.

  42. Schultz

    Come to Korea...

    ... here it's hard to loose Wifi connectivity - full stop. although you don't really need it, once you have some 4G enabled device. Wifi can really mess up the Skype video quality when you move to far from the nearest router or share the connection in a busy bus :(, so use it wisely.

    Returning to Europe feels like entering the middle ages.

    1. PhilBuk
      Headmaster

      Re: Come to Korea...

      s/loose/lose

  43. heyrick Silver badge

    As a resident of said country...

    ...I think the main problem is the expectation of free WiFi.

    In the town where I work, population about 1500, there are hotspots, but they aren't free unless you have some sort of bundle deal with a contract (my mobile gives me access to Orange hotspots). The other option is to look for unsecured APs, but you didn't hear me say that.

    Finding FREE WiFi is extremely rare. This is possibly by design, so if you log into an AP and then run your battery flat torrenting stuff, the powers that be can just look at who is signed in for that time period...

    If you must have free WiFi, there is always McDonalds, or bars/restaurants in larger towns. But be aware that some odd things can happen, like anything other than http/pop3 being blocked, or my personal favourite, if you are on McDo's wifi, their own smtp server will answer to ANY attempt to send mail via smtp. One of the reasons I never use McDo wifi now - their server is slow and I don't like how it transparently answers when I am trying to access my own mail server...

  44. SirDigalot

    Bravo!

    brought a smile to my face, very python-esq ( or faulty towers )

    as for WiFi

    I agree the bullsmeg that is needing internet to watch a disc based movie? WTF?! that whole idea of physical media is not to be tied to some online crap.

    I live in the sunny part of America (though it rains a lot :( ...at least it is warm rain...wet n warm that reminds me of a time... I digress) anyway in my particular part of the great state of phallus I cannot get away from fricken wifi it is at every store, coffeeshop and well everything even the bloody cars are getting wifi WTF?!

    It is actually a good thing because I think most of the supermarkets are faraday cages or lead lined as my signal promptly disappears as soon as I walk in the door... so if I need to look up some foreign muck that would be substituted for my usual ingredients I have to log on ot their dumb portal... it is quite fast once there though, even if they track me and the pages I go to and build a database of all the devices that attach to it... though I figure at this point why not have a bloody app that I can use to navigate to the stuff on my shopping list using gps or triangulation or whatever so I do not have to go searching for the crap I want ( male shopper shiny stands of the latest sales do not phase me when I am on a mission.. unless it is the hardware/DIY store)

    my ISP convieniently also has the whole are covered ( except apparently some of the places I visit for a 30 metre radius but hey it is complimentary

    The hotels that offer WiFi or even internet are so p!$$takingly slow I never bother, my phone gives much faster and more reliable reception!

    much to my bosses chagrin because the weather is generally "holiday like" all year round, when I knock off work, I tend to get straight into the "I am not working" mindset and ignore my phone and email as much as possible... and besides 20 minutes after getting home there is no way in jebus I am getting back in the car to go to the office since I am quite happily over the legal limit to drive... :D

    I did not realize that Europe/UK was so stingy on it's free intarwebz though and I am surprised the US has not done this sooner as a way to make butt-tons more money

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