Unless you’re willing to pay sky-high prices for an international data plan, you’ll likely to find yourself relying on public Wi-Fi hotspots when traveling overseas. And if staying connected is a priority, it’s not just the availability of such hotspots that’s important; equally critical is the speed of the Wi-Fi connection.
Handily, Internet-based phone company Ooma has compiled a list of the top 20 countries for fast public Wi-Fi. Here they are, together with their average download speeds:
- Lithuania (15.4 Mbps)
- Croatia (14.05 Mbps)
- Estonia (13.75 Mbps)
- Ireland (11.43 Mbps)
- Romania (11.32 Mbps)
- United Kingdom (10.97 Mbps)
- Denmark (10.52 Mbps)
- Hungary (10.37 Mbps)
- Belgium (10.07 Mbps)
- Slovenia (9.72 Mbps)
- Bulgaria (9.67 Mbps)
- Singapore (9.49 Mbps)
- Finland (8.69 Mbps)
- Switzerland (8.67 Mbps)
- Latvia (8.46 Mbps)
- Germany (7.96 Mbps)
- Sweden (7.90 Mbps)
- Portugal (7.43 Mbps)
- Canada (7.16 Mbps)
- U.S.A. (6.89 Mbps)
With the likes of Lithuania, Croatia, and Estonia boasting Wi-Fi speeds more than double those found in the U.S., the list is likely to subvert your expectations. And that may be its value. As it happens, the larger, more economically robust countries often underperform their less developed neighbors when it comes to public Wi-Fi.
So, if your travel plans include streaming the latest episode of “Orange Is the New Black” on Netflix, you might be better off booking a flight to Bucharest, Romania, than to Berlin, Germany.
Reader Reality Check
How dependent are you on public Wi-Fi hotspots when traveling overseas?
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After 20 years working in the travel industry, and 15 years writing about it, Tim Winship knows a thing or two about travel. Follow him on Twitter @twinship.
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