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Connecting to the internet in Ireland

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In these modern times, being connected is almost a basic need, so if you are moving to Ireland you will definitely want internet access, whether its for work purposes, or simply to keep in touch with your family and friends back home. Ireland has an extensive telecommunications network of internet service providers offering various packages for many different needs.

Internet is widespread in almost the whole country except in some remote regions where it can be particularly slow or unavailable. However, the National Broadband Plan aims to rectify this so that the entire country will soon have access to adequate internet.

Subscription

With so many internet providers to choose from, it is wise to do some research to compare speeds, service, and costs before deciding on a subscription – especially if it involves a long-term contract. Most plans run an average of €30-€40 per month. High-speed Internet, or ADSL, and cable or wireless broadband, are the most popular types of connection in Ireland. These will allow you to surf the Internet at high speed and download unlimited numbers of files with certain suppliers. Some of the popular providers in Ireland are Sky, Virgin Media, Eir, and PureTelecom. If you also require phone and television services, you may be able to get a good deal by bundling all three packages together with one of these companies. You should have a good range of choices in more urban areas, however connections are more limited in rural locations. Always check the terms and conditions to make sure the packages are what they seem on the surface.

Once you have decided on the right provider and package, call or visit any branch of your preferred service provider to take out the contract and make an appointment for installation. If you have access to Internet outside of your home, you might be able to start the process on their website. To confirm a new contract, they may need to see an identity card or passport, and proof of address.

Wi-Fi

If you have a laptop, tablet, or smart phone, you can enjoy free Wi-Fi services in several of Ireland’s cities. Cork, Limerick, Galway, and Waterford all have city-wide complimentary Wi-Fi schemes that allow anyone there to connect for free for allotted periods of time (usually 20-30 minutes) in various hotspots. Cork’s programme is the most extensive, but the other cities have good coverage as well. Dublin has recently announced it is looking at installing free Wi-Fi for the city in the near future, but it is not there yet. In the mean time, many cafes, restaurants, tourist attractions, hotels, and other establishments offer their own free Wi-Fi. Sometimes it is limited for customer use, but it isn’t too hard to get connected if you need to.

3G and 4G service is also very widespread in Ireland and you can access it through USB dongles; it allows you to connect anywhere if you have a laptop. Monthly rates generally start around €20. You can also find pay as you go deals.

Internet cafes

Internet cafes are still around, but they are getting few and far between thanks to the accessibility most people have to portable computer devices. If for some reason you don’t have a computer, tablet, or smart phone with you in Ireland, you should be able to find a couple of places with paid-for computer access. Hotels often have business centres with computer and printing capabilities, as do libraries.

Useful link:

Citizens Information: Connecting to the Internet

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.
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