Free Wi-Fi? I Heart iTaiwan!

Like many today, we are increasingly reliant on technology, whether at home or away. For work and fun, for running around town, for keeping in touch from afar, keeping track of expenses, planning flights…whatever it is, there is likely a computer, tablet or smartphone involved. Which means we need to be connected more than ever and, when traveling, that’s not always easy; especially overseas.

Our favorite sign while traveling: Free Wi-Fi and we are in business!

Our favorite sign while traveling: Free Wi-Fi and we are in business!

In most places, getting connected means hunting down Wi-Fi hotspots, preferably free ones, while you’re away from your hotel. Cafes and restaurants are often a good place to surf, but inevitably there’s a meal or coffee involved so the connection really isn’t free. We’ve found free connections in odd places, such as laundromats and department stores, and decidedly non-touristy locations, such as libraries and campuses. But sometimes it’s surprising where you don’t find free Wi-Fi, including many tourist hot spots.

Last year, the Taiwan Tourism Board took pity on Wi-Fi weary travelers and introduced iTaiwan, becoming the first destination to tourists offer free connections throughout the country. Initially, that meant a long line after customs to sign up for a free account, but now you can register for access on-line before your visit. The network now has more than 5,100 hotspots, ranging from restaurants and cafes to government offices, and including major tourist spots and transportation hubs. The service is free for international visitors for 30 days, though there are options to extend up to 90 days if you’re planning a longer stay. Visit iTaiwan for details and to sign up.

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