I’m on holidays in Spain!
I used to piggyback on WiFi networks in Madrid but this summer of 2007 I found that everyone is limiting the access to their wireless routers. Fortunately, there are alternatives. I made sure that my hotel included unlimited ADSL in the room in its fares before booking it. Surprisingly, WiFi access is available in all areas of the hotel but by paying additional access.
I used my mobile handset as a GPRS modem elsewhere. It was pretty straightforward with the Movistar prepaid card that I use to make and receive calls in Spain. It is obviously a cheaper option than using my UK mobile card due to the perennially abusive roaming tariffs. I also make sure that everyone that I want to stay connected to has both my UK and my Spanish mobile numbers.
I called Movistar’s customer service to enquire about their data tariffs for prepaid cards. Data costs 3 € per 10 MB. It is still unjustifiably expensive but not outrageously so for light use. But, alas, it is not possible to check your consumption unless you pay a charge to download the call details. I can’t find the tariff in the über complicated movistar site to check whether the bandwidth is charged for both upload and download traffic.
Anyway, I’m happy to be able to connect wherever there is mobile coverage!