For some time now, the first thing that is asked for when you arrive somewhere is not a glass of water, but the Wifi password. To the great joy of our travelers, Wifi is free in many places in Argentina, so staying connected to the internet will not be a problem. Another way to have a constant internet connection is to get an Argentine SIM card upon arrival. They are not difficult to get, you just have to take into account some details. I know that at this moment you will be saying “Great, how do I get them?” It’s very simple, and in this article I explain how.

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AUTHOR

Argentina on the go

CATEGORY

Activities

PUBLISHED

Jan 28th, 2021

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argentinaonthego

Wifi Network in Argentina: Where to find it?

Bars, cafes and electric current

W

iFi is the preferred method of connectivity by Argentines when using their mobile phone as it saves the consumption of data. Today, virtually all bars, cafes and restaurants have free Wi-Fi service for their customers. It is a way to attract them and, with time, to build loyalty.

“Would you tell me the Wifi password?” This is the first question, even before you order. Many Argentines use cafes as offices – to work or study in – and in general people tend to be attentive to the quality of service (and coffee!). If you want to make sure that the cafe or the restaurant where you are going to spend some time has Wifi service, you just have to look for this logo on the entrance door or one of the main display cases:

Another important fact that you should know is what kind of plugs you will need to connect any device to the Argentine electricity network (mobile phones, tablets, notebooks, etc). Our network is 220V, 50 Hz and the sockets are like this

If you need adapters, they are easy to find. Obviously they sell them in the airport shops (although you’ll probably pay more for them), and if you do not, you can buy them in the city in hardware stores or even on the street, especially in the downtown area.

Plazas and public spaces

In Buenos Aires, there are 40 public places where you can connect to the Internet for free if your device has Wi-Fi access. To connect you must access the network called “Government of the City”, which will take you to a homepage where you will find the conditions of the service, information about the coverage in the area -in general 100 meters of radio with a bandwidth of 3 Mbps – and information about the area where you are: events, cultures, transport, specific venues. There is no limit of use and, although sometimes the connection is slow, in general it works quite well, at least to connect and check information. As it is a public network, here are some safety tips to take into account:

  1. Try to only navigate pages that start with “https: //” and use an antivirus or Firewall if possible.
  2. Disable file synchronization, i.e. when you connect and your Gmail is synchronized with your Google Calendar. To deactivate it, enter the “general settings” of your device.
  3. Do not perform any type of banking operation or other action that involves access to important content.
  4. If you want to ensure the quality of the signal, do not move from the point where you managed to connect!

Here you can see where the public access points are. Among them are some of the most touristic areas of Buenos Aires that you will surely visit: the Plaza de Mayo where the Casa Rosada is located, Caminito in the neighborhood of La Boca and the Botanical Garden in the neighborhood of Palermo. I recommend downloading the Wi-Fi map in PDF (which you will find at the end of the linked document) and save it on your mobile to have it on hand during the trip.

Airports

Two years ago, the concession of a free Wi-Fi service was mandatory in most of the country’s airports. Among them: the two Buenos Aires airports – Ministro Pistarini International Airport (better known as “Ezeiza”) and Aeroparque Jorge Newbery (or “Aeroparque”) -, Puerto Iguazú, Puerto Madryn, Bariloche, Mendoza and Salta (among others). In all of them you can connect for an hour and then reconnect as many times as you want, without limit. The service is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and the communication is encrypted (that is, protected). For this, when you connect to the Wi-Fi network – named “Wifi Free + name of the airport” – you must accept the Privacy Policy and the Terms and Conditions and you can now browse. The website you access will be available in English, Portuguese and Spanish. The service provider cannot ask you for personal information or store any content derived from your use of the service. They also have the obligation to guarantee the quality of the connection even at “peak hours” so you should not have problems connecting to the internet at any time. The guaranteed areas to connect are as follows: the public areas and the “sterile area” of the passenger terminal, that is, where you sit and wait for the flight to leave after going through the security controls. The only airports where this service is not guaranteed by law are those in Calafate, Ushuaia and Neuquén.

National SIM card

What is a SIM card?

The SIM card is a “chip” that we all have in our mobile phone and it serves to connect the telephone operator with the users to give them the contracted service, including access to the internet. When you arrive in Argentina, you can get a SIM card to access the service of a National provider. But first you must consider 2 things:

1. Today there are different sizes: micro (the standard size), mini and nano. When purchasing a new SIM to connect to the internet through a local server you should check what size your device uses:

2. Your phone must be unlocked in order to enter a foreign SIM card.

3. Maybe your phone is Dual SIM, which means you can insert a second SIM without removing the one from your home country. The system does not differ in anything, it is just an extra comfort.

Where can I get it?

You have two other options:

  • Head to one of the head offices of Personnel or another company – Claro or Movistar – that are usually located in the center of the city. There you can also get a SIM and charge it with the credit you want. They tend to be in the area we call Microcentro (near Plaza de Mayo where the government house is located), on a well-known pedestrian street called Calle Florida. Many tourists visit Florida Street to see the Pacific Galleries and the paintings that cover their internal domes. It ends at La Plaza San Martín, in the Retiro neighborhood, from where you can see the Monumental Tower – or “Torre de los Ingleses” – and the Kavanagh Building.
  • Throughout the city there are small businesses called Kiosks -where you can buy cigarettes and sweets- and in some you can also buy a SIM card. It costs about $ 20 or $ 30 approximately and the person who sells it does not install it for you. In addition the recharge must be manual, that is, you must buy another card -which can be of different amount: $ 30, $ 50, $ 100, etc-, scrape it off to access the code, then enter it into the phone. Once the credit is finished you must buy a new one to continue using the service. Maybe it’s the least comfortable option.