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.
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:
- Try to only navigate pages that start with “https: //” and use an antivirus or Firewall if possible.
- 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.
- Do not perform any type of banking operation or other action that involves access to important content.
- 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.
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.