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Public WiFi services are available in many cafes, bars, restaurants and hotels. They are also available on most Irish long-distance Intercity trains, some commuter trains and busses.
These services operate in a similar way to elsewhere in the world, some are free of charge, others require a credit card payment or a voucher.
Major providers include:
Wired Ethernet Access:
Many hotels offer guests wired ethernet access via a wall outlet in your room. Check with your hotel reception for information.
Sometimes these connections are faster and more reliable than the hotel's WiFi network and can be useful if you need to make Skype video calls etc.
3G/4G Mobile Mobile broadband:
Mobile broadband in Ireland offers very high speed connections, in theory up to 42Mbit/s with the correct plan. If you have a compatible device e.g. mobile phone, iPad, Android Tablet, USB modem, or a laptop with built-in 3G connectivity, it is possible to get buy a pre-pay SIM card and connect to mobile data services from almost anywhere in the country. You can also purchase a USB modem from most of the network operators. Prepay plans typically start at about €20 per month without any contract.
Typical speeds on prepay plans are between about 3 and 11mbit/s. (Higher speed services use HSPA+ with Dual Carrier technology, this is not usually available to prepay users in 2012).
Good quality 3G reception is available in most major urban areas and even small towns and villages, particularly on the larger networks (or companies hosted by them). In some more remote rural areas, you may only be able to recieve 2G signals.
These services are extremely useful if you are using a tablet device and need access to maps. social networking, and email and of course Tripadvisor !
4G services are beginning to rollout, and it is possible to buy pre-pay 4G SIMs.
Internet Cafés and Internet Kiosks:
Internet cafes are available in major urban areas, but are not as common as they once were, due to the growth of 3G data services and public WiFi. However, you will still find them in areas popular with tourists. Airports, railway stations and some shopping malls also have internet kiosks which can be used for checking email, social networking sites and basic browsing.