Canada’s outrageous wireless data prices

19 Jun

Prices for wireless data (the charge for using your phone to browse the internet or download data from your office or home computer) in Canada are higher than most third-world countries. Check the graph in this article:


And if you can handle a little obscenity from angry cellular users, read this article on


If you used your cellular phone to transfer 500 MB of data in a month (that’s about TWO graphics-rich web pages per day), your charge in the US would be between $60 and $70.  In Canada, it would be $1600 with Rogers or Fido !!!!


Don’t waste your money buying one of those new data-capable smartphones if you live in Canada.  Instead, buy a wireless LAN card for your laptop and look for free WiFi locations in your city. Or even sign up with Fatport at rates as low as $35/month or $70 for 3 months, at


Another provider is Boingo, at  They charge $22 per month, or $8 per day, for unlimited usage at any of their hotspots. Those prices are for laptop access. If you have a cellphone or PDA, you get charged only $8/month!


Telus has hotspots available at $40 for one month or $25/month for a national unlimited subscription.


Here is a list of locations offering free WiFi across Canada:

Here’s a list of 1801 free and commercial WiFi locations across Canada:

And here’s a different list:


Update 10 years later:  there are a lot of free Wi-Fi locations now, but your personal computer security could be at risk if you use them. Unfortunately, criminals and scammers are aware how tempting free internet access can be and many will offer access to their own network to unsuspecting students or hijack a network again for their own nefarious activities. Additionally, many legitimate hotspots aren’t secure and are vulnerable to attack from hackers and identity thieves.
There’s a comprehensive guide to WiFi security – which you may find useful.

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