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Wi-Fi in Estonia

I sat down in a cafe in the centre of Tallinn and took my Palm out. There seemed no point in sniffing for wi-fi here in Estonia but I gave it a try anyway. Amazingly, there was a wi-fi access point in the cafe I was sitting in! It was protected, however, and required log-in details so I asked the girl on the counter how to buy credit for it. She told me that it works through sms authentication - you send a text message to the server and the cost of the log-in, a lovely 50p for 24 hours (less than 1euro), is debited from your phone account. Just typical though now that my phone wasn't working! She also told me about a free network that one of the hotels had in it's lobby - obviously does some war-driving herself! I went and checked it out but it was turned off, so I bought myself an Estonian sim card, sent a text, and I'm now enjoying a lovely, fast, cheap internet connection in Wayne's Cafe (Estonia pst. 3/5) on my Palm!

The hotspots are operated by Uninet, and are dotted around town in bars, cafes, even the heliport that handles flights to Finland. The authentication seems to be system-wide - logging in to one allows you access to the whole network for the whole day. Truly how wi-fi should work and cost.

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