A Tourist’s Guide to Wifi in Taipei

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Taipei is an amazing city and is becoming more and more popular with tourists. One of the most common thing tourists wonder about when planning their vacation is what is the wifi in Taipei like.

Is there an abundance of free public wifi? Can you only get wifi at cafe, restaurants, and hotels? Should I rent a pocket wifi when in Taipei? And perhaps most importantly how do I protect myself when I’m using public wifi in Taipei?

This post is going to answer all of those questions and more!

There is a network of free public wifi in Taipei known as iTaiwan. It is run by the government, and you can connect to iTaiwan in government-run buildings and most public places. iTaiwan is a great option, but many tourists (including me have trouble connecting to it. You have to create an account online before you arrive in Taiwan or go to a tourism office in Taipei and register in person with your passport. Renting a pocket wifi device in Taipei is a better option if you need more reliable access to wifi.

You can also connect to public wifi in Taipei at many cafes, restaurants, malls, and at the airport.

PS- check out my post about how to travel from the airport to central Taipei

My preference is to not rely on iTaiwan for my internet in Taipei.

It is great when it works, but if you’re in a situation like so many tourists are where you aren’t able to properly create and access your account, then you’re hooped.

Renting a pocket wifi device or using Skyroam are more reliable options.

No matter how you choose to access wifi in Taipei, you need to protect your online data by installing a VPN on your devices.

National Concert Hall Taipei, Taiwan

Public Wifi in Taipei

There are basically two ways you can get free wifi in Taipei.

You either connect to iTaiwan or connect to complimentary wifi at restaurants and other businesses.

iTaiwan

As mentioned earlier in the post, iTaiwan is a government-funded wifi system in Taiwan. It allows locals and tourists to access complimentary wifi at government-run buildings and in a lot of common areas.

iTaiwan pretty much connects the entire country through one wifi system. It is the best way to access free wifi in Taipei assuming you’re able to connect to it properly.

There is a very specific process you have to follow in order to setup, activate, and use your iTaiwan account.

Finland’s Taiwan Consulate website is the best overview of the system I could find. You can check it out here, but I’ll summarize it for you as well.

There are two options if you want to use iTaiwan as a tourist. You can either register for an account online before your departure or create an account in person at a tourism office or visitor information centre in Taiwan.

You can register your account online here. All of my internet browsers block this website because it “is not secure”. That is a serious issue for people who want to create an account before they arrive in Taiwan.

You can’t create an account if your internet browser won’t let you access the webpage. Your web browser may let you access it, but I tried on multiple browsers on multiple devices and had no luck.

No matter how you register your account, you need to provide your passport information and other personal information.

Once you have your account setup, you simply find the iTaiwan signal in your phone and connect by entering your username and password.

It should connect automatically every time you’re in an iTaiwan hotspot after your first initial login.

Taipei 101

Public Wifi at Businesses

Your other option is relying on businesses you visit for free wifi in Taipei.

Many restaurants, cafes, and malls have free wifi that you can connect to. In most cases, you have to purchase something from them to get access to the wifi, but it can be worth it.

Especially if you were planning on eating or stopping for a drink in any event.

A lot of businesses use iTaiwan, but you should be able to tell who does and who doesn’t. In most cases, businesses who use iTaiwan will have the iTaiwan logo in their window. Businesses who provide independent wifi will normally have the generic wifi sign in their window.

There is no guarantee though!

Some businesses may display the generic wifi sign but rely on iTaiwan.

It is a bit of a guessing game!

Most malls and museums have their own wifi and most metro and train stations rely on iTaiwan. Restaurants and cafes vary greatly, and it is pretty much luck of the draw.

I’ll touch on this at the end of the post in detail, but it is so important to have a VPN installed on your phone when you’re connecting to public wifi in Taipei.

Even wifi at your hotel!

You never know when there might be a hacker in the next room or at the next table. You don’t want the heartache and headache of having your online data stolen!

Taiwan Night Market

Renting Pocket Wifi in Taipei

Your next option is renting pocket wifi in Taipei. It is the perfect solution for people who want reliable access to wifi all the time and everywhere.

Pocket wifi is a small device you carry around with you that allows you to access the internet. It is basically walking data that comes from a device so small you can stick it in your purse or pocket.

You can access the internet as long as you’re within range of the device.

It is super convenient and easy to use. You simply connect to it as you would any other wifi provider. There is a password on the back of the device. You enter it, and you’re good to go!

You can even connect multiple devices to your pocket wifi at once!

Everybody in your group can stay connected for one low price.

If you rent your pocket wifi through Klook, you pay less than $2 per day!

It is a heck of a deal and way easier and more reliable than iTaiwan.

You simply pre-order your pocket wifi in Taipei through Klook (or another provider) and pick it up at the airport when you arrive in Taipei!

Taipei, Taiwan

Important Information About Renting Pocket Wifi in Taipei

There are a few important things you need to know before you rent pocket wifi in Taipei:

  • You have to show your passport to verify your identity when you collect your pocket wifi
  • You need to have a credit card in order to rent pocket wifi in Taiwan. The employee helping you collect your pocket wifi will charge a small amount to your credit card to verify that there is room on your card. The charge will be immediately revoked.
  • If you do not have a credit card, you’re out of luck. Visa/Mastercard debit cards do not work. It needs to be a traditional credit card not connected to your chequing account.
  • You have to pick up and return your device during business hours. Normal business hours are 10am to 7pm.
  • The employee will have to see your confirmation receipt before giving you your pocket wifi. You can either have an electronic or paper copy of your confirmation.
  • There are pretty hefty fees for lost or damaged devices. Be sure to treat your pocket wifi with respect and try not to damage it.

As long as you keep all that in mind, renting pocket wifi in Taipei is super easy and surprisingly affordable.

Renting pocket wifi will cost you less per day than lunch!

I’m a big fan of renting pocket wifi. It makes life so much easier, and you’re able to be more flexible with your travel plans.

It is nice to be able to look up what is around you or completely change your mind and get directions to a whole new part of town.

Skyroam

I used Skyroam last time I was in Taipei. It is for more serious travellers, but it works great and really changed the way I travel.

Skyroam is your own personal pocket wifi device. You own it and can take it with you wherever you are in the world.

The only thing you have to pay for wifi. You can purchase day passes or purchase monthly passes. It just depends how long you’re travelling for.

I love Skyroam because it gives me complete freedom.

I know no matter where I am I’ll have access to the internet. Knowing I have access to Google Maps all the time has made me more spontaneous and adventurous.

I don’t have to worry about wandering around a strange neighbourhood lost because Google Maps is always at my side!

It took me a long time to decide to purchase my Skyroam.

Read my full Skyroam review here.

Temple in Taipei, Taiwan

It isn’t cheap, and it is definitely an investment, but it is worth it if you travel a lot.

You can connect up to 6 devices at once, so you can, in theory, provide wifi to your entire group with just one Skyroam.

One of the major downsides to the Skyroam device is that you have to charge it every night.

The battery only lasts about a day, and from my experience, there is no way you can get two full days of travel in without charging it.

So be sure to have enough charging cords and outlets to charge your Skyroam every night!

I think the device itself is fairly priced, but I wish the day passes were a little less expensive. They start to add up quickly, and if you’re travelling for more than 11 days, it is worthwhile to get a monthly pass.

There are also frequent promotions that allow you to get a deal on day passes. Watch out for those, and you can potentially save a lot of money on your Skyroam wifi costs!

Please Take Your Online Safety Seriously!

One of the most important (and often forgotten) things to do while travelling is protect your online data!

Every single time you’re connected to public wifi, you need to use a VPN.

And by public wifi, I mean any wifi that is not your secure home wifi.

Even password protected wifi at hotels and restaurants is public wifi. iTaiwan is considered public wifi as well.

There is nothing worse (expect for physical injury and death) than having your online information stolen when you’re travelling.

You can be hacked and have your banking information stolen in a blink of an eye. That is a major mess you don’t want to deal with when you’re on vacation.

A VPN puts up an invisible forcefield around your internet use and keeps in completely safe and private from prying eyes.

Your VPN makes it just as safe to use the internet while connected to public wifi in Taipei as it is to use the secure wifi at home that only you know the password to.

It is a small investment to make to protect your online information when you’re not at home.

My Favourite VPN

I’ve used a lot of different VPNs in my time. Most of them slow down your internet speed to a crawl and cause a lot of frustration and annoyance.

That all changed when I found NordVPN.

NordVPN is the only VPN provider I’ve liked, and the only VPN that I’ve renewed my subscription with!

It doesn’t slow down my internet connection at all. I can browse the internet and stream things just as quickly with the VPN turned on as I can with it turned off.

You can also use NordVPN to cloak your location. Not only does that add an additional level of security, but it also comes in handy when you’re streaming shows.

By setting your location to show you’re in a different country, you’re able to access their Netflix (and other streaming services) catalogue and watch shows you may not be able to get in the country you’re in.

It also works really well if you’re trying to watch sports, but the country you’re in isn’t showing the game you want to watch. I’ve been able to watch many a hockey games by changing my location that I wouldn’t have been able to watch otherwise!

You can connect up to 6 devices on one Nord account, so you can protect all your devices (and perhaps family member’s) with one account.

NordVPN often has sales running where you can save nearly 70% on your subscription. You only pay a few dollars per month to protect your online data!

It is well worth the investment.

A few dollars a month can save you having your banking information hacked!

I didn’t have a VPN the first year I travelled, and I cringe at the thought of how stupid I was!

Don’t make the same mistake I did and get yourself set up with NordVPN.

Conclusion

At first glance, it seems like Taipei has an impressive public wifi system, and it is a traveller’s dream city.

But when you look closer, you realize that isn’t quite the full story.

A lot of tourists have trouble connecting to iTaiwan and aren’t able to access the wifi in many places across Taipei and Taiwan. It is annoying and can hinder your travel plans.

You might be very disappointed if you rely too much on iTaiwan for wifi in Taipei.

If you need reliable internet access while in Taipei, renting pocket wifi is probably the best option. It gives you a lot of freedom and costs less than a couple dollars a day.

Skyroam is the perfect wifi solution for serious travellers. You have reliable wifi no matter where you are, and it gives you complete travel freedom!

All three options for wifi in Taipei are great. The option you choose depends on you and your travel style.

No matter how you get your wifi in Taipei, you’ll have an amazing time! Taipei is an incredible city with a surprising amount of things to see and do.

Be sure to check out my post on where to stay in Taipei if you’re looking for the perfect hotel.

Or my best hotels near Taipei Main Station if you’ve already decided to stay in the best neighbourhood in Taipei for tourists (in my opinion).

A Tourist\'s Guide to Wifi in TaipeiA Tourist\'s Guide to Wifi in TaipeiA Tourist\'s Guide to Wifi in TaipeiA Tourist\'s Guide to Wifi in TaipeiA Tourist\'s Guide to Wifi in Taipei

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