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Wi-Fi in Buenos Aires, Argentina

March 20, 2018 – by Per Christensson

Wi-Fi in Buenos Aires, ArgentinaI was in Buenos Aires a few weeks ago and did my usual survey of Internet connectivity in the city.

The airports (both EZE and AEP) had readily accessible Wi-Fi and surprisingly fast data speeds. However, once I got outside the airport, it was a different story. In the few days I was in Buenos Aires, I did not find one free wireless hotspot. I didn't even find a free Wi-Fi connection where I had to sign up with my email address (which was common in London).

Each hotel I stayed at provided Wi-Fi, though the experience differed widely among the hotels. The first hotel provided free Wi-Fi with a standard password used by all guests. The connection was reasonably fast, but nothing like my cable connection back home. The second hotel provided Internet access with a custom login for each room, but with a maximum of three devices per room. That is a problem when you have two travelers, each with a laptop and smartphone. The third hotel provided Internet access with a universal password (that was way too long) and a very choppy Internet connection. It only worked about 20% of the time, which was problematic when I was trying to load Google Maps before I journeyed out into the city.

Fortunately, most restaurants and coffee shops in Buenos Aires provide Internet access to patrons with a custom Wi-Fi password. (It helps to know a little Spanish when requesting the password, since many Argentinians do not speak English.) I attempted to make my usual Starbucks stop to see if I could get free Wi-Fi without a password, but this was how the Starbucks near my hotel looked in the middle of the day.

Starbucks in Buenos Aires

I never did find out what kind of Wi-Fi access Starbucks provides in Buenos Aires. I was mostly in the Monserrat area of the city, so maybe a more ritzy area like Palermo had a Starbucks that was actually open. But of course, when in another country, why go to Starbucks when you can visit a local coffee shop?

In summary, if you need Internet access in Buenos Aires, you can usually find it by requesting the Wi-Fi password in a local restaurant or hotel. But completely free Wi-Fi is almost non-existent. I recommend signing up for your mobile provider's international data plan to be safe.

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