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How widespread is public wifi in hotels, public places, coffee shops, trains, buses, or even whole cities in Israel? Also, are they generally password protected (like many coffee shops in the USA)?

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    SIM cards with data are super cheap in Israel, so there's really little reason to bother with WiFi.
    – JonathanReez
    Commented Mar 9, 2016 at 9:18

4 Answers 4

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The amount of free wifi in Israel is ridiculous. Egged buses have it most of the time. Gas stations (at least Paz and Dor Alon) have it. Tel Aviv has municipial wifi. The list is endless. I had the good luck to never need a password. Others might have a different experience, I guess this differs from place to place.

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    It is indeed ridiculous amount - I dare to say that more than any other country I have ever visited .Also Haifa has all the beach area covered (almost 10 years ago - the First municipality to do that ) , As well as Jerusalem Central areas. Almost every Coffee shop, Restaurant, mall , and recently - Taxis . Almost in every residential building you can find one or more open wifi. I think it is due to the billing plan of the companies there that actually do not count traffic... Commented Apr 16, 2016 at 3:22
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    You're "over-selling" here. Egged often has them - in inter-city lines, not in local service. Tel-Aviv municipal wi-fi isn't throughout the city, it's in some areas. Obmerk is also vastly exaggerating: In almost no residential building will you find an open Wi-Fi. As for coffee shops and restaurants - some have it, some don't. What is true is that password-protection of Wi-Fi is rare.
    – einpoklum
    Commented Feb 15, 2020 at 8:15
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In Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Haifa you have free Wifi provided by the municipality. Their speed is not the greatest but you can download your mails and chat on your WhatsApp. Also most cafés usually have free wifi for clients.

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The answers here are 6–7 years old. I feel (don't have quantified data) that with growth of smartphones and cheaper data plans, free wifi has started to slowly decline... Yes, it exists in many places, but it's also common to find 20 private networks and zero guest ones.

As for passwords, when wifi is deliberately provided it's frequently a plain unencrypted network. The practice of a password for customers exists, but I'd say rarer than USA.
Captive portals to accept terms-of-use are common in larger institutions.

If you're traveling, I'd recommend a data SIM; treat wifi as a convenience, but don't depend on it.

  • If you don't, remember to take advantage of the TLV airport wifi e.g. at least download offline maps & travel directions.
  • As of 2023, 5G plans are over-marketed: actual 5G coverage is still very spotty, expect 3G–4G speeds in most places (and the plan is not large enough to really use 5G speed for long).
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    I can also recommend using a travel SIM/eSIM or roaming if your home plan is cheap enough for that. This way you get access to 3 Israeli operators at once.
    – JonathanReez
    Commented Dec 19, 2023 at 14:53
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I would add that hospitals in Israel also have free - non-password protected - Wi-Fi. And free recharging stations.

(I can't guarantee that ALL of them do, but so far I haven't found one that doesn't.)

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