I’ve been living in Taipei for 6 months now, and I haven’t once purchase a mobile data plan for my phone. That is something special, coming from someone who was nearly permanently connected to his phone back home in Sydney. That said, I haven’t been living the life on an online hermit while I’m out & about in Taipei city (or other places in Taiwan for that matter). That’s because Taipei has a very good free public wifi network, so of course, I’ve signed up to that!
Signing up is easy, and takes a matter of minutes. Just find TPE-Free in the list of available networks on your phone (or other mobile device), and follow the steps to sign-in (if using Android, you may need to open a web browser first). The first page you see will be in Chinese, but there’s a link for an English version in there. If all else fails, here’s a link to the sign-up instructions 🙂 Once you’re signed up, you just need to make sure you are within range of the network, and sign-in when you want to use the internet.
TPE-Free is available at many major public places around Taipei, at every MRT station, most bus stops (from what I’ve seen), and even random street corners, parks and markets. There’s been many times when I’ve been wandering the city, or waiting at a traffic light, only to look down at my phone & see that I’m connected to the internet! Of course, the first thing I do then is jump onto Facebook -_-”
One final benefit of signing up to TPE-Free is that it lets you also access other free internet services that are available around Taiwan. I used the service in Hualien (at the station) to connect to the iTaiwan free wifi network (which is at most government buildings, and train stations). That came in very handy when figuring out where I was planning to go, or quickly looking up a map before I headed out of the station.
Kaohsiung also has a free public wifi, from memory, though I only remember finding it at metro stations (that was two years ago though, I’ll write up something about how it is these days when I get some time to go down to Taiwan’s southern major city).