THERE ARE 16 areas in the Algarve where you can now access the internet for free, by switching on any laptop with a wireless facility. Known as “hotspots”, these special zones exist in every borough of the Algarve, and are the latest novelty from the Algarve Digital Project, recently launched by the Algarve Tourist Board.
Gaining easier and quicker access to the World Wide Web is the main objective of creating these small wireless networks, which are accessible by anyone. Also, it is not necessary to even own a computer, as the wireless network can be accessed by the latest electronic gadgets or through multimedia kiosks installed in these special zones.
Alameda da República in Portimão provides one of these internet access zones. Throughout the garden, any user can enjoy easy, complementary access to the internet. At the end of the afternoon, when the heat of the day has gone, many people can be seen sitting on benches with their laptops, surfing the internet. The situation is much the same in Jardim Alameda João de Deus in Faro.
In Portimão, for example, a kiosk has been installed at the offices of the Junta de Freguesia de Portimão, where children and adults enjoy browsing the net. The use of such kiosks is, of course, subject to the opening hours of the office but, in the case of wireless access, or WiFi as it is commonly known, this is accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week. In urban areas (city centres, and so on), the range of the wireless internet access is around 100 metres, but can be as much as 300 metres if there are fewer buildings in the area.
In order to locate the hotspots that have been set up across the Algarve, visit www.algarvedigital.pt and look out for the information boards in your area that also indicate hotspot locations. The wireless zones were introduced simultaneously in various boroughs from February this year and are becoming more and more popular.