Choosing a Wi-Fi or Internet Provider in France

 
Choosing a Wi-Fi or Internet Provider in France

Broadband internet connection in France is provided by ADSL or Fibre, depending on your area. Although 4G is advancing throughout France, a minority of rural areas are still classed as a ‘zone blanche’ with literally zero connection or poor connectivity, even with ADSL. Connectivity in the countryside may be a different experience to that of your previous life elsewhere, but things are changing with the French Government pledging 4G throughout France by the end of 2022.

Your provider is largely dependent on the zone in which you live. Orange, being the dominant market leader, is often recommended for those rural areas, whereas urban areas may afford more choice.

Use this map to see whether Fibre has reached your area.

Who are the largest internet providers in France?

Orange, Free, SFR, Bouygues and La Poste. All of which often offer discounted packages or bundles when opting for television and mobile phones too.

Comparing French internet providers

It’s a good idea to do a little research regarding suppliers and the latest deals. These comparison websites make this task slightly less onerous:

Lemon

Le Comparitif

Je Change

Mes fournisseurs

Que Choisir

How do I set up an internet connection in France?

To set up your internet subscription, you will need to provide: proof of your address (such as a utility bill) and your bank account details.

  • You will need a landline telephone connection first.
  • If you plan to take out a fibre contract, make sure your fibre connection is ready first. Some providers, such as Orange, offer an online search function to determine this. There may be a specific website for your area in order to check connectivity, such as this one for Nouvelle Aquitaine.
  • You may be offered an installation service (free or at a cost), and technicians may arrive to make the installation, or you might be sent the ‘kit’ and instructions.
  • If technicians are arriving, make sure you are clear about expectations – are you required to drill the hole through your walls, or are they able to do it? Where will the cable enter your property? Do you need to make any preparations?
  • Instructions will be in French, so be prepared with your translation applications, dictionaries, and any kind offers of French-speaking help if you need it!
  • Consider a VPN in order to ensure your online security and/or provide access to foreign-language TV and internet subscription services.

Read our guide to Setting Up Your Phone, TV, and Internet in France

Accessing free Wi-Fi in France

Free Wi-Fi is often available in Tabacs, cafes, restaurants, supermarkets and various tourist attractions.

Large cities such as Paris often have ‘hotspots’ where Wi-Fi is freely accessible, or there is a paid service called hippocketwifi that you can subscribe to in order to access Wi-Fi if it is available.

Local Life in France

From shopping at the supermarket to sending a parcel at Post Office, finding your local dechetterie to who to call in an emergency—FrenchEntrée is here to help with every aspect of day-to-day living in France. Read our Essential Reading guides for advice on living in France, visit our Shopping zone or Pets zone, or brush up your language skills with our handy learning French resources.

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Carol, a teacher from Hurworth in Darlington, lives in Charente in South-West France, where she runs La Grue Gites with her family.

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