Not only are our smartphones pretty much essential to everyday life now, but they’re extremely handy for traveling as well! The ability to check a map, search for restaurants, attractions, and other points of interest while visit a new place is essential.
Since you’ll likely be visiting some rural areas while on your visit to Newfoundland, you may be wondering what access to cellular coverage and WiFi is like. This may also be useful if you’re hoping to keep in touch with business activities while on vacation.
Cellular Coverage in Newfoundland
All major cellular carriers here have coverage pretty much right across the island, and roaming agreements in place as well. You’ll want to check with your cellular company to find out if your phone is compatible with the network here, and which carrier you can roam on, as that may dictate how good your coverage is. You can find high speed cellular data in all of the major town centers, and for most of the main travel routes across the island as well, though there are many dead spots along more remote areas of the Trans-Canada Highway.
There are some smaller, rural towns still without cellular coverage, although there have been some improvements. For the most part you’ll be connected wherever you go.
If you plan on hiking deep into the woods, you’ll want to bring a GPS and possibly a means of emergency communication. Cell coverage in wooded, unpopulated areas is unpredictable and often times you’ll discover there’s no signal.
WiFi in Newfoundland
It’s quite likely, but not certain, that your hotel or Airbnb will have WiFi. If this is important to you, be sure to check ahead of time when booking your hotel or other accommodations. It may be hit or miss if you’re staying in some of the more unique, secluded accommodations such as bed & breakfasts as there are parts of the island without reliable high-speed internet.
In the major centers like St. John’s, Clarenville, Corner Brook, etc, you’ll have no problem finding a business offering a free WiFi hotspot. McDonald’s and Tim Hortons offer WiFi at pretty much all of their locations and are a good bet when looking for WiFi in Newfoundland, but there are many local businesses as well. Any sort of café is likely to have WiFi. Even some grocery stores offer it.
There’s a great Newfoundland WiFi database that you may want to bookmark if you expect to be searching for WiFi hot-spots. There’s also an app that will let you look up hot-spots in advance and save them offline, so you can find the locations even without internet.
Looking to get a tranquil camping experience but still be connected to WiFi? Check out the Waterford River Valley Campground which offers WiFi throughout the park! Pippy Park in St. John’s has an area with WiFi as well, and there are public WiFi Zones now located at Victoria Park and Bannerman Park in St. John’s.
If you’re traveling to the province by ferry, you may be wondering if there’s WiFi on Marine Atlantic’s vessels. You can check out their info regarding on-board WiFi and Cellular service. They do have on board WiFi, but both riders and even Marine Atlantic themselves warn that it’s often flaky and unreliable. It’s best to download some content to your device to keep you occupied for the journey, as streaming will be impossible.