Whether you’re trying to get in touch with family and friends back home, checking Facebook or getting some work done, free public WiFi is a convenient tool.
The service isn’t always available in Doha, and can be slow and unreliable.
But it’s becoming increasingly widespread.
For example, the Pearl-Qatar has recently announced free WiFi for visitors and residents in public areas, including in Porto Arabia, Medina Centrale and Qanat Quartier.
We asked readers to tell us their favorite places to access free wireless internet this week. You responded with this shortlist (and included some places to avoid as well):
Whether flying in or heading out, the airport appears to have a solid free signal that lots of residents give the thumbs up.
The WiFi is vital for posting that selfie with the bear, of course.
But some said speed-wise, the service can sometimes be a mixed bag, ranging from “reasonably ok” to “utterly slow.”
WiFi availability at Katara Cultural Village was rated “good” and “excellent” by visitors who spoke to Doha News.
This means you should be able to check your messages, stream your favorite shows or Facetime friends while soaking up lovely sea views in cozy cafes.
Al Ahli hospital
If you have the misfortune of becoming ill in Qatar, residents reckon the WiFi at Al Ahli could help make your stay a little less boring.
Respondents said the signal was “reliable” and the speed also seemed reasonable.
Keeping with the health theme, residents have also had good experiences with the WiFi in Hamad Medical Corp. hospitals.
The hospitals, including HMC Women’s and Cuban, ranked highly in both reliability and speed.
Additionally, we had positive feedback about the WiFi at PHCC health centers and Doha’s American Hospital.
The WiFi availability at this popular mall next to Villaggio got some positive comments too, with respondents saying it offered a good, reliable service.
More shopping centers in the country have begun offering free WiFi, and both Ezdan and Gulf malls have also gotten good marks.
Resident Melanie Corcino said that she “really appreciated it” when a mall offered the service. “All mentioned establishments as a whole should offer it – maybe people would stay longer,” she said.
Where to avoid…
Alongside positive feedback, lots of you said that some public venues offered WiFi that was disappointing and frustrating.
Local cafes for example, often have unreliable service. “It’s the pits,” says Melianie D’Lima. Speaking to Doha News, the resident said:
“For example, I was the only person in Caribou with a laptop yesterday, but kept getting kicked off the network.”
Doha’s parks don’t score very well either.
Respondents rated the free WiFi at the Museum of Islamic Art park “very slow” and “poor.”
Doha resident Elena said that the service at the MIA and at Aspire Park come “as the wind blows – now connected, and in the next second, connection lost.”
Meanwhile, we were told that the WiFi speed at Sheraton Park is good, but the connection sometimes drops unexpectedly. And the Corniche and Souq Waqif have weak signal at best.
What are your experiences with WiFi around town? Thoughts?