Visiting France a few times a year and need internet

I am based in the UK and I have to go to France a few times a year, however, the house does not have internet and it won’t be possible to install it due to the age of the resident.

I have looked at the Airbox + Forfait option from Orange, but billing address and mobile number have to be French.


  • Can I buy the Airbox + forfait directly in an Orange shop without a French mobile number and French Address?
  • is there any other option that i can order, or reserve from the UK?


thinking “outside the box”…
Do you need internet 24hr/day or would a local internet cafe do the trick?
Does a neighbour have wifi you could access (with permission)?

I haven’t a clue about your actual questions… sorry.

If only a few times a year, this is your easiest option. I’ve been doing it for several years.

  • 20GB, 1 hour calls and 1000 SMS valid for 1 month in Europe for 43,4€

I think that’s expensive.

If you have a good 4G phone signal in your location then a Huawai sim card router and either a french sim like LeClerk etc or I have been using a UK Lebara sim in mine.

There is quite a long thread on this that James started when he was having connection issues.

It’s in a little village with one single Bar / Cafe. Not the best option
I would need good internet connection for about 8 hrs, when working.


I am new to the forum.

Is there a way to find this thread?

If you look at the top-right in the menu bar - click on the circle with the M in it and you will find options that allow you to find threads you have started and commented in. Also if someone replies to you or likes something you posted in a thread you will see a number in blue appear on the edge of the circle.

To help with the question, I use Giffgaff, and presently they allow data roaming in Europe at no extra cost, so if you have a SIM from them it would also work in France. A good friend with a house in the Tarn uses her UK mobile as a wifi hotspot for her computer, and it was good enough for zoom calls etc last summer. However not all villages have great wifi, so it will very much depend where you are.

1 Like

Back when, you had to pay for a travel pack or some such title which made them a poor choice at the time when I was in France or travelling. Thats when I found that 3 also capped at 25gb unlike EE that alowed 50Gb, my router has Lebara as they are really low cost and piggy back off Vodafone? But includes 100 international phone minutes and no contract.

1 Like

I have already used that before and was not able to join video conference, download documents, work live, save once work was done etc…
I had to give up in the end.

My next trip is non-working and i want to test another option, so i can return and work if needed.

I will always keep trying to use my work phone as a hot spot, as that would be the easiest, value for money option.

Thanks for your little guid on using the forum. It is appreciated. :slight_smile:

Fingers crossed I have managed to get something sorted…

For those interested: I have managed to order the Orange Airbox + forfait of 120Go @ €20.99 / month, with the help of a customer service agent on the chat.

Airbox: Orange Airbox S2 4G+ - Détails et prix

Forfait: Forfait Mobile 120Go [4G/5G] - Sans Engagement - Orange

I had to use my France’s based friend mobile number and address (with their consent of course), but was able to use my own email, ID and UK Credit Card.
It will be delivered to the address I am going on time for my visit.

Now lets hope using it is a lot simpler than ordering it. :wink:

Thank you for all your responses and advice.


@Corona And this is why I check this site every day!
I knew the Orange was pricey for data but it was working for me and last time I was there it included 70GB. But at your suggestion I checked LeClerc and they have prepaid sims at 150GB data for 19.95. At least that what I think it says. I think French pre-paid and US pre-paid might not be the same thing? But I will pursue it next week when I am back.

I would still be interested in knowing about it. Will you post here?

I, and I pretty sure others would be intetested in an update. Obviously I to am keeping an eye on this as our UK contracts get watered down.

1 Like

I will be happy to update my experience. Its good to be able to give back.
Starting with the LeClerc research I moved on to see that Free offers a pre-paid plan currently that is 210GB for 19.99 and then reduced speed (so no hard data cap?) This might work well for monitoring a vacation home if the alarm system sends small amounts of data as updates? Although I guess if I am not onsite then 150 or 200 GB should last a month easily.
The advantage to the Free plan is that it appears you can buy from a kiosk with a credit card. If you don’t pay your monthly fee in time it cancels your account without having to do the registered cancellation letter thing.
However I won’t know if you can get the 210GB from the kiosk until I actually try. I will be very close to Nevers in 58 and their map shows several kiosks in town. Also, being close to a bigger town I should get decent signal no matter who I use.
I typically use a cellphone hotspotted to a Gl.iNet router so the plan needs to allow hotspot tethering but I saw mention on one site that all Free plans allow it now. I did buy a 4G USB modem to plug in to the router and will fiddle with that while I am there.
I will update how I get on later this month as I arrive on the 25th. My experience may be of most interest to people without a French bank account or permanent address.

1 Like

Ok. Its been a busy couple weeks here in France and I finally made it to the Free store tonight. I should have gone sooner, it was that easy.
I went to an actual Free store that was inside a mall attached to a Carrfoure. But i think they are all going to be very similar.
Walking in there are a bunch of kiosk machines and you just tap the screen and pick which plan you want. I got the 210GB for 19.99. it comes with phone number and SMS but I don’t need any of that so I will probably turn off the ringer on the tethered phone.
I had to use a credit card and used my Wise card because its the only one I have thats Chip/PIN, but oddly it didn’t ask for a PIN.
There is an extra 10 charge for the actual SIM card.
The clerk didn’t speak any English but used Google Translate with me to answer a few questions I had. She confirmed the SIM was tetherable, and said if I got the one month plan there was no contract and after 30 days the SIM was dead and I would need to come back and get a new one.
I think I have read that you can renew the SIM online and looking at it tonight it appears that it is possible, so maybe the SIM isn’t dead after a month.
All in all, it was easy and seems cheap to me for 210GB.


Just an update on this.
The Free SIM is extendable despite what the clerk said. I extended the plan online a day before my time was up and the SIM continues to work.
The new charge didn’t hit my Wise card until the 11th for some reason. Even though the original was purchased on the 7th. I was a bit worried about that but I had no lapse in service.
Their account website is a bit wonky as in one spot it always says the plan expires that current day but in another it does show the date I would expect.
I haven’t run a speedtest (don’t want to waste data) but watching the speeds while downloading a larger file showed 35Mb download.
Also, the 210Gb seems plenty. we watched some Youtube, used remote desktop to check on the office and general web surfing and I think the first month total was about 80Gb.
My only issue is that it does seem a little unstable at times but I haven’t decided if its the SIM, the provider or my USB dongle modem.
I am running a AC68U with the latest Merlin firmware and a ZTE USB LTE dongle. I think I may purchase a real LTE modem/router though. Either an Asus or maybe a Huawei.
Hopefully this info helps someone.

We are here in the Morvan, and I’m using my phone to share a 4G connection with 2 computers without trouble and much faster than expected. GiffGaff £10 goodybag with 15GB data (IIRC).

You can do a lot better than giffgaff, great if you are in the UK but very poor if roaming. I used to come home to the UK with plenty of spare data thinking I will use that for next trip but giffgaff use up that first despite having plenty of UK data left.

Welcome home

Thanks Warren. :slightly_smiling_face: