As an update, we finally found stores selling just the 10 day scratch cards but still for €19. So you do not need to change the SIM card but just enter the scratch card number on the website to top up for another 10 days.Howard [ Just Imagine ] 22-Apr-2011
€49 for USB stick +10 days internet. €19 for each additional 10 days.
The only option for G3 and GPRS intenet coverage,that we could find was Vodafone Mobile Broadband on Demand, which worked fine in most areas, but quite expensive.
The USB stick with the SIM card cost €49 and included 10 days of internet coverage. 24 hour coverage for 10 consecutive days with a cap of 10GB which would be hard to reach at 3G and GPRS speeds.
You need to take your passport to the Vodafone store, and if you want to start the service immediately, you may want to take your laptop too. We bought the stick and card in Corfu town, buit did not activate it until some days later, as we were up to date on internet and email.
You need to insert the SIM card provided in the box into the little slot at the PC end of the stick, which may be difficult to find at first.
To activate the stick, you simply insert it into the laptop, and go through the installation process. It worked fine on my Windows 7 netbook, despite the store owners doubts.
When the installation is completed, it will take you to a Vodafone website, and this is where we got stuck, as we could see no place to enter the 10 day scratch card number on the webpage. Luckily, one of our cellphones was Vodafone, so I just called the customer service number, and they explained that the scratch card number location is at the bottom of the first page you come to. I think you had to click on "Continue to Service" or something like that, then there was a field to put in the scratch card number provided with the stick.
This gives you 10 consecutive days of internet, after which it gets quite silly, and we bought a few 2 hour cards for €3.50 for emergency use. Now this is 2 consecutive hours, so if you start it at midday, it finished at 2pm regardless of how much you used the internet in that time. You cannot log off and expect to be able to log back on later. Hopefully the Greeks will eventually catch up with the rest of the world and provide a reasonably priced continuous prepaid service.
But there is a way around this, if somewhat clumsy. You can buy just the SIM card without the USB stick for €19 which also includes 10 days of internet. So even though it is still quite expensive, if internet is important to you, then buy additional SIM card packages with 10 day access for €19. When your first 10 days runs out, you simply install the new sim card, and enter the new scratch card on the website and you are good for the next 10 days.
They will try and sell you a contract, which is much more reasonably priced, at €30 per month (as opposed to €54 with the prepaid method, but you need an address in Greece, and you will need to cancel at the end of the summer or your credit card will continue to be charged. We though it safer to go with the prepaid.
We have just bought our second SIM card for €19 in Argostoli, and when our first card runs out in a few days, we will wait a few days before activating the new card, and thus, stretch out the cost a little.
The GPRS is painfully slow, but served the purpose in some lesser populated areas for email and weather. The 3G which sets up automatically when available, is quite respectably fast. The USB has a solid green light when in GPRS and a solid blue light on 3G. 3G is available in all major tourist ports and the surrounding bays, and only in unihabited areas like south of Ithaca town did we have no coverage.
If you already have a USB Vodafone stick, it may, or may not be locked to the previous provider. Take it along to the store with you and they can check it out. If it works, you can just buy the €19 sim card and not the €49 stick.
We found 2 vodafone stores in Corfu town, close to the bus stop. They only have them in larger cities. Here is a link
to a store locator.Howard [ Just Imagine ] 31-Dec-1969