Wi-Fi users in Europe are paying much higher rates than those in the U.S., according to a price-comparison Web site, W-Fi Rates. And we pay more for our hardware too, with IBM Corp. Centrino laptops costing at least 50 per cent more than in the U.S. Surprisingly, U.K. users can find themselves worse off than people in the rest of Europe.

The average hourly rate to use Wi-Fi at a hotspot in the U.S. is US$3.75, while in the U.K. it is