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I’m just weighing up which supplier to go for broadband and there appear to be a number of options now in my village. I have already had Free.fr recommended, and would like to know if anyone can confirm my understanding of their current offer as described in the press release of the end of last week.


As I understand it, for their €29.99 a month which is payable by direct bank debit only, you now get the NEW type “HD Freebox” which is actually 2 boxes, one an ADSL modem and the other a WiFi router and high definition TV tuner combined (with some other goodies).

The flat monthly fee includes ADSL and all domestic calls plus those to 15 other countries. However I can’t find a list of which countries are covered on their site. As I understand it however unless I am in the “degroupage” area (which I don’t think I am) I will continue to pay France Telecom’s line rental fee.

Sounds like a very good deal to me if I have it right. Have I, or is there a catch?

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Micheal, sorry, don't quite follow. Are you referring to the NEW "HD Freebox" marketed from April 20, which appears to be TWO boxes or the older version?

You are saying your ADSL box has a slot in it, So your laptop or whatever can access the broadband without a card by cable, but to do so wirelessly you need an additional card for the BOX, not that you need a wifi card for the computer?

We currently have one laptop with built in wifi and one which has a separate card, so I'll need to have a further card to get either of them to work from around the house, however I could just connect via a network or USB cable - correct?

Where did you get this additional card? What's it called in French so I know what to ask for!



By the way I just found an English language version of the press release at

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  • 1 month later...
Hi Micheal,

I received a Freebox just like the one you described not the new one referred to in the press release, it works fine although sometimes seems to take an awful long while to register itself (I have to disconnect it when the house is empty and it makes a hissing noise on the phone when connected).

Anyway I then a few days ago received a "Freebox 802.11g PC Card". This seems to go in the slot in the side of the freebox but there are no setup instructions of any kind and absolutely nothing happens when it is plugged in - no light on the top and my laptop does not detect any wireless networks. How did you get yours to work?

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With reference to your LiveBox. I suspect I'm using the new model in the UK and basically you have two options in order to make the main connection twixt Livebox and PC.

You can do it via the hardwire connection i.e. linking box and PC with the ethernet cable. Or wirelessly using a wireless adaptor.

The Livebox is already wireless enabled so installing the card into the box will achieve nothing! I would suggest that once you've made the initial connection between the box and yor PC, should you wish to connect a laptop which isn't Centrino (Wi-Fi enabled), then the PC Card you have received should be placed in an available slot on your laptop. You will then need to pair the laptop with the box.

If you are using a Centrino laptop, the wireless function should automatically pick up the livebox, but you will still need to pair them together by entering the WEP key and pressing button '1' on the underside of the Livebox.

Hope this helps and good luck!


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In an attempt to clear up the confusion in these posts I would make the following points:

The single Freebox system is for use in non degroupage areas - most of France.

The "new" double Freebox system is only for use in degroupage areas - major conurbations only, the second box is for HDTV.

The single Freebox will accept the WiFi card but will not operate until it is switched on - to switch it on you go to www.free.fr site and follow the instructions for activating it through your account management log on. Remember to switch it off before plugging the card in.

When you activate the Wifi you will be given a WEP key which is entered into any Wifi products you wish to connect.

When a Freebox is switched on, having been previously switched off, it updates the software with the latest download and if you are leaving it off for a long time it may be that there are a number of updates to download which would explain the delay .

A Livebox is the Wanadoo version of Free's Freebox and is a different product.

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I have just looked on the Freebox website which suggests to me that I have access to this even though our house is in the sticks in Normandie not a major conurbation as referred to earlier.  I have already looked at my telephone costs in France last year and they amount to €313 without including the monthly charge to FrTelecom.  If the monthly charges are included this would amount to about €440 and so €360 a year for Freebox would be well worthwhile.  Can someone confirm that you don't have to pay the montly (or bi-monthly) abonnement to France Telecom if you go to Freebox?  I just went on the Freebox site and entered my  number with the following results:

Inscription de la ligne téléphonique XXXXXXXXX

Votre ligne est éligible à l'offre Freebox (adsl non dégroupé) 1216 kbps
Vous bénéficierez de l'offre de téléphonie Freebox
Vous recevrez le Modem Freebox

Thanks in anticipation of your help.



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