Wi-Fi users in Europe are paying much higher rates than those in the US, according to price-comparison website W-Fi Rates.
The website claimed Europeans also pay more for hardware, with IBM Centrino laptops costing at least half more than in the US.
Surprisingly, UK 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 US is £2, while in the UK it is £4.41. US users can surf for a whole day for £4.14, while the average daily rate in the UK is £10.78.
Wi-Fi is cheaper in Britain if paid by the hour, compared with other major European countries except Germany. The French have the highest average daily Wi-Fi charge of £17.45.
Wi-Fi kit costs more in the UK. The IBM X40 Thinkpad starts at £806 in the US, but the cheapest model available here will cost around £1,400.
The UK's entry level is higher than the US, since the ultra-low voltage 1GHz model will not be sold here, and the cheapest model will have a 40GByte drive rather than the 20GByte in US.
"The average spec in Europe is higher than in the US," said Adrian Horne, EMEA ThinkVantage technology specialist for IBM's personal computing division. "We are running fewer models here but that is based on customer data. We tend to hoard data more in Europe."
Peter Judge writes for Techworld.com