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Getting internet in non-wifi apt. in Venice

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I will be staying in a rental apartment in the Castello area of Venice for a week--great place in every way it appears except no wifi. I would like to have wifi so I can use my laptop or Ipad in the apartment. I was also going to bring an unlocked Iphone 4 (running on T-mobile here in US) and get an Italian SIM card when I get there. I've never used my phone for tethering and am not sure how to do that. It seems like it would be too expensive to use a 3g or 4g signal, and not sure how well that would work in those little Venetian streets anyway.

I know there is the city wifi in Venice but sounds like that doesn't work inside apartments, even though I can probably get a signal in a park that's not so far away.

So I'm thinking of renting a portable wifi hotspot before I go. Has anyone had experience using one of these in Venice? I see ads for a UK company called TEP, but have read a number of bad reviews. XCom global is another company with a mifi. Has anybody used one in Venice or at least Italy? The other ads I see are for Telecomsquare, which seems to be Japanese in origin but now available for European use. Cellular Abroad is another company, and they are actually located right near me in So Cal, but they are quite expensive. But maybe I could pick up the device directly from them and avoid shipping charge.

I need data more than I need voice or texts. Will also be going to Spain for 3 weeks after Venice, but the apartments and hotels seem to have wifi. My Venice apartment seems to be the only one not having it (but is an extremely good deal through Cross-Pollinate, whom I have rented from before and consider very reliable.)

Thanks in advance for any and all suggestions.

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