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5 posts

Wannabe Geek

Topic # 15169 8-Aug-2007 00:03 Send private message

Hi all

I am brandnew to this forum, in fact I have actually never posted anything on any forum before (a piece of totally useless info). anyway, my hubby is off to Canada on Thurs (9th Aug) and we can't figure out if he will be able to use his laptop overseas to access internet. We were told by someone to contact Telecom but they said they don't do anything like that. What does he need to do, take etc. PLEASE HELP URGENTLY. Thursday is fast approaching.  I am totally useless when it comes to computers etc so any replies would have to be in the simplest terms possible - imagine you're talking to a 5yr old . .. . actually, scrub that, a 5yr old would probably understand it better. you get the picture though. Thanks, any info would be appreciated.

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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 81520 8-Aug-2007 00:29 Send private message

Does the laptop have "wireless" built in?

If you are unsure, are you able to tell us the make and model of the laptop, eg Acer 5102wlmi.

If you use the laptop on a wireless network at home, or at work, or even in a cafe, then it has wireless.

I am unsure what is available in Canada, or where you are going, but a lot of Cafe's now provide pre-paid internet access. To be able to use this you will need a wireless enabled laptop. Also more and more hotels, and hostels if they are of the backpacking variety, have wireless hotspots in their premises for internet access.

5 posts

Wannabe Geek

Reply # 81529 8-Aug-2007 01:53 Send private message

thanks for the quick response, yes it does have wireless built in and we have just connected sierra wireless aircard 595 (about 2hrs ago). Does he need to take the aircard with him to Canada (I'm guessing yes!?!). When you say prepaid internet - is that easy enough to use? May sound like silly question but when we went to aussie, stayed at hotel, took laptop and it wouldn't hook up to the web there - it did when a friend came to the rescue but it wasn't something this techno challenged lass was able to do alone (and sadly enough, my hubby is even more techno challenged than me!!). Eagerly awaiting your response. cheers



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Wannabe Geek

Reply # 81530 8-Aug-2007 01:59 Send private message

what are hotspots - are they the places you can go to use your laptop to connect to the net in town, at McDs, cafes etc?? Told you i was challenged?

BDFL - Memuneh
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Reply # 81535 8-Aug-2007 09:13 Send private message

If your husband's laptop has wireless, then the cheaper and easier way to use it overseas is to find places (libraries, cafes, hotels) where Wi-Fi is offered.

"Hotspots" are locations where Wi-Fi is offered. In very few places (cafes mostly) it's free and you would buy food and coffee to make up for it. In other places (the majority) it's a paid service. You start your laptop and when it identify a network you will be able to connect. Open the browser and try going to any website. IT will then show a login page asking for your user account or for payment. Usually you can pay per hour, or day.

In some cases (Boingo, T-Mobile) you can open an account and have the use charged to your credti card. I've used Hotspots in America with prices ranging from US$1.95/hour (a McDonald's in Las Vegas) to US$5.95/hour (Wayport, Seattle Airport).

All places with this service will have a sticker at the door or you can ask the staff. Some won't know what's that but if you see others using laptops then it's a sure thing it's avaialble.

Most (decent) hotels now offer broadband in your room, at about $29.95/day. Some offer wireless. Check with the reception.

All these options are much cheaper than anything you can get from Telecom or Vodafone. Data roaming with mobile companies are daylight robery. They charge many times more than you would pay for a good broadband connection in any hotel, for a service that's most of the times lacking - Vodafone can't roam to 3G in America, meaning you only get GPRS (less than dialup speeds) and Telecom allows only CDMA 1x data roaming, which is not much better.

Don't use the mobile operators options when travelling, unless you are very very rich and don't mind spending the money on something less than optimal.

Nate wants an iphone
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Mod Emeritus

  Reply # 81537 8-Aug-2007 09:25 Send private message

If you have a Xtra account, you can also enable ipass on it (no monthly fee for enabling this service). It costs the earth but if there is a landline, hotel/motel with ipass enabled LAN access, or ipass enabled hotspot, you'll be able to connect - however look for cheaper alternatives wherever possible.

Expensive however always an option if you just want to 'pop' your mail or quickly check something.

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 81583 8-Aug-2007 14:44 Send private message

I have recently returned from four weeks in the USA and while there, discovered to my surprise that a majority of hotels were now offering wi-fi access, in most cases free access. I realise that Canada is to the USA like NZ is to Australia, so results may differ, however of the nine hotels we stayed at, only one did not offer wi-fi access and of those eight, only one did not offer it for free (a casino hotel in Las Vegas). Some of those were also in very out of the way places, e.g. try Tropic in Utah -,+UT,+USA&sa=X&oi=map&ct=title

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Wannabe Geek

Reply # 81635 8-Aug-2007 21:16 Send private message

Thanks for your help, much appreciated. Have a great day!

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Wannabe Geek

Reply # 81660 8-Aug-2007 23:16 Send private message

Hi again

When you say you start up your laptop, it identifies a network then asks for user a/c info etc - where does this info come from??? When you prepay, do you get this info - sorry. Most of the info makes sense, I just want to double check that he has everything he need. I.e is the user a/c info from our broadband connection here? Gobble-dee-gook - ???? thanks

BDFL - Memuneh
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Reply # 81683 9-Aug-2007 09:00 Send private message

When you connect to a wireles network and it asks for account information (user, password) you can create one on the spot, or use one you have created before (by visiting a provider's page from home for example).

Since you don't know if the provider you want to use will actually be available where you are planning to stay, I wouldn't bother creating an account, paying by day instead. Unless you identify a provider in an area where you are staying longer, in which cse is better to create an account - just be carefull: whewn you create an account you can pay as you use, or sign up for monthly billing.

Check which option you sign up for, because since these are overseas providers it would be a pain to cancel things later over the phone if you choose the wrong option.

Providers I've used while in the U.S. are WayPort, T-Mobile (mostly Starbucks and Borders), Boingo Wireless. In Australia you can use Optus and Telstra.

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