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Mobile data access when traveling October 7, 2010

Posted by themobilephoneconnoisseur in Uncategorized.
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One of the most common questions I get from friends traveling abroad is what to do when wanting to connect the PC to the internet.

As most people know it not advisable to download data when roaming. There are no tricks to get around this other than either to use another mobile broadband service (local mobile broadband service) or connect using local Wi-Fi networks.

Unfortunately changing your phone’s SIM is very simple compared to changing SIM in your mobile broadband connection. So unless you get a modem as part of the price when buying a local mobile broadband connection, you will be reconfiguring everything from APNs to outgoing SMTP-servers. Not very practical or user friendly.

The Wi-Fi alternative leaves you to being dependent on staying in the places where there is Wi-Fi available. How easy it is to find these so called hotspots varies greatly. In for example Portland in Oregon in the US, there are hundreds of access points free to use, while in Seattle not far from there, it is tricky to get online without paying a minor fortune. McDonalds actually has a pretty good network in many countries, as well as Starbucks. But will you be spending your time online while having coffee?

Actually your best choice is probably to get a hotel room that has a good enough wireless (or cabled) internet connection. But watch out, some hotels have no shame in charging you €15-25/day. So when booking a hotel, it is advisable to see if the internet connection is included, or at least find out the price before hand. In my experience, Radisson hotels have often had very fast and stable internet connections, and often free too.

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