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Laptops on the move.
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userhowie
Posted: 1 September 2008 11:40 PM
Subject: Laptops on the move.
 


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Location: Dunnshargin


Hi. Can anyone explain how you are able to use a laptop when touring in the van. How exactly do you know if and where you can connect to the web. I know some sites now provide this service, but otherwise is it simply a case of switching on and seeing if there,s a signal, or is there some other way of knowing where you will be able to make that connection. Thanks.
userchatterdog
Posted: 1 September 2008 11:49 PM
Subject: RE: Laptops on the move.
 


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mcDonalds free wifi
USB dongle... t-mobile,vodaphone,'3'
campsites that provide wifi in england usually charge
I use a '3' dongle for when im travelling



have dongle will travel
userSyd
Posted: 1 September 2008 11:53 PM
Subject: RE: Laptops on the move.
 
2000500100252525
Location: Sunderland


Hotel car parks can usually provide a reliable hotspot too
userhowie
Posted: 2 September 2008 12:02 AM
Subject: RE: Laptops on the move.
 


2000200010010025
Location: Dunnshargin


Er, yes Maggie. Got the bit about campsites charging, but just a teeny weeny bit confused with the rest of it.
userhowie
Posted: 2 September 2008 12:04 AM
Subject: RE: Laptops on the move.
 


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Location: Dunnshargin


Syd - 2008-09-01 11:53 PM

Hotel car parks can usually provide a reliable hotspot too
All sounds a bit hit and miss Sid, or is this the way it is.
userSyd
Posted: 2 September 2008 12:15 AM
Subject: RE: Laptops on the move.
 
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Location: Sunderland


howie - 2008-09-02 12:04 AM

Syd - 2008-09-01 11:53 PM

Hotel car parks can usually provide a reliable hotspot too
All sounds a bit hit and miss Sid, or is this the way it is.



Hi Howie
No not really, it is pretty easy to find hotspots at Hotels and Mac Ds and several other places if you just give it a go.
When you are driving around sightseeing just have a laptop switched on and watch it, you will soon see the good places to stop for future use
userhowie
Posted: 2 September 2008 12:17 AM
Subject: RE: Laptops on the move.
 


2000200010010025
Location: Dunnshargin


chatterdog - 2008-09-01 11:49 PM

mcDonalds free wifi
USB dongle... t-mobile,vodaphone,'3'
campsites that provide wifi in england usually charge
I use a '3' dongle for when im travelling



have dongle will travel
Perhaps we could start with this '3' dongle. Is this something you plug into the laptop that enables you to get 'wifi'.
userhowie
Posted: 2 September 2008 12:22 AM
Subject: RE: Laptops on the move.
 


2000200010010025
Location: Dunnshargin


Syd - 2008-09-02 12:15 AM

howie - 2008-09-02 12:04 AM

Syd - 2008-09-01 11:53 PM

Hotel car parks can usually provide a reliable hotspot too
All sounds a bit hit and miss Sid, or is this the way it is.



Hi Howie
No not really, it is pretty easy to find hotspots at Hotels and Mac Ds and several other places if you just give it a go.
When you are driving around sightseeing just have a laptop switched on and watch it, you will soon see the good places to stop for future use
I'll try this during the week when we go shopping Sid. All I need is the laptop and power lead I presume?.


Edited by howie 2008-09-02 12:24 AM
userchatterdog
Posted: 2 September 2008 12:23 AM
Subject: RE: Laptops on the move.
 


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a little box will pop up telling you there is an unprotected network and will ask if you want to connect but over here it is usually only near McDs or hotels/airports. most of us that run wifi systems usually have them password protected. with the dongle as long as you can get a reasonable mobile signal on your phone - you will be able to connect to the internet through the dongle or by connecting through your mobile phone(this is more expensive than through a dedicated dongle)
userhowie
Posted: 2 September 2008 12:29 AM
Subject: RE: Laptops on the move.
 


2000200010010025
Location: Dunnshargin


Right Maggie. So if I get this 'dedicated dongle' then this is all I need to get on the web, signal permitting.
userchatterdog
Posted: 2 September 2008 12:30 AM
Subject: RE: Laptops on the move.
 


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plus your laptop - yes
userchatterdog
Posted: 2 September 2008 12:38 AM
Subject: RE: Laptops on the move.
 


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but if you are thinking of getting one go for the cheapest if you are going down the contract route as you can ask them to increase it if you need more gbs anytime and then decrease it the following month .
i went for the 1gb package 12mths ago but i can increase if away for the month and think i will need more gbs -then ring and go back to my orig price when back at home, but what you cannot do is take a 3gb contract out find you never use more than 1gb and ask to go to a 1gb plan.
Or you can buy the dongle @£99 then just top up when you need it like pay as you go.
userhowie
Posted: 2 September 2008 12:45 AM
Subject: RE: Laptops on the move.
 


2000200010010025
Location: Dunnshargin


Well thank you both. To much input for one night and I shall now retire to my bed and consider your advice and input. Ta.
userchatterdog
Posted: 2 September 2008 12:49 AM
Subject: RE: Laptops on the move.
 


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Location: cheshire


if you havent got a laptop check out carphone warehouse who have dongle/laptop deals.

night


Edited by chatterdog 2008-09-02 12:51 AM
userSyd
Posted: 2 September 2008 8:16 AM
Subject: RE: Laptops on the move.
 
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Location: Sunderland


Howie
If you have a laptop that is wifi configured then you should be ok just switch it on and go onto the net but if you have an older laptop that isn't wifi configured then you can, or could, purchase a Belkin wireless G Plus MIMO Notebook card, or any notebook card that slots into your laptop.
Dont know the price but once bought it costs nothing, I used the Belkin for ages and it was fine.
It isnt as complicated as it sounds because even I can do it so it has to be simple for that
userDon Madge
Posted: 2 September 2008 8:45 AM
Subject: RE: Laptops on the move.
 


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for a list of hot spots see http://www.totalhotspots.com/

Don
userRandonneur
Posted: 2 September 2008 8:56 AM
Subject: RE: Laptops on the move.
 


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Location: Cheshire, 2003 VW T4 Crusader Campervan


The J. D. Witherspoons or should that be Wetherspoons chain all have free WiFi if you buy a cup of coffee.
userspospe
Posted: 2 September 2008 9:19 AM
Subject: RE: Laptops on the move.
 


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No one has yet mentioned the legal aspects of using Wi-Fi, so perhaps you should all look at:

http://news.zdnet.co.uk/communications/0,1000000085,39210473,00.htm

and consider the implications when using the Internet on the move in the UK (I do not know for sure what the situation is abroad).

It is illegal to use an unprotected Wi-Fi system unless it is intended for open public access, so cruising round and looking for open (that is unprotected) access is wrong. In effect, you are stealing someone else’s service.

Using a MacDonald’s is OK given that they provide it for their customers, using a Hotel is wrong unless a) they specifically say it is allowed, or b) you are a guest.

This area is not well understood and I am sure that there will be more legislation in the future to clarify rights and responsibilities.
userHymer C 9.
Posted: 2 September 2008 9:30 AM
Subject: RE: Laptops on the move.
 


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I agree the dongle is good I have the 3 like Maggie, but there are quite a few places where it is not possible to pick up a signal with them, same as a mobile phone. There is also BT Fon if you are with BT it is worth looking at just google it and it will tell you all about it and it is free. Carol.
userBazza454
Posted: 2 September 2008 11:01 AM
Subject: RE: Laptops on the move.
 


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Howie,

Dongle is by far the easiest route, so long as your laptop is WiFi enabled, it simply slots into a USB socket, and as Syd says, they are very easy to configure.

There are some good deals available at the moment. Generally you can get the dongle free if you take out a 12 or 18 month contract at around £10 per month. I currently use a 3 dongle with 1gb per month, which is more than enough to keep up with e-mails, weather, routes etc.

I have some sympathy with the guy prosecuted as outlined in Spospe post, if a residential user of WiFi doesn't password protect the connection, then they should take the consequences of someone piggybacking their service. Equally, if i'm using a "free" WiFi at McDs, Wetherspoons etc, I never log on to my bank or any other site where sensitive data can be accessed. 

userGJH
Posted: 2 September 2008 11:38 AM
Subject: RE: Laptops on the move.
 
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Bazza454 - 2008-09-02 11:01 AM

Dongle is by far the easiest route, so long as your laptop is WiFi enabled, it simply slots into a USB socket, and as Syd says, they are very easy to configure.

There are some good deals available at the moment. Generally you can get the dongle free if you take out a 12 or 18 month contract at around £10 per month. I currently use a 3 dongle with 1gb per month, which is more than enough to keep up with e-mails, weather, routes etc.



I don't think you have to have a WiFi enabled laptop to use the dongle do you? Access via the dongle is an alternative to WiFi (and to wired network connection and conventional dial-up via modem).

I've been using the T-Mobile dongle for a few months now and overall pretty satisfied with it. Because our usage involves staying in fields at ECWS events, access via the mobile phone network is the only viable one.

Bazza454 - 2008-09-02 11:01 AM

I have some sympathy with the guy prosecuted as outlined in Spospe post, if a residential user of WiFi doesn't password protect the connection, then they should take the consequences of someone piggybacking their service. Equally, if i'm using a "free" WiFi at McDs, Wetherspoons etc, I never log on to my bank or any other site where sensitive data can be accessed.


That's good advice about not logging on to sensitive sites when using a public hotspot.
I don't have sympathy for the guy prosecuted though. An unprotected WiFi connection is equivalent to a window with only a catch, not a lock - and I wouldn't sympathise with a burglar who took advantage of that.

Graham
userhowie
Posted: 2 September 2008 12:34 PM
Subject: RE: Laptops on the move.
 


2000200010010025
Location: Dunnshargin


Hi. This 'unprotected/ open access is something i,ve not thought of before, and just touching on security for a moment, are there any implications with regard to security, say with our next door neighbour who has a similar set up to ours, that access could be gained due to the close proximity, to each others respective laptops.
userRandonneur
Posted: 2 September 2008 1:59 PM
Subject: RE: Laptops on the move.
 


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howie - 2008-09-02 1:34 PM

Hi. This 'unprotected/ open access is something i,ve not thought of before, and just touching on security for a moment, are there any implications with regard to security, say with our next door neighbour who has a similar set up to ours, that access could be gained due to the close proximity, to each others respective laptops.


You are correct. You and your Neighbour should have seperate protected systems. On a lot of WiFi enabled modems you can change the original settings to a password that you can remember rather than using the 'Key' that came with the modem. I think there are modems out there that constantly change 'keys' for a more secure connection.

We have a WEP key which if anyone with a WiFi enabled laptop visits and wants to use our internet connection then we can give them the 'key' and they can logon. It is the same when we go to the UK, our Friends have a WiFi connection and connect to their system using their 'key'. I think there is a more secure key than a WEP but we are quite happy with ours. Most 'keys' are located under the modem itself or in the documentation that came with the modem.
userBrian Kirby
Posted: 2 September 2008 3:43 PM
Subject: RE: Laptops on the move.
 


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howie - 2008-09-02 12:29 AM Right Maggie. So if I get this 'dedicated dongle' then this is all I need to get on the web, signal permitting.

Howie

If you are likely to want to use the dongle abroad DO check the service provider's rates for data use outside UK.  UK service providers set different rates for each country, and they are mostly astronomic.  Tread soft!

userKlyne
Posted: 2 September 2008 4:03 PM
Subject: RE: Laptops on the move.
 


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Brian is right to warn of the high cost of using a UK mobile broadband dongle in Europe it can vary between £1.50 and £10 a MB! I have a Vodafone one and if I want to use it it will cost me £10 a day with a limit of 50MB use so still pretty expensive. The good news on the horizon is that the European Commissioner for Telecoms is likely to force mobile networks to reduce their charges for data and text use considerably, as she did with voice calls about a year ago.

David
userchatterdog
Posted: 2 September 2008 4:58 PM
Subject: RE: Laptops on the move.
 


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Yep it is too expensive to use an english dongle abroad as stated on the thread in hints and tips earlier this year.
userhowie
Posted: 2 September 2008 6:46 PM
Subject: RE: Laptops on the move.
 


2000200010010025
Location: Dunnshargin


Thanks for that everyone and will give it a try tomorrow to see how it goes. Just a query on how much power a laptop uses. I've already got the inverter and inbuilt battery to go on, but how much of drain on the liesure battery are they and apart from short periods is it better to use hook up.
( I,ve been using this laptop on just the batteries for almost an hour now, and apart from a rather dim picture its working fine, so perhaps charging while on the move will suffice.)
userspospe
Posted: 2 September 2008 9:31 PM
Subject: RE: Laptops on the move.
 


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Howie

Your laptop should have a 'ratings plate' on its underside and this will give the maximum current that it can take. As an example, my 15-inch Acer laptop draws 3.42 amps at 19 volts.

Using a low power inverter, say a 150-watt model it would be reasonable to expect about 80% efficiency on load. The inverter output at 230 volt would then be fed to the laptop mains power unit, which probably runs at around 75-80% efficiency (mine gets quite warm) and putting everything together means that the drain on the habitation battery would be of the order of 4.75 amps (I have rounded the figures).

If you take the rating plate figure and add, say 40% to it, this will give you a reasonable ‘guesstimate’ of the likely 12 volt power drain when using an inverter to power the laptop.

I hope that this gives you a feel for the likely drain on your habitation (an Autosleeper term) battery.

Regards ............ Michael (off to France soon).
usermichele
Posted: 2 September 2008 9:52 PM
Subject: RE: Laptops on the move.
 


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Howie ,

I am glad you are getting a Dongle I know you miss me but you dont have to go to that extreme
userchatterdog
Posted: 3 September 2008 9:34 AM
Subject: RE: Laptops on the move.
 


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you can check out the coverage area for a '3' dongle in the u.k. at the following address

http://www.three.co.uk/personal/coverage_/coverageChecker.do

Forgot I had that one for checking areas out
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