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Internet on the move
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userDon Madge
Posted: 14 November 2006 7:21 PM
Subject: Internet on the move
 


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I received this from Barry & Margaret Williamson who have written the article following a number of questions addressed to their website querying ways of accessing the internet when on the move.

We have identified 7 methods which we hope you may find useful and we would welcome your comments: additions, corrections, your own experiences, all of which will be acknowledged.

INTERNET ON THE MOVE
Barry and Margaret Williamson
November 2006
Introduction
Sadly, there is no single solution to the problem of keeping in contact with the internet when on the move. We have identified 7 main methods of connection and you need to be equipped for the method appropriate for you, your equipment and your mode of travel.

In the first part of this article (Methods 1, 2 and 3), we assume that you are travelling in a motorhome or caravan with your own laptop and other equipment.

In the second part (Methods 4, 5, 6 and 7), we assume you don't have a laptop with you or you can't use the laptop in your motorhome, or you don’t have a motorhome!

Motorhoming
You can read this article in conjunction with the relevant items in our 'A to Z of Long-term Motorhoming' (link: http://www.magbaztravels.com/content/view/80/27/)
Need for an Inverter. Before getting into accessing the internet, we would advise you to take an inverter to ensure that you can use your laptop, and keep its battery charged, when you don't have a mains hook-up. A laptop can take up to 100 watts when running with its battery charging and this is the equivalent of 2 headlight bulbs! Even a good 12-volt battery in the motorhome will soon run down with that load. So another item to consider is a solar panel to keep the motorhome's battery charged, if you aren't driving a lot and you don't have a regular mains connection.

The inverter may run hot and draw too much current from the 12-volt battery if it has to both charge the laptop battery and run the laptop at the same time. Our tip is to recharge the laptop battery from the inverter when the laptop is switched off, and then still use the inverter while the laptop is in use.

Method 1: Use of WiFi Hotspots. Make sure that your laptop has the facility for wireless internet (WiFi). For historical reasons, we have 2 laptops – a Dell which didn't have WiFi and a much lighter Fujitsu which does. Recently, in Sweden, we bought a £25 gizmo which plugs into the USB port of the Dell so that it now has WiFi as well.
If you are not sure what WiFi is, or you want to know about your nearest WiFi hotspot, just type 'wifi' (with or without capitals or hyphen) into

Google!
WiFi is becoming increasingly available – on campsites (we are writing this from a campground in Denmark, 12 euros a night including free Wifi!); in restaurants (McDonalds, Starbucks, etc); hotels; at airports – in fact there are WiFi hotspots in thousands of places in the UK and about 6 in Greece! Sometimes it's 'free' (part of the service), sometimes safeguarded with a user name and password to ensure you buy a cup of coffee first, sometimes for a nominal charge (our last campground in Denmark charged a couple of pounds for 7 days' use), and sometimes it's absurdly overpriced (in Ostersund, Sweden it was over a £1 for half an hour so we didn't use it).

You can take out a contract to pay a regular monthly sum (around £15) to access hotspots provided by companies such as BT. Visit www.thecloud.net and www.btopenzone.com.

It is sometimes possible to park the motorhome near a free, open-access WiFi hotspot and not even have to buy a coffee! In fact, it is surprising how many open-access WiFi connections we have come across, but there needs to be a word of warning about security. For example, don't access your bank accounts or enter credit card details in a public place over an unsecured WiFi connection.

WiFi transmitters often have a short range (hence the term 'hotspot') and you may need to manoeuvre on a campsite to get a good signal. The campsite manager should know the best places to park (within line of sight of the aerial) and you will need to point your table window in the right direction. WiFi devices that plug into a USB port have the advantage of being on a long lead which can be hung in the window!
For the future, more powerful WiFi transmitters will cover wider areas, up to the size of a small town.

WiFi does not need an internet provider or any protocol to access it, other than your own user name and password, if required. It's like a broadband connection, though not as fast, despite the claim that it might be 55MB/sec! There is no time limit and no counting of megabytes (see 2, below!)

Method 2: Use a GPRS/3G Data Card. This year we have experimented with a Vodafone GPRS/3G data card (hereafter called 'Card'), which plugs into the PC card slot on the laptop. The Card is also available from O2 (formerly BT) and other suppliers in the UK. It connects the laptop directly to the internet through the mobile phone network or through a recognised WiFi hotspot, if available. The Card includes a normal SIM card with its own UK number, enabling you to write and receive text messages, charged in the normal way. Being able to write a text message on a keyboard is a great blessing!

When used for internet access, what is measured and may be charged for is the number of bytes entering and leaving the card. Not the time! Just as well, since it can be very slow. We have almost never been out of range of a mobile phone network – even in remote Lapland – although we do try. GPRS is the most common connection; 3G is rare away from city and business centres. GPRS is nominally 56kB/second which is as slow as a landline modem. In practice, it can be very slow indeed with lots of long pregnant pauses! 3G is faster but not in the same league as broadband and still subject to pausing when the line or server is busy.
Use of the Card is expensive for travellers: the only Vodafone contract which includes use outside the UK is for one year (the minimum possible) at £95 + VAT per month. This allows unlimited use within the UK plus 100MB per month on 'preferred' networks when roaming. We have found 100MB (3.33 MB a day, more in February) is enough for our email load (we prepare text and images off-line), maintaining our website and some browsing, including internet banking and ferry booking-type operations. We have never exceeded 100MB (which would incur extra charges) – the total use in a given month is displayed as part of the software and we keep our own records in a spreadsheet. This helps to pace the use over the month.

The problem, and for us it's been a BIG problem, is that Vodafone don't seem very clear about which networks in any given country are what they call 'preferred' - or even if the country has a preferred network. The difference is very important. Use of a preferred network means we can use it freely within our 100MB limit. However, we have sometimes had to pay extra local charges, through our monthly direct debit account, in addition to the monthly £95 plus VAT.

The extra charges have varied from about £1 per MB in Lithuania to £10 per MB in Poland. Imagine using 100MB a month in Poland! In every case so far (and there have been 4 cases covering several countries) Vodafone have made a refund on these extra charges, but only after a lengthy exchange of emails. In each case we have had arguments about what network is preferred and what isn't! We went by the list of networks published on their website (www.vodafone.co.uk) but Vodafone's computer did not.

There are non-problem countries such as France, Greece, Sweden and Germany, where there are established Vodafone networks; others, like Romania and Norway, present big problems! Make a list of potential countries and ask lots of questions by email to: customer.care@vodafone.co.

Rebecca and Kevin Watts of Cairns write: “We've read a couple of articles where the EU has been looking into roaming charges on mobile phones, let's hope that that is extended to data while roaming. Visit: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/4692274.stm

Greece might have WiFi before then though."

Method 3: Use a Modem. It's also possible to use a modem linked to your mobile phone or to an accessible landline (perhaps at a campground). The connection between the phone and laptop can be by wire or, in the case of a laptop, by infra-red or Bluetooth. You will need an Internet Service Provider for this, in the normal way, preferably one with an accessible phone number (and not a UK number if you are in Turkey!) The phone call and ISP services may well be paid for according to time used, so pre-preparation and downloading for off-line reading are essential!

Outside the Motorhome
Cyclists maintain contact with home and friends and continue to feed text and images into their websites, as they pedal along. See, for example, www.cyclingtoindia.com. How do they do it? How can motorhomers do it if they haven't got a laptop, or if there isn't a WiFi hotspot or mobile phone network anywhere near their motorhome? Or if they can't afford the expense of mobile phone networks? Read on!

Method 4: Use the Public Library. Public Libraries often provide free internet access. This is true everywhere in the UK and widespread throughout Scandinavia and elsewhere in Europe. We've found libraries reliable also in Australia, New Zealand and the USA. Usually a machine has to be booked ahead and the time may be limited, to as little as 15 minutes or as much as an hour. Less busy libraries may have a free computer without booking and they may not impose strict time limits if no-one is waiting.

Rarely have we heard of a charge being made for this library service and it was only in the UK that any fuss was made about being a member of the library or living in the Parish. (Fleetwood wanted a local address,
temporary membership and a refundable £10 deposit). Libraries will often print pages for you and invariably make a small charge per page, as they do for photocopying.
Sometimes, a library may have a corner where you can use your own laptop: through a broadband access point or via WiFi. We first met this in the library in Bled at the head of Slovenia's Lake Bled in the Julian Alps.
The main problem with library use that we have found is being able to use data prepared off-line or collecting data to take away. If there is an accessible USB port, we plug our 125MB memory stick in. A longish lead added to the stick is useful, in case the USB port is awkward to access. Librarians vary from the very helpful and well-informed, to those who know nothing and leave you alone, to those who look shocked at the very idea that you might want to insert your memory stick into their inaccessible port! So better not to ask in the last 2 cases! Just do it.
Earlier, before the advent of memory sticks, we used 3.5 inch floppies to carry data back and forth, which is still possible sometimes, as is a CD.
In Greece forget the use of libraries – they haven't got any!

Method 5: Use Tourist Information Centres/Campsite Offices. Quite often a Tourist Information Centre will have a computer available (usually just one) for a short time (perhaps 15 minutes) for checking emails. If they are not busy, this time may stretch. They can also tell you of any other internet facilities in their town.

It's not unusual for campsite offices (Reception) to have an ancient machine connected to the net for their own emails and bookings. They may have an 'official' procedure for its use for a limited time – free or for a small charge. If you stay long on a campsite and strike up good relationships, the use of the campsite machine may become routine. On a winter campsite in Greece, we keep Yanni in cigarettes; in return he takes a break from playing computer games now and again.

Method 6: Use Internet Cafes and Centres. A vanishing breed in affluent northern Europe, but still active in the south and east, are the specialist internet centres and cafes. In Hungary, we used an internet nightclub! In Greece, bars may have computers for games. In these commercial operations, you pay by the hour and are unlikely to have any problem with importing and exporting data. A good internet centre may offer specialist services, such as scanning, OCR, making a CD from digital camera images, colour and photograph printing, etc. The downside is that they can be expensive and they may be noisy, busy with adolescents playing games with sound effects. Or even scary, frequented by silent men of a certain age and disposition, reminding themselves of former fantasies.

More commonly than in libraries, an internet centre may have a corner where you can use your own laptop: through a broadband access point or via WiFi. We first met this in a centre on Queen Street, the main street in Auckland, New Zealand.

Method 7: Ask a Friend: There is another way to access the internet and that is to visit and stay with a friend. In their back bedroom, perhaps the one you are sleeping in, there will be a large desk on which stands a PC with a broadband connection that costs them ₤14 per month. But this will make you feel unhappy about all the trouble and expense you have been going to in order to email them, when they find it so difficult to reply!

Finally, A Word of Warning: Rebecca Watts of Cairns, designer and technical manager of this website, writes: "When you finish your use of a public computer, you should delete all the temporary files and your Internet history:

1. In Internet Explorer, click 'Tools', and then click 'Internet Options'.

2. On the 'General' tab, under 'Temporary Internet files', click 'Delete Files', and then click 'Delete Cookies'.

3. Under 'History', click 'Clear History'.”
userVixter
Posted: 14 November 2006 9:28 PM
Subject: RE: Internet on the move
 


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Don thanks for passing that on. We are currently having a few probs with vodafones data card, so will let you know when we have some answers from them

Vixter
userPat P
Posted: 16 November 2006 2:08 AM
Subject: RE: Internet on the move
 
Pops in from time to time

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Location: Norfolk and the rest of world soon.


Could this be saved somewhere?

Pat
userWend
Posted: 4 December 2006 3:46 PM
Subject: RE: Internet on the move
 
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Pat P

If you copy and paste this article into Word and save it, may have to do it in several 'hits' but it works for me.

userOAL Moderator
Posted: 4 December 2006 4:47 PM
Subject: RE: Internet on the move
 


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The topic's been 'stickied' - that means it should stay saved at the top of the list.

Is that what you mean by 'saved'?
userBrian Kirby
Posted: 27 December 2006 6:13 PM
Subject: RE: Internet on the move
 


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Location: East Sussex. Motorhome: Knaus Boxstar 600 Street


Can I add to this with a suggestion that I have not, as yet, been able to test in practice?  However, as others may find it of interest, and I believe that at present it does offer a further, viable, mobile internet option, I offer it as a suggestion to follow through.

This involves the purchase of a SIM free “smart 'phone” and a Pay as You Go SIM from 3 (T Mobile).

So, the SIM first: have a look at 3 mobile's website for their SIM only offers.  These can apparently be enhanced by buying a data pack from 3 for about £5 per month (again, details from the website).  This is called the “Add Everything” add on, and, provided you have bought and activated your PAYG SIM, and set up top up credits from your credit/debit card, it seems you can take up the add on when you want and let it lapse when you don’t want it any longer.  Ideal if all you want is a few weeks/months data use while away.  The add on simply gives you £5 of extra credit for texts, e-mail or internet surfing and, so far as I could find out, can be topped up as you go.  It is valid for 30 days, and it must be activated within 90 days of buying it.  You then get access to 3’s 3G (basically broadband speed) network, but, when this is not within range, it will automatically switch 2.5G (a bit faster than a landline dial up).  You get your own mobile internet mail via 3, but you can also access your regular internet mail, provided your regular ISP allows POP 3 polling.  I understand this to mean it can be accessed from a different ISP, which, in the above case, would be 3.  The above details from the 3.co.uk website, and one ‘phone call, but subject to confirmation if/when I try to buy it all!

The interesting bit, however, is the ‘phones.  You may have noticed that various of the O2 XDA, Orange SPV, T Mobile MDA, or Vodafone VPA model smart phones, all appear similar.  This is because they are all made by the same company called HTC (High Tec Computer Company).  These are those slightly bulkier than normal ‘phones with a built in QWERTY keyboard and a sensible sized colour screen.  They should not be confused with the Blackberry type, which have a Mickey Mouse sized QWERTY keypad on the front beneath the screen.  They are mainly aimed at the business user, and hence, if you have enquired about their availability, you will have found that they are stitched into rather expensive monthly contracts.  They all incorporate a PDA as well as various other computer functions, running the pocket version of Windows, with word processing, spreadsheet, and internet/e-mail functions using Pocket Outlook.  In some, the keyboard slides out from behind the screen, in others the screen hinges out, clamshell fashion, to reveal the keyboard. 

However, as well as being available on contract from the usual suspects they can be bought SIM free.  HTC has only recently begun selling under their own name, but the ‘phones have been available SIM free in UK for some time under the brand names of Qtek and i-mate, and in the States as Cingular.  The interesting one seems to be coded Hermes by HTC and is sold under their own name as TyTN (called Titan), by Qtek as the 9600 and by i-mate as JasJam.  (This is, bar detail or cosmetic changes the O2 XDA Trion, T Mobile MDA Vario II, Vodafone 1605 VPA Compact 3, or the Orange SPV M3100.  In the States, it is sold as the Cingular 8525.)  This is the 3G version, and it is also WiFi enabled.  Thus, once equipped with 3s SIM and the data add on, it should enable you to log on to the net via wireless hot spots using the built in Pocket Windows software (just like a wireless equipped laptop), or via the mobile ‘phone network using 3 as your ISP, using 3G or 2.5G speed as available.  You should also be able to access your regular internet e-mail via either route, or 3s mail service using the mobile network.

Not suitable for typing your memoirs, or for complex spreadsheeting, but probably adequate for e-mails (but without big attachments) and keeping your holiday accounts.  Also works as a phone of course, and the keyboard should make texting easier for those of us without the latest model modified thumbs!  All in all then, quite a useful package provided one could accept the inevitable limitations due to size.  Of the latter, I guess the relatively small screen and the inevitably condensed keyboard will be most obvious, so one finger typing seems likely to prevail and internet access for much more than weather forecasts would probably be asking a lot.  As a phone, it is a bit bulkier and heavier than most current models, but notwithstanding, remains pocket sized.  The PDA functions can all be synchronised with a desktop/laptop so backup/lack of transferable media is provided for, though I think the above version also has a mini SD card slot for memory expansion.

Biggest advantage: probably that you wouldn’t need to take a laptop so wouldn’t have one to leave in your ‘van and worry about it while sightseeing.  Biggest disadvantage: maybe the price at somewhere around £400-450.  Sources: try CBS Communications, Easy Devices, Expansys, Inkino, PC World Business, Phones2UDirect and Smart Devices Direct.  All had the HTC TyTN when I looked just before Christmas.  However, do remember I haven’t bottomed the 3 SIM and its add ons yet, so the above functionality has yet to be proved.



Edited by Brian Kirby 2006-12-27 6:20 PM

usermacfitz
Posted: 3 January 2007 2:58 PM
Subject: RE: Internet on the move
 
Just joined

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magbaz travels seems to have glitch at the moment. i have been trying for two weeks to access it. any reasons known ?
userDon Madge
Posted: 3 January 2007 3:43 PM
Subject: RE: Internet on the move
 


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macfitz - 2007-01-03 2:58 PM

magbaz travels seems to have glitch at the moment. i have been trying for two weeks to access it. any reasons known ?


Magbaz site has been down since 14th Dec. their server in Texas just shut up shop with no warning given.

They hope to be up and running again before Easter. I'll post a messag as and when.

Don
userWend
Posted: 5 January 2007 1:10 PM
Subject: RE: Internet on the move
 
Just joined

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Save: highlight article(by holding down left hand of mouse, scroll down so all type is highlighted, go to Edit - copy, open Word click on paste and there you go, saving article will be a 'doc' file and can be kept in a folder for internet topics.

probably teaching most readers to suck eggs - sorry about that!!
userEuropeair
Posted: 7 February 2007 8:47 AM
Subject: RE: Internet on the move
 
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I have given up trying all the different options and opted for a contract with T Mobile and a Blackberry. The only downside is I can't print out and I can't imput long word documents such as my Open University assignments. It would be ideal if I could use my Apple laptop to prepare assignments and transfer them to the Blackberry to send. I am off for another trip to Portugal and will try Wifi but not very optomistic.
userMARK3
Posted: 8 February 2007 11:35 AM
Subject: RE: Internet on the move
 


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hi, if its any use to any body we have been useing a t mobile data card for internet access in our lap top for six months and have found it great we have never failed to have dial up speeds wherever we are and usualy have broad band the cost is only the monthly charge £29 (some times it is on promotion we got ours for £22 )with a 2 gig down load limit which we never come close to dispite the daughter using it to down load music.
regards mark
userJane Pryce
Posted: 1 March 2007 10:10 PM
Subject: RE: Internet on the move
 
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I wanted to get the laptop on the move and on the internet but I haven't quite got there yet. But...as an experiment with our latest toy - a MIO phone with GPS - I got onto the internet. I used Demon as our internet provider and found out about a phone number to dial if you are on the move. I cost a few pence more than the usual from our home computer. I paid the credit card bill and checked our bank balance on the small screen. The mobile phone does have a touch screen so you don't need a mouse. Slow but it worked. I shall try again connecting the mobile phone to the lap top. I know it worked because I got charged for the time but it didn't connect. I know I am missing a step but try, try again.

Jane Pryce
userwomo23
Posted: 16 March 2007 3:04 PM
Subject: RE: Internet on the move
 
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Hi, I am from austria and I have a question:
In the holidays, my wife and I spend our time with our motorcaravan in the beautiful country of UK.
This year I would like to book the campsites online with my notebook from the motor caravan. But why ?
Which possibilities (data card, no cotract, pay as you go sim card) are at UK to get the mobile internet as an Austrian for a short time (30-40 days) ?

Thank you very much and many greetings from Vienna

Tom
userMel B
Posted: 6 April 2008 5:25 PM
Subject: RE: Internet on the move
 


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Hi Tom

We've just signed up for 18 month contract for mobile broadband with the '3' network on a special broadband/phone deal. However, when we were completing the transaction, they do a check on your debit card to make sure you are who you say you are and you have to confirm the address for the card. Now whether this has to be a UK address I don't know so that might pose a problem for you. However, if they will accept you, then the cost for mobile broadband pay as you go is seems to vary from £4.00 to £8.50 a day for anything from 2GB up to unlimited downloads. You'll need to shop around on the internet. The ones who do mobile broadband in the UK are:

T-mobile: www.t-mobile.co.uk
Vodaphone: http://online.vodafone.co.uk
3: www.three.co.uk
userBrod
Posted: 12 April 2008 12:26 PM
Subject: RE: Internet on the move
 


Liking what I've found

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A Web Site of interest
www.hotspot-locations.co.uk
Lists hotspot locations by country
userbmwtouring
Posted: 3 May 2008 6:37 AM
Subject: RE: Internet on the move
 
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Anyone got one of these if so are they any good?
http://www.datawind.com/html/Pocketsurfer2.htm
Kev
usersailor girl
Posted: 23 June 2008 7:02 PM
Subject: RE: Internet on the move
 


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There's lots of really helpful stuff here, but i still can't work out what's the best thing for us to do. We're going to be travelling round europe for a year and I need to have reasonably regular access to the internet.

We'll be in spain for most of the winter, and also travelling to Portugal, Italy, France and Greece. I've been looking at these 'dongles' which seem to be all the rage at the moment. The best deals seem to be with Vodafone (Even the other networks have advised me that they can't beat Vodafone on this) but if I take out a contract with them, which is quite pricey, I don't want to then find out that you can only use it in areas which have this 3G thing - which I gather is mainly city areas. Does anyone have any experience of using a dongles abroad??! (And receiving their bill afterwards too?!!)

Many thanks
Liz
userchatterdog
Posted: 23 June 2008 9:14 PM
Subject: RE: Internet on the move
 


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the bill would be horrendus, a lot of sites (if your using sites) have wifi , on some its free on others you pay a charge or use an internet cafe.
On the dongle front vodafone do a deal for europe where you pay 'x' amount for 24hrs access and it is just that 24hrs from when you pay in one stint.
'3' let you use your inclusive allowance if on contract when in Italy and also 3 or 4 other countries where they have 'sister' networks. Two of the countries are denmark and ireland, i cant rememberthe others.
If you will be in a country long enough it might be worth seeing if they have payg dongles for their networks or a simcard for a country your in with an unlocked phone that you can use to connect to your laptop
usermike warland
Posted: 16 July 2008 7:33 PM
Subject: RE: Internet on the move
 
Having a look around

Posts: 21

Location: Weston super Mare


We were in Spain and Portugal for the winter this year and found that most town libraries even the very small ones had internet acces which was free. Many of the camp sites we stayed at had wi fi access where you bought a card with an access code which gave you an hours connection. This could be sometimes expensive but also sometimes very cheap. Many campsites had internet access on their machines for free or a very small charge.
usermike warland
Posted: 27 September 2008 12:21 PM
Subject: RE: Internet on the move
 
Having a look around

Posts: 21

Location: Weston super Mare


What about pocket surfer 2 you pay around 130 pounds for the machine which includes 20 hours per month uaseage ( you can upgrade to unlimited for 5.99 per month). I'm having trouble to see what happens when abroad, but am investigating further, it looks good. Seems to be some bargains on e bay. to look at the pocketsurfer access web page www.pocketsurfermobile.com
usermike warland
Posted: 27 September 2008 12:26 PM
Subject: RE: Internet on the move
 
Having a look around

Posts: 21

Location: Weston super Mare


pocketsurfer2 appears to cost 14.99 per hour for roaming outside the UK
userBazza454
Posted: 27 September 2008 2:44 PM
Subject: RE: Internet on the move
 


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mike warland - 2008-09-27 12:21 PM What about pocket surfer 2 you pay around 130 pounds for the machine which includes 20 hours per month uaseage ( you can upgrade to unlimited for 5.99 per month). I'm having trouble to see what happens when abroad, but am investigating further, it looks good. Seems to be some bargains on e bay. to look at the pocketsurfer access web page www.pocketsurfermobile.com[/QUOTE]

Mike,

Don't waste your money, they're hopeless.

The reason that there is so many available on EBay (that's where mine went after 3 months) is because they are very slow to load pages and the screen is difficult to negotiate. 

Much better option if you have a laptop is a dongle. 



Edited by Bazza454 2008-09-27 2:45 PM
userPatricia
Posted: 27 September 2008 8:58 PM
Subject: RE: Internet on the move
 


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"This involves the purchase of a SIM free “smart 'phone” and a Pay as You Go SIM from 3 (T Mobile)."

Brian I think you have made a mistake here as 3 is a separate company to T-Mobile. There is a plan though for the two companies to share the signal boosters (my mind has gone blank and I can't think of the proper name for these!).

I have actually got a dongle from each of these companies. The T-Mobile one I find works very well (except on one site in Yorkshire) and I even connected to the internet with it in the Savoy mountains this year. I contacted them re the price and this is part of their answer:

"Thanks for your email Patricia, asking me how much would it cost to access internet as you're in France. I'll certainly help you in this regards.

You'll be pleased to know that from the 25 June 2008, the price of using data services and products when Roaming in Europe will be reduced from #7.50 to #1.50 per MB.

The reduced pricing means that using Mobile Broadband, web'n'walk and BlackBerry services when abroad is now cheaper than ever. To know more about the charges please click here."

This price obviously applies to downloads to your dongle or phone. My bill showed the massive sum of 6p for this experiment!

However, I signed up to T-Mobile last September when they brought their price down from £30 to £20 a month. Since then they have reduced it again but I am tied in for another year. In August this year 3 had an offer for £7.50 a month so I signed up for that too as I am moving where I cannot have a landline. This gives me 5GB month which will mean that I can download daily newspapers if I want to. Unfortunately this dongle arrived after I had left for France so I will not be able to judge how good, or not, it is until I return home next weekend.

There was at least one other long thread about these offers (this is where I learned about the £7.50 offer) so you may gain more information from tihis if you do a search.

Incidentally access to the internet in France is much dearer than in England and not so fast or reliable. For the phone rental and internet most companies charge about 46€ a month and in some areas, e.g. the one I am in, you cannot choose the provider. The router is expensive too. It is possible to purchase a dongle here but I got nowhere trying to do so while a good offer was on and again it is about 15€ for 2 hours a month. Because of this most towns and even villages in France have a mediateque which you may be able to use. Some charge visitors and the access speed is ofter very fast.

I have found most French campsites charge prohibitive money to connect and often you have to sit in the reception area to use it anyway. Spain is much cheaper - I paid 5€ for a week on one of them.




Edited by Patricia 2008-09-27 9:02 PM
userKlyne
Posted: 27 September 2008 10:33 PM
Subject: RE: Internet on the move
 


Lives on the forums

Posts: 578
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Location: Milton Keynes


By this time next year we should all be taking advantage of cheaper data roaming and text charges thanks to the EU as networks are forced to reduce their roaming charges.

David

Edited by Klyne 2008-09-27 10:34 PM
userALAN G
Posted: 6 October 2008 4:43 PM
Subject: RE: Internet on the move
 
Keeps coming back for more

Posts: 131
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If David thinks that the EU will force the phone companies to charge us less for their services he should remember that until the EU stepped in a couple of years ago there was "off peak" pricing that was quite reasonable...and for a fair part of the day and all the weekend, and I used it.
When the phone companies reduced their prices they abolished the cheaper "off peak". Now I have no choice. It's always 38p plus vat. per minute. The phone companies are laughing all the way to the bank with the extra revenue they now collect off those who were patient enough to wait till evening.
usermartibolt
Posted: 14 October 2008 3:07 PM
Subject: RE: Internet on the move
 
Just joined

Posts: 2

Location: Northamptonshire


I have an 8th method of having the internet on the move. I bought (via www.thenavigationcompany.com) a device called the Pocketsurfer. As its name suggests, it fits in a pocket and you can surf the internet. It cost me £137 including postage and VAT (The Caravan Club had a special offer 2 months ago for £1499.99).

The price includes 20 hours a month surfing for the first year and it costs £40 a year for each subsequent year. The display is 640x240 pixels and you get webpages just like you do on your home computer - you just have to get used to scrolling more.

It has a SIM card fitted and works through the GPRS mobile phone network. It's quad-band so it will work virtually anywhere in the world. Outside the UK you have to pay for roaming which costs 25p a minute wherever you are.

It's ideal for accessing emails and you can set it up for up to 10 different accounts. It won't show video and has no sound, but once you've got used to the keyboard (hold the device in the hands and use your thumbs to type) and to the special key functions, it's simple and effective.

You can also use online document creation and sharing (I use Google Docs) and you can set up your own favourites list for easy access to oft-used sites.

As an added bonus the device has GPS built in. An indicator at the top right of the display tells you how many satellites it's picking up and, if you've got more than 7 the accuracy is great. It usually means having to go outdoors to use this function. Your position shows up in Google Maps and you can then access the Google directions feature and search for local businesses and attractions. I've found that, with 8 or more satellites available, it will show where I am to within about a metre.

It has no built in software and updates happen automatically and invisibly while you're online. It avoids trying to find a wifi site or internet cafe. It has a better display than mobile phones and PDs which rely on specially re-written pages.

It's not a computer. Any applications you want to run are internet-based. No need to worry about viruses and the like. It does come with software for your home computer that will enable you to access your files at home from the Pocketsurfer from wherever you are.

In short, it does what it says on the box. It gives access to the internet with real webpages almost wherever you are and at a very attractive price. I'm off to France at the end of the week and will try it out there.

You can find more details at www.pocketsurfer.co.uk.

userpedro
Posted: 23 November 2008 7:38 PM
Subject: RE: Internet on the move
 
Liking what I've found

Posts: 45
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I have the 3 pay as you go dongle infact i am using it now in Benidorm to write this and in checking my usage it does not seem to use anymore than it did in the uk although i dont download a lot i only use it for emails and general surfing so suites me fine hope this info helps also i never topup with more tham £10 pounds a month
userSAS
Posted: 11 February 2009 10:20 PM
Subject: RE: Internet on the move
 


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Posts: 148
10025
Location: Peterborough. 2016 Auto-Trail Tracker EKS


I always use the internet on my mobile phone when I`m not at home. I have a Nokia 7390 that I bought from Hong Kong on ebay and have an o2 On line Simplicity contract. http://shop.o2.co.uk/sim-only-simplicity?cm_mmc_o=7BBTkwCjCmbF5kbgbfYCjCH0zgfCjCBn%2520lbF5kbgbfY I`ve got the On Line Simplicty 20 with the unlimited internet access bolt-on. It`s a rolling month to month contract that you can terminate with 30 days notice. I`ve downloaded the Opera browser (4.2 version for my phone) which is a browser specially formatted for mobile phones and it`s great. You can save your bookmarks, go on all of your favourite forums to reply or answer questions and the download time is quite quick, although it depends on your particular phone. I access my emails from the phones own browser. The £20 a month isn`t too bad either considering I was getting through £15 a month with Tescos PAYG and having to think about how many texts I was getting through and with no internet.
I`ve also downloaded Google Maps which is quite useful as my phone dosen`t have GPRS.
My husband has an Orbit XDA II with he upgraded with o2 but I don`t think it`s as user friendly as his old Nokia N73.
I don`t know how all this would work abroad as I`m strictly a UKer at the moment but here at home it works just fine.

Edited by SAS 2009-02-11 10:23 PM
userKeithR
Posted: 13 February 2009 1:44 PM
Subject: RE: Internet on the move
 


Has lots to offer

Posts: 411
100100100100
Location: newbiggin-by-the-sea


but if you have a laptop, cant you get internet everywhere for £10 a month on payg?
userPatricia
Posted: 13 February 2009 3:53 PM
Subject: RE: Internet on the move
 


Forum master

Posts: 2049
200025
Location: Worcestershire and France Auto-Trail Cheyenne 635


Forgot to mention that 3 will only work where 3G etc. is available i.e. broadband speeds whereas T-mobile will work on the slower signals which gives more availability. It is not desperately slow and is quite stable but you only get 2Gb per month unless you pay extra.

Tom (welcome to the forum by the way) presumably you do not have an English address so you may do better to wait until you get to England and visit one of the mobile phone shops. I have bought sim cards in France and they always want to see your passport etc. so it might be similar here. However, at the moment you could try to buy a "3" dongle from www.maplin.co.uk for £49.99 and then top up the sim card every month. I only looked very quickly but I think it is £10 for 1MB but you can buy more. The offer ends middle of March. There coverage is expanding and when you can access 3G or 3G+ the speeds are much faster than T-Mobile.

Edited by Patricia 2009-02-13 4:11 PM
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