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Taking laptop on holiday - what's needed for internet please?

(5 Posts)
FritesMenthe Fri 24-Jul-09 10:10:00

Have heard terms like 3G, dongle etc bandied about but have no clue. So all of you who MNet on the run, or in their tents (!) what do I need to get?

MrLSG Fri 24-Jul-09 10:28:59

There are two common types of connection in these circumstances: WiFi or 3G.

With WiFi, you need to find an wireless access point and be near that. Many pubs, coffee shops, fast-food places, hotels, have wireless access points, some of which you need to pay for (e.g. Starbucks) and some of which are free (e.g. Macdonals, Weatherspoons). Ask where you are staying if they have one. There are also directories around with these access points listed e.g.

With 3G, then you are using the mobile phone network to get access, and so access should be possible anywhere you can get a decent mobile signal. For this currently the best deal for most people in the UK is Vodafone's PAYG mobile package (your credit lasts up to 6 months: all other operators last maximum 1 month). Be careful though: this method can work out VERY expensive if used abroad (friend had a bill of over £1000!).

In both the above cases, your laptop may have suitable hardware built it, or you can get a USB 'dongle' which provides the connection.

scienceteacher Fri 24-Jul-09 10:37:17

Does your laptop already have a wireless adapter, or do you have to connect to the internet by plugging it into your modem or router?

All you have to do with a wireless laptop is find a wireless hotspot. Some are free, usually unsecured, and for others you have to pay for some kind of subscription.

If there are no hotspots around, you would need to connect via your mobile phone, through a dongle or bluetooth, the latter being very slow.

FritesMenthe Fri 24-Jul-09 11:49:02

Thank you.
Laptop has a wireless connection - I'll try that out on my friend's network to see how it works.
Off to check out voadfone PAYG - I will be in the UK. Can they give an idea of signal strength, do you know?

FritesMenthe Fri 24-Jul-09 12:00:42

Hmm - according to vodafone, our holiday cottage has unreliable phone coverage and NO mobile broadband coverage.
So WiFi it is then.

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