Internet access while in Europe

Discussion in 'Continental Touring' started by Jaws, Feb 24, 2011.

  1. Jaws

    Jaws Funster Life Member

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    I have been trying to suss out what is the best option for internet access abroad

    We travel extensively in Germany Italy and at least once a year down to Croatia

    I have looked at dongles various, fone packages various, and all sorts of weird options

    Not being the richest man on earth ( possibly 2nd but that is according to woman :Rofl1: ) I am looking for something that will not cost me a kings ransom and that is ( hopefully ) flexible..

    I would need at least 2 hours access every day

    Has anyone got any good solid tried and tested suggestions.. ( and I may need further help and or back up along the way sooo................. LOL !! )

    If I could get this sorted out it would mean we can spend a little more time travelling as I would be able to give my daughter back up while she runs things back here for me :Smile:
     
  2. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    Don't know about "best" but Keith pointed out and interesting one today, at least it claims to work all over Europe.
     
  3. JJ

    JJ Funster

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    Depending on how long you are planning to spend in each country I would investigate the possibility of buying "pay as you go" mobile internet for each country... That is what I did (but nothing for France) 'cos McDonalds solves that one there for me with their free wi-fi.

    JJ
     
  4. chatter

    chatter Read Only Funster

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    I know T-mobile euro booster works over europe on my payg dongle but croatia is not on the list of countries classed as europe. 200mb for £40
     
  5. AdgeRas

    AdgeRas Read Only Funster

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    Mcdonalds is not a solution in Germany unless you have a German phone number, and buying a German dongle is not the best solution as you either pay for a 24-hour period or an entire month. It is not possible to find a pay as you go dongle there.

    Fon could be an option, but I think it works best in residential areas - http://www.btfon.com/
     
  6. Jaws

    Jaws Funster Life Member

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    So no real options by the looks of it..
    Will proly be in Germany for about a week, Italy a week, Croatia a couple of weeks ( but then, we may well bonk Croatia on the head and go down to Sicily instead ..
    No idea yet !
     
  7. MikeandCarolyn

    MikeandCarolyn Read Only Funster

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    I'm a bit confused by the T-mobile thingy-it seems to me that the dongle is £40'ish and lasts for 3 months,after which you pay daily. Then the Euro booster is £40 on top.
    Have I got the right one,or is there a proper payg that you can top up with various amounts as you feel the need ?

    MIke.
     
  8. Douglas

    Douglas Read Only Funster

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    As our main countries are France, Spain and Portugal we use WiFi and its always possible to find a "open" station, IE, Libraries, cafes, Macs, garages, Hostels, local councils and many more. Its amazing what you can find with £60.00 with of WiFi gear.

    At the moment I am connected via "Digital Algarve" for zero cost, at 54 mbps.

    Doug...
     
  9. chatter

    chatter Read Only Funster

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    its a proper payg dongle Mike what they are doing is charging 3 months up front internet allowance then you can choose to either continue putting credit on in monthly amounts or when you put your credit on choose to use it by the day rate or the weekly rate etc.
    When i bought mine i didnt actually use it for a couple of months from date of purchase and the credit was still on there cos it only starts when you activate it for the first time.
    I have £10 credit on mine and use it at a daily rate every couple of months that way i dont loose the use of it (they put them into hibernation if not used every so often like they do phones) and when im going over to europe i put a euro booster on it for use over there which can be topped up when it runs out on your t-mobile page if you need to.
    I have my '3' dongle for over here and the t-mobile for europe now, although i still have my spannish movistar dongle at the mo for spain
     
  10. MisterED

    MisterED Read Only Funster

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    Free WiFi

    Doug, can you give me any more info on the kit you are using?
    Been on the site but have not a clue what to look for:Wink:
    Thanks
    Terry
     
  11. Douglas

    Douglas Read Only Funster

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    At the moment I am useing this http://www.faculty-x.net/NET-WL-usb-cpe2512bg but there are plenty to chose from if you look for them.

    Doug...
     
  12. Addie

    Addie Deleted User

    1.) Free Wifi. Get yourself a 1km directional antenna from Faculty X (http://www.faculty-x.net/NET-WL-usb-cpe2512bg) and use it in conjunction with a software package called NetStumbler which allows you to turn the directional antenna through a 360 degree rotation and it updates 'live' and tells you the signal strength and the 'status' of the access point (such as unsecured) and allows you to fine tune the direction of the antenna to get the best reception.

    2.) Sign up for BT FON. This is a 'Free' Wifi service provided by BT, if you or any of your friends have home broadband through BT you can 'borrow' their username and password. The FON website has GPS POI files you can download so if you are desperate you can find and drive to the nearest access point, using your directional antenna to connect. http://maps.fon.com/


    3.) How much data do you need to use? If you sign up to a Vodafone contract (as little as £10/mth with £60 cashback available through Quidco). Once live, you can opt in to Vodafone Data Traveller for and additional £10/mth. This gives you 'limited' data each day, but could get you out of a tight spot. Disable web images, use a web based e-mail service or only download e-mail headers rather than full body and attachments. Tether your phone to your laptop or put the SIM in a dongle (be careful to monitor the data usage and put the correct APN settings in).

    [​IMG]

    4.) Local 3G Dongle. Can't really help here - try Supermarkets.
     
  13. activecampers

    activecampers Read Only Funster

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    Depends on how much you need it and when.
    I get internet pretty much every day, and even now I'm in Spain accessing the Internet (obviously!) - free - and using an access point 700m+ away.

    My guide is here: http://www.doyourdream.co.uk/2010/08/tip-our-guide-for-easy-free-internet-access-abroad/

    To be fair, its good enough for daily access, but not if you want constant access. For us, daily and ad-hoc is fine at the moment, and all being well we'll change to "weekly" shortly once a project finishes.

    Hope this is useful and gives other ideas bar paying silly prices.
     
  14. zaskar

    zaskar Funster

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    Sorry to appear a Luddite here Doug, but the aerial in the link shows a USB conector on the end of the lead to plug into a laptop. I'm presuming that the way it works is that the signal to the built in WiFi inside the laptop is boosted? (my laptop is WiFi enabled).

    Now, I get internet access (not Wi-Fi) on Vodafone contract via a K3805-Z HSPA USB stick and the 3g signal in our area is pretty pants!
    The stick does not have a socket to plug a booster into it but I believe that I can get an adaptor with a velcro strap which wraps round the stick and has a lead to connect a booster.

    So, if I got one of these adaptors, could I use the aerial in the link you provided to boost my Vodafone 3g signal here in the UK or is that aerial purely for WI-FI?

    I guess what i'm trying to say is, is the WiFi signal the same as the Vodafone signal?.......but as I know beggar all about computors this probably sounds bonkers!:Rofl1:

    Thanks
     
  15. Douglas

    Douglas Read Only Funster

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    No, The description of aerial is wrong and completely misleading, its true description is a radio transceiver and data processor that like all radio's has an antenna, the USB cable is a just a data link between the transceiver and the computer, the USB cable is also the power supply cable for the transceiver.

    Also the description of a booster is also wrong and misleading, nothing is boosted, the data is passed from the computer via the USB cable and the radio transmits the data as a RF signal.

    Think of it as a mobile phone.

    Doug...
     
  16. Jaws

    Jaws Funster Life Member

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    Some good stuff here, thanks guys.

    BT is a non starter for me as I get all the internet access I need and want in the UK by tethering my T-Mobile supplied Galaxy S to the lappy.. However, must admit the WiFi antenna is a bloody good bit of kit and I can see one in my not too distant future ! LOL !!

    But it is only abroad I need to worry

    WiFi would be lovely but several places we stop at are so far away from any possible WiFi source ( as in miles rather than metres ! ) that option is, in the most part not a goer :-(

    The Vodafone option seems to be about the best, but I wonder if it is possible to sign up for just one month ?
    I have been to the Vodafone web site and quite frankly it is probably one of the least helpful sites I have ever had the misfortune to try and use !! :Eeek:
     
  17. Wildman

    Wildman Read Only Funster

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    the sinple initial way to boost your dongle signal is to use a usb cable extender and put he dongle on the roof of the van via a skylight.(don't forget waterproofing if wet out.
     
  18. Wildman

    Wildman Read Only Funster

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    try going in a vodaphone shop they are quite helpfull. Must go myself and find out how to top up my non expiring data simm/dongle.
     
  19. Jaws

    Jaws Funster Life Member

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    Doug, can you tell me the physical size of the antenna please ?
     
  20. Douglas

    Douglas Read Only Funster

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