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Communications Connecting - internet cafes, laptops, Palm devices, cell phones - how to connect, use, which one, and Bike to Bike and passenger intercoms.
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  #1  
Old 30 Apr 2010
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Mbile Broadband - europe, Dongle, Wifi, 3G

Hi All

I will be traveling throughout Europe for two to three months,

During this time i would like internet access, is there any sort of 3G card or PAYG phone package that can be used across the EU without addtional roaming costs, my UK orange phone comes with unlimited internet, for £5 a month (UK only).

Has any one found anything suitable for this ?

Many thanks

Martin
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  #2  
Old 30 Apr 2010
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I'd look forward to reading what knowledgeable travellers have got to say on this one Martin.
I had thought I found a good solution in the shape 'Maxroam' the said sim that does not know you are roaming....but became very unhappy with them- despite the marketing hype, huge costs (paid over €18 just trying to top up from Portugal then about €48 for just over an hour's surfing...., failing sims, unilateral number changes, no sms in France, connections dropping out etc.- Draw you own conclusions !

I have hear of one called 'GlobalSIM' but have no experience of it.
I now just use free wifi as and when as there are a huge and ever growing number of places with that- at libraries etc
If you have an unlocked phone, it is often cheapest to buy a local sim card.
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  #3  
Old 30 Apr 2010
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A friend of mine here in France has a GlobalSIM card and swears by it despite the Estonian telephone number!!

But it's not 3G and he can't surf with it only send texts and make calls. There are 3G dongles available in France and you can get them on PAYG, but if the rest of Europe is like France 3G coverage is patchy at best.

I think free WiFi is the way to go, I know you don't get quite the freedom, but it's available widely (McD's offer free WiFi in all their French outlets) popping in for a coffee every few days is a small price to pay.
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Old 30 Apr 2010
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+1 for the Wifi

We travelled through west to east Europe in June/July/August last year and always found a free wifi connection in a group of shops/cafes. You would be surprised how many in fact. Just make sure your are up to date with security - anti-virus, system updates, use secure connections. Nothing happened to us but it never hurts
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Old 1 May 2010
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Campsites

Add to that lots of campsites now have free/cheap wifi too - even in places like Romania ...
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Old 7 Jun 2010
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If you are not travelling by bike as well a large external wifi antenna and a laptop in your car is always awesome.
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Old 9 Jun 2010
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You'll find free wi-fi pretty much everywhere in eastern europe, at least I did last summer in czech rep, poland slovakia ,slovenia and hungary. In some cases even at petrol stations on the motorway and anywhere near a town hall in smaller towns. Usually there's no password needed. In the worst case you can just find the nearest Mcdonalds and use their connection (in poland the password was always on a blue sign on the main door.)

In germany there are also plenty of bars and cafes with wifi, usually you need to ask the waiter for the password though. In Italy however , free wifi is pretty much non-existant due to some rather backward "anti-terrorism" laws.

Hope some of this helps.
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Old 14 Nov 2010
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If push comes to shove there are a multitude of internet cafes about in russia and other eastern european countries as home internet is still out of reach for many.
rates are cheap and they are generally very helpful. don't know if they would have a wireless connection you could hook into.
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Old 24 Nov 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mart456 View Post
is there any sort of 3G card or PAYG phone package that can be used across the EU without addtional roaming costs,
In short no.

There is no such thing as free roaming, and especially not on 3G (HSPA) internet.
Look for free WiFi hotspots, they are in most major cities. Coffee shops and campsites and cheap hotels have free WiFi these days so there is no real justification for buying a 3G connection. There are some operators that have a WiFi subscription - this would be more cost effective than roaming on 3G.
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Last edited by TurboCharger; 24 Nov 2010 at 15:21.
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Old 24 Nov 2010
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Question Arctic

Is it possible to get any sort of connection or signal for internet blogging in rural areas such as Northern Norway? I would like connection ,daily for my web site Solo Bike Tour for Cancer with Julians Restaurant, Hoylake Dont know weather to go mobile phone or lap top for web site . Cost is the issue as Im on tight budget [arnt we all] Most of the trip will be camping and self catering to keep costs down. Any guidance or help appreciated.
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Old 24 Nov 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chef jules View Post
Is it possible to get any sort of connection or signal for internet blogging in rural areas such as Northern Norway? I would like connection ,daily for my web site Solo Bike Tour for Cancer with Julians Restaurant, Hoylake Dont know weather to go mobile phone or lap top for web site . Cost is the issue as Im on tight budget [arnt we all] Most of the trip will be camping and self catering to keep costs down. Any guidance or help appreciated.
I'm in Evenes and Sortland (in northern Norway) for Christmas. I already know that there is very good network coverage in remote areas but I don't know about 3G. Norway is one of the 1st countries in the world to do a complete full upgrade to NGN (4G+) and has invested millions so I would not be surpriseed if the connection and network is as good if not better than most countries in Europe.

When are you going? I could let you know my experience when I get back (or even from up North while I'm there).
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Old 24 Nov 2010
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Arctic Ride

Thanks for response. I am in early stages of planning. I leave 1st week in June 2012. 6 to 8 week trip to Nordd Cap, Finland , Estonia , Latvia and so on. Bike is almost ready . Kit ready . Just have get my head around the communicating bit. Got some sponsors already in the wings.
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Old 28 Dec 2010
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Update from Northern Norway

I'm currently in Sortland Sund region of Norway, in the very north see the location here. I am writing this message from the free 'Bibliotek' WiFi (Internet Connection) outside the Public Library in town. Using my MacBook I can easily connect from the car park or the shopping centre and it is unsecure meaning anyone in range with WiFi capable device can use the connection, ie. smart phones, laptops or other.

There are other WiFi connections in the local cafes (ie Ekspedisjonen) and the airport at Evenes. I think that if you asked locals they may even let you connect to their secure WiFi.

In short you can use WiFi in most major towns easily so I don't see any justification for paying for 3G (or 4G) roaming on the mobile network when WiFi is so easily available even in the relatively remote north of Norway.
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Old 28 Dec 2010
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Good Old Dial Up

As a semi aside it's worth mentioning that in situations where there is no wi-fi or cell based connection possible, but there is access to a telephone land line, there's always good old fashioned dial up and there are services which make it easy and cheap. This is also an alternative to expensive cellular connections.

I used mytravelaccess.com while staying at a rural location in Italy. Once you set up an account with this outfit, install their software and buy some credit, you can plug your laptop into a telephone wall jack, call a local (or near local) number and get onto the internet. They provide a list of local numbers worldwide. In the U.S. they provide a toll free number. Download speed was surprisingly quick and their software makes the process entirely straightforward. The service has some razz ma tazz turbocharging thing which is supposed to speed things up dramatically. I had no complaints.

Your computer needs to have a modem, which my laptop does. For modem-less models such as my netbook you can buy (about $30) a tiny plug and play USB modem.

In some countries you may need an adaptor in order to be able to plug into the local type of telephone wall jack. The standard North American plug seems to have become common in many parts of the world.

Norm
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