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Internet Access While Traveling Outside U.S.? 31

Posted by michael
from the 1-800-spend-a-lot dept.
awgy writes "I will be traveling to Germany and France soon, and have been looking for a way to dial-up with my laptop while overseas so as to update a journal, post pictures, etc. Is it best to find a regional ISP, or go with a big, international provider? Any catch-alls about European ISPs versus American ISPs? Who would you recommend, and what advice would you give?"
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Internet Access While Traveling Outside U.S.?

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  • ATT Global net (Score:3, Informative)

    by vukv (550649) on Tuesday March 26, 2002 @03:22PM (#3230062)
    ATT Global net... they prive dialup access in most of the countries
  • only one... (Score:3, Informative)

    by Zurk (37028) <zurktech@gDEBIANmail.com minus distro> on Tuesday March 26, 2002 @03:23PM (#3230066) Journal
    AT & T global. accept no substitutes.
    they are the only one i found for virtually all the countries i have travelled to.
    expensive as hell though.
    • I know a few TWA pilots that do intercontinental flights - they all have AOL (yes, AOL) because it reliably connects just about anywhere. Of course, they usually spend only three or four days in any given city, so they aren't in one place long enough to even consider a local ISP - it sounds like your situation is somewhat different.

      --
      Evan

    • Re:only one... (Score:2, Informative)

      by PhaseBurn (44685)
      Earthlink. (I'm a former employee, and I can't believe I'm recommending their services, but...)

      They have what's called GRIC, and you can get more info at gric.com... It works rather well, from several experiences of tting tech calls from france and england. It's available in Germany as well, as well as most of Europe...

      Call up Earthlink and ask... They have a lot more info that I do...

      Hope it helps...
  • Compuserve (Score:3, Informative)

    by haplo21112 (184264) <haplo&epithna,com> on Tuesday March 26, 2002 @03:39PM (#3230178) Homepage
    Global, reliable and fairly inexpensive....
    there is no better way to go, they have more pop sites world wide then anyone I can think of...and they have then in places you wouldn't even expect.
    • Re:Compuserve (Score:2, Informative)

      by balamw (552275)
      I signed up to CIS for a 2 week business trip to France in ~1999. Paid $9.95/mo and some incidental phone charges. Worked like a charm! Just finally got around to cancelling the account about 6 months ago after 2 years of not using it.

      However, can you still get a Compuserve classic account? At the time AOL was pushing Compuserve 2000, a more AOL-like service that used AOL's POPs instead of the good old Compuserve ones. I recall that even at that time I had to scrounge around to find the right install CD. I think it was version 4?

      Anyhow, unlike the classic service, "Compuserve 2000" did not list any international access phone numbers available online at the time... :-(

      On my last European business trip, I just found an internet cafe and used webmail over SSL...

      All the frequent international travelers in my company use AT&T Global...

      • Actually I was recently informed that the "classic" POP's are now owned buy worldcomm, so you need to go through them for the most convinent sign up and access.
    • I work for an international company, all of our employee's who travel outside the U.S. use a compuserve connection.
  • Pay-per-call (Score:2, Informative)

    by knabar (261612)

    There are a lot of providers in Germany that support pay-per-call (i.e. you don't have a login, you just dial into a special number and the charge, a few cents per minute, appears on the phone bill). I don't know though if it is possible to use this from a Hotel, but if you stay with friends, it is probably the easiest and cheapest way to go.

    MSN is one of the ISPs that offers this. Here is a directory of others with price comparisons: http://de.dir.yahoo.com/Computer_und_Internet/Inte rnet_und_WWW/internettarife/

  • France and Germany have some free access providers, courtesy of emailaddresses.com [slashdot.org]:

    Germany: Comundo and Germany.net [emailaddresses.com]

    France: Free.fr, Freesurf, Liberty Surf, WorldOnline [emailaddresses.com]
  • A few years ago I investigated global ISPs for my employer. The only one I could find then was ATT GlobalNet (in those days it was called IBM GlobalNet).
    One caveat: make sure you get an account where you are registered as "traveling user". Otherwise the roaming charges can be quite high.
    Other than that: local dial-in numbers all over the world, no busy tones, no dropped connections.
  • UUnet (Score:2, Informative)

    by Pauly (382)
    Several years aga, I used UUnet dial-up for a traveling job that sent me just about everywhere in the US, many places in Great Britain, the Caribbean, Scandinavia, Germany, and elsewhere. I found their service to be routinely excellent and reliable, no matter where I was. However, things have certainly changed in the dial-up marketplace since then (1996-7), so their service may no longer be what it once was.

    Use their POP finder [worldcom.com] to seek out dial up access points for wherever you may be going.

  • by YoshiR (516680)
    I've used both UUNet and AT&T across the globe, both have alot of access numbers but I usually find that I get faster dialup speeds with UUNet than with AT&T Global.
  • Apologies (Score:1, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Sorry, but there aren't any ISPs outside America. We have carrier pigeons and morse code but that's about it. I'm sorry. I'm really sorry.

    --The Rest of the World

  • IPass (Score:2, Informative)

    by douglips (513461)
    Try IPass [ipass.com]. They basically repackage access from ISPs all over the planet, you can get a decent cheap rate.

    IPass is not an ISP, but if you navigate their web page you can sign up with an ISP that uses IPass, so you then have access to the entire IPass POP collection.

    i2Roam [i2roam.com] is an ISP that works with IPass, for $100 you can get lifetime service, then you just pay for usage. This means if you go six months without using it, you pay zero. Or, you can pay $5/month plus usage.

    See i2Roam's cost page [i2roam.com] for a sampling of how much it costs in various world cities.
  • I spent several weeks in a German hotel, using an IBM ISP account with a local number. To my surprise, the hotel charged me about $600 in fees for an average of 15 minutes per day over 7 weeks.

    Americans are used to unlimited flat rate local calls, but in Germany I believe all calls are charged per minute. The hotels also add a hefty fee on top of that.
  • AOL, MSN, and Compuserve all have dialup acces across western europe. I've used them in Germany and France before. I'm not sure which other US ISP's have offer service in europe
  • Internet cafe (Score:2, Insightful)

    by poincaraux (114797)
    Do you really need your laptop? If not, don't bring it.

    I spent three months hitchhiking and backpacking around Belgium, the Netherlands, France, Spain and Germany. Unless you're in really small towns, it should be very easy to find an internet cafe. I kept an online journal, kept up with my email, etc. And I never had to deal with the hassle of a laptop (do you really trust your hotel room/tent to be safe? If not, do you really want to lug the laptop everywhere you go?).

    On the other hand, I also brought a Handspring Visor along. Smaller than a laptop, but useful for typing up journal entries anywhere and uploading them to the online journal later.

    Another side note: if you'll be going to a few different countries, make sure you have power adapters for each.

    Trust me, you want to avoid the hassle of a laptop if you can.

    -Henri
    • Re:Internet cafe (Score:3, Informative)

      by raju1kabir (251972)
      Do you really need your laptop? If not, don't bring it.

      Amen.

      I travel to a pretty diverse range of countries on a fairly regular basis. I have long ago given up on toting a laptop around unless I specifically need it for a meeting.

      Outside of the US (where I assume you're posting from) internet cafes are thick on the ground. In developed countries, the service is much faster than you'll get by dialing in, and quite often cheaper than the phone call.

      I use the mindterm [mindbright.se] Java applet to provide an SSH terminal from my web server.

      In some places, mainly in Asia, I've found Linux-based internet cafes where I could ssh home and tunnel X through the connection, running my home desktop on the screen.

    • Some Internet cafes (only some) will even let you plug your laptop into their network, which is great. I am currently in Paris and the cost of making local calls out of my hotel is over 6 euros per hour. That cost alone is far more than the hourly rate at many local Internet cafes.

      -joe
  • AOL has a large global network BUT international access numbers are NOT supported with the current AOL software under Windows NT/2000/XP. I repeat -- Win NT/2000/XP does NOT support this. NOWHERE in the documentation or web site [aol.com] is this mentioned!

    I have no idea why this silly restriction exists, but it does.

    I found this out the hard way, when I was travelling in Malaysia, I had to get online at night, and I had an AOL account. I called AOL tech support (toll call) and then they mentioned it to me. Since I had to get online for urgent business, I was forced to make an international charge call to a AOL access number in the US, and wound up costing me about $100 in phone charges.

    You can call AOL international tech support at 703-264-1184 to verify this.

    You have been warned.
  • get a WLAN card, and use public and/or open corporate networks. May be a cheap solution :)

    //rdj
    • Does anyone know of any public wifi networks in Paris? I am currently on an exteneded business trip in Paris. I have a Wavelan card in my laptop bag and no Internet access outside the office (except for Internet Cafes, which aren't really so bad).
  • Germany has long-distance providers much like the US's 10-10-xxx prefix that allows you to make international calls for *very* cheap rates. The number I had (sorry, it was 18 mos ago, don't know what it was) cost me 3 cents/minute. I considered my usage and compared that to what I'd pay for local call charges or for a German/global ISP and it was the cheaper solution. UK has similar providers (I've also got 3c/minute to the US here) and they're advertised all over the tube here in London. I'm sure France would have the same thing. Anyway, you might want to look into that.

    Of course, you need to have a number to charge the calls to... this probably won't work from a hotel. If you're in a hotel, you could check out the phone cards from http://www.worldphonecard.com/
  • A few minutes of Google searching will reveal free ISPs in many European countries. That's not your real problem. Your real problem is that if you visit 4 different European countries, you will probably need 3 different phone jacks. Do you really need your laptop? Why not use a free web-based email service like Yahoo or even Hotmail, then you can check and sent your email from an Internet cafe. These seem to be more common outside the USA.

What this country needs is a dime that will buy a good five-cent bagel.

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