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Internet access while traveling

by Pavimeus / October 9, 2004 4:43 AM PDT

I would like to know what is the best way to access the Internet while traveling using my laptop and hotel dataports. That's the easy part. I've found out with some research that things get complicated after that.

1) I want to try to avoid popular ISPs like Earthlink and AOL (which I despise with passion; software is so intrusive, it's difficult to uninstall) that have recurring monthly charges. Alternatively, is it ok to sign up for a month and then quit? Only advantage with these ISPs is the abundance of local access numbers. (BTW - how do I determine what is really "local" with no toll/hidden charges? Is it safe to go by the area code and prefix alone?)

2) Cheaper ISPs like NetZero, PeoplePC and Netscape, from what I understand, are nightmares in terms of spyware and pop up intrusions. May also not have as many local access numbers.

3) Ideally something like a "pay as you go" plan, depending on usage only. Like a calling card. Even better if they have a toll free access number. I've come across,, Any recommendations?

Thoughts and advice greatly appreciated. Thank you.

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Re: Internet access while traveling
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / October 9, 2004 4:59 AM PDT

Just 2 months ago I was on the road. Access was free at every hotel. Sorry, but between that and Wifi in so many places (and free) I never found it to be a problem.


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Re: Internet access while traveling
by Pavimeus / October 9, 2004 5:34 AM PDT

Hi Bob, thanks for the response.

I?ve traveled three times this year and stayed at hotels with dataports with dial-up Internet access through your own service provider. I am aware of hotels with free access and WiFi connections (my laptop does not have any Bluetooth type technology).

So it is a bit of a problem with me. Perhaps I can?t afford high-end hotels.

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Get wifi.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / October 9, 2004 10:33 AM PDT

Wifi 802.11b cards can be had cheap, so carry one...


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Re: Get wifi.
by Pavimeus / October 9, 2004 1:43 PM PDT
In reply to: Get wifi.


That still involves searching for and finding a WiFi/Hot spot etc. etc. etc. I like to travel off the beaten tracks in obscure places and be at one with nature, but still remain connected to the real world.

I don?t feel it necessary to go into too much detail, but suffice it to say that hotel dataports remain my only alternative. Hope you get it. While I?m open to suggestions, my query remains unanswered. I also don't have a fancy laptop.

Thank you.

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Re: Get wifi.
by Pavimeus / October 9, 2004 1:47 PM PDT
In reply to: Re: Get wifi.

Bob's WiFi suggestion lead me to a Yahoo map search for the nearest hot spot. It's 125 miles away.

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Re: Get wifi.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / October 9, 2004 10:17 PM PDT
In reply to: Re: Get wifi.

The dataports at the hotels I stayed at were free and didn't require I know what ISP was in use.

If you want access via cell phone, it's very pricey but can be done.

If you have AOL,then you look up their dialup numbers for what city/country you are in.


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And get wifi.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / October 9, 2004 10:20 PM PDT
In reply to: Re: Get wifi.

Your map is unlikely to show all the wifi I ran across. Adding such a card is cheap compared to other solutions.

Best of luck,


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Do you have an ISP at home?
by Coryphaeus / October 9, 2004 11:58 PM PDT

I traveled for years. My ISP had dialup numbers in other cities. Before I left I would search the ISP's list for local numbers in the cities where I was going. At the hotel, change the DUN phone number and put a 9, (comma) in front of the number. Nine to access an outside line and , to add a two second delay.

All major ISPs have numbers in other cities.

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Bob & Coryphaeus Summary
by Pavimeus / October 10, 2004 4:06 AM PDT


Most budget hotels, at least from my experience, provide only a dataport, including the one I will be staying at for my next trip. They don't offer free access, as is with the next one I will be staying at (I checked). You know how I feel about AOL, Earthlink and such :-D (their long term commitment policy is yet another hassle).

I will certainly keep WiFi as an option for the future. Public libraries and Starbucks are a growing "free" WiFi zones. In hotels, RJ-45 Ethernet ports are common and 802.11b wireless Internet access is growing. Free access is still limited and Internet Cafes are way too pricey. With the kinds of hotels I frequent (B&Bs, lodges), dataports and bring your own access remains the only option. (These are usually isolated retreats).

I looked into CNET's Hotspot Zone, Yahoo WiFi maps and - the listings are pretty much the same.

Thank you, Bob.


Your suggestion was certainly an option. I have a regional telephone company servicing my local, long distance and Internet accesses (all in one package). They don't have nationwide Internet access that allows you to carry the service while traveling.

Thank you, Coryphaeus.

It was after much thought and research I posted my original query. I remain hopeful.

Thank you everyone! Great feedback.

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Did you ever resolve this problem?
by foz169 / April 21, 2005 9:39 PM PDT

Did you ever resolve the issues in your original post? They are identical to my situation.

I have a cable modem at home, and I also have a WiFi-enabled laptop.

But I also keep AOL dial-up on my laptop because I still encounter places that I have to use dial up... including discount hotels/motels and beach house rentals, etc, on vacation.

I'd love to drop my AOL, but I don't know if there is a better dial up option. Did you ever come up with an adequate solution?

I know I can probably find WiFi (somewhere) locally... but I want to retain the ability to work/surf the web from my room/home rental.


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by ivanbaj / January 19, 2006 12:07 AM PST is exactly what you need. It is a Pay-As-You-Go Internet access to use when you travel. It has tons of access numbers and it can be used in over 70 countries. It is a good alternative to WiFi and hotel boradband.

While some may argue that dial up is slower than the high speed access offered by hotels, you must also take into consideration that you are sharing that access with other users in the hotel and that may affect your connection.

Some hotels have restrictions on their Internet access which allow you to receive e-mail, but you are not able to send e-mail. If you use your own ISP, you still have that ability. It is no different than using your home computer to access the Internet.

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by mblues56 / August 30, 2010 7:30 AM PDT

Try Must have a smartphone, click on devices for a list of supportedd phones. You can connect up to 5 devices at a time. You can access the internet as long as you have 3G service. A one time charge of $24.99 for the software and suggest you have an unlimited data plan for your phone. I have a HTC Tilt 2 with AT&T and it works great. Its a drain on the phones battery so have a charger, I suggest IGO, it can charge both the phone/computer at the same time, AC/DC....Carey

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(NT) Did you notice that question is 6 years old?
by Coryphaeus / August 30, 2010 2:42 PM PDT
In reply to: Walkinghotspot
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6 yrs
by mblues56 / August 30, 2010 11:29 PM PDT

I did, thanks for noticing. You might be surprised how many people still have this problem. Walkinghotspot is free and yet many are not at all familiar with it even in the wireless business.

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