Internet on the road...

Information and help in the IT field of computers, internet, ISP's, mobile and fixed line telephones plus satellite TV systems.
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hillybilly
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Internet on the road...

Postby hillybilly » Tue Feb 14, 2012 10:42 pm

OK - planning ahead for possible motorhome purchase and a road trip (Spain & Portugal).
What are the options for having internet access whilst on the road? I mean independent of campsites etc.
Would it be one of these new-fangled iPhone things? iPad, Blackberry, notebook/netbook, dongle...? WTF are they all????
Will be mostly for emailing also some light surfing, maybe photo storage etc etc. Long battery life is going to be quite important.
Assume I know nothin' :wink: Am prepared to "start from scratch" as presently own a simple old laptop and a simple old mobile phone...
Do I buy or get some sort of contract? Who is best? Vodafone seem to have more options than Movistar but I am confused by all the options lol.

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Julie
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Re: Internet on the road...

Postby Julie » Tue Feb 14, 2012 11:19 pm

I use a dongle from masmovil.es when not near to Mcdonalds or free wifi, its good and cheap :)
No soporto ver la casa sucia, ahora mismo me levanto y apago la luz.

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hillybilly
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Re: Internet on the road...

Postby hillybilly » Tue Feb 14, 2012 11:44 pm

Sorry but you're going to have to explain what a dongle is and does and what you stick it in :wink:

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Enrique
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Re: Internet on the road...

Postby Enrique » Wed Feb 15, 2012 8:43 am

Hi hillybilly,
Just put "out of office" on your E-Mail...........and enjoy the freedom of the open road :thumbup:

There will be loads of good ideas coming up on this thread.......... :idea:

detourer............where are you :?:
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Re: Internet on the road...

Postby ValL » Wed Feb 15, 2012 9:08 am

Prepay dongles work, someplaces and you have to be near enough to top up ie Carrefour have one at reasonable price and download allowances 1 euro a day but watch out I think they have some other charge thats comes off your top up as mine always seems to run out about 3 days short ! and I have not gone over the limits.

I was always told NOT to use out of office/holiday message as it lets the spammers know it is a live account. I would not use it anyway, folks can wait or if really urgent then they will have other contact details for me.

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Re: Internet on the road...

Postby gerryh » Wed Feb 15, 2012 9:12 am

AAGH! my long reply doesn't seem to have got posted. :thumbdown: :thumbdown:
Short reply:_
A dongle, or to give it it's correct name, a USB modem, plugs into a USB port and connects via the G3/GPRS network, Mobile phone network, to the internet.
Available as contract or PAYG.
Provided you can receive a good signal then you should get broadband speeds.
If I got time later I will redo the long reply.
Cheers
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Re: Internet on the road...

Postby Enrique » Wed Feb 15, 2012 9:14 am

Hi Hillybilly,
A thread on phones................

http://www.andalucia.com/forums/viewtop ... 49#p236649
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Re: Internet on the road...

Postby Enrique » Wed Feb 15, 2012 9:41 am

Hi ValL,
"Just put "out of office" on your E-Mail...........and enjoy the freedom of the open road"

Tongue in cheek post.........remember before internet, mobile phones........went away on holiday ,sent a post card that would arrive after you got back ..........things carried on just fine. :D
UNIX is basically a simple operating system, but you have to be a genius to understand the simplicity.

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Re: Internet on the road...

Postby gerryh » Wed Feb 15, 2012 11:08 am

Bit more information on using a USB modem.
There are only 4 mobile network operators in Spain:-

Vodafone
Orange
Movistar
Yoigo

But Yoigo uses Movistar where they don't have coverage.

There are many more "operators" such as Carrefour and Masmovil but the just use one of the 3 main operators networks.

So even if company xxx offers a good deal, price wise, there is little
point using them if there isn't good coverage from the network they use.

So, first find which of the 3 major networks give good coverage then
look around for the best deal on that network.

Cheers
Gerry
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hillybilly
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Re: Internet on the road...

Postby hillybilly » Wed Feb 15, 2012 11:31 am

Ah now I understand - I saw that movistar were selling/offering USB modems - wondered what they were! Thanks Gerry!

So, I could eg buy myself a nice new netbook/notebook (they seem to have more battery life than a conventional laptop and are a bit more portable) and use a USB modem aka a dongle...

There seems to be a plethora of smartphones around. What are the pros/cons of the above method vs a smartphone or is it just a matter of personal preference re size/ease of use, the extra functions like camera, phone/text (obviously) that a smartphone would offer...?

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Re: Internet on the road...

Postby El Cid » Wed Feb 15, 2012 11:37 am

Of course an iPad with built in WiFi and GSM access is a good option.

Sid

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Re: Internet on the road...

Postby gerryh » Wed Feb 15, 2012 11:55 am

The biggest problem with smartphones, I have one, is the small screen size and even smaller keyboard.
Tablet computers, such as the iPad are larger.
In order of screen size, and keyboard size going from small to large are:-
smartphones
tablet computers
netbooks/ notebooks
laptops

For internet access they all work in the same way, just the size that varies.
If you are considering buying one then look at the four different types to see which size screen and keyboard you feel comfortable using.
Cheers
Gerry
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Re: Internet on the road...

Postby costakid » Wed Feb 15, 2012 12:00 pm

Does an ipad have a usb port to plug in the dongle? I thought they had no external connectivity ports.

I have gone down the dongle route with a vodafone payg dongle for my mac book pro. Works well all along the coast.

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Re: Internet on the road...

Postby El Cid » Wed Feb 15, 2012 12:08 pm

costakid wrote:Does an ipad have a usb port to plug in the dongle? I thought they had no external connectivity ports.

I have gone down the dongle route with a vodafone payg dongle for my mac book pro. Works well all along the coast.

The 3G connection is built in - you just need to insert a sim card.

iPads come in two varieties - WiFi only or WiFi plus 3G. You can get a sim card from various mobile providers with various data plans.

Sid

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Re: Internet on the road...

Postby gerryh » Wed Feb 15, 2012 12:14 pm

costakid wrote:Does an ipad have a usb port to plug in the dongle? I thought they had no external connectivity ports.

I have gone down the dongle route with a vodafone payg dongle for my mac book pro. Works well all along the coast.
Smart phones and tablet computers have the connectivity built in. Just need a sim card from your choosen provider.
Although some are locked in to a particular provider.
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Gerry
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Re: Internet on the road...

Postby Colinm » Wed Feb 15, 2012 12:17 pm

you can use your smart phone as a dongle. they call it 'tethering'
the downside is that most smart phone contracts don't have enough internet allowance to allow photo uploads etc. It would probably be ok for emails though.
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Re: Internet on the road...

Postby gerryh » Wed Feb 15, 2012 12:38 pm

Colinm wrote:you can use your smart phone as a dongle. they call it 'tethering'
the downside is that most smart phone contracts don't have enough internet allowance to allow photo uploads etc. It would probably be ok for emails though.
Some contracts specifically exclude tethering. As you rightly say the internet allowance, mine is 300 Mb a month, won't get me very far if I did tether it.
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Re: Internet on the road...

Postby Technobear » Wed Feb 15, 2012 4:25 pm

all the above options will do, but some added thoughts for you

- you mention photos, only laptop will work for serious photo editing, but all will do photo viewing (iPad will need camera connection kit)
- you say batter life is important... really? if you have a motorhome, can you not charge from that whilst on the road? I'm guessing you will just need a 9v charger, and all/most options will work from that.
- coverage, if you are traveling off the beaten track, all providers will have high/low points (assuming you use one of the top 3), but usually you can get somewhere to get a signal if you move :)
- contract... a lot cheaper, per day - and will give you discount on some items (e.g. iPad or smartphone), but then you are locked in... you could possibly get multiple PAYG sim cards, and use whatever you need. (assuming your device is not locked to a provider)
- price... what you are willing to spend will determine your options
- reuse after the trip, given all options work, which is more useful to you later.
- if you get a iPad, make sure you get a micro sim from the provider (they have a nasty habit of giving a standard size sim!)


personally, id say
smartphone - if you really are going to use very occasionally (e.g. check email, and the odd bit of internet), though you will be surprised how flexible they are (e.g. good camera, good apps)

iPad/tablets - if you want portable and low hassle, again pretty flexible

laptop - if you want more to do more powerful things (e.g. photo editing) or more reuse when you get home

others will disagree, but i personally found netbooks to much a compromise - more hassle than a tablet, and not as useful as a laptop... (you can get some pretty light/thin 'proper' laptops these days)

whatever you get, make sure you have it a few weeks before you go away, so you are very familiar with it before you get on the road :)

as they say, you pay your money and takes your choice :)

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Re: Internet on the road...

Postby gretch » Wed Feb 15, 2012 4:36 pm

Once you’re on your “road trip”, you’ll come into contact with other ‘motorhomers’ that will put you right, that is, if you haven’t already got the best set up :thumbup:

gretch

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Re: Internet on the road...

Postby Miro » Wed Feb 15, 2012 8:02 pm

Bear in mind that if you are only used to MS Windows, using an iWhatever or a tablet using Android will take a bit of getting used to. Nothing insurmountable, but I detect that the OP is not a techno-geek, and may find a new operating system a bit of a leap.
If that's not a problem, the ASUS Tranformer tablet with docking keyboard is well worth a look. Built in WiFi, 2 USB ports in the dock so presumably can also use with a dongle, as well as connect a conventional mouse if desired. Use it as a netbook with keyboard, or as a touch screen tablet. Best of both worlds. You'll be the envy of the motorhome fraternity!
http://uk.asus.com/Eee/Eee_Pad/Eee_Pad_ ... mer_TF101/
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