USA Hotel Internet Access

  AlanHo 07:31 05 Apr 2005

I am off to the USA in August for a touring holiday - staying at a number of hotels and motels over a 6 week period.

Some of the hotels advertise "High Speed Internet Access" and others "Dial Up Internet Access".

What do I need to equip my laptop with - and what connecting leads do I require - so that I can access my Emails whilst I am away.

I have not used a laptop abroad before - I assume that I will be able to access my Telewest Blueyonder account - but how do you connect without making an international phone number connection.

  Pauper 07:56 05 Apr 2005

In general the high speed connections will be wireless, you will therefore need to have some kind of wireless setup on the laptop (built in, usb adaptor or PCMCIA card).

If you need to add the hardware then it is worth checking with the hotels as some will rent you a wireless card (or occasionally a usb adaptor).

The dial up connection is another matter entirely, for this you will need a modem which you probably have built in, however it's the service provider who will be the issue.

As far as I am aware, for consumers, it is AOL who can provide 'roaming' access - the ability to dial up from other countries. They do unfortunately insist that you have been a member for at least 3 months in the UK before roaming is activated, they refuse to budge on this as I have tried in the past. The other option would be to try and set up with a US provider temporarily whilst you are there, I have not tried this myself so could not comment on its feasibility.

The best option by far is the wireless high speed access, if you do use this method then also install a program such a Callserve. This will enable you to make telephone calls back to the UK for about 3p per minute over the connection, this will save you a lot of money on hotel phone calls.

  stlucia 12:54 05 Apr 2005

I'm with AOL, and used dial-up access in the USA a couple of years ago. All I had to do before I left UK was (a) from the AOL site get a list of local AOL access numbers for the cities I intended to visit and (b) get a phone plug adapter so that my modem cable would plug into a US phone socket. When I got to the US I found that all phones in the hotels had a socket to plug the modem into, so no crawling around on the floor trying to find the socket.

  Fellsider 12:55 05 Apr 2005

If you only want to access your e-mails you can do this on their website using webmail.

Therefore I would expect that a 'local' connection in the states would allow you to logon to the Blueyonder website and link from there.

  g0slp 13:37 05 Apr 2005

Just one word of caution, though.

Beware of expensive hotel rates for your Internet access. Internet cafes might be cheaper if you're only wanting to read/send email.

  Kate B 18:29 05 Apr 2005

I've stayed in hotels in the US where you connect to the internet via an ethernet cable - when you fire it up it brings up a browser page where you click ok for 24 hours access (or something). In Las Vegas it cost me $10 for 24 hours.

Motels are less well equipped - before you go I suggest you find perhaps an American ISP you can sign up to that gives you lots of local numbers to dial up to. I used to use a corporate flavour of AT&T which was brilliant - you told it where you were and it picked the nearest local number.

  AlanHo 08:58 06 Apr 2005

Thanks for the info guys - I have concluded that the effort needed is too great for the limited reward. I will try the internet cafe route using webmail which will avoid the need for me to carry the laptop around.

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