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How to Get Internet Access While Traveling

Are you one of those who feels incomplete in the absence of the Internet while you're on the move? Welcome to the club, pal. We, at Buzzle, can completely identify with your plight; which is precisely why we've brought you a few pointers that will ensure that the Web is always within reach.
Chain coffee shops good places for Wi-Fi
Did You Know?
Some hotels block certain websites for security reasons or to preserve bandwidth. Which means that you may not be able to access certain instant messaging sites or even YouTube.
To say that we can't imagine our lives without the Internet would be the understatement of the year. Any place, anytime, anywhere, it is the Internet that we choose to depend on; be it communication or navigation. So, why should things be any different while we're traveling? In fact, aren't we more in need of this one true friend when we don't find ourselves on home turf?

While traveling to another country, it is the exorbitant cost of accessing the Internet through our mobile service carrier that makes us sweat, and wish for a more affordable option. So fear not, because we've got just what you're looking for.

Getting Internet Access While Traveling

Wi-Fi

Let's begin with the obvious, shall we? Wi-Fi networks can be found in hotels, cafés, airports, train stations, and other public places.

In hotels, the connection may either be charged or free, but remember that any kind of privacy cannot be expected while you're making use of an open connection. Also, you may expect it to be rather slow in crowded spaces like lobbies and around swimming pools. Some hotels offer wired connections to individual rooms as well, which are safe and fast. More often than not, you may expect to be charged for using these connections. The rates may be exorbitant, so ensure that you are in the know about it.

Well-known coffee shops and fast food outlets across Europe have free Wi-Fi, but as in any public place, expect the speed to slow down if the place is crowded. If you're visiting a smaller establishment, look for the Wi-Fi signal sticker on the door.

At the airport, you may find dedicated Internet cafés which let you use their services at an hourly charge. Wi-Fi services are nowadays offered at most airports worldwide, usually with no charges applied.

Internet Cafés

Internet cafés are your safest bet while traveling to an unknown destination. They're easy to locate mainly in urban areas, but you may have some trouble finding them in remote locations. Cafés can be a safe, speedy, and secure option, especially as you'll be paying local rates for Internet.

Local SIM Cards

If you're using an unlocked cell phone, you have the option of buying a local prepaid SIM card that lets you surf the net. Charges levied will depend on the plan that the service provider offers.

Portable Hotspots

Portable Wi-Fi hotspots are widely available, and quite convenient to carry around as well. The plans offered vary according to the service provider, averaging about USD 50 for 5 GB. The hotspot needs to be purchased separately, and can cost anywhere in the range of USD 120 or beyond, which is a one-time purchase. These are well-suited to those who travel frequently.

International Roaming Facility

And for those of you who don't mind spending a mini fortune on the Internet, or are too unimpressed with the above options, there's always the international roaming facility. To avail this, all you need to do is contact your mobile service operator to know about the plans and charges. Following this, you need to activate your service, and voila! The Internet is at your fingertips. Keep in mind that there could be occasions when the roaming facility falters, so it's better not to be too dependent on it.

The Internet has become an absolute necessity while traveling, thanks to the various translation apps, navigation tools, or for the basic purpose of staying connected while you're on the move. But with these options, there will hardly be a moment when you'll actually feel disconnected while you're away from home.
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Published: November 22, 2013
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