internet while traveling

Submitted: Sunday, Jan 10, 2010 at 18:16
ThreadID: 75070 Views:3982 Replies:9 FollowUps:10
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We hope to be heading west in about 12 weeks and would like to keep in touch with the outside world [just sometimes] via the internet we are with bigpond now but have no idea if can somehow hook up.
PS Pleas keep your answers simple as I'm not that into computers that much
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Reply By: DIO - Sunday, Jan 10, 2010 at 18:21

Sunday, Jan 10, 2010 at 18:21
Have you considered postcards, letters, telephone calls and an occasional visit to an Internet Cafe, McDonalds or perhaps even a Public Library. Works out a lot cheaper and more reliable than trying to get a system to work 'back of beyond'. Good luck.
AnswerID: 398712

Follow Up By: carlj - Sunday, Jan 10, 2010 at 18:26

Sunday, Jan 10, 2010 at 18:26
Where we're going most of the time there will be no internet cafe ,McDonald's or public library,guess its back to the old days of the postcards and letters.
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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Sunday, Jan 10, 2010 at 23:57

Sunday, Jan 10, 2010 at 23:57
If it is that remote, you won't get much Next G cover either Carl, but you did say sometimes. I could cope with two or three weeks without the net, but we did have the sat phone to check in at home occasionally of advise of any delays so the family didn't call for search parties.

For more than occasional internet, you can get satellite internet, but that is expensive and you need to carry and set up a dish.

Postcards won't help you keep in touch with what is happening in the world, and if you are like me, when travelling we have no known time and place we could get mail forwarded to.

Mh
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Follow Up By: Member - lyndon NT - Monday, Jan 11, 2010 at 06:48

Monday, Jan 11, 2010 at 06:48
You don't need a dish to get sat internet, but it is very expensive.
Now is the only time you own
Decide now what you will,
Place faith not in tomorrow
For the clock may then be still

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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Monday, Jan 11, 2010 at 12:30

Monday, Jan 11, 2010 at 12:30
Thanks for clarifying Lyndon; i thought you did, but we don't have satellite internet. What receivers do you use?

Can you give more details for those watching this thread who are interested. I know there are a number of providers, and some of these are the same as people use at home for satellite internet, such as Activ8.

This topic comes up on the caravaners forum occasionally too.

Mh
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Reply By: Richard Kovac - Sunday, Jan 10, 2010 at 18:28

Sunday, Jan 10, 2010 at 18:28
carl

Is the Bigpond account dial up or broadband?
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Follow Up By: carlj - Sunday, Jan 10, 2010 at 21:14

Sunday, Jan 10, 2010 at 21:14
broadband
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Follow Up By: Richard Kovac - Sunday, Jan 10, 2010 at 23:10

Sunday, Jan 10, 2010 at 23:10
I kept my old dial up going and my laptop has a modem, so wherever I travel and there a phone line I can get on the Internet.

Regards

Richard
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Reply By: Notso - Sunday, Jan 10, 2010 at 18:55

Sunday, Jan 10, 2010 at 18:55
There are plenty of ways to do this.

You can drop in to Internet Cafes and check your email via any of the webmail servers. Bigpond has the service and I presume the other providers do also.

If you have a Telstra Next G mobile and a notebook computer you can connect via the 3G network with your Mobile Phone and a Data pack which you purchase from telstra. This will provide access to your email and web browsing, Check out your Telstra shop to make sure your phone will do the job. You'll need a cable and CD to install the drivers etc.

You can purchase a Broadband Modem from Bigpond and connect and check your email and browse the web for banking etc.

Best thing is to talk to your internet service provider and see what options there are. The Mobile Phone plus data pack is probably the cheapest to set up, no plans and you pay for it only when you need it. Turn it on when you leave and turn it off when you get back.
AnswerID: 398723

Follow Up By: Notso - Sunday, Jan 10, 2010 at 18:56

Sunday, Jan 10, 2010 at 18:56
Forgot to mention that Telstra Next G is the best for coverage around Aus.
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Follow Up By: Member - Graham H (QLD) - Sunday, Jan 10, 2010 at 19:03

Sunday, Jan 10, 2010 at 19:03
Could I politely suggest you go back two or three forum pages as this has been asked at least 3 times in the past two weeks.

You can buy a prepaid USB modem but if you are going where there are no McD etc there may be no phone coverage either

As stated Telstra Next G is the ONLY thing to have.


A carrier pigeon may be an alternative LOL


Cheers
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Follow Up By: Member - Graham H (QLD) - Sunday, Jan 10, 2010 at 19:48

Sunday, Jan 10, 2010 at 19:48
Have a read of thread 75054.



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Reply By: Member - John and Val - Sunday, Jan 10, 2010 at 19:34

Sunday, Jan 10, 2010 at 19:34
Carl,

If you have a laptop and a next G mobile phone you can use the phone as a modem and hook it up to your laptop with a suitable data pack. But be aware that even next G reception is pretty much limited to around towns where there will most likely be a library or an internet cafe - they can now be found in even quite small places.

Cheers,
Val
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Reply By: Motherhen - Sunday, Jan 10, 2010 at 22:16

Sunday, Jan 10, 2010 at 22:16
carl, does heading west mean you will be touring in WA? In Wa we have a network of Telecentres, where you can use the internet for a small fee. They are community run to provide accessto technoogy in towns too small for an commercial internet cafe or the like to be viable. You will probably strike these almost as often as you will get the Next G cover, but bear in mind they may not be open every day, and only in office hours on weekdays.

www.telecentres.wa.gov.au/

I prefer to do my computer work at night, so used a Next G modem with an antenna which i could put on the roof of the caravan for a better chance of a signal,on a laptop, if in a flat area, you may get a signal within up to 20 kms of a town, but not so if the area is hilly.

http://www.telstra.com.au/mobile/networks/coverage/state.html

Motherhen
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Reply By: Zebra400 - Monday, Jan 11, 2010 at 11:31

Monday, Jan 11, 2010 at 11:31
Hi Carl

If really depends where we are travelling to. If you are travelling up or down the east coast, then mobile internet is great. However once you head west of the Great Divide, then internet cafes are really your only option unless you want to look at an expensive satellite set up.

For our east coast trips, we add a Browsing Pack to our Telstra Next G mobile post paid account. We have an external antenna on the bullbar which helps a lot with maintaining a connection.

We have been using one for our outback trips for about 12 months now and find it fantastic. We use the $10 pack which gives us 150MB per month. We just plug our Next G mobile phone with the supplied cable into the laptop and away we go. We get 1.3Mb/sec download which is fine for what we want.

We can switch the Browsing Pack on & off as we require it, so it is not an ongoing monthly cost unless we choose it to be.

We use it to send & receive emails plus we run Skype while travelling. We access the BOM site often as well as a couple of other sites that down use a lot of download. We also check some of our SPOT positions from time to time.

With our use, we use close to our 150MB per month. You just have to be careful with emails you send or receive with large attachments.

If you are interested in this, goto http://www.telstra.com.au/mobile/browsing_packs.html

Finally, you can send a test message to 176 with the text 'use' and you will receive a text back with your downloads for the previous few days. It also tells us what percentage of the 150MB we have used.

Laurie
AnswerID: 398793

Reply By: Member - Jon R (WA) - Monday, Jan 11, 2010 at 21:14

Monday, Jan 11, 2010 at 21:14
Best is to get a setup from ANT (Aust Nomad Technologies) they do a Communications internet AS WELL as the typical free to air stuff. I use it all the time out on desert rigs and it works

If you are in mobile range (NEXT G - telstra) you can get a USB model - prepay from Telstra and then get emails etc. Not really great for large and high speed comms but ok for emails

Cheers
JR
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Reply By: benting88 - Monday, Jan 11, 2010 at 22:58

Monday, Jan 11, 2010 at 22:58
For the Global Green Challenge (the solar car race from Darwin to Adelaide), the UNSW Solar Car Racing Team planned to use the Telstra NextG network for internet access.

We used a standard NextG base station with a 7.5 gain NextG antenna from Benelec (http://www.benelec.com.au/cellular_ant/024575WT.htm), and we still couldn't get a reliable signal for 90-95% of the journey.

I honestly don't think it's possible to get reliable internet for most of central Australia.

However, feel free to prove me wrong... :P
AnswerID: 398913

Reply By: Member - Tina D (VIC) - Tuesday, Jan 12, 2010 at 10:19

Tuesday, Jan 12, 2010 at 10:19
Hi, My family recently went to the Outback - Eastern Central Australia - Travelling from Mildura to William Creek, Oodnadatta,Chamber pillar to Alice Springs, plenty Highway, Boulia, Birdsville, Innamincka Broken Hill.

We had Telstra G the only places we could get mobile phone service was, Mildura, alice Springs, Boulia, Broken Hill. therefore no internet either apart from these places. Telstra G only works in populated areas useless anywhere else.

Anyway it was an excellent trip and highly recommended.

Happy travelling wherever you go.
AnswerID: 398954

Follow Up By: Member - Sigmund (VIC) - Tuesday, Jan 12, 2010 at 11:05

Tuesday, Jan 12, 2010 at 11:05
On the Stuart Hway IIRC there was reception at Marla and Coober Pedy.

We use a prepaid blue tick T phone as a modem on the laptop. Download speeds are fine but you also pay for uploading so intensive net accessing isn't cheap.
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