WiFi overseas...

Submitted: Sunday, Apr 08, 2012 at 18:15
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Just wondering if someone can give me advice on this one...

When over seas in another country, can you still hook into WiFi outlets like McDonalds or your hotel etc 'SECURELY' to use things like electronic banking back in Oz?

Was thinking of taking an Iphone to use over WiFi when available. Not for normal calls...I know that costs a fortune.

Cheers
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Reply By: Robert & Karen - Sunday, Apr 08, 2012 at 18:43

Sunday, Apr 08, 2012 at 18:43
Hi Andrew,

Yes you can hook into any Wi-Fi hotspot with your iPhone. Make sure you turn your data roaming OFF. They charge like wounded bulls when overseas.
Last year we got a bill for $1000 and we only turned our data roaming on for a few times when we needed to get access.

Regards

Robert & Karen
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Follow Up By: Member - Andrew (WA) - Sunday, Apr 08, 2012 at 19:33

Sunday, Apr 08, 2012 at 19:33
Thanks for that...so Wifi still works with data roaming disabled???
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Follow Up By: fisho64 - Sunday, Apr 08, 2012 at 20:59

Sunday, Apr 08, 2012 at 20:59
yes you can access wifi with data roaming off.
Telstra charge $15 mb for non-prepaid overseas data roaming
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Follow Up By: Nomadic Navara - Monday, Apr 09, 2012 at 14:35

Monday, Apr 09, 2012 at 14:35
Data roaming is only for hooking up to mobile telephone networks and not wi-fi.
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Reply By: Member-George (WA) - Sunday, Apr 08, 2012 at 19:40

Sunday, Apr 08, 2012 at 19:40
Hi Andrew, we are currently in France and have no trouble connecting our PC to WiFi networks. One word of caution, They are Not secured sites, similar to WiFi sites in WA. You can connect to secure sites in most hotels or B&B places. Some will charge a per half hour connection fee. You can use your mobile phone for roaming calls, but keep call time to a minimum. Best to use a laptop PC to send and receive emails. Just let me know if you have more questions. Cheers
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Reply By: mikehzz - Sunday, Apr 08, 2012 at 20:08

Sunday, Apr 08, 2012 at 20:08
When we book hotels on the go, we try and make sure they have free wifi. If we are in any country for a few weeks, we get a pre paid data sim with whatever is their best carrier and take our sim out of the phone. Once you cross a border the sim starts roaming and chews your allowance. Having a local sim is by far the best option for internet because we have found wifi pretty iffy in a lot of spots so we fall back to the sim. It always seems we need internet when we aren't in a hotspot as well :-)
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Follow Up By: Member - Damien L (Cairns) - Sunday, Apr 08, 2012 at 20:50

Sunday, Apr 08, 2012 at 20:50
Question Mike? With a prepaid can I get one that will cover UK and Europe??

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Follow Up By: mikehzz - Sunday, Apr 08, 2012 at 21:47

Sunday, Apr 08, 2012 at 21:47
Unfortunately no. You can't even get one to cover both France and Germany. That's why I mentioned that it's only ok if you are spending a reasonable amount of time in a particular country. Cross a border and it starts roaming and the data rate skyrockets.
It should be easy in this day and age but it isn't. A lot of wifi in hotels is as slow as dialup and only works in the foyer. Activating a sim in some countries is an experience due to language differences. Most hotels have a computer in the corner of the lobby that you can use and is often the best option....except they have shuffled the keys on the keyboard around :-)
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Follow Up By: Member - Damien L (Cairns) - Monday, Apr 09, 2012 at 08:36

Monday, Apr 09, 2012 at 08:36
G'day Mike, Thanks for that info. I will be traveling through UK, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Austria, Italy and Switzerland so it will be a bit of a bother. I will use hotel and cafe computers, just mainly for emails.

Thanks Damien
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Follow Up By: Bonz (Vic) - Monday, Apr 09, 2012 at 09:18

Monday, Apr 09, 2012 at 09:18
Hi Damien, We did a similar trip to yu and used wifi all the way, mainly at Starbucks but lots of placed advertise free wifi including restuarants. You can aklso setup a email account on the iPhone or iPad and use it on wifi. We found it wasieer in Europe than UK and have just arranged a O2 sim for the trip we have planned there shortly.
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Reply By: mepvic - Sunday, Apr 08, 2012 at 20:50

Sunday, Apr 08, 2012 at 20:50
Andrew,
Wifi will work fine if data roaming disabled. We used our iphone right through South America taking advantage of free WIfi at almost all the hoels we stayed in. Great technology.

Enjoy the holiday
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Reply By: Member - Carl- Sunday, Apr 08, 2012 at 22:40

Sunday, Apr 08, 2012 at 22:40
Andrew just mention what country and we might be about to give specific advice to that country
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Follow Up By: Member - Andrew (WA) - Monday, Apr 09, 2012 at 00:42

Monday, Apr 09, 2012 at 00:42
I'll be in the USA...
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Follow Up By: Member - Carl- Monday, Apr 09, 2012 at 03:20

Monday, Apr 09, 2012 at 03:20
Got that. Andrew I live in New Jersey and you are a member so just send me a member message and I can fill is some of the blanks for you. Recently just been through all this stuff.

Might be able to help with some other things if you are heading in the New York direction as well. I used to live in South Perth.
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Reply By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Monday, Apr 09, 2012 at 18:46

Monday, Apr 09, 2012 at 18:46
Out of interest, we were in Vietnam and Malaysia for 3 weeks in November and every second cafe had free Wifi and it was free in most hotels.
Why on earth Australian Hotels charge an arm and a leg for it, I do not know.
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Reply By: ExplorOz - Monday, Apr 09, 2012 at 19:25

Monday, Apr 09, 2012 at 19:25
Hi Andrew,
We went to the USA last September and made some incorrect assumptions about how best to get use mobile data etc. Here is a blog we wrote upon our return with all our lessons to share with others with the same needs.

Here is the link to the whole blog: USA Reflection Blog

Here is a snippet of relevance to you:
INTERNET/MOBILE DATA

American businesses offers free Wi-fi for customers (on your receipt you'll get the password) so without a data plan on your mobile, you can get internet service at most coffee shops, grocery stores, restaurants, clubs, airports, motels/hotels, in fact you'll get it at most retail and entertainment precincts. Interesting, that in contrast this sort of service is so limited in Australia.

There was just one problem... many of the hotels we stayed at advertised "free high-speed internet"... and we got tricked into thinking that meant wi-fi. The speed of wi-fi connections varied considerably, and many just didn't have the range to offer good service beyond the foyer. With that said however, these hotels offered an ethernet plug, but not the cable to plug into it. Big mistake on our part! That would have been the perfect solution for free internet.

Anyway, the point is not to bother sorting out a mobile internet data plan. It appears that American telecommunications industry just isn't going down this path as we have in Australia. You can't just walk into a supermarket, airport, or department store and get bombarded with an array of pre-paid data plan options. In fact, it took us 2 days in Vegas of asking questions and hunting around shops to find such a thing and when we did, it cost $75 for the plan plus a $10 account setup. Even if you could afford that, the problem is that you will find it hard to actually use it anywhere. The mobile data speed we encountered throughout the state of California in particular was so slow it was unusable to browse the internet on our iPhones so we found our free hotel wi-fi to be the better solution.

-------------------
HOpe this helps,
Michelle


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Follow Up By: ExplorOz - Monday, Apr 09, 2012 at 19:27

Monday, Apr 09, 2012 at 19:27
oh and download Skype to your iphone and make calls back home from that (using your hotel's free wi-fi network of course!).

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Follow Up By: Member - Andrew (WA) - Tuesday, Apr 10, 2012 at 01:01

Tuesday, Apr 10, 2012 at 01:01
Great help there Explore Oz...thanks Michele.
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Reply By: Member - Andrew (WA) - Tuesday, Apr 10, 2012 at 01:06

Tuesday, Apr 10, 2012 at 01:06
Thanks to all who replied, great help.
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Reply By: Stevesub1 - Tuesday, Apr 10, 2012 at 11:28

Tuesday, Apr 10, 2012 at 11:28
In the USA, get a T-Mobile prepaid Sim card, $US60 from memory, free calls for a month in the USA plus 100MB Data (early last year). Your phone MUST be unlocked to use it. If your phone in OZ is locked, it will not work with a overseas SIM card.

I have used pre-pay in NZ, USA and Singapore, all with no problems.

I do not regard WiFi or internet in cafes, hotels, public places, etc as secure enough for banking so I don't do it. Use the Phone with local SIM card to tether your laptop/tablet off to do banking.

If you are taking a laptop, take your own Ethernet cable as not every hotel has Wifi but may have Ethernet.

SKYPE is a MUST to use over the Wifi, and Skype Out is also good to have so you can call normal landlines from Skype cheap as.

Stevesub
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Reply By: Sand Man (SA) - Tuesday, Apr 10, 2012 at 22:54

Tuesday, Apr 10, 2012 at 22:54
Andrew,

I have recently bought a Galaxy Tab to take on our OS holiday,
The advice I got from the young bloke at JB Hi-Fi was to purchase a prepaid sim card in the Country being visited. If no "free" wi-fi is around the tablet will connect via the simcard at local rates.

Bill


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