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Staying connected abroad
Thread poster: Evi Wollinger

Evi Wollinger  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:39
German to English
+ ...
Jul 18, 2003

I am sure this question has been asked here before, but I can't seem to find the thread.
I will be visiting Germany for 4 weeks and need to bring my laptop along to stay connected with my business here in Canada.
Mostly there will be a lot of e-mail correspondence, not too many large files.
Currently I have a trial AOL membership on my laptop, but I don't know if I will have access to a local number. How can I find out?
Also, I am visiting family and there is an older computer with internet, only nobody there is able to give me information about the type of internet etc.
Should I wait till I go there and then purchase a router and try to use the existing connection?
What other kinds of gadgets might be useful?
I am pretty new to mobile computing and would appreciate any information!

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Gillian Searl  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 01:39
Member (2004)
German to English
I am about to go to Germany too! Jul 18, 2003

I have arranged a house swap for three weeks and can't wait! This is what I have done to ensure I'm mobile:
1) Make sure about the internet connection where you're going. They must be able to give you some details. If nothing else ask them the name of the service provider and how much they pay and then check the ISP's website.
2) My ISP provides a backup international dial up service. Contact your ISP and ask them. I had to upgrade my service a little but I feel it is worth it. I downloaded a small program from them and now have the local access numbers worldwide.
3) Bluetooth and mobile phone. My third option is my mobile phone. I bought one recently which works both in Europe and the US - they're called dual band in the UK. Mobile phones are amazing these days - this one has got the GPRS data transfer service and Bluetooth (wireless) connection. I also bought a USB/Bluetooth adapter and have wireless connection to my mobile phone. The set up took some time but now it's working fine. Disadvantages: you pay for each MB you download and upload and if you're used to a broadband/ADSL connection it is agony waiting for the download.

Have fun in Germany!

[Edited at 2003-07-18 04:47]

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Narasimhan Raghavan  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:09
English to Tamil
+ ...
Try getting email id Jul 18, 2003

At the outset let me say that I have never gone abroad nor do I intend doing so. I do not have even a passport.
Yet, if I were in your position, this is what I would do. I would go in for a German email id of say yahoo. too has got German id, I have one for my profile. These you can access from Germany. And give your local clients this id. There used to be but then it has become a feemail.

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xxxMarc P  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:39
German to English
+ ...
Staying connected in Germany Jul 18, 2003

Currently I have a trial AOL membership on my laptop, but I don't know if I will have access to a local number.

AOL is very strong in Germany. The national dial-in number used to be 01914, but it may have changed. AOL customer services will tell you.

Also, I am visiting family and there is an older computer with internet, only nobody there is able to give me information about the type of internet etc.

"An older computer with Internet" is likely to have an analog connection with modem. If you have an analog modem, you can use the same connection. ISDN is very popular in Germany, so you may find that your hosts have an ISDN card in their PC and access ISDN directly. Even if this is the case (unlikely with an "older computer"), though, the chances are that they also have an analog adapter which would enable you to use your modem, if you have one.

You may have to buy a cable for your modem (or use your hosts'), as German Telekom sockets will be different to those you have at home. Technically, a modem should be licensed for use in Germany, i.e. it should be an approved model, but since deregulation of the telecomms market no one seems to bother about that.

There are numerous alternative ISPs, and some offer access by call, requiring no membership. You can use Arcor, for example. Dial 0192070 and use "arcor" as the login name and "internet" as the password, and you have an instant Internet connection. You should be able to access your AOL account through another provider such as Arcor in order to send and receive mail through it, and it is obviously worth finding out how to do that before you leave. It is a useful thing to know in any case.

Should I wait till I go there and then purchase a router and try to use the existing connection?

Does this mean that you are using broadband? DSL connections are becoming popular in Germany but by no means everyone has one, and in some rural areas it is not necessarily available.


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Giles Watson  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:39
Italian to English
A "quick and dirty" solution might be ... Jul 18, 2003

... to create an account with, where you can receive all your email, including POP3 accounts.

It's free and web-based so you can access it from any computer. You tend to get a lot of spam but it works fine and is a good emergency solution if things go pear-shaped.

When you no longer need the account, it's probably a good idea to change your email password.

And if you are taking your computer abroad, don't forget to sort out transformers and plug adapters before you go!



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Alexander Chisholm  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:39
Italian to English
+ ...
Search for free providers Jul 18, 2003

I recently had this problem as I was going from Italy to Scotland for a couple of weeks.

Most of my pop mail accounts also have webmail access, so you can access them from any browser. Otherwise, you can create an account with Hotmail/Yahoo/Bigfoot etc. and inform all your normal correspondents that you can be reached at that address for the next few weeks.

Regarding internet access, I searched in Google for providers offering free or cheap dial up access. I managed to find one giving access at a rate of GB£ 0.01 per minute (less than € 1 per hour). As I was only using it for a few minutes per day (never longer than an hour at a time) then the phone bill was not outrageous.

Most of these accounts delete you from their records if you do not log in at least once in a 1 to 3 month period. This may or may not be an issue for you.

Once I had my cheap dial up access,i was then able to use all the account settings in my mail manager (Outlook) and so downloading mail from my pop accounts only took a minute or so. Remember that if you're replying to any of these mail messages, most dial up accounts will not let you relay mail messages, so you will have to reply from the mail account you created with the dial up access.

I have travelled to various countries around the world for short periods (US, UK, France, Middle East, Arabian Peninsula) and this strategy has worked reasonably well in all of them.

Hope this helps.


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