Off topic: Internet on the road in Canada?
Thread poster: Renate Reinartz
Renate Reinartz  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 13:52
English to German
Aug 28, 2007

I plan to travel next year for three months or so through Canada.

Now I'm wondering how easy, or hard it is to stay online at least two hours a day.

In hotels there may be WIFI, but what are the costs? In Europe the prices for hotspots varies a lot.

Can you perhaps name me providers, or do you have other hints?

What about a mobile card with GPRS, EDGE, or whatever?

In the cities I see no problems, but Canda is huge, so what is the best choice on the country side. I plan to visit west coast first.

Suggestions are very welcome.

Renate


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Juliana Brown  Identity Verified
Israel
Local time: 07:52
Member (2007)
Spanish to English
+ ...
If you don't mind Aug 28, 2007

working in a cafe, there are tons of places where the WiFi is free (the Timothy's chain comes to mind- my sister works online there a lot), or fairly inexpensive (Starbucks is around $7 CDN an hour). Public libraries are another good place to check out; they're all over the place.
In Toronto, you can always use my backyard deck!


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MDI-IDM
United States
Local time: 12:52
Spanish to English
+ ...
Travel light... Aug 28, 2007

I spent 5 years travelling around Canada with a laptop and using dial-up access from hotel rooms - the cost is basically that of a local call, but you need a Canadian ISP provider - I had a Bell Canada account and had the local dial-up numbers in the wizard memory.
Hotels charges for WI-Fi or high-speed access cover a broad range, some hotels provide free access, but in my experience it is generally more economical to use an Internet cafe, prices are lower than in hotels and you can pay for as little, or as much access as you need (in my case, from 15 minutes to send a file and check e-mail, to up to 3 hours to research the technical aspects of a conference I was working on, read the documents, do searches, prepare a lexicon, etc.)
The major cross-Canada providers are Bell and Rogers, but for 3 months or so I wouldn't bother - I would just use Internet cafés or public libraries as Juliana suggests - if you have to be connected at all times it's a different matter, but I don't know how good coverage is away from urban areas - hope someone else out there can fill you in on that.


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Renate Reinartz  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 13:52
English to German
TOPIC STARTER
not my favorite, but... Aug 29, 2007

Juliana Starkman wrote:

working in a cafe, there are tons of places where the WiFi is free (the Timothy's chain comes to mind- my sister works online there a lot), or fairly inexpensive (Starbucks is around $7 CDN an hour). Public libraries are another good place to check out; they're all over the place.
In Toronto, you can always use my backyard deck!


Thank you, Juliana. For email checking an internet cafe is nice, but for working I prefer other places. In Germany smoking is still allowed there what it makes them for me a very uncomfortable place. This is hopefully different in Canada.
Public libraries are always a good place, indeed. I used them while travelling through Finland a few years ago. It took a bit to figure out where to delete the cache in finnish IE, but this shouldn't be a problem in Canada.

Anyway, if I make it to Toronto, I definitely come back to you.


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Michael and Raimunda Poe  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 08:52
English to Portuguese
+ ...
USA Aug 29, 2007

I don't know about Canada but when I was back in the USA last year I didn't have one hotel that charged for High Speed Internet access and almost all of them are offering this now, if they don't I don't stay there, probably why most are offering this. If they do charge, it is usually a one time fee of only a few dollars and you can use it as long as you stay usually.

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ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 07:52
English to French
+ ...
Free WiFi in Canada Aug 29, 2007

Most hotels offer this and there is no extra charge. In Montreal, there is a free network which works great, but you'd have to go to cafés, restaurants and bars to get connected. Of course, the tenants appreciate that you order something if you use their connection (a few of them will actually request this).

I am not sure how you can sign up for internet through a mobile card if you don't have a billing address in Canada, but an increasing number of providers now offers this. Of course, it is more expensive than regular internet, but still much cheaper than going to a café and paying by the hour. Bell, Telus, Rogers, Shaw - just the main companies who offer such a service.

I think the free possibilities are quite nice, but if you want to be sure to get connected when and where you need to, it is probably best to get one of these spiffy connections for a few months. Above all, you'll get peace of mind, which is really nice when traveling AND working.

P.S.: Smoking is not allowed anywhere anymore, at least in Quebec and Ontario. Other provinces may still allow smoking in the smoking section of restaurants and bars, but that's about it. If you want to smoke, you either go outside or go home. So, don't worry about smoke in your eyes, the air will be clean pretty much everywhere you go. The only thing left to do now is ban cigarettes from corner store shelves and make them illicit.

[Edited at 2007-08-29 16:22]


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Renate Reinartz  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 13:52
English to German
TOPIC STARTER
Dial-Up Aug 30, 2007

MDI-IDM wrote:

I spent 5 years travelling around Canada with a laptop and using dial-up access from hotel rooms - the cost is basically that of a local call, but you need a Canadian ISP provider - I had a Bell Canada account and had the local dial-up numbers in the wizard memory.


Oh, yes, sure, good old dial-up should be available everywhere. I remember using it heavily in the US few years ago.

Now I'm curious how you could travel 5 years. I would like to stay longer, too, because Canada is huge, and I don't want to let my dog fly so fast after each other.

Hotels charges for WI-Fi or high-speed access cover a broad range, some hotels provide free access


Same here in Europe. In France I got 10 hours WIFI for EUR 15, valid for 30 days. Other providers e.g. in Switzerland or Germany wanted 8 EUR per hour counting from first login. There are internet cafes the better option. But not all accept pets, and we will travel with our dog.

The major cross-Canada providers are Bell and Rogers...


Thank you for the hints. This is a good starting point. I have seen that Rogers offers Portable Internet. That sounds interesting, too.

[Edited at 2007-08-30 13:57]


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Renate Reinartz  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 13:52
English to German
TOPIC STARTER
mobile internet is my favorite Aug 30, 2007

Viktoria Gimbe wrote:
I am not sure how you can sign up for internet through a mobile card if you don't have a billing address in Canada, but an increasing number of providers now offers this. Of course, it is more expensive than regular internet, but still much cheaper than going to a café and paying by the hour. Bell, Telus, Rogers, Shaw - just the main companies who offer such a service.


Thank you, Viktoria. This helps. My concern is, too, that getting a wireless contract is bound to a local address. On the other side the possibility to check mail everywhere on the road is worth the money. I use it every day when I am walking the dog.

I think the free possibilities are quite nice, but if you want to be sure to get connected when and where you need to, it is probably best to get one of these spiffy connections for a few months. Above all, you'll get peace of mind, which is really nice when traveling AND working.

P.S.: Smoking is not allowed anywhere anymore, at least in Quebec and Ontario. ...


Good news. I hoped so. I enjoy smoke-free locations. I fear in Germany the lobby is too strong to get it everywhere.


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