Mar 21, 2014

Wi-Fi access when traveling abroad

My wife and I are using our iPad and iPhone mostly at the same time from one internet connection when staying in hotels overseas.

But as you perhaps know each additional connection is an extra charge. I got around this by using my iPhone as a personal hotspot, but this function works only on 3G, and is expensive.

Is there a Wi-Fi to 3G converter on the market? This off cause would give me the opportunity to use the hotel Wi-Fi (mostly wireless) connection for this personal hotspot option.

I also tried from Apple's 'Airport Express' unit. It works nicely at home and creates a personal network but not in the hotels that I went to. It shows the green light (internet connected) but I could not use its network connection.

I would prefer this Wi-Fi to 3-G converter if it exists.
You might want to download everything you need before you go abroad, and then just avoid using the Internet altogether if you can. While that might not seem realistic, it's probably possible to cut down on it a great deal if not altogether.

Consider it a holiday from the distractions of the Internet.

Viable options will depend on where you are traveling.  Not all locations have the same view of "free wi-fi" as we know it in the US (or at least populated parts!).

If you do use your cell connection (3G, 4G, LTE) I would check into international rates before I travel, as roaming can get extremely expensive.  When I was in Australia, it was cheaper to get an account with Optus and use that, as "free wi-fi" was not common, at least where I was.  Not every McDonalds I went to offered free wifi, and those that did, only offered it in 15 minute increments, and at a slower speed than if you paid for the service at the counter.

Good luck, and safe travels!

I'm not sure I fully understand what you're trying to do here, but, as someone who travels internationally quite a bit, let me offer some advice. First. I try to stay away from cellular - 3G, 4G, whatever - because roaming charges are so high, and that's true for both voice and data. So I instead look for Wi-Fi, particularly of the free variety, which can often be found in hotels, coffee shops, and many other locations. I've even used VoIP on these links with excellent results (see my blog at http://www.networkworld.com/community/blog/adventures-mobile-unified-com... for the first in a five-part series on doing this in the Baltic region.

You might also want to consider using a "pocket router" or "travel router", which can provide additional security as well as minimizing the number of connections if you're being charged for each. These are pocket-sized Wi-Fi (and usually wired as well) routers that in my experience work quite well. Finally, Wi-Fi-to-cellular routers also exist, typically using a USB cellular modem. But, again, this can regardless get expensive if you're traveling overseas.

I hope this helps - good luck!

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