I am getting a laptop in the next couple of days, I will be using it in France this year. I have been told that I will need a dongle or something like that. Does anyone know if it is neccessary to have this, or is there something else I will need. I am completely ignorant when it comes to computers, so please explain in simple language for me to be able to understqnd it.
Les, I'm certainly not not expert on these things. Caz is right that a dongle is for Mobile Broadband, but I have read that this is very expensive to use from aboard (regardless of which network you use). The first time we went abroad in 2006 I used my O2 phone as a Modem, it worked great, but we came home to a £200 phone bill
As I advised you when you asked about laptops earlier, make sure the one you get has WiFi (Wireless enabled) most camp sites (but not all) have a Wifi facility. On some sites the Wifi is site wise (IE you can use the Laptop in your caravan) but most have Wifi in the reception or bar area. Again some are free, some are reasonably priced, others can be downright expensive (but not as expensive as Mobile Broadband). If the campsite has a web site it should say on that. I believe some cafes have Wifi as well, but I have never used one.
Hopefully someone else will comment on this subject (Chris perhaps)
Elnagh Clipper 90.......... Real Names Mike & Hazel
I have had a look but there is no mention about using it abroad. I am going into Currys tomorrow and will ask them. I don't expect to get a sensible answer out of them as each time I have asked about anything they don't have a clue. That is why I posted this on here as I know there are a lot of intellegent and helpful people on here.
first things first. If your laptop is wifi enabled you will be able to access the internet from the site if it has internet access some sites in france make no charge for this while others charge a set amount for a set time. If you go to mac donalds you will be able to use their internet access free (well while you eat/drink etc).
On some sites you need to be in a specific area e.g. the bar or close to reception to receive wifi signals but the sites you choose will tell you how far their wifi signal reaches.
If you need to pay you will be given an access code which you will have to type into the relevent box that will come up on your laptop in order to access the site wifi. This box should come up when your laptop looks for internet access once you have clicked on your internet icon on your screen, it will tell you what sites are near to you (which are unsecured and secured - if you have paid you will be looking for a secured site name) and you will need to click the sites internet name and then you will have to type in the access code this is usually a long one consisting of numbers and letters. This will give you access for the amount of time that you have paid for.May sound a bit of a cafuffle but dead easy once you have done it once.
Mobile dongle such as '3', t-mobile, vodafone,orange all give around the same download for around the same price. I have a '3' one.
Do not use a dongle in Europe it will cost you a fortunebut in the uk it is cheap, as you buy included time. I pay £10 for 1gb a month which is a lot cheaper than the charge the cc make 1 hour - think you would get just under 2 hrs for that price on a club site.
You use a dongle to make your own internet connection if no wifi - so if a site has wifi and you are prepared to pay for it you do not need to use a dongle in the UK
Hope this helps Mags
if you are using asci or camping cheque guide books they will tell you if the site has internet access.
I have just called t-mob up they told me it would cost you extra £1.50 per 1 meg of use. You would have to call them before you go to set it up for France use. so i think any way will cost you, but it does not hurt to go and shop around.
They do a pay as u go dongle which the price per 1 meg still applys but at least this way you will not get any big surprises as once the money you put on has gone thats it. You still would have to set it up with them even for pay as u go before going away how much notice i do not know.
Please do not ask me how much use is 1 meg as i do not even understand it, in the Uk as you know i use it a lot that does include uploading photos and i have never payed any more. I pay £15 per month for mine is 2meg i am on contract with them.
Post by campingcariste on Jan 10, 2009 22:06:44 GMT
A WiFi connection would be your bst option and here in France there are plenty of public places where you can get connected (either free or paying). Many McDonalds have free wifi access and if you ask at the tourist office (Office de Tourisme), nearly all towns and cities and most reasonable sized villages will have one, they will be able to point you in the right direction. If you just want the laptop for email access only the other option is to use the numerous facilities for internet access. Often these are free at the 'mairie' (town hall) or the local 'centre sociale' and in summer many schools computer facilities are available to the general public. Again ask at the tourist office.
I think that everyone had said the important things but there is just one thing that you might like to look at when choosing your new laptop. There are several different standards of Wi-Fi access, which have evolved as the technology has improved. The latest is "Draft N" which gives faster downloads and increased range. If you can find that on a laptop that fits your other criteria then you will have a little more flexibility. On a small family site in France last year we were able to 'tap in' to the owners Wi-Fi, with his permission of course, and while other people on site had to go over and sit outside the office to get a signal I could sit in the van and use the laptop. Oh, and as an ex Currys man I should try to defend the staff a little. When you sell, and are expected to know intimately, everything from toasters to televisions and camcorders to computers it is somewhat difficult to be en expert on all of the several thousand products that make up the stock range. However, there is usually at least one 'expert' on most products in the store. The secret is to try and get hold of that 'expert'. ;D
First of all I would like to thank everyone for their excellent information. I have got an Acer aspire 5735. It does have wifi on, which by the sounds of it will save me a lot of money. (Clarky I don't know which one it is) I will email the site to find out how much they charge. Last year we used their computer and that that was 8 euros an hour. If that doesn't work out there is a Macdonalds not far away.
Once again a big thank you for all of your contributions
Just had a look on the PC World web site at your choice Carper(cos I'm nosey ;D). Looks like you got a heck of a lot of laptop for the price. No wonder they wouldn't give you any more discount.
I also think we got an excellent bargain, I think I was lucky that the Daughters boyfriend was in the right place at the right time. He just rang me when he saw it and recommended it, So I told him to go ahead and buy it. With the discount as I said to him if you don't try you won't get. If you do try and don't get you haven't lost anything.