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So I am off to a biz trip in Italy in a few weeks and I will be taking my iBook with me (I can watch my choice of in-flight film!!!) and curious about how to use the internet overseas. I have a Sympatico account and have yet to call them to ask what options I have. Don't think I want to dial long distance to their Toronto number to check it. Any advice from experienced jet-setters? Is there an special service for travellers to dial into at cheap rates?

Thanks in advance,
Colin
 

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Use Sympatico.'s web-based mail. I used it in Croatia without any problems. There is info on their site about this.
 

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I'm currently based in SE Asia. Out here a number of dial-up ISP's offer pre-paid service, much like you'd buy time for a mobile phone. I'm not sure if Europe would be the same (I haven't been to Europe in about 6 years), but out here at least you can cheaply buy 10 hours, 50 hours, etc just by buying a card at a 7-11 or other corner store, punching in the scratched off settings, and dialing the number. Its pretty handy if you move around a lot within a small region (like SE Asia and Europe) and, more often than not, dirt cheap. It wouldn't be too much of a stretch to be able to find this type of service in Europe.

Truth be told, in places like Europe and SE Asia, the most popular way to get online is cell-phones. The people out here in Asia are cell-phone mad and GPRS is making a very big splash with at least 5 major telecom companies (from Australia, China, Malaysia, Singapore and Taiwan) coming together to create the largest and most advanced network on the planet. When I travel around in this region I rely more on my Sony Ericsson T68i for checking email and some web-browsing (although I had a chance to play with one of the 12" PowerBooks the other day, and it has left me reconsidering the way I do things. It is a very, very pretty machine.) The point is, out here, a cell-phone is almost always more useful than a laptop for checking email and doing some light web-browsing. Pre-Paid SIM cards cost next to nothing, and always come with access to WAP services. Everything I've read about Europe points to a very similar situation, particularly since Europe pretty much dominates the mobile phone industry (I once heard that there are something like 3 cell-phones per EU citizen.)

Still, what I said at top stands. You should be able to find some local ISP's that sell pre-paid dial-up time. And if you've got the technology installed, you should also be able to find a hotel lobby, cafe, or library with public Wi-Fi access. A quick Google search would probably turn up what you're after.
 

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Im in Moscow, Russia right now and using one of the card isps. Im not really sure about italy but here they are available everywhere, even in vending machines=) Dailing long distance is crazy! That will cost you a huge amount of money, and Im not even sure if it will work. So look for a local "card" isp. The only problem I incountered was that they don't know anyhing about Macs and when their service was down blamed it on the Mac, until I lied and told them I tried it on a Windows computer, after that everything was fixed. So if you need technical assistance from the ISP don't tell them your using a Mac. =)
 

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Many countries in Europe offer pre-paid internet (usually dial-up) and the rates are not too crazy.

You may also wish to check with the hotel you are staying at. Most have high-speed access in their rooms via data ports that are pre-installed. Some hotels and inns also have wireless networks that you can simply log into if you have an airport card (many European airports are also starting to install wireless services for passengers).

As for Italy, check out Omnitel (hope you read Italian). They offer pre-paid services for the Internet and mobile phones.

Sashmo, when were you in Croatia? I lived in Bosnia for more than two years and travelled to Croatia frequently. Zagreb, Split, Makarska and Dubrovnik (obviously) were my favorites.

Cheers!
 
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