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Internet Cafés and WiFi via Laptops

Telstra My Pocket WiFi Plus

Telstra My Pocket WiFi Plus



A cybercafé or internet café is a place where you can use internet access for a fee that is chargeable by minutes or hours.  It may or may not be an actual café.  A list of internet cafés are available by doing a Google search but such access may not be as readily accessible in out of the way places including the outback of Australia.

Internet access is also often available from local public libraries, back-packer hostels and caravan tourist parks. A fee may be applicable.

One of the ways of using internet whilst on the road is to setup a free email account such as a hotmail, yahoo or gmail through a web-interface.  This will enable you to receive and send emails to friends and relatives.  These accounts usually need to be accessed regularly to keep them active.  Normally once every 30 days.


Laptop Computers/ Wireless internet

Using your own computer is a far better way to avoid security problems associated with public computers.  If you have your own laptop computer you can have an ISP (Internet Service Provider) email account and download your emails to your laptop at these internet cafés or WiFi Hotspots and read them off-line later.  Emails you intend to send can be prepared earlier and saved in readiness for sending when next on-line.

Wireless internet or ‘wireless hotspots’ are sometimes available at airports, hotels, various bookstores, Starbucks, Gloria Jean coffee shops and some McDonalds outlets.  A list of wireless hotspots can be obtained by a Google search.  Many caravan parks now provide WiFi access for free.  A password is generally needed to access the service and this is provided at the reception desk.

To use a Wi-Fi  hotspot you will need a Wi-Fi enabled laptop or Tablet.  If you do not have this the other option is to set up and pay for a wireless account with an ISP.  You can buy a period of wireless access or sign up for a monthly contract.  Prices can vary so make sure it will meet your needs as excess charges can be quite high.

Another option is to obtain and install a USB or special wireless card.  These come in many shapes and sizes but they all function in a similar way and require to be plugged into a USB port or card slot in your laptop computer.  Once installed these cards are intended for use only with your computer as the supporting software is located on this device.


Telstra 4gx Car Wifi
Telstra 4GX Car Wifi
4G WiFi

WiFi/Hot Spot Enabled Modems

There are also popular flexible WiFi/Hot Spot enabled devices now on the market.  Once connected to the internet, these devices create a local area "wireless" network supporting multiple WiFi connections simultaneously and are available with external antenna connections to boost reception.  WiFi enabled printers can also be connected to this local wireless "network" and provide convenient printing options without the need for cables and leads.  eg. a printer can be located under a table or bench in your RV (plugged into power) and you can print a document from your laptop whilst sitting outside under your awning. 

Better reception - NextG mobile phone/laptops –

Most metal van construction materials and even some types of insulation will degrade your signal.  One traveller installed an external aerial fitted to the RV on a swivel connection to lower it when the RV is in transit.  We have seen a similar aerial attached to a Wyngard TV aerial with the same effect. 

In this case, the ‘Next G’ mobile telephone/WiFi device showed zero service but once the aerial was connected the subsequent download speeds were reported as ‘sensational’. 

caravan internet aerial

Most of us simply want to access the internet whilst on the road to send and receive emails and information from the World Wide Web.  To use wireless broadband your laptop will have to have some minimum system requirements and you should check this with the plan provider. 

Data packs

BigPond have a ‘2-Way Satellite Service’ which sends and receives data via a satellite provided you have a clear view of the western sky and 240V/50Hz power.  Your computer must also meet some minimum requirements for the system to work and contractual conditions apply.

You can have a ‘pay as you go’ or browser plan on which the cost of usage is based on each 1000KB sent or received but this can prove costly.  Perhaps consider data pack contracts that are available for the frequent, regular or occasional user where the cost or data access fee varies as it is based on data speed, data usage and charged in 1KB blocks or part thereof.

It is recommended you protect your system and data by purchasing anti-virus and firewall software.





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