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  1. #1
    2 Star Lounger
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    Hi all,
    I ordered a new win7 notebook. I expect it to arrive soon. My reason for ordering is a 3 week trip coming up soon. I want a notebook for internet connection during this trip. I am totally unfamiliar with connecting to a Hotels broadband connect. What & how do i connect to a Hotel room broadband connection point with my notebook. I am familiar with desktops, but I have never used a notebook or connected @ a hotel.
    All comments are sincerely welcome.

  2. #2
    5 Star Lounger
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    It is very simple and pretty self explanetory.

    On Windows 7 with the radio turned on (many notebooks have an on/off switch). You will see a set of bars down by the clock that looks almost like a volume setting graphic. When a wireless network is in range but not connected it will have a little "sun" on the icon.

    Click the icon and you will see what networks are available and if they are secure or open. Most Motel networks will be open but once you connect to them you have to open a browser window and authenticate to them.

    Once you have connected to the network some or all of the bars will turn white depending on your signal strength. You will then be asked to identify what type of network it is. BE SURE AND SAY "PUBLIC". This sets the firewall on the notebook to secure it against access by other users of the same network. You will also have the option to connect automatically whenever this network is in range. I personly would say "no".

    Be aware that it is possible to "sniff" all traffic on such a network so use it like you have Mr. Hacker looking over your shoulder. (If you are at all paranoid, abstain from logging into your banking account or your credit card accounts.)

  3. #3
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    Be sure to check with the hotel and make sure they offer wireless. Some still just offer wired connections. While the setup is easy you must have a cable.

    Joe
    Joe

  4. #4
    Super Moderator Deadeye81's Avatar
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    Michael, there is a good security article on safely using a public network on PCWorld.com at this link . They also look at a free VPN service (on page 3 of the article) you can use to help keep you more secure in public access situations.
    Deadeye81

    "We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give." Sir Winston Churchill

  5. #5
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    Guys;
    There is a lot of great comments here. All are appreciated.

    I will be staying at 3 different hotels. Here is what I read.
    Hotel #1: WiFi is available in the public areas of the hotel. Broadband internet access is available in individual rooms.
    Hotel #2 & Hotel #3: Broadband internet access is available in individual rooms.

    I am not really sure what those comments mean. They don't specifically say, "wired". Further, the first hotel creates confusion by their different description.

    Probably the best thing to do is prepare for all possibilities???

    I live in the country. Their is no cable here yet. So my current Desktop internet access is Verizon broadband Wi Max on their 3G network. While it proliferates the US, it is not available everywhere. Not the greatest, but far better than dial up. WiMax requires Verizon software on the OS and a small 1x2 inch USB modem. The USB modem can plug directly onto the computer, or, connect through a short USB extension cable for better reception. Obviously this is portable.

    It would seem to me then that perhaps there are 3 options that I should bring with me???
    • Install my Verizon software & bring the USB modem with me.
    • Brush up on the built in wireless access.
    • Bring a cable in case the hotel has wired broadband.


    What do you think??? Any comments or follow up suggestions???

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelA View Post
    Hotel #1: WiFi is available in the public areas of the hotel. Broadband internet access is available in individual rooms.
    Hotel #2 & Hotel #3: Broadband internet access is available in individual rooms.

    I am not really sure what those comments mean. They don't specifically say, "wired". Further, the first hotel creates confusion by their different description.

    Probably the best thing to do is prepare for all possibilities???

    It would seem to me then that perhaps there are 3 options that I should bring with me???
    • Install my Verizon software & bring the USB modem with me.
    • Brush up on the built in wireless access.
    • Bring a cable in case the hotel has wired broadband.
    Broadband availability usually means you need a wired connection (i.e. an ethernet cable to attach your notebook to their network).

    You should not have to worry about the Verizon hardware & software as long as your notebook has a builtin wireless card.

    joe
    Joe

  7. #7
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    All hotels I have stayed in have broadband wireless connections available. When you turn your PC on and click on the Internet icon on the right hand side of the taskbar it will show available connections. Your hotel should be listed. You choose to connect then activate when you go onto their web page and that is generally it. The first time I had no idea and it worked without any work on my part. Just be sure you do not do any personal and/or financial stuff on the connection because they generally are not secure connections.

    If you have a cell phone, your cell provider may have a wireless access available at additional expense from them. These are very secure and fast connections that do not go through the hotel connections.
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  8. #8
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    Having stayed in many hotels I can help you.

    1. Take an Ethernet cable. Its generally faster, and definately more secure.

    2. Treat Wireless connections as Very Insecure, don't log in to your bank, and avoid buying things. Set your Windows Firewall to "No Exceptions".

    3. Each Hotel has different ways of Logging in/Plan Selection (3Hr, 24Hr, etc.)/Payments. The best give you a free Username and Password. Some give you a Password for the Wireless network, then use your Browser for Plan Selection. Some let you get on the Wireless network free, then use your Browser for Password/Logging in/Payments. Some make you pay Online, some at Checkout.

    4. You may find you cannot send email, and that 'Your Email Server' won't accept connections from an 'Unknown' Connection (ie. not your own Broadband line). The solution I use is AuthSMTP, about 15 p/year. I can post email from anywhere with no problems.

    5. If you already have a 3G wireless dongle, and you are not downloading big files, it may be cheaper to use that, than pay for the Hotel Internet as well. Depends on your Data Plan Cost. Hotels generally charge $10-25 dollars for 24 hours usage.

    6. If you must buy things, get a new blank credit card and only use it in Unsafe places. Then you can easily see if something has happened.


    Good luck, hope this helps!

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