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  1. #1
    2 Star Lounger
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    Berlin/Germany ISP

    Dear Loungers:

    My Godmother is ready to join the 21st century and start using e-mail. She lives in Berlin, but wants me to purchase her computer and customize it here in America, then she will pick it up on her next trip (I am the family techie). I'd like a recommendation on a German ISP. She complained for years about the telephone company, but I understand that Deutsche Telecom (T-Online) has made a big push to modernize.

    Questions: Is it very difficult/expensive to get broadband speed? With DSL service, are the terms "DHCP" & "PPPoE" understood or easily translatable? Or is a very different terminology in use? I don't want to make too many assumptions beyond the terms TCP/IP and IP address. Oh, because she travels a great deal, occasional web-based access to her email would be a very big plus or failing that, ability to forward her email.

    Her house has been practically gutted and modernized, and I know that a new wiring closet was included, so I suspect she may have Ethernet capability, or at the least, she doesn't have 40-year old hard-wired telephone jacks.

    Her new computer will be a Mac (by her request), so ISPs that use proprietary dialing programs (such as AOL) are NOT preferred, but if that is the custom, the ISP should be Mac-friendly or at least platform-neutral. The Mac will have an ethernet port, but also wireless capability.

    I am comfortable supporting both Windows and Mac, but am not bi-lingual German/English (my godmother is, but as a computer newcomer she prefers that the OS be in English). Google translated some of T-Online's page, so I know DSL can be ordered, but I can't quite get the FAQs and I remember all too well Verizon advertising DSL service and wating more than 9 months for it to become a reality in my home.

  2. #2
    5 Star Lounger
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    Re: Berlin/Germany ISP

    I f you haven't already, you should also consider that German household voltage is 220-240V (US: 110-120V), frequency is 50Hz (US: 60Hz), round prong plugs (US: flat plugs), etc.
    Add to this the fact that many modern German receptacles are recessed such that typical conversion adapters won't fit.
    You can find out more at this website.

    Have a Great day!!!
    Ken
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  3. #3
    2 Star Lounger
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    Re: Berlin/Germany ISP

    Thank you, Ken. I am aware of the electric issues, but thankfully through personal experience I know that the PowerBook can handle the voltage. What I am contemplating is purchasing an extra power cord through the Apple Deutschland store in order to avoid the adapter issue at all. The website you recommended is fascinating, and does have a page on internet access in Germany, so I am avidly reading and rethinking my aversion to AOL.

  4. #4
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    Re: Berlin/Germany ISP

    Also, be aware that some hardware and software bought here in the US is NOT to leave the US. I think she would be better off getting some one from over there to put together a machine.

    Now running HP Pavilion a6528p, with Win7 64 Bit OS.

  5. #5
    5 Star Lounger
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    Re: Berlin/Germany ISP

    I'm not all that familiar with power adapter/conversion devices, but, a voltage converter might suffice for a visit, (ie: short period of time). Over a longer term though, one other problem would be the frequency. At 50Hz (50 cycles/second), the CPU, computer clock speed and any software dependant on timing would be affected. Also, any motors, disk/CD drives, fans, etc. will run slower.
    Unless the Power Book only runs on battery power.
    At least that's my experience with things electrical.

    Have a Great day!!!
    Ken
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  6. #6
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Berlin/Germany ISP

    Many modern computers (and nearly all laptops) come with "Universal Power Supplies" which are equally happy with 120, 220 or 240V and 50 or 60Hz

    StuartR

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