So, how can I actually access the Internet when I’m travelling?
If you’re going to one of your companies other offices, the easiest solution may be to use a computer there to check your business email. If you need a few files — say, for a presentation — take them with you on a flash drive.
If you’re using an employer-supplied notebook, you should already have the systems in place for accessing the Internet via dialup. In today’s world, employers know that dialup is as risky as high-speed Internet connections, so they equip the notebooks with firewall programs as well as anti-virus programs.
If I’m staying in a hotel, I’ll often spend he $6 to $12 per day to have access via the hotel’s wired or wireless Internet service. That solution is usually much faster than using dialup.
I’ve written before that I have two favorite solutions for dialup Internet access. I don’t normally use dialup, so I don’t want to pay a monthly fee for dialup service.
These options — and I use both of them — give me low-cost dialup access when I travel. The are also great as a backup solution for those times when my cable Internet connection goes down.
I sent my August 31, 2005 newsletter to my mailing list server via my notebook computer and my backup dialup account, since my power was out. That was the day that Hurricane Katrina visited Baton Rouge (and New Orleans, more of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama).
The first solution I found was BudgetDialup.com. I maintain an account with BudgetDialup.com which lets me purchase blocks of dialup time that are good for a year from purchase. They offer 10- and 20-hour packages at very reasonable prices. They have local and toll-free numbers in the U.S. and International phone numbers also — you buy the package, and the non-local numbers have different "equivalent minutes" for every minute of use. Of course, you can monitor how much time you’ve used and buy more time when you need i.
My other dialup choice is a free dialup Internet account from NetZero. They offer a free, advertising-supported account that allows you up to 10 hours of free connection time per month. I consider the advertising display to be a reasonable price for the Internet access.
Although they install an I.E. toolbar to cause the advertising display, you can turn off the toolbar when you’re not using their services. When you’re using the service, you’re required to have their advertising toolbar active — it’s a condition of the free service.