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International Internet Services Guide
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If you are traveling or relocating internationally and taking a computer with you whether it's your home computer or a laptop there are several issues related to getting it connected that you must address before leaving your home country. There will be some questions relating to power supply and others, which need answering if you use a modem to connect to the Internet or E-mail services. You will need to resolve these issues and the following questions in order to connect your computer and make it compatible with the local system before you leave home:
What are the electrical voltage, current, and plug configuration in your destination country? Does your computer have a built-in voltage adapter? Can you obtain the necessary plug adapters? Should these be grounded?

What is the design of the telephone plugs locally? Are telephones hard-wired directly into the wall? If so, traveling with an old-fashioned acoustic coupler may be the best solution. Can you obtain a telephone plug adapter? Should you take an extra telephone cord?

Do the local telephones use digital technology? You can use a "line-tester" to find this out when you arrive. Modems do not work through digital exchanges, although an adapter can be obtained to overcome this.

Other questions to consider include:

Is the power supply reliable? Is a surge protector or back-up power supply recommended? What is the quality of telephone service? Are telephone lines delivering clear and uninterrupted information?

Are there "tax impulses", high frequency "beeps" that interrupt data transmission? If so, you should obtain a filter, or some modems can be reset to ignore momentary signal interruptions.

Is the dial tone different from your home country and, if so, will your modem recognize it? Is dialing performed using "pulse" or "tone" dialing? You can set up your modem before you leave home so that it will ignore the dial tone: consult your technical manual or vendor.

Not all modems are approved for use in all countries. Check with your modem manufacturer or supplier for which countries your modem is approved.

There are several strategies you can adopt to cope with connectivity problems, including:

Learn the workings of your modem and its related software ahead of your departure.

Learn dialing strategies to bypass local dial tones and avoid having to teach your modem the full range of international access codes.

Practice connecting manually through your modem, bypassing the modem's automatic dialing and using modem software to complete the connection.

Use a phone card to overcome inflated hotel telephone charges.

Find a local Internet Service Provider (ISP).

Your relocation consultant, local office, or building management may be able to answer some of your questions. Other issues will need to be addressed to your computer, modem, and software technical help services, or to your Internet Service Provider ISP.

E-mail and Internet services are becoming increasingly popular methods of keeping in touch with family, friends, and business contacts around the world. (Hey, it's how you found us!) They offer instant access to remote sources and receivers of information, and allow correspondents to send messages without worrying about whether the counterpart is in the same time zone.
Before you leave your home country you should find out whether your Internet Service Provider (ISP) operates in your destination country, and whether you will be able to use the same accounting in your new location. It may be preferable from a cost perspective to use a local ISP in your destination country, as long as services are comparable.
In some countries additional telephone lines for modem connection can take time to be installed, so prepare yourself and your family members for the possibility of being offline for awhile. In addition, depending on the quality of local telephone service, and the availability of "high speed" or ISDN lines, you may experience slower connection and data transmission time.


A cyber-café, which offers the use of computers to access the Internet and E-mail in a "café setting", can be found in cities all over the world. Travelers, businesspeople, students and tourists, who may not have their own computers with them, or have experienced difficulty getting connected in the foreign environment, can buy Internet access or computer-connectivity time by the hour, while sipping coffee. Cyber-cafes provide a convenient way to check your E-mail. You may need to set up your access codes before you leave home: some E-mail software requires a password for remote access. Always remember to delete your E-mail from the café's computer otherwise anyone can read it. You can surf the Web, print out letters and memos, save data on a floppy disk to take with you, or maybe even play a game.

Using the Web

If you are traveling without your own computer, it is possible to setup E-mail boxes on web browsers, protected by a username and password. You can transmit and receive mail, as well as save and store information. This will eliminate the need to reconfigure the software on someone else's computer, which is often necessary in order to get access to private or corporate E-mail systems.

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