September 12, 2003

Internet access

Technical article for now. I have had this question a couple of times so I will try my best to answer questions people may had. Fact is, that is very easy to find internet access anywhere I have been until now even the most remote places you could not think about. Prices are very differents but mostly you will find the most expensive places in industrialized countries which should be around US$2 for the least expensive. For example in Singapore it is S$2.5-3/h, you will get S$6/hour in some places like Orchard Rd, but there is really no point in paying that much.

For this price you often have an ADSL connection. Shop around as places with multiple ADSL connections will be worth it compare to one single connection shared between 20 users where 5 of them do webcam stuffs and another 5 decide to do video streaming.

In Egypt, it was around 3 pounds / hour (US$0.5) for a shared 56K connection, Thailand was between 30-60bahts/hour (US$0.7-1.4) for anything between what was a shared 28.8K or a 128K line.

If you intend to travel with your laptop, you'd better know the basic of how to connect it to a LAN. I noticed that in most place it is rarely configured with a DHCP server, so you will have to configure the IP address, gateway and DNS servers. You may need to configure a proxy as well. Note that in some places you may find that you cannot do anything other than HTTP or HTTPS, meaning that you are out of luck for FTP or SSH.

Don't waste too much time with the staff as most of the time they are totally clueless about computers and are just here to get the the cash, so don't talk to them with words such as DHCP, FTP, SSH or you will have better feedback discussing philosophy with a fish.

Keep in mind that Internet is CHEAP compared to phone calls (often $US2 / min), the only time I have made phone calls when was trying to reach VISA but I spent about 10 minutes being sent from one person to another, waiting with a nice song...just to get no valuable information. How to waste US$20 basically.

Posted by stephane at September 12, 2003 08:24 AM