How to connect your laptop inside an Internet Cafe?


'thumb drive'
to store the data in laptops and then connect that micro device to the PCs

This is a readers letter and my answer.

Hi Andy,

I love your website. It's been a great source of inspiration! I'm
backpacking Asia (well, part of it at least) for the next 6 months
and will be bringing along a laptop to work on my website
( whilst on the road.

I'll like to find out how you usually manage to connect to the
internet with your computer. Do you usually borrow the phone
lines from the hostels or budget hotels u stay in? (Do they even
allow this??) Or do you have a LAN card & purchase pre-paid
plans from the internet service providers of the many countries
you go to?

This is a really big headache for me as I'm still trying to figure out the
best (and cheapest!) way to go about getting an internet connection
overseas. For your info, the countries I'll be travelling to include India,
Nepal, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam & maybe China.

I'll appreciate any kind of advice or feedback from you. All the best; take
care & keep the fantastic newsletters rolling! ;)

(from Singapore)

Hi Andy

Thanks for the prompt reply.

I did some research and found out from friends you could use a 'thumb drive'
to store the data in laptops and then connect that micro device to the PCs
in internet cafes for easy downloads. (No more having to work with
virus-ridden floppy disks!) I bought a 'thumb drive' for about Sing $90.
Keeping my fingers crossed and hoping it'll work. You might want to explore
this option; perhaps you can ask some IT guru that you happen to meet in

Looking forward to reading your column on computer connection problems.



I think you are on the wrong path with the "thumb drive."
What you want is a direct connection.

5 Star versus Backpacker or Hostel Living?

If you live in 5 Stars they should solve your problems for you.
That is the only reason to stay in a 5 Star Hotel.
I truly doubt they will solve this problem but I sort
of despise 5 Star Hotels so I avoid them.

If you wish to live on the Backpacker Circuit I can tell
you what will NOT work.

1. You cannot get a telephone line.
( OK people, STOP - Yes you can sometimes. but not on a
day to day basis.) I have negotiated to pay for Telephone
line on multiple times in Mexico. I pay for access then when
they know they go me, the extort more money for the telephone
line or suddenly the line does not work until I pay more money.
This is a underdeveloped countries way of doing business
and you can NOT expect fairness, expect unfair treatment.

2. Buying a local connection is not the solution.

3. Worldwide access is crap. This is for the 5 Star people.
Do not purchase this unless you are on the 100 Dollars a night
budget. All your connections will be long distance calls unless
you only want to stay in huge cities.

4. CD ROMS do not work in Internet cafes of the world.
Sometimes, but the CD drives are not reliable yet...

5. You will NOT find these IT people unless you are
willing to live in a place for MONTHS at a time.
They are NOT sitting around in Internet Cafes.

You CAN:

1. Use a 3.5 floppy in internet cafes.

2. You can download onto their machines FTP programs.
(I cannot understand why, but this is allowed.)


1. Cellular or mobile phones where you buy a
new card. You then call your home country long distance.
Download and upload emails with an email client
like Outlook, Eudora, Foxmail, or Pegasus. The
long distance call would be cheaper. This will not
work in places like the Amazon River. But very few
people really travel to isolated places.

This would be cheap for email, and expensive for
publishing pages.

2. Do the same with Satellite telephone.

3. Connect with USB to USB. This would be
the perfect solution. I am searching for the cord
he in India to test. 45 days and cannot find!

4. LAN Card. I think this would work.

5. I have a newer computer. I have two
modem like jack. I think they call them RJ connections.
The larger one I believe is the same size as the
LAN (Local Area Network) cable inside the Internet
cafes. I then have to configure the IP Numbers.
I think that stands for "Internet Protocol."

If I was you I would do NUMBER 5 with a techie.
But I would if possible take them to an Internet
Cafe they do not know. A totally unfamiliar system.
Techies have low esteem often and like to show
you what the know and will not admit what they
do not know. This is the BIG problem.
( In my state there are NO Internet Cafes.)

6. Chis from Idaho is HOT on the the Hotspot
idea. I am not. I think the Techies are lying about
the existence of these so-called Hotspots.
I have trouble getting a good Internet Cafe.

I do not get real excited having a connection inside an internet
cafe and would still only do it rarely. Walking around with a computer
and using one in an Internet Cafe is like wearing a sign.

"I have a years wages here.
Please rob me."

The may be underdeveloped socially and economically, but
their skills of scams and robberies are fully developed.

When I finally learn a system that really works
for a person that changes locations every day.
I will write a tip. I have not found the system.
Most people live in a place and act like they are
traveling. Stationary is easy, mobile is difficult.

NOTE: Do not send links like this by e-mail.

Make them clickable.

I have not looked at your site, and missed the link
on the first reading. I downloaded your email with a
program I download in the internet cafe called Foxmail.
It is 1 meg while all the other are 5 megs an above.

I am here reading your email in my room on my
computer. I normally peruse my emails in the internet
cafe. Look at links, then go home to study them.

Note if you are Bohemian and Beautiful.
Come travel with me. I will show you how to access
and play personally.

I have never met another person that does what
I do on the planet. I do meet people that live in one
city or two cities all the time or return home and
update. I feel I am alone.



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