Computer questions

patshadi

Registered
Hi - I have already gotten so much helpful info from many of you for upcoming trip - and am back for more. What do I need to take with me to make sure lap-top works. Place were staying does not have wi-fi. Do I need to set up an account there and get new e-mail address?

Apreciate it

Alicia
 

arockwell11

Registered
WiFi and Personal VPN
If you're going to use WiFi, you should consider using a personal VPN to protect yourself. It encrypts your data so anyone intercepting the signal can't read it.

I use the following one, but there are several. At least look at what it does for you if you're not already using one:
http://www.witopia.net/welcome.php
For email and internet browsing the overhead and extra hop to the VPN server isn't too noticeable. It is noticeable on streaming video.

Claro - 3G wireless internet without signing up for a plan
If you want to use your laptop in places that do not have internet WiFi or cable, look at using Claro 3G. You can purchase the mini-modem for about $199.00 pesos (about US $52.00) and buy top up Claro cards and use the internet anywhere you can use a Claro phone. It costs about 3 pesos per hour. My experience is about 1.6Mbits/sec down and 0.12Mbits/sec upload sitting in my apartment in Recoleta. I use http://speedtest.net/ to measure the speed.

It took several trips to Claro before I could use it reliably. I think more to my misunderstanding Spanish and the procedures, than due to Claro. If you try this approach and need help in English, let me know. I don't know a lot, but I can now use it consistently.
 

tangobob

Registered
You need to check your laptop will work of 220v, most do I think, but if yours only works on 110v you will need a transformer or an alternative power supply.
 

elhombresinnombre

Registered
tangobob said:
You need to check your laptop will work of 220v, most do I think, but if yours only works on 110v you will need a transformer or an alternative power supply.
Most electrical equipment nowadays - laptops, cellphones, personal audio etc - uses switched mode power supply units which function normally over the voltage range 100 - 240. You shouldn't have any trouble but as Tangobob says - check first!
 

arockwell11

Registered
Even if his laptop power block can switch between 110 and 220, he'll probably need at least a plug converter for the outlets here.

Although, I never really believe what the PC maker says, I always use a plug converter and power transformer. After 40 years working with computers, I am a firm believer that if it can happen to me, it will, and it usually does if I don't take all precautions.
 

elhombresinnombre

Registered
arockwell11 said:
Even if his laptop power block can switch between 110 and 220, he'll probably need at least a plug converter for the outlets here.
Actually, it doesn't switch between 110 and 220, it monitors the input power and samples (switches) what it needs into the output. It has an operating range normally of between 100 & 240v so will work with any mains supply within those parameters.

arockwell11 said:
Although, I never really believe what the PC maker says, I always use a plug converter and power transformer. After 40 years working with computers, I am a firm believer that if it can happen to me, it will, and it usually does if I don't take all precautions.
RCDs and surge protectors are good investments. And regular off-site backups. A friend of mine thought he had covered all the backup angles by installing a RAID system which worked perfectly - until the lightning strike :eek:
 

arockwell11

Registered
elhombresinnombre said:
Actually, it doesn't switch between 110 and 220, it monitors the input power and samples (switches) what it needs into the output. It has an operating range normally of between 100 & 240v so will work with any mains supply within those parameters.


RCDs and surge protectors are good investments. And regular off-site backups. A friend of mine thought he had covered all the backup angles by installing a RAID system which worked perfectly - until the lightning strike :eek:
That's good information on the laptop power converter, I didn't know that. I just used the word switch to shorten the reply.

The plug converter I use has a fuse to protect from surges. It's already proven itself to blow the fuse and not the things attached to it.
 

totus

Registered
I second arockwell11's recommendation to use a personal VPN service. HotSpot Shield (http://hotspotshield.com/) is one such service that's free to use (they're able to offer the service for free by inserting a small banner ad in your browser window). I've used them for a few years and have no complaints.

Whenever you're using a public wifi hotspot, whether you're checking email, IMing, making online purchases or checking your bank account, it's always a good idea to make sure your data is encrypted via a VPN (Hotspot Shield, WiTopia, etc) so that your private information (logins, passwords, credit cards numbers, etc) can't be "sniffed" over the network.
 
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