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Wi-Fi dongles how why what?

Posted by TassieWombat on 1/1/2014 at 16:44

Heading to China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Malaysia
Taking a laptop to "communicate" e.g. YM - Skype - Ventrilo - email:

I have been advised to get a Wi-Fi pocket modem. I know my way around desktops fixed to a modem BUT am a "Nerd" on laptops while traveling. :-(
So I am led to understand I will need a Wi-Fi modem like this for example:


Can someone tell me: Do I need to buy SIM cards in each country visited expressly for that country? How much are they likely to be? (I know that depends on data) Is it a costly business to use them for e.g uploading to You Tube / Flickr? And what "reception" can I expect in the above countries?

Appreciated :-)

#1 TassieWombat has been a member since 6/4/2012. Location: Australia. Posts: 44

Posted by LeonardCohen1 on 1/1/2014 at 20:26

A lot of hotels and some restaurants have free wifi so u.dont need any add on. Can sit near pool and use laptop.

#2 LeonardCohen1 has been a member since 24/7/2012. Posts: 2,148

Posted by SBE on 1/1/2014 at 22:03

You'll probably be able to manage OK without a dongle unless you're going off the beaten track a bit. Even in Thailand some places still don't have much wifi access (eg resorts that still rely on generators for electricity) so it might come in handy as a backup there.

What kind of operating system does your computer have? The dongle I bought a few years ago only seems to work with MS (and possibly Apple) machines...doesn't work with my ubuntu netbook even though the packet said it was Linux friendly. Also if you do get a dongle make sure it's fast enough to be useful. The cheapest ones can be excruciatingly slow ...even opening an email can take ages and uploading a youtube video would be out of the question.

I think you'd need to buy a different local simcard for each country but they're usually very cheap and I buy different ones every time I change countries for my phone anyway. Using a dongle does eat up phone credit quite fast though so best to only use it as an occasional backup if you do decide to get one.

#3 SBE has been a member since 14/4/2008. Location: Global Village. Posts: 2,055

Posted by TassieWombat on 1/1/2014 at 22:55

Was only going to take an "old" Nokia phone and buy a local SIM card for booking rooms and other local calls. I really have no intention of calling home (too expensive) and if people want me they can YM-Skype- Vent or post on my website: http://wanderingwombats.net/

I am running Windows 7 in an upgraded new Toshiba notebook, I put an SSD and 8GIG RAM in it and although it used to be like a "slug in molasses" it really flies now. (From 2.5 mins startup now down to 15secs)
I did speak to Huawei about their e5830-3g-pocket-wifi-modem and others they make and they said yes I would have to get a SIM for each country as we moved through. It would appear they are good quality (guessing that because of the price) so I thought a Wi-Fi dongle would get me online where there was no hotel or other connection.

#4 TassieWombat has been a member since 6/4/2012. Location: Australia. Posts: 44

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