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Before You Use Hotel Internet Access

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Mobile office professionals need to know they can find good Internet access while traveling and staying in hotels.

I define good Internet access as economical, easy to use and reliable. There is no sense paying for Internet service in a hotel which will not be available due to restricted hours of access or does not allow you to connect without jumping through hoops.

Know Before You Go

Check with co-workers to learn about their experiences before you commit to paying for Internet access in a hotel or make a commitment to staying in a particular hotel. When comparing similarly priced hotels, the deciding factor just may be your Internet access options.

Know what kind of work you plan to do while staying in the hotel – will you only be sending and receiving emails? Will you be sending and receiving large files or using net conferencing programs.

What Do You Need for Access?

Before leaving for your trip, you should get answers to the following questions, either from a Hotel’s web site, information line or from co-workers. What type of access is available? How easy is it to obtain access? What steps do you need to take in order to get online and what information should you have in order to use the Internet. Do you need to reconfigure your laptop or mobile device? What tech support is available to answer questions and assist you?

How Much Does it Cost?

How does the hotel charge for Internet access? Is it free, daily or hourly rates? Do you pay in advance or is the Internet access added to your bill. Should your company pay for internet access while staying in hotel – if used for business yes, if only used for personal reasons – no. Is using your own ISP counted as a phone call and what charges are involved – per call or for duration of the connection? Knowing these charges enables you to decide which method of access is most economical.

Where are the Access Points?

What locations within the hotel provide Internet access? Are you restricted to Internet access from your room only or are there public areas which you can access the Internet. If the hotel does not provide Wi-Fi access, remember to pack an extension telephone cable or Ethernet cable. Most times the jacks are located close to the work area and that isn’t always the most comfortable location in the room.

Options if You Chose Not to Use the Hotel's ISP

  • Use an ISP which has roaming access and have an account which is specifically for work purposes.
  • See if the ISP you use at home provides roaming access. Check online for configuration details from the ISP for roaming access.

Many companies that provide broadband access also provide a set amount of free dial up access which can be used from any location that there is an access number for. There are normally additional charges for going over the maximum number of free hours.

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