What to do: iPhone in hotels with LAN and no wireless

Discussion in 'Travel Technology' started by lili, Jun 20, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. lili
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    lili Gold Member

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    Somebody told me I needed MiFi, but I don't see that solving the problem in European hotels that only have wired internet access.

    I understand I need to set up a hotspot with some sort of router, but how do I do that and can it be done cheaply? (Ideally it would support two devices, either two laptops or one laptop and an iPhone.

    Thanks for not laughing.
     
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  2. mht_flyer
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    mht_flyer Gold Member

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  3. lili
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    lili Gold Member

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    Perfect! Thank you. I can see where you plug the LAN cable in (which didn't seem possible with the MiFi), the price is right, and it doesn't require an additional monthly charge from my phone company.

    Now, do I just plug in the hotel cable, turn the thing on and my laptop finds it?
     
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  4. Chimpy
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    Chimpy Gold Member

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    I have an apple aiport express, so far it has not let me down.
    http://www.apple.com/au/airportexpress/

    [​IMG]


    Now with blazing 802.11n, the affordable AirPort Express is powerful enough to run a home Wi-Fi network, yet small enough to take on the road.
     
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  5. adambadam
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    adambadam Silver Member

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    Correct, and depending on how secure/stingy the hotel is the nice thing about a router is that it can connect mulitple different devices for the price of one once you are logged in.

    And to clear things up MiFi is a device that uses a cellular signal to create a wireless hotspot (WWAN). As opposed to the travel router which takes a local connection via ethernet and creates a hotspot (WLAN) just like you probably have at home but more compact. The problem with the MiFi in Europe is that, just like the iPhone you are either stuck paying $$$$ roaming fees or you have to get it unlocked and find a local data SIM that probably is still fairly expensive and time consuming.
     
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  6. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    I've been thinking on and off about getting a travel router, but to be honest I don't recall when I last stayed at a hotel with only wired Internet access. Since I usually carry my MacBook Air with me as well, I'd probably be able to use it to share the wired Internet via Wifi without having to carry another device (other than the USB Ethernet dongle).
     
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  7. Chimpy
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    Chimpy Gold Member

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    A couple of the benifits I find with a travel router is some hotels may give free wired internet but charge for wireless. The other is you can often create a faster wireless connection yourself than the one a hotel provides.

    I use mine a lot with my iPad.
     
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  8. emajy
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    emajy Silver Member

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    I have used a travel router also. Comes in handy although I have not used it in a long time. Great when the entire family needs to get online and sometimes I get better connectivity then through the hotel WiFi.
     
  9. lili
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    lili Gold Member

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    Pretty, but pricey. Assume it's much more powerful than the TrendNet Travel Router? Home wireless network covers most my needs when not in odd places. But I think I could be convinced this would improve my life immeasurably. Especially like the iTunes to speakers, but someone (the person who recommended MiFi) does this from his iPhone using Apple TV, which we have.

    Agree it's usually not an issue. Last trip 4 hotels with no wireless. Sheraton Heathrow and Sheraton Skyline at LHR, and two local hotels off the grid (the kind that usually have a router in the closet and free internet. ) Comfort Inn Dublin also had no wireless. I carry a 20' LAN cable because of the many times being forced to sit at the desk rather than lounge on the bed.

    I'm not trying to cheat the hotel - have status that gives free internet, just don't like the way some of them provide it.

    adambadam thanks for the explanation of MiFi. That's pretty much what I figured, and it was expensive plus $13.99 a month plus roaming fees. Silly.
     
  10. Chimpy
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    Chimpy Gold Member

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    Sometimes you can pick up the airport express cheap on ebay:)
     
  11. Wurm
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    Wurm Silver Member

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    I have the older (b/g speeds, no 'n') version of the travel router that mht_flyer talked about in post #2 - it works flawlessly, and I paid all of $15 for it a few years ago.

    In addition to the situation where wired internet is free but wireless is on a paid basis, the travel router is useful in those situations when the wired is much faster than the wireless. I stayed at a Four Points last fall where the wired scored 10 mbps on the speedtest.net test, while the wireless crawled at less than 0.2 mbps (both were free).
     
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  12. wheat27
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    wheat27 Silver Member

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    I use a very similar older model d-link wireless travel router that I'm always carrying as I also use it occasionally for wireless testing. The slowness you experienced with the wireless network is very common in many hotels due to a number of factors frequently including poor wireless network design.

    edit: grammar
     
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  13. lili
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    lili Gold Member

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    I was thinking in that direction....

    Sounds like Four Points Revere sort of near BOS :)
     
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  14. BurBunny
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    BurBunny Silver Member

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    The Marriott family of properties seems particularly bad at this. They often don't have hotel-wide wi-fi and the cords at the desk are pitifully short. I, too, carry a LAN cable at all times in my laptop bag.

    And Lili, based on your post on the newbie thread, I came here looking for a stupid question from you. So far haven't found it :)
     
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  15. Used airport express for 2 years.. flawless ,compact and secure.
     
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  16. Jaimito Cartero
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    Jaimito Cartero Silver Member

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    I'm used to travel alone most of the time, and it wasn't a big deal. Now I'm not, and just picked up a Asus router for about $30. It's been a great way so we don't fight over the computer/ipad that has the internet connection. I'm in Bali now, and both Hyatt's didn't have wifi in the room. Well worth the cost!
     
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  17. lili
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    lili Gold Member

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    Airport Express comes with a disc. What's that for? Does each device using the wireless need to have a driver or something downloaded from the disc or is that just to set up the thing initially? Also, Looking at eBay, do I need the latest and greatest model or will the older one work okay?

    Edited because I'm Googling and finding answers.
     
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  18. COFlyerCLE
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    COFlyerCLE Gold Member

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    I love my AirPort Express. It works great, and was completely worth the cost (the unit plugs in directly, so no cords to worry about). It does not always work though, depending on the network configuration (I have had limited success in a Marriott with this).
     
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  19. sobore
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    sobore Gold Member

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    Wow, I'm surprised so many hotels do not have wireless. Are they stuck in the '90's? :confused:
     
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  20. lili
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    lili Gold Member

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    It's always a surprise - especially when you don't take your laptop on a 10 day trip.
     
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  21. Wurm
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    Wurm Silver Member

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    One reason might be that the building itself (the physical materials of the walls, the shape of the building, etc) don't lend themselves to good penetration of wireless signals.

    Another might be a franchise owner that paid to install wired, before wireless became universal, and they don't want to (or can't afford to) add wireless capabilities (many chain have brand standards for HSIA, but not all dictate that the access must be wireless).
     
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  22. iolaire
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    iolaire Gold Member

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  23. lili
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    lili Gold Member

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    Thanks! I was looking at refurbs on eBay, but would rather go with the Apple store for the same price, and Free Shipping!

    ETA: Thanks for the advice everyone. I ordered this today.
     
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