Andrew Pollack's Blog

Technology, Family, Entertainment, Politics, and Random Noise

What is the best data plan for roaming laptop access when I'm in the E.U for a week this fall?

By Andrew Pollack on 07/14/2008 at 11:36 AM EDT

The only real down side I have with the Verizon Wireless laptop card I use is that because it is CDMA based it won't work when I go to Europe. In the past I've always just rented a cheap phone and that's been good enough.

This year, I want to do better. I've gotten very very used to the idea of my laptop being able to get a decent speed connection to the internet pretty much everywhere whenever I want. I'd like to be able to do the same thing in Europe. I've found data connectivity in hotels there isn't even close to reliable -- depending on where you are -- and the cost of ad-hoc connectivity is high while the reliability is low.

Here's my criteria, in order of importance:

1. <required> Should work anywhere -- or nearly anywhere

2. <required> Should give me a data transfer rate that is reasonable (e.g. at least 384kbps download and at least 128kbps upload.) -- that's less than half what I get with EV-DO, but its a short term thing.

3. <required> Must be reliable, and not require me to spend 3 days getting it working. It should be as close to plug and play as possible.

4. Can be a PC-Card or a USB conection to a stand alone device or to a cell phone.

5. Can be the same phone I rent to make phone calls with, or not. It will depend on the cost and the data plan.

6. Fixed cost "unlimited" is great, but it depends on what that cost is.

So, readers, what should I be looking at?

There are  - loading -  comments....

re: What is the best data plan for roaming laptop access when I'm in the E.U for a week this fall?By Bill Malchisky Jr. on 07/14/2008 at 03:22 PM EDT

I just went through this with several players for my Dublin trip. Great

First, VZW offers rental global phones. They can ship them to you quickly and
the rates are reasonable. This option is only available via the telephone, as
their stores do not offer this service.

You can also use the GoSim card for any unlocked mobile phone you have for
great rates, then get a Pingo account...where you'll be able to call via a
mobile phone, pay phone, hotel phone back to the States for $0.04/min. -
depending on the origin point. Worked great for me in Dublin.

I can peruse my notes further, but off-the-cuff, this should get you started.
And yes, I was also dismayed that my WWAN USB card did not work internationally.

Good luck.


Other Recent Stories...

  1. 05/05/2016Is the growing social-sourced economy the modern back door into socialism?Is the growing social-sourced economy the modern back door into socialism? I read a really insightful post a couple of days ago that suggested the use of social network funding sites like “Go Fund Me” and “Kickstarter” have come about and gained popularity in part because the existing economy in no longer serving its purpose for anyone who isn’t already wealthy. Have the traditional ways to get new ventures funded become closed to all but a few who aren’t already connected to them and so onerous as to make ...... 
  2. 04/20/2016Want to be whitelisted? Here are some sensible rules for web site advertisingAn increasing number of websites are now detecting when users have ad-blocking enabled, and refuse to show content unless you "whitelist" their site (disable your ad-blocking for them). I think that is a fair decision on their part, it's how they pay for the site. However, if you want me (and many others) to white list your site, there are some rules you should follow. If you violate these rules, I won't whitelist your site, I'll just find content elsewhere. 1. The total space taken up by advertisements ...... 
  3. 12/30/2015Fantastic new series on Syfy called “The Expanse” – for people who love traditional science fiction[] “The Expanse” is a new science fiction series being broadcast onthe Syfy channelthis winter. It’s closely based on a series of books by author James S. A. Corey beginning with “Leviathan Wakes”. There are 5 books in the “Expanse” series so far. If you’re a fan of the novels you’ll appreciate how closely the books are followed.TIP: The first five episodes are already available on If you’re having trouble getting into the characters and plot, use those to get up to speed.The worlds created for ...... 
  4. 10/20/2015My suggestion is to stay away from PayAnywhere(dot)com  
  5. 08/07/2015Here is one for you VMWARE gurus - particularly if you run ESXi without fancy drive arrays 
  6. 08/06/2015The Killer of Orphans (Orphan Documents) 
  7. 06/02/2015Homeopathic Marketing: Traveler on my Android is now calling itself VERSE. Allow me to translate that for the IBM Notes community... 
  8. 03/17/2015A review of British Airways Premium Economy Service – How to destroy customer goodwill all at once 
  9. 02/26/2015There's a bug in how @TextToTime() and @ToTime() process date strings related to international standards and browser settings. 
  10. 01/21/2015Delivering two new presentations at Developer Camp (EntwicklerCamp) 2015 in Germany 
Click here for more articles.....

pen icon Comment Entry
Your Name
*Your Email
* Your email address is required, but not displayed.
Your thoughts....
Remember Me  

Please wait while your document is saved.