Email and Internet on the go
Check that you have a global modem before you leave home, or buy a local PC card modem in Australia. Some modems may 'die' if they are connected to a digital phone line. Protect your modem with a device such as Modem Shield.
- AOL - 1800 265 265
- iiNet - 13 19 17
- Primus - 1300 858 585
- Telstra Big Pond - 13 12 82
Use an ISP email account and download (POP3) your email to your computer. You can then leave the internet café, after a few minutes, and read your emails offline in your own time. Obviously with your own computer, you can compose your emails offline for sending when you next connect online. You might even read and reply whilst connected at the internet cafe if convenient. Using your own computer, you do not need to worry about the security of entering passwords for accessing your online banking, or stock trades.
The most convenient way to send and receive emails whilst travelling is to open an account with one of the free web-based email services. Some seem to be plagued by junk mail; but there are plenty of alternatives, suck as ekno (www.ekno.lonelyplanet.com) or Yahoo (www.yahoo.com). These email providers will allow you to access your mail from any Internet connected machine running a standard web browser (including Netscape Navigator or Internet Explorer).
Way Out Back
Most people tend to agree that the internet cafe is the most sensible solution; however, drive a bit further into the outback and they are far and few between. To avoid this you can:
1. Connect your laptop to the internet via a dial-up connection on your NextG phone. Using NextG, you don't need an ISP to connect, as NextG provides a direct dial-up connection. However, you will of course still require an ISP to provide an email service. use a broadband connection via a USB plug-in modem (Mobile Broadband). This technology is called 1xEV-DO; said to deliver data speeds of up to 2.4M b/s. You can expect superior data connection when in city areas, but it diverts to the lesser speed of 1x (70-144kB) when in regional areas.
2. Purchase a mobile email appliance enabling you to compose your email and send it down a phone line by dialing a toll-free Australian access number, holding the appliance against the phone and pressing a button. With this appliance, you do not require a mobile phone as this system works with any regular landline device (which means you can use it at a public phone box), however it can of course be used with a mobile phone if necessary.
When totally out of mobile service range of NextG, GSM and public phone boxes, you will have to rely on either:
- HF radios
- Satellite phone
- Sat-Trak24 -This is a new Australian satellite network designed specifically for data transmission (not voice) over the internet via satellite; it incorporates a messaging service into its system for recreational travellers.
At last - The Video Webcaster sq1 makes video mail simple and easy to use, and it works for all PC users.
It's a video capture, compressor and emailer all in one. The small size video files allow you to send your video email to anyone on the Internet. You can also use the software to make a video file for your web site or PowerPoint presentation.
Got a web cam and a microphone? Then DOWNLOAD the Video Webcaster sq1 software and start sending video mail to friends, relatives or business associates. There's more information at www.vidnet.tv.
One of the best ways to get a glimpse of some of the wonders of WA is to have a look at the live webcams available. We recommend WebcamsWA and also Broome webcams. Another excellent example, is the coastal data website; maintained by the WA Government Department of Planning and Infrastructure and showing live footage of some of Perth's and WA's best beaches.
Additional Travel Sites
- Lonely Planet - Here you'll find excellent summaries regarding travelling around Australia; postcards from other travellers; and the 'Thorn Tree' bulletin board - where you can ask questions before you go, or dispense advice when you get back.
- Exploroz website - This has some fantastic features and great tracks.