The same security concerns that apply to internet cafes often apply lớn cafes that offer WiFi.

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Not that long ago travelers wrote letters & postcards và made the occasional phone gọi baông chồng trang chính, but today’s travelers depkết thúc almost exclusively on the web to lớn communicate with friends and family. Travelers also use the internet to lớn upload & mô tả their digital photos và videos, communicate via many forms of social truyền thông media, publish travel stories, journals and blogs, & vì chưng their banking online while away from trang chính. Although the internet has made it easier to lớn stay in touch and pay bills while traveling, there are also several drawbacks abroad that should make travelers somewhat cautious. In some remote locations, where Wifi is not available lớn you, mạng internet cafes are not as easy to lớn find, và you might find security and access speed not quite up lớn your expectations at home, though access tốc độ in countries such as the U.S. is now being equaled or surpassed by several countries of the world (South Korea offers almost 35% internet speed increases, on average, for example, & Scandinavians are used lớn very fast connections).

As the importance of the web has grown worldwide, so did the number of mạng internet cafés for a time, though the need is vastly declining of late in many parts of the world due to the omnipresence of WiFi hotspots và the usage of smartphones to access the website. In some more remote travel destinations they remain a familiar sight. In some countries people cannot easily afford a computer or even a smartphone with web access, so mạng internet cafés also serve sầu the local population, which explains why even small towns may have several such cafés that are often crowded.

In Europe, as in the U.S., the few remaining mạng internet cafés also serve sầu as actual cafés that sell drinks và snacks, or even alcoholic beverages, but in most other parts of the world they are mostly an extension of an existing business, such as a phokhổng lồ store, print cửa hàng, or convenience store, with a few computers mix up in a baông xã room. The spaces may be dark, small, and they are often crowded. Using them for gaming is also not uncomtháng.

What to lớn Bring With You

Most people use their address book built into their tin nhắn homepage, but it might be a good idea to bring an actual address book or printout as a backup with the most important tin nhắn addresses. If you regularly access your bank or credit thẻ accounts online, you should bring a list with the user names và passwords, hiding it carefully, of course. Make sure you encrypt such information in a way only known to lớn you, so nobody else can access your accounts. You can also bring a small external USB flash drive containing important information & files you would like to lớn take with you on your trip. Make sure that the drive or the files are password protected, so nobody toàn thân else can use your personal information. In addition khổng lồ portable external drives you can also store files on secure online data storage services, which are now known as "cloud" services. You can access your files from any computer by signing in, which is a secure way of having access lớn important files, documents, và addresses, without carrying an external drive sầu or disk. You can also leave sầu your important files at trang chủ and retrieve them through remote access by connecting to lớn your trang chủ computer via its IPhường. address. All you need lớn bởi is configure your home computer lớn allow remote access and mix up a user name và password to access it from anywhere in the world. Cheông xã your computer’s manual & help function to lớn find out the details about how to lớn connect to your computer remotely. The disadvantage khổng lồ this approach is that your trang chính computer has khổng lồ be always up & running, and you need someone there to ensure that it is.

Finding An internet Café

Most travel guidebooks today các mục internet cafés, but I usually just walk around town và take a mental note of the ones I pass or of regular cafes or laundromats with Wifi. I usually peek inside lớn see if the computers are new if I do not have one. I also kiểm tra khổng lồ see if there are booths or space that provides sufficient privacy. Prices usually go up with the unique of the equipment, but it is best to lớn compare rates at several cafés before making a choice.

Find out what the mạng internet café is primarily used for; that way you know if you can get the desired silence và privacy.

In Brazil I have found internet cafés equipped with microphones và headsets, và people were using the computers mostly for phone calls via the mạng internet. Some internet cafés may cater to a teenage crowd playing online video games—not the best environment if you need lớn concentrate or work as a travel writer. Others may be near a university & may be crowded in the afternoon after classes. Almost all hostels và budget hotels are also providing internet access, often as hotspots, sometimes by offering one or two computers set up in a comtháng area should you not have sầu a laptop or điện thoại thông minh. While they are conveniently located, the computers can be outdated, and security is somtimes suspect. Most higher over hotels also provide computers with mạng internet access for their guests, especially hotels that cater to lớn business travelers, though WiFi is increasingly ubiquitous. There are a many options for không lấy phí mạng internet access as well. Public libraries often have sầu such computers, and regional or city governments in some countries fund không lấy phí mạng internet centers lớn promote its usage among mỏi the local population. Some countries are providing public Wifi in many locations via the government or provided by private stores, cafes, restaurants, etc.

The Quality of mạng internet Café Services

The services offered also vary drastically. Some mạng internet cafés with older equipment are not phối up with USB ports, CD burners, or even disk drives. Pay attention, inspect the computer, or tell the employee which features you need on the computer. With viruses easily spreading from one external drive/disk to lớn another, some have disabled their USB ports và floppy disk drives. In France, a few years baông chồng, it took me a long time to lớn convince the owner of such an establishment lớn let me use his own computer with a disk drive, since none of the public computers had them. He quoted security concerns with viruses as the main reason why he did not let people connect external devices lớn the computers. But for the most part, it is now much more comtháng for computers to lớn have USB ports than only a few years ago, probably in keeping with the dem& of users, who increasingly want lớn upload photos, videos, và other multitruyền thông files.

If you have problems with mạng internet access or your computer is unresponsive, it is best to switch computers. I have sầu found few employees at internet cafés who are computer experts and can quickly troubleshoot problems. The most comtháng response to problems is to simply turn the computer off & post an "out of order" sign on it.

Connection speeds vary greatly & you should be prepared for very slow access speeds depending upon where you are. Many mạng internet cafés—especially in developing countries—still use dial-up telephone modems khổng lồ connect to the mạng internet. Depending on the mạng internet infrastructure of your travel destinations, the ISPhường. servers might be far away, which further slows down connection speeds. In a small town in northeastern Brazil there was no local mạng internet Service Provider at the time, and I had khổng lồ pay long distance telephone charges to lớn connect lớn the hệ thống from the nearest đô thị a few hundred miles away. I have sầu also found that in remote locations in developing countries mạng internet access is intermittent, as servers are often down. These factors make internet access somewhat difficult, slow, & unreliable. If you are traveling to remote areas you should not count on reliable access. The fasted internet connection you will find are available in urban areas.

WiFi access is harder lớn find outside airports và major international khách sạn chains, so if you are bringing your own computer you are better off with bringing a cable modem or using public computers for mạng internet access altogether. That is not to lớn say that more & more smaller hotels, rentals, và regular cafés are not now offering the services, as availability and demvà grows.

The Cost Factor

The hourly rate at internet cafés usually reflects the overall cost of living of the country. In South America và parts of Asia, you can get an hour of internet access for a dollar or two, but in Europe you will pay five times that much or more. The cost for burning a CD or DVD is usually low, but I have sầu found that you will be charged for burning a CD even if you bring your own CD & burn it yourself.

Security Considerations

Security is a problematic issue at mạng internet cafés and WiFi hotspots worldwide.In Argentina, a few years ago, a frikết thúc of mine had his Paypal tài khoản compromised after he signed on at an mạng internet café. He found out that someone had been trying khổng lồ withdraw his funds khổng lồ an Argentinean trương mục. Fortunately Paypal blocked the unauthorized transaction, and my friover did not đại bại any money. Use PayPal"s và other banks security tools lớn cover yourself to lớn the maximum, và likewise when using public tin nhắn. Always make sure that you sign out of every secure trang web, so that nobody can use the browser’s history thực đơn to access secure websites.I usually try to lớn delete my web browsing history before leaving the computer & I also close the browser. But you never know if a computer might have spyware installed, which might gain access to lớn your passwords & personal information via logging your keystrokes. If you connect external or portable devices devices such as USB flash drives or floppy disks, you should also be concerned about viruses, worms, & Trojan horses, especially if you copy files to lớn your external device. Run scans with the latest security updates after each tải về lớn be sure. Better to be safe...

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The most secure internet cafés are those where the computer is remix to its mặc định settings whenever someone logs off from an internet session. That way all records of your browsing history are deleted when you sign off. In some countries I have sầu found chains of internet cafés that operate with a prepaid card. This is very secure way to lớn have sầu mạng internet access since the computer is remix khổng lồ its mặc định settings as soon as you sign off.

For more information about staying connected, kiểm tra out our Staying Connected While Abroad resources. If you prefer khổng lồ use your own máy tính xách tay when traveling, see my article on Traveling With Your Laptop Computer Overseas for some practical inside tips.

For More Info

Online Data Storage Services:

See đánh giá and liên kết to the many great options for cloud backup storage, a service which is very useful, if not indispensable for your piece of mind, both at home page and overseas. You never want lớn thua thảm photos & documents, & there is no reason anymore if you have a decent mạng internet connection. 

Make use of Google Drive Apps (including Google Docs, Spreadsheets, Slides) and more lớn save sầu your data, your documents, email, và many other forms of truyền thông media. Try to lớn use two-step verification where possible for added security.

Apple iCloud backs up files on Macintosh computers khổng lồ an online server, but files can be retrieved while traveling. Try to lớn use two-factor authentication where possible for added security.

GoToMyPC offers a secure way lớn access your trang chính computer from any web browser or wireless device while traveling, though more và more people are storing all their data on the Cloud.

Volker Poelzl is a Living Abroad Contributing Editor for He regularly visits internet cafés on his travels around the world and often takes his máy tính computer with hlặng.