Technology on the go

Life on the road can be hard, but when you have access to the internet to keep in touch with family and friends, it makes the trip all the more enjoyable. Drew explains how to keep in touch on the road.

Technology Options
There are a few different options available for those looking to hit the open roads travellingAustralia… or even the rest of the world. The three main options are:

  • laptop/netbook
  • tablet computer
  • smartphone

Each of the three options can be adapted to suit your travel needs, it all depends on what you are looking to achieve with the technology, and how much you are willing to spend.

A laptop/netbook can cost you anywhere from $198 up to $2000. If you are purchasing a netbook, you will be receiving a very basic form of technology which is designed for sending emails, surfing the internet and document processing. With a netbook, you get what you pay for. It’s worth paying a little extra for a known brand as netbooks are notorious for having a short life-span. A laptop on the other hand will cost significantly more than a netbook but, is significantly more powerful and can be adapted to a wide range of programs and graphical experiences.

A tablet computer, such as an iPad, will cost you between $400-$900, depending on whether you opt for the iPad 1 or 2, and if you go for Wi-Fi only or include 3G mobile internet. The iPad is very convenient for on-the-road travel as it gives you access to internet, email, games, applications, the ability to read eBooks and hold a video conference, all in the one device.

The last option is a smartphone. Not the first consideration as an option for keeping in touch when travelling, you will be surprised by how much an iPhone, Blackberry, Android or any other style smartphone can do. You will obviously need a phone of your choice which you can use to access email, surf the internet, play games, use handy applications and of course, use the phone as aGPSalong the way.

Internet on the go
As you are constantly travelling, there are three main options for accessing the internet on the go, with two of these options being free.

Free Wi-Fi hotspots

With 1130 free Wi-Fi hotspots around Australia, you can map out where you will visit to check your emails and keep in touch for free on the road.
Visit www.freewifi.com.au

Free computer use
There are 1560 branches of local public libraries located throughoutAustralia with a further 120 joint-use libraries, mostly in country areas.

The majority of these offer computer use including internet for a short period of time.

Mobile broadband
There are many mobile broadband plans on the market but when you consider the networks available, the best option when travelling around Australia are the Optus and Telstra networks, as you want to go with a company with a large network of towers for fast internet speeds in a wide range of areas.

Depending on how much data you need, there are fixed and pre-paid data plans available from Telstra and Optus which won’t break the bank, starting from $9.95.

Telstra Fixed Plan – //go.bigpond.com/wireless/

Telstra Pre-Paid – //www.telstra.com.au/bigpond-internet/mobile-broadband/prepaid/rates/index.htm

Optus Fixed Plans – //www.optus.com.au/store/broadband/mobilebroadband/plans

Optus Pre-Paid – //www.optus.com.au/store/prepaidwirelessbroadband/modems

Are you or have you been a Grey Nomad? Share your technology experiences below.



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