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Agony Aunt: How do I get online abroad?

Dear HP,

I'm taking my HP Mini on holiday to Florida soon. How do 'connect' successfully and do I need any accessories for my mini.  Also, do I use the adapter you normally take with you on holiday. Do I need to purchase a dongle abroad?  Help!

- Jetsetter


Here’s what I do. To recharge, I bought a cheap plug adaptor at the airport and I just plug my existing power cable into that. HP Notebook power supplies are designed to work with US and UK voltages so you’ll be fine. To get online overseas, I mainly use Wi-Fi wireless networking. Lots of hotels, cafés and airports have free or pay-by-the-hour connectivity. However, you can also use 3G wireless broadband over the mobile phone network. It’s probably easier and cheaper to buy a prepaid dongle in Florida when you get there if you don’t have easy access to Wi-Fi. You can also buy a prepaid SIM card for an existing dongle or built-in 3D mobile broadband modem (which is what I have). If you search the web, you can also find suppliers who will sell you a US SIM card or dongle before you go. The final option, which is the most expensive but most convenient, is to enable global roaming on your existing dongle or SIM card and pay roaming charges when you get there. However, on my smartphone, this runs to £6 per megabyte so the bills quickly mount up. I hope you have a great trip – send us a postcard.


(If you have a question for our IT Agony Aunt, please use the form on the main Business Answers website.)

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About the Author(s)
  • Matthew Stibbe is CEO at Articulate Marketing and TurbineHQ. He is an HP fanboy.
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