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Nov. 19th, 2011 @ 11:09 pm Wireless travel
Current Mood: happyhappy
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As usual, I bought Kodama, my Asus EEE900 netbook, with us to Japan. And (not quite coincidentally) every hotel we stayed at had internet access, so we could mail our travel diaries and upload photos to kliktikfix. Most of the older hotels had installed wifi routers at a strategic place -- even the monastery where we stayed at Mt. Koya had a wireless router about five meters from our room, and with the ricepaper walls, reception was excellent. Not only could we use the laptop, we could also use our telephone in wifi mode to read up on our friends page, check Twitter or, more importantly, play Wordfeud.
But with the hotels in Kyoto, Okayama and Hiroshima, we had cabled internet in the room. Good enough for the laptop, but not practical for the telephones. We survived fine without wifi, but it did cost me a few Wordfeud games because I couldn't connect for four days in Kyoto. And time on the laptop was at a premium...

So I bought a travel wifi router: an Edimax BR-6258n. It's a really small device: about a third of the size of my telephone, though thicker because it has to fit two UTP sockets. One socket is for the WAN, and one socket allows you to loop de wired internet through to the laptop -- handy for uploading movies, which is faster and more reliable through cable. The router is even powered by USB, so while you do get an adapter in the box, there is no pressing need for another adapter when using this. And the advantage of that is that the router shuts down when you power down the laptop -- so when you leave your room, nobody is going around using your wifi connection. It has all the features you'd expect from a wifi router, so I set an SSID and a WEP2 key for it, through a handy web interface.

I don't know what the range of the thing is. Apparently it's not up to par with the larger routers with external antennas, but there is no need for that: it has to cover a hotel room, not a soccer stadium.

I'm pretty pleased with this. I look forward to using it in the future!
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From:andrewducker
Date:November 19th, 2011 10:21 pm (UTC)
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That sounds terribly useful. Not expensive either, cheers for the recommendation.
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From:fub
Date:November 19th, 2011 11:04 pm (UTC)
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We actually looked for something like this in a Bic Camera in Kyoto, but we couldn't find it. I searched online, and it turns out there are several travel router models from different brands. This one was the cheapest I could find, and it works quite well.
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From:babarage
Date:November 20th, 2011 01:23 pm (UTC)
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sounds pretty good. have thought about it before but never gone after it. might do now :).

just to be sure, it remembers the settings (network name and password) so when you plug it in the phones can connect straight away? because that would also take away the hassle of connecting the phones in each hotel. just enter the room, plug in the router and you are good to go!

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From:fub
Date:November 20th, 2011 03:59 pm (UTC)
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Yup, it gets stored in flash memory, so it'll remember the settings. And you have to have cabled internet -- in my experience, it's either one or the other.
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From:babarage
Date:November 20th, 2011 04:15 pm (UTC)
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in the US, hotels tend to have both in our case we end up having to connect 4 devices to the wifi if available. some hotels haven't figured out how to make it easy for their guests so this could help a lot! curious how it will react to screens where you have to accept some kinda policy. but it will be worth the relatively small investment!
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From:fub
Date:November 22nd, 2011 07:08 pm (UTC)
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Most of those policy-accepting screens go by MAC adress -- and since everything will be routed through the router, you'll share a single MAC adress. I'm guessing only the first to open a web page has to go through that particular hoop.
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