Category Archives: WIFI Hotspots

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Free WIFI Hotspots in Ubud in Bali, Indonesia

Frankly, if you can’t find free WIFI in Ubud — you really aren’t looking very hard. If you walk anywhere in downtown, they are absolutely everywhere.

Aside from Chiang Mai, Ubud is certainly the most digital nomad friendly location that I’ve experienced thus far.

Those that have been here, where are your favorite hotspots in Ubud?

Drew Meyers

Drew Meyers is the co-founder of Horizon & Oh Hey World. He worked for Zillow from September of 2005 to January of 2010 on the marketing team managing Zillow’s API program and various online partnerships. Founder of Geek Estate Blog, a multi-author blog focused on real estate technology for real estate professionals, and myKRO.org, a blog devoted to exploring the world of microfinance. As passionate as you get about travel.

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Free WIFI in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Certainly one of the most digital-nomad friendly places I’ve traveled to, there’s no shortage of WIFI hotspots in Chiang Mai. Here are a few of my favorites WIFI hot spots to work at in Chiang Mai:

Good Morning Chiang Mai – While the WIFI doesn’t work extremely well outside in the bean bag chairs, it’s a nice comfortable reading spot to plop down with my Kindle. The WIFI works better sitting inside (downstairs and upstairs), just not as comfortable. The breakfast is good and moderately priced. Located on Rachamankha Soi 6 (details here).

Paca Mara – Not much food available, but great iced coffee with extremely reliable WIFI. If there’s a group of you, there’s a nice table in the back that can fit 4-5 people, and has plugs available. It’s on Rachadamnoem right near Lila Chang Massage.

Bird’s Nest – Located in the Northwest corner of the old city, the atmosphere is great and they cook excellent food. Two decent sized tables if you’re in a group of 3-4. Located on Sinharaj, Soi 3 (details).

Smith Residence – I happen to be living in Smith Residence, and the wifi connection there has been great for the entire past two weeks. Never once have I experienced an internet outage, and skype calls have worked flawlessly. Smith Residence is right south of Chiang Mai gate. For a visitor, it’s 50 baht per day for their WIFI.

Starbucks – There is a large Starbucks right by Thae Pae Gate. I’m sure the WIFI is very reliable, but they charge for WIFI access. In a city littered with free WIFI cafes, there’s no reason to pay for expensive coffee AND pay for WIFI.

Where are your favorite spots?

Drew Meyers

Drew Meyers is the co-founder of Horizon & Oh Hey World. He worked for Zillow from September of 2005 to January of 2010 on the marketing team managing Zillow’s API program and various online partnerships. Founder of Geek Estate Blog, a multi-author blog focused on real estate technology for real estate professionals, and myKRO.org, a blog devoted to exploring the world of microfinance. As passionate as you get about travel.

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Internet Etiquette on the Travel Trail

“Why is the internet so freaking slow?” (aka NOT working at all)

The famous travel question.

There are three primary reason the internet doesn’t work. A) The internet is down altogether (read: nothing you can do). B) Too many people on the internet at the same time (read; nothing you can do). C) Someone is “hogging” the bandwidth (read: go knock some sense into them and share this post with them).

Those that have traveled long enough have undoubtedly run into the infamous “internet hog”. You know, that guy/girl who is streaming movies, tv shows, or uploading several hundred photos to Facebook while everyone else is fighting for the last remaining scraps of internet bandwidth trying to send out an email to mom, skype a best friend, send a last minute proposal to a client, book a flight reservation, etc.

Internet bandwidth varies from location to location. In London, the United States, Hong Kong or most fully developed countries with a thriving tech sector — it’s pretty darn hard to kill everyone’s bandwidth by streaming YouTube movies on MOST WIFI connections. But in the developing world like much of Southeast Asia, many of the guest houses, cafes, and bars do not exactly have fast internet connections. And don’t even get me started about how slow the internet is in rual Ghana. The thing many forget about wireless connections abroad is that they are not the same strength as in the US. Not even close.

Here is what I believe constitutes proper internet etiquette on the travel trail at WIFI hotspots:

  1. Take a look around — are there other people on laptops using this same connection? If yes, then seek to avoid streaming video if possible.
  2. If you HAVE to watch video, do a quick test and see how long 5 seconds of video takes to load. If more than 10 seconds, shut the video off immediately.
  3. DO NOT stream video if you notice the internet is slow to load sites like CNN, ESPN, Facebook, etc. It’s a sure sign that if regular websites are slow to load, streaming video isn’t going to improve anything — for you or anyone else.
  4. Facebook Photo uploading – do a test of 5 photos. If they upload extremely quickly, proceed with a larger number. If 5 upload slow, don’t upload anymore unless there is absolutely no one else using the internet around you.

When I come across these internet hogs, I want to pull my hair out at times. For lack of a better word, they are “lolly-gagging” at everyone else’s expense. There is only so much bandwidth on any given internet connection. So, to those at a WIFI hotspot where other travelers are using the same bandwidth, please consider the other people around you prior to engaging in any bandwidth hogging activities.

What other internet etiquette do you think travelers should abide by?

PS: I can’t complete this post without calling out one of my best friends, Dan Nelson at Bankvibe, for his infamous “lolly-gagging” habits on the travel trail.

**Photo via Comptalks

Drew Meyers

Drew Meyers is the co-founder of Horizon & Oh Hey World. He worked for Zillow from September of 2005 to January of 2010 on the marketing team managing Zillow’s API program and various online partnerships. Founder of Geek Estate Blog, a multi-author blog focused on real estate technology for real estate professionals, and myKRO.org, a blog devoted to exploring the world of microfinance. As passionate as you get about travel.

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Wifi in Nairobi, Kenya at the iHub

As you know, that thing called “WIFI” is slightly important to funding my travels — and that’s exactly why I was so stoked to find the iHub upon arrival in Nairobi. It’s an amazing facility funded by Ushahidi (where my friend Erik Hersman is Director of Operations). Decently fast internet spots in Nairobi seem few and far between, but this place is wonderful and offers a great entrepreneurship culture complete with a foosball table and Pete’s coffee (how can you beat that?)! Dan and I have been able to be quite productive the last few days following our adventure to Mount Kilimanjaro that took us off the grid for 7 days in Tanzania.

After spending the last 6 months traveling, I can confidently confidently say I wish there were facilities like this in more cities across the globe. Perhaps a “network” of these facilities across the globe is in order — I’m willing to bet there would be some fantastic innovation if wondering tech nomads were to band together and form a few web businesses.

Drew Meyers

Drew Meyers is the co-founder of Horizon & Oh Hey World. He worked for Zillow from September of 2005 to January of 2010 on the marketing team managing Zillow’s API program and various online partnerships. Founder of Geek Estate Blog, a multi-author blog focused on real estate technology for real estate professionals, and myKRO.org, a blog devoted to exploring the world of microfinance. As passionate as you get about travel.

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How I Go About Finding Good WIFI in a New City Internationally

Since I work virtually, that thing they call the ïnternet¨ is kind of important to me. Just a little. I don’t need much while traveling, but WIFI is the one thing I can’t go without (for very long). So it goes without saying that the first thing I generally do when I get to a new city abroad is scout out WIFI locations. It’s a tedious process.

Step 1: Check my hostel or hotel. It´s often the case that hostels, and particularly hotels, have free WIFI — but the quality of the connection is always a bit up in the air. Very seldom do I get a several hour work session in at a hostel without internet cutting out at least once on me. At that point, you often have to wait for someone to go reset the router or for it to reset itself, but generally most places fix it fairly quickly since a gang of people all usually gets cut off at the same time.

Step 2: Scout out local cafes with free WIFI. I usually walk around the area near my hostel or hotel, and especially main streets nearby, looking for ¨Free WIFI Zone¨ signs posted on doors or windows of restaurants and cafes.

Step 3: Search the internet for WIFI locations. There is no good central resource for decent WIFI locations internationally (that I’ve found at least), so this method is usually a bit challenging and time consuming from my experience.

Step 4: Starbucks of McDonald´s almost always have internet connections for customers in Europe. However, at Starbucks, they only give you 45 minutes with the purchase of something — though, in some places like Valencia, they are pretty relaxed about it and happy to give you additional time at no cost.

Step 5: Look for internet cafes that charge for time by the hour. This is usually a last resort, but the only option in some cases.

And the process doesn’t end once I find a WIFI location. Many WIFI locations have shaky connections, so the strength and quality of the network are just as important as finding a network in the first place. For important conference calls or YouReach Media webinars, I judge the quality of the connection I´ve been using — and if it frequently cuts out on me, then I head to an internet cafe and grudgingly pay for internet time.

[Photo via ChipChick.com]

Drew Meyers

Drew Meyers is the co-founder of Horizon & Oh Hey World. He worked for Zillow from September of 2005 to January of 2010 on the marketing team managing Zillow’s API program and various online partnerships. Founder of Geek Estate Blog, a multi-author blog focused on real estate technology for real estate professionals, and myKRO.org, a blog devoted to exploring the world of microfinance. As passionate as you get about travel.

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WIFI Hotspots in Valencia, Spain

Luckily, the Purple Nest where I stayed my first four nights has free WIFI and a nice lounge area to use it from. But aside from that, WIFI in Valencia is sparse from my experience thus far. The only places I’ve found with decent WIFI are McDonald’s and Starbuck’s. The other night, I spent a good three hours at Starbucks doing a YouReach Media Webinar & doing a number of Skype calls — even though you only get a 45 minute access code with the purchase of coffee or food, I went and asked the barista and he gave me 4 more 45 minute codes over the course of the next few hours. There are several Starbucks scattered throughout the city to choose from.

The Drifting Duo and I walked around for several hours today looking for a decent WIFI hotspot — with little success. One place that definitely didn’t work was Cafe & Te – so don’t go there. We connected to their network, but it just has limited access, so we couldn’t actually access anything online. Not sure if their network was down, or if it’s just a ploy to get more people in the door.

We finally ended up with an ice cream sunday and WIFI at McDonald’s, which worked fine on my Macbook Air, but didn’t work on the DriftingDuo’s LG netbook.

On a related note — I feel like someone could make a killing if they started a nice cafe where people could get food and coffee with free WIFI and lounge around in an air conditioned spot for a few hours.

My Valencia WIFI grade: C-

Drew Meyers

Drew Meyers is the co-founder of Horizon & Oh Hey World. He worked for Zillow from September of 2005 to January of 2010 on the marketing team managing Zillow’s API program and various online partnerships. Founder of Geek Estate Blog, a multi-author blog focused on real estate technology for real estate professionals, and myKRO.org, a blog devoted to exploring the world of microfinance. As passionate as you get about travel.

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WIFI Hotspot in Dublin, Ireland – Cafe Sol

For some reason, I found it difficult to find a good WIFI hotspot in Dublin. I stayed at Barnacles in Temple Bar, so was primarily looking in the surrounding area. There is, of course, several Starbucks nearby — but you have to spend 5 Euro and you only get 2 hours of time. After talking to a few locals last night, I did find a good one — Cafe Sol on Dawson Street (right near Graffton Street). I spent a few hours making Skype calls with great wifi & coffee in a relaxed environment. They had food as well, but I didn’t order any while I was there today.

Drew Meyers

Drew Meyers is the co-founder of Horizon & Oh Hey World. He worked for Zillow from September of 2005 to January of 2010 on the marketing team managing Zillow’s API program and various online partnerships. Founder of Geek Estate Blog, a multi-author blog focused on real estate technology for real estate professionals, and myKRO.org, a blog devoted to exploring the world of microfinance. As passionate as you get about travel.

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Wifi Hotspots in Perissa Beach, Santorini

I spent this past summer living in Perissa Beach with a four other friends, and here are the places we frequented for internet access on a regular basis:

Bob’s Bar – The Wifi was strong, staff is extremely friendly and were very accommodating with pulling out their extension cord for us when we needed power to charge our computers. The internet cut out occasionally, but they would reset the router for us within minutes usually. A few times, the internet was completely offline for a day or two as a result of the internet company or lack of paying the bill — but they always got it resolved within a couple days.

Atlas Bar – I spent the most time here of anywhere all summer. Sometimes the network cut out or went extremely slow when numerous people were on it simultaneously (or someone was trying to download a massive file or watch a video), but wifi is reliable at Atlas for the most part. There are two outlets to use (both located up near the ceiling in white receptacles) – one near the front of the restaurant and one near the back.

Beach Bar – Great strong wifi that seldom cuts out with one convenient power outlet that you can use if needed. Definitely not a place to use wifi (quietly) late at night – the bar gets packed and extremely loud. One negative I should point out is that if they don’t have the Air Con turned on inside during the day, it’s a sweat box and unbearable on an extremely hot day.

Matrix – This is an internet cafe that you have to pay for, but the internet is very reliable and the computers are nice with big headsets. If you find yourself needing to print something or need a quiet place for a phone call, this is the place. Cost is about .50 Euro for 30 minutes if my memory serves me correctly.

Have you visited a location somewhere in the world and want to write a post about Wifi access there? Let us know.

Drew Meyers

Drew Meyers is the co-founder of Horizon & Oh Hey World. He worked for Zillow from September of 2005 to January of 2010 on the marketing team managing Zillow’s API program and various online partnerships. Founder of Geek Estate Blog, a multi-author blog focused on real estate technology for real estate professionals, and myKRO.org, a blog devoted to exploring the world of microfinance. As passionate as you get about travel.

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Where to Find Internet Access in Perissa Beach, Santorini

I just published the list of local establishments in Perissa Beach that I frequented for internet access this summer on Oh Hey Santorini.

Head over and check it out if you’re looking for Wifi hotspots there!

Drew Meyers

Drew Meyers is the co-founder of Horizon & Oh Hey World. He worked for Zillow from September of 2005 to January of 2010 on the marketing team managing Zillow’s API program and various online partnerships. Founder of Geek Estate Blog, a multi-author blog focused on real estate technology for real estate professionals, and myKRO.org, a blog devoted to exploring the world of microfinance. As passionate as you get about travel.

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Wifi Hotspots in Rodos Greece

My buddy and I have been on Rhodes for about a week now (ever since we got “stranded” here) and I wanted to share some Wifi hotspots for others to check out on their visit:

Socratous Garden – this is located inside the “fortress” right on the main drag. They have fast and reliant internet, nice toilets, were accommodating with helping us find outlets, and Mythos was 3.60 Euro. Not a bad place to hang out!

Starbucks – I know, no culture here, but comfort is beyond anything else I’ve seen since I left the states in May. Not to mention, the vast majority of coffee over here is instant Nescafe and tastes absolutely horrible. A cup of Starbucks is a nice change of pace from the crappy coffee I’ve been drinking over here the last few months. The internet is not free here, but you can buy a Starbucks gift card for 10 Euro and they will give you free internet access cards while you are there drinking your coffee. My friend and I used this tactic for 6 hours and had two coffees apiece.

Lime Pension Viennese Cafe – We stayed at Youth Hostel Rodos (10 Euro a night) and this quaint little place is right around the corner hidden away from the main drag. Awesome internet, lots of electrical outlets, a couple nice (sometimes loud) dogs, and Mythos for 3.50 Euro. This was my favorite WIFI place to post up in Rodos that I found.

Drew Meyers

Drew Meyers is the co-founder of Horizon & Oh Hey World. He worked for Zillow from September of 2005 to January of 2010 on the marketing team managing Zillow’s API program and various online partnerships. Founder of Geek Estate Blog, a multi-author blog focused on real estate technology for real estate professionals, and myKRO.org, a blog devoted to exploring the world of microfinance. As passionate as you get about travel.

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