February 28, 2021 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Travel Tech 101: Advice When Abroad:

I’m writing this week’s article from my hotel room in Costa Rica. Intended as a pure vacation, my trip turned into a working vacation when a conversation over sushi in a little beach town in Costa Rica revealed that a local hotel had lost their Wi-Fi coverage and their tech guys had been non-responsive. Scott to the rescue! A techie’s work is never done. A couple hours of tinkering later, Wi-Fi coverage is restored and I have my first client in Costa Rica.

Domestically, I have found that Internet service and cell phone service, including data, is fairly reliable in most cities and suburbs. On road trips, rural Interstate highway coverage becomes a bit less reliable, especially west of the Mississippi, but the occasional call or email can happen. Hotels and other public places offer Wi-Fi service unless they experience a failure, like my Costa Rican friends. In the past I’ve written about the importance of using secured Wi-Fi instead of open connections, and that rule of thumb still applies. In the U.S. there is usually cell phone service available and a data connection that can be used when a secured Wi-Fi network is not available. And of course, power outlets for laptops and batteries are never an issue.

However, when traveling abroad, there are other considerations. Power, for one – there are many countries in which the power plugs are completely different, to say nothing of voltage. I did a little research, and fortunately for me, Costa Rica uses the same power we use in the U.S. Most outlets aren’t grounded, so I brought a two to three prong adapter along, to be safe. That said, I found most hotel rooms had at least one or two grounded outlets.

But what about countries that don’t use the same juice that we do? If you’re a Mac user, it’s easy. Every Apple device from your MacBook Pro to iPod nano is a world device, meaning it can take all types of electricity. You just need to purchase the Apple World Travel kit and swap the plug ends according to the instructions. Aside from Apple, some manufacturers have travel kits available for their products that can range greatly in price, while others have very little flexibility in the power they will accept, thus necessitating proper power converters to keep from blowing up your gear. Be sure to do your research well in advance of departure.

As for Internet access, I found that all of my hotels on this trip included Wi-Fi Internet service, although usually the signal could only connect fairly close to the main office. That worked pretty well for me, and helped to keep me off my laptop and in the jungle, which was a blessing.

I also learned all about cell phone coverage and international use of a cell phone. I’ll share more of my findings in the next article, which will go into detail about international mobile devices. In the meantime, I’m off to rainforest, where I’ll do my best to stay off of Facebook. Wish me luck!

Scott Bly is the President of IT Freeway, a Santa Monica-based, small business computer consultancy. He teaches seminars at MacMall in Santa Monica and is a member of the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce Technology Committee. His debut young adult techno-thriller novel “SMASHER” is being published by Scholastic/Blue Sky Press in Spring 2013. You can reach him via email at scott@itfreeway.com.

in News
Related Posts

Video: Closing Down Westside Oil Field?

February 26, 2021

February 26, 2021

Officials are discussing closing a Westside oil field sitting on hundreds of acres of prime coastal land. Learn more in...

Pico Neighborhood Affordable Housing Project Breaks Ground

February 26, 2021

February 26, 2021

Over 70 units of affordable housing come to area near Woodlawn Cemetery By Sam Catanzaro A 70-unit-plus affordable housing development...

Large Properties Drive-up Santa Monica Home Sales Amid Pandemic

February 26, 2021

February 26, 2021

Annual report shows single-family home sales rising By Sam Catanzaro Interest in large properties with five-bedrooms or more helped drive-up...

Santa Monica Police Arrest Parolee for Setting Stolen Car on Fire

February 25, 2021

February 25, 2021

Alex Omar Aguirre arrested by Santa Monica Police Department By Sam Catanzaro A Santa Monica resident this week watched as...

Video: Closing Streets to Allow for More Outdoor Dining?

February 25, 2021

February 25, 2021

A drunk driver recently crashed into a Santa Monica outdoor dining area, bringing attention to a proposal that would close...

Dozens of Santa Monica Restaurants to Participate in dineL.A.

February 25, 2021

February 25, 2021

First ‘spring’ season of culinary event to begin first week in March By Kerry Slater Dozens of Santa Monica restaurants...

Video: Free LA Metro Rides Could Begin Soon

February 24, 2021

February 24, 2021

LA Metro could begin offering fare-less rides as early as next year as part of a $300+ million program. Learn...

Danny Trejo’s Tacos Coming to Santa Monica

February 24, 2021

February 24, 2021

Popular restaurant owned by legendary actor coming near Promenade By Kerry Slater Legendary actor Danny Trejo is bringing his popular...

Violent Crime Declining in Santa Monica: Santa Monica Beat – February, 22, 2021

February 22, 2021

February 22, 2021

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * Violent Crime Declining in Santa Monica * Santa Monica Animal Shelter...

Santa Monica Convicted Felon Indicted for Multiple Firearms Charges After Shooting into Neighbor’s Yard

February 22, 2021

February 22, 2021

Jason Walsh faces federal prison time for January 9 incident By Sam Catanzaro A Santa Monica man previously convicted for...

Westside Hotel to Homeless Shelter Sparks Debate

February 21, 2021

February 21, 2021

A proposal to convert a Westside hotel into a homeless shelter has sparked a debate. Learn more in this video...

Housing Backers Start Facing Post-Pandemic Reality

February 21, 2021

February 21, 2021

By Tom Elias, Columnist The mysterious blindness that apparently affected California’s top legislative housing advocates all through 2020 seems to...

Santa Monica Awarded Over $5 Million for Affordable Housing Production

February 21, 2021

February 21, 2021

The California Department of Housing and Community Development has announced two awards to the City of Santa Monica for future...

Asian Woman in Brentwood Verbally Assaulted in Racially Motivated Attack

February 18, 2021

February 18, 2021

While walking near the intersection of Bundy and Montana an Asian woman was verbally assaulted by a man walking his...