questionssilly question, is wifi in europe is the same as…

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yes - I use my Mac and iPhone same way in USA and Europe and China

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I've never had a problem connecting with my laptops or iPhone on a, b, g, or n.

They're pretty all standardized protocols. What can get tricky is the different security protocols - WEP, WPA, etc.

Yes, a tablet or netbook is a good idea and is suited for that purpose. As for cell, look into the costs because both phone and data roaming is prohibitively expensive. If you need a phone, look into getting a pre-paid plan over there. Or use skype over a wifi.

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@jsoko: That is what I was thinking but I did not want to buy something and haul it all over for nothing.

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@first2summit: I checked out the cell charges last trip and told my husband I would not be calling. I used internet cafes and paid per hour that time. This time my hotel for most of the trip has free wifi so I firgure it is worth bringing a gadget to use.

Now the fun, choosing a gadget. I will do some reading and be prepared for the next Woot offering.

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@jsoko: That answer doesn't really make sense. Both 802.11b and 802.11g are IEEE wireless standards. B isn't a Europe only standard, it is just an older (slower) wireless standard than G. Before G existed, everyone was using B or A.

B, G, and N are all compatible with each other. The connection speed depends on the speed of the weakest link. (If you have a B adapter connecting to a N network, you will connect at B speeds.)

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It's all the same. If you're buying a router you have to have the CE symbol to use it in Europe (I've not seen one without it but they might be out there). Now, cordless phones, that's a different story.

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Have used wi-fi w/my netbook in Spain & Italy. No problems at all. You will need an electrical plug adapter to charge your netbook/laptop whatever. I also take my Kindle (it's an International). Same plug adapter needed to charge that.

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I believe, in Europe, they drive on the other side of the radio spectrum.

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As others have said, A, B, G, and N are different standards. If both the transmitter & receiver support a given standard they can "talk". Nowadays, most stuff uses G or N, but you still find B here and there. (For various reasons, A used to be more expensive so you usually saw it in corporate situations).

The only difference between various countries has to do with wireless channels. Many european countries allow more channels to be used by wireless than the FCC does in the US. When lots of different wireless signals overlap (like you and our neighbors) setting your access point to different channels can help reduce interference. I've found that 90% of home users leave it on the default no matter what country they are in, so the extra channels don't really matter.

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@ pattiq: I don't think this was a silly question at all. I had no idea either, and while I don't have any personal use for the info at this time, one never knows when someone might ask me -- and then I get to sound smart by knowing the answer.

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@magic cave: It is an honest question but it seemed like I should know the answer. I could google but I would rather hear from a person who knows from experience than try to interpet search results. Sometimes something should work in theory but the fine print throws a monkey wrench at you. I would have been dipleased to buy a toy to use, drag it halfway around the world and then decide that it is a paperweight to cart around and glare at.

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@jsoko: As @rustybender says, your answer isn't quite right. As long as the end result is a "yes" for the OP, I think it's good enough, but wireless networks are pretty much the same everywhere, excepting 802.11a.

For the geeks and other interested parties, here's a decent write up from our old friend, Wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IEEE_802.11a-1999

Back outside for me. :-D

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@rustybendy & @shrdlu: I simply looked up the question on google and it popped up.

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@jsoko: I do want you to know I wasn't one of the downvoters. I do downvote comments, but only mean ones. I thought you were trying to be helpful (which you were, of course). Hardly deserving of downvoting. I saw that you linked directly to your answer (which was very helpful, since it told me where you'd got the information from). I thought about correcting that answer, but I am lazy. Very.

No worries. :-D

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Not a silly question at all. People with real-life experience are better than any printed info you could look up. This community is good at telling you how they really feel on subjects. Someday I hope to use the info from this question as well. Thanks for asking it!

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@shrdlu: I appreciate it... I try to help the community the best I can, especially when there are no answers for a while.

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I didn't even question such a thing first. Good thing it worked out.

I recently came back from Europe, where all four of my Androids had no trouble with the wifi networks in the hotels anywhere. I don't even know what I've got in them, whether they're at 802.11b or g; they all work together.

As for cell phone, if you're on GSM (att or tmobile) buy a SIM card in the country. You'll need to unlock your phone (tmobile gave me a code for free). It wasn't as easy as popping in the new card and unlocking the phone (like they said it would be -- the locals had to dig deep into the settings to get things working; test it before you leave the store), and they don't have the 4G speeds, or even 3G everywhere (depending where you go), but it was excellent to have the access everywhere for maps, translations, etc., as well as back-up when the hotel wifi had issues.

FWIW, I bought cards in Poland and Ukraine and paid less than $15 for each for the service with plenty of bandwidth.