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internet access

Jez_in_Kunming (16 posts) • 0

Arriving in Kunming on 27/08/2015 and studying at YNNU. Until I get an apartment sorted is there anywhere I can get reliable internet access for work purposes?

Is the "Free wi-fi" in hotels reliable? Is there a hardwired connection?

Napoleon (1187 posts) • 0

Your Phone or a 4G box. Hotel connections will probably mean you have to stay in the hotel and will be like hotel connections elsewhere, shared among everyone and not much use.

Some restaurants have Wifi you can use. I remember watching the footy on one so cant have been too bad.

AlexKMG (2385 posts) • 0

Most hotels have rooms available with an Ethernet port. Depending on what your work is, speeds maybe fast enough. WiFi is readily available in lots of bars, cafes, etc. VPN is needed if you need access to domains China has blocked.

walter (48 posts) • 0

Most restaurants and cafes have consumer-grade DSL or similar. Reliable is not the word I would use, but then we're in China - even a private connection is inoperable internationally between about 5-10PM. A 4G box will be faster.

Jez_in_Kunming (16 posts) • 0

Cheers. I think as long as I can get online to check emails / skype calls and upload and download reasonably large files (under 1GB) then I should be OK.

any recommendations for a 4G box or VPN?

AdrianCahill (4 posts) • 0

Hey Jez, this can be a real challenge. I bought 100mb connection for my place in Shanghai and struggle to skype. In Kunming I havent been able to skype my family which is frustrating. So internet can be a real challenge. (Not to mention not being able to access Googlemaps)

Astril VPN is the main one for China.

4G Box? I also love to know more about this.

laotou (1714 posts) • 0

Skype in China autodirects to tom.com, Skype's China partner. To skype out of China consistently, VPNs are required, unless you download and use tom.com's Skype app.

I haven't been able to use the US (aka English version) Skype either directly or through the VPN for months (years?), so I dumped the app and service and migrated to Apple's Facetime - no VPN required.

For video conferencing, there are a variety of free and paid apps, web apps, and services, that do NOT require VPNs, to include document sharing, white boarding, and text broadcasting and private messaging to individual attendees. Some apps also provide live document sharing - of open documents. Some apps are point-to-point - meaning you both need the same app (or apps that support the same voice/video protocols) AND externally visible IP addresses - NOT private IP addresses. Private IP addresses typically look like these:
10.x.x.x
192.1.x.x
172.16.x.x

For videoconferencing apps and webapps - if you wanted to show a Microsoft Project or AutoCAD document, but attendees don't have requisite software installed - some apps/services allow you can share that specific document's window to the group, so they can see the open document (and ONLY that open doc) on your screen. The workaround is to print the respective doc to a PDF file and then share the PDF - but this can sometimes be burdensome - especially for CAD or dwg files, which can result in rather large PDF files.

Most free wifi works great for domestic websites - but VPN access can be spotty, depending on the number of connected users AND their net utilization - example everyone's watching videos or playing high-bandwidth online games may cause attempts to connect to your VPN or to offshore websites to timeout.

Mobile 4G/WIFI routers may be purchased from any of the major carriers, but the cost is NOT trivial. You'll need to purchase the box (basically a mobile phone in a box WITHOUT the smart screen, dial-up, and voice capabilities), a SIM card (or the micro/nano sim flavors), and a pre-paid chunk of bandwidth (e.g. 4gb, 6gb, etc). NOT ALL stores will sell to foreigners, as Chinese ID cards are required to purchase SIM cards and they may NOT know how to enter your passport (bring your passport) number into the system (i.e. pad the passport with leading zeroes to achieve the requisite number of digits typical of Chinese ID cards). Best to bring someone bilingual and experienced in doing this stuff with you for this task OR ask your resident office IT geek to do this for you, in return for a nominal gift (coffee mug from home, poster, T-shirt, sports team pins, logos, etc - although most probably any nominal souvenir or gift from home is probably made in China).

The best times to hit free wifi hotspots is in between the major rush hours - 0900-1100, 1400-1600 and if anything's open - 0200-0600 (example, KFC, MacDonalds, etc).

Good luck and happy surfing.

AlPage48 (1392 posts) • 0

Interesting. I downloaded the English version of Skype using my VPN, but then I have no problem connecting without. I can also run Skype from my iPad, again without VPN and no problem. I've done this from Kunming, Chengdu, Chongqing and Shenzhen as well.

Hotwater (205 posts) • 0

Same as Alpage48....I use Skype with very few problems.....apart from bandwidth ones! I find wechat better on my phone for VoIP and video calls to other wechat users.

Alexez (349 posts) • 0

Ive been using Skype 2y now without any VPN, no any major problems. Only sometimes during long talk sessions can disconnect the call ( after 30-40min aprox. ), so just call again without video then.

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