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Without Your Own Computer

Although there's no definitive directory for cybercafes -- these are independent businesses, after all -- start with the websites www.cybercaptive.com and www.cybercafe.com. Larger cities in northern New England, such as Portland and Burlington, always have a couple of cybercafes; in small towns, though, it's often hit-or-miss (usually miss).

Most airports have Internet kiosks that provide basic Web access for a per-minute fee that's usually higher than cybercafe prices. Check out copy shops like Kinko's (now called FedEx Kinkos), which offer computer stations with fully loaded software plus Wi-Fi access. Starbucks coffee shops have a partnership with T-Mobile allowing public Wi-Fi access, for a fee; you need to subscribe to the service through T-Mobile's web site (www.t-mobile.com).

New England's public libraries are great at offering Internet access, nearly always for free; you may need to submit a driver's license or library card or other piece of identification as a deposit. Finally, although youth hostels are thin on the ground in northern New England, they normally offer at least one computer from which you can access the Internet. (Avoid hotel business centers, which often charge exorbitant rates.)

With Your Own Computer

More and more hotels, resorts, airports, cafes, and retailers are going Wi-Fi (wireless fidelity), becoming "hotspots" that offer free high-speed Wi-Fi access or charge a small fee for usage. Wi-Fi is even found in campgrounds, RV parks, and even entire towns. Most laptops sold today have built-in wireless capability. To find public Wi-Fi hotspots at your destination, go to www.jiwire.com; its Hotspot Finder holds the world's largest directory of public wireless hotspots.

For dial-up access, most business-class hotels in the U.S. offer dataports for laptop modems, and a few thousand hotels in the U.S. and Europe now offer free high-speed Internet access.

Wherever you go, bring a connection kit of the right power and phone adapters, a spare phone cord, and a spare Ethernet network cable -- or find out whether your hotel supplies them to guests.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.