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Internet Access Without Your Own Computer

To find cybercafes in your destination check www.cybercaptive.com and www.cybercafe.com.

Aside from formal cybercafes, most youth hostels and public libraries offer Internet access.

Most major airports now have Internet kiosks scattered throughout their gates. These give you basic Web access for a per-minute fee that's usually higher than cybercafe prices.

Internet Access with Your Own Computer

More and more hotels, resorts, airports, cafes, retailers, campgrounds, RV parks, and even entire towns are becoming hot spots for high-speed Wi-Fi (wireless fidelity or wireless Internet) access. Hotspot Finder at www.jiwire.com holds the world's largest directory of public wireless hot spots.

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.

Cellphone Use in the U.S.

Just because your cellphone works at home doesn't mean it'll work everywhere in the U.S. (thanks to our nation's fragmented cellphone system). It's a good bet that your phone will work in major cities, but take a look at your wireless company's coverage map on its website before heading out. If you need to stay in touch at a destination where you know your phone won't work, rent a phone that does from InTouch USA (tel. 800/872-7626; www.intouchglobal.com) or a rental car location, but beware that you'll pay $1 a minute or more for airtime.

If you're not from the U.S., you'll be appalled at the poor reach of our GSM (Global System for Mobiles) wireless network, which is used by much of the rest of the world. Your phone will probably work in most major U.S. cities; it definitely won't work in many rural areas. (To see where GSM phones work in the U.S., check out www.t-mobile.com/coverage/national_popup.asp) And you may or may not be able to send SMS (text messages) home.

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.