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3g connection through laptop

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Is it possible to use Outlook Express for sending emails via my english 3g modem card connection on my laptop, normally I just use dial up connection at home here in France with my wanadoo isp. Will be doing a lot of travelling and will not be plugged into a phone socket, thought the 3g would be the answer, ,but at the moment it is not allowing me to send via outlook express , happily lets me receive my emails though. I can also access the web with no problems. Having to go online to write my emails would be a very expensive hobby methinks. I must be doing something wrong, but what ?? please help me , am getting in a right old tizz, thank you,  joan

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Hi Joan,

Yes, you will be able to use your 3G datacard when abroad, so long as it is on a contract and you have “international roaming” on your number as you would with a normal mobile phone.

Note any download amount included in your tariff will not be available when abroad. Using a datacard abroad is more expensive than when in the UK - you will be able to check the cost on your network’s website or by phoning their Customer Service department.

When you use your datacard abroad I recommend you switch off Microsoft Update and any automatic updates on your firewall / anti-virus (etc) programmes in case they download large files.  “Surfing” can be expensive, although sending and receiving emails should not be expensive unless they have large file attachments.

In order to get Outlook / Outlook Express to send emails when using your datacard you will need to make a small change to the settings for your email account.  I have a Vodafone UK datacard – when I use my datacard in my laptop to send emails I need to change the “outgoing mail server” from smtp.wanadoo.co.uk to send.vodafone.net   You can find out what you need to change your setting to by contacting your network’s Customer Service Department.  If you are on Vodafone UK I can email you the instructions in PDF format, just PM me.

Does your datacard double as a wi-fi card, or do you have one as well?  If so, if you want to surf the internet when you’re travelling, it may be cheaper to find a wi-fi hotspot rather than use your 3G datacard.  (locations here: http://www.jiwire.com/ and at a lot of the big chain hotels.)   If you’re feeling hungry when you’re travelling, a lot of McDonalds offer free wi-fi access - details http://www.mcdonalds.fr/ - see “Dans vos restos”.

Re your point about going online to write being expensive, the way round this is to either write your emails “off-line” and then “send / receive” when you go online or type the text into word processing documents off-line and copy/paste the text to an email when you go online.

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thank you for your reply, yes I have Vodaphone 3g with a uk contract, and the roaming facility enabled. I changed the outgoing server in Outlook express to send.vodaphone.net but it did not work. I have phoned the service department but they said they had no information on sending emails through outlook express, my laptop is not wi-fi but I was thinking of buying a dongle or whatever it is called, we are travelling through Spain, and will not know whether I am going to be near a wi-fi hotspot, people say I should pick the phone up, but my dear old Dad likes to receive my twice a week email, bless him. Is the vodaphone 3g datacard wi-fi as well can you tell me. I can get on to the internet & receive emails but still no luck in sending them. I have looked into writing them online but with the speed I type will still be online after an hour.

I would have p.m. you but I don't know how to do that. I would very much appreciate you sending me down the instructions on how to change my settings, great idea about switching off the virus and Microsoft updates, I would have been in a right tizz if they had kicked in.

thank you for your help,  joan

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you are wonderful, brilliant.......    how stupid of me, I have been going mad trying to get sorted & you hit the nail on the head. I thought I was losing my sanity , can now get on with the rest of my life, sounds sad, but I am one of those people who has to finish what I have started before getting on with the next thing.        thank you, thank you , thank you, to both you and Ecossais for leading me to such a succesful conclusion. joan Idea [I]

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I’m glad to hear you managed to get connected.  The instructions I mentioned basically described what to change in Outlook Express, but you’ve managed it now.

My Vodafone datacard won’t connect to my wireless network at home.  As far as I can make out from the instructions a Vodafone datacard will only connect to a Vodafone operated wireless hotspot, so if you wanted to use your laptop in a hotel etc which had a wireless hotspot you would be better off with a separate wireless network card.

You can get a couple of different types – they either look the same as your Vodafone datacard and plug into the same socket on your laptop or you can get ones which plug into a USB socket.  They are not expensive – around £20 - £25.

You can get an idea of what they're like here on the PC World website:  http://www.pcworld.co.uk/martprd/store/[email protected]@@@[email protected]@@@&BV_EngineID=cceeaddjhjlflffcflgceggdhhmdgmh.0&page=ProductList&category_oid=-28363&fm=13&sm=1&tm=2&show_all=true

When you use your laptop at a hotspot, the laptop will “find” the network and when you open Internet Explorer, it will open at the wireless network operator’s home page.  You enter your credit card details for charging and choose how many hours access you want.

If you are sending emails, you might have to tweak the sending server name again – maybe to the hotspot operator’s, eg, smtp.orange.fr

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