French Internet

Feb 20th, 2006, 06:52 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 6
French Internet

I will be in France for 3 weeks this spring. For 2 of the weeks I will be in a rented house that describes itself as having telophone dial-up internet access. I am used to my cable connection at home in California and have never had dial-up. Can someone give me an idea as to whether or not I am likely to need something special (a special wire or device) to use my laptop to connect to the internet in France?
vbirdie74 is offline  
Feb 20th, 2006, 07:04 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 9,117
You will need a modem on your computer (probably there already), a telephone cord to connect your machine to the outlet in the wall, and an account with the provider of dial up service (the owner may already have this and provide you with the necesary settings and passwords) and you may well need a stiff drink or three to get accustomed to the slower connection speed.
Seamus is offline  
Feb 20th, 2006, 07:05 PM
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 19,000
Well, their phone system is different from ours, so if you have a built-in modem it probably won't work. (It might, but I wouldn't count on it.)

If you can get a modem over there and plug it into a serial or USB port on your laptop, that would probably be the best solution.
Robespierre is offline  
Feb 20th, 2006, 07:10 PM
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 10,387
I can't speak for France, but in Germany the normal phone wires are different than in the US. The connector on the end of the phone end is the same, but wires in the line are run differently. THe wall end of the phone line is also completely diffrent. Before the days of wireless, I would simply borrow a modem cable from the hotel desk. Then I made a $1 widgit at home in the US to switch the lines 1-2 and 3-4. (basically broke open a cheap phone line connector and switched the 4 lines on one of the sides to cross them over. ALso, many modems have a 'wait for dailtone' setting - and European phones don't usually have a typical US dialtone - figure out how to disable that feature before you travel.

so here's my advice
1. Don't plan on the internet working right away from your laptop.
2. watch this forum for some great advice on where to get the widget you'll need.
3. Don't kill endless hours figuring out how to connect - 5min at an electronics or computer store once you're there will get you the part you need.
J62 is online now  
Feb 20th, 2006, 07:13 PM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 177
Phone cable connectors are different.

There are plenty of free dialup ISPs like

But the problem is, all local calls are metered so it can be very expensive to use dialup.

Just find an Internet cafe. There are a couple of EasyInternet cafes in Paris. They may let you use Wifi or ethernet connection with your laptop for afee.
wco81 is offline  
Feb 20th, 2006, 07:20 PM
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 10,387
yes, WCO has an excellent point. the caller pays by the minute for local calls, unlike in the US where local calling from a residence is free.

You can rack up huge phone bills by hanging out online (speaking from experience). I rented an apt a long time ago ane learned the hardway. The landlord told me a couple of local calls a day were considered included in the rental, but she made me pay for the dialup time... live and learn.
J62 is online now  
Feb 20th, 2006, 10:31 PM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 538
Posters are making a huge overcomplication of a relatively simple problem.

Virtually all laptops have a telephone jack equipped to take a US-style phone connection. Virtually every sweet shop in Europe sells connector leads with a US male jack at one end and a local-style male jack at the other. They also sell simple US to local adaptors for about €2.

There are flats in Europe (especially in Italy) with phone connections that need screwdrivers and some understanding of electrics: a place describing itself as having Internet won't be such a place.

Go to Control Panel on any Windows-powered computer and you'll find an array of settings you can play with to cope with different national standards. They are surprisingly easy to use: even Mrs C-S can effortlessly set up hers in places as diverse as Rajastan, Hanoi and Portland, Ore.
CotswoldScouser is offline  
Feb 20th, 2006, 10:36 PM
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 45,322
But, if France is like Italy those minutes on the computer can add up for sure as others have said so do be aware vbirdie.
LoveItaly is offline  
Feb 21st, 2006, 01:26 AM
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 2,121
Be forewarned that if your first exposure to the Internet was via a broadband connection (cable, ADSL, networks at work, etc.), you will probably find dial-up to be intolerably slow, as it is 10-100 times slower than broadband. So yes, you can get it working, but the difference in speed is so great that it's almost like having no Internet connection at all. At best, you'll be able to send and receive a few e-mails and perhaps look at some small Web sites, if you have a lot of patience. Forget about chatting with video, streaming content, Flash animations, uploading and downloading pictures, and so on.

Worse yet, you have to constantly connect and disconnect with a dial-up; it isn't on all the time. And for every minute you are on, you pay.

I think it's safe to say that once you've tasted the speed and convenience of broadband, dial-up is just too frustrating to go back to.
AnthonyGA is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2006, 09:08 AM
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 19,000
As in most things, there is no one-size-fits-all answer.

When using any kind of modem overseas there are four issues to consider: The physical connection between the modem and the telephone line, the potential existence of a digital telephone system, line noise that could interfere with the modem's signals and a dial tone that may not be recognized by the modem

The physical connection between the modem and the telephone line is the easiest problem to solve. While the most common telephone jack is the North American RJ11, there are 40 other kinds of outlets, so you may need to purchase a telephone adapter plug.

Digital Telephone Systems- Modems communicate using analog or sound signals while some telephone systems use digital signal processing. Sometimes there is a special data port on the telephone, be sure to check you are plugging into an analog port. Plugging into a digital system can damage your modem. Check with the computer manufacturer to see what you will need to plug into a digital system.

Line noise is a problem that can occur in less modernized countries. In most cases, you are at the mercy of the telephone exchange but there are a few tricks that might help reduce the interference. First, try connecting at lower modem speeds. If you usually work at 14,400 bds., try reducing to 9600 bds. or even 2400 bds. Or, you can try working very late at night when there are fewer people using the network.

If the dial tone in the country you are visiting is not recognized by your modem, you will probably need to adjust the communication program that your modem uses. Consult your modem manual for these instructions.
Robespierre is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2006, 09:39 AM
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 1,229
Most of points are already posted but I want to put my nose into one item.

Not all laptops have a built-in modems. I have two Dell laptops and one needs and the other no. I do use a PCMCIA modem for this non-equipped laptop without the mode.

These PCMCIA modems come with at least two versions. Some have a small adapter built-in for the RJ11 plugs. Other types of these PCMCIA modems have a special plug, which is specific for this modem. They are also fragile and the wire breaks often. The length of the wire from the modem might be too short, so look around for buying a longer cable. Make sure that you have a little block for putting each line together.

Okay, it's sounding difficult but it's quite easy~assuming that you buy the right items.

Blackduff ~ I used a bag full of adapters which are used all over the world when I worked
blackduff is offline  
Related Topics
Original Poster
Last Post
May 5th, 2010 07:21 PM
Apr 9th, 2007 11:39 AM
Sep 22nd, 2005 09:58 PM
Jun 10th, 2005 07:11 AM
Apr 25th, 2004 08:51 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 07:00 AM.