There are internet cafes all
over Athens, in just about every neighborhood since many young people don't own computers themselves and this is the only way they can play computer games. You can also find internet cafes on
Mykonos, Santorini, Lesvos and
probably every other island by
now. Many hotels now have a computer you
can use, most have DSL and charge a fee, usually the more expensive the hotel, the more the fee but there are hotels that are expensive and don't charge a fee. You should ask when you book your hotel because I have seen one Luxury Hotel that charged almost 20 euros a day and another where it was free. The economical Hotel Attalos in Athens has free wireless for people traveling with laptops and several highspeed computers their guests can use, also for free. If you factor in what it will cost you to use the internet from an internet cafe (expensive) you will come to the realization that by staying in a hotel that has free wireless and free use of a computer will save a lot of money.
The Bits and Bytes internet chain has several locations around the city. Even the fast food chain Everest has internet access as does Starbucks of course. Both have locations all over the city. The entire port area of Pireaus has free wireless internet too so you can check and answer your mail while you wait for your ferry. Some ferries have internet but you have to pay by the hour. Syntagma square is wireless. I know on Kea you can sit within 100 feet of the town hall and get free wireless and I assume this is the case in other islands too.
Actually you don't need any of the above info because every cafe in Athens has free wireless. All you have to do is ask for the name and the password when you sit down and order a coffee.
Laptops and Converters
on 220. Most laptops convert
automatically or with a switch, but
you will need a small plug adapter. If
you want to buy one it is called the
standard European and you can buy it
in Radio-shack or any electronics shop
in the USA or in Greece. Make sure
that the holes will fit your plug
because sometimes one is larger than
the other. Most of the computer shops
are located in Exarchia near the
Polytechnic but there are others scattered throughout the city. There is a giant computer-media store called Public, right in Syntagma Square if you need to buy adapters, wireless cards or whatever. They sell these cards that you can use for the internet. My daughter bought them for about 10 euros each and they seemed to last forever. I think they only work on dial-up but if you are just receiving and sending e-mail that may be all you need. You can buy them almost anywhere.
Of course downloading e-mail on a dial-up is easy except for all the spam and junkmail you have in your mail some of it with big useless attachments. So what do I do? I go to www.mail2web.com and delete all the stuff I don't want before going to my e-mail program to download my mail.
Computer Service and Computer Repair
There is nothing worse than traveling in a foreign country and having your laptop stop working. PC Express offers a full range of computer service and computer repair that will meet your entire travel, home and business needs. PC Express technicians are highly trained and provide professional, high-quality computer service at affordable rates. They offer complete laptop service and laptop repair solutions. Their highly experienced laptop repair technicians perform professional, prompt service on all makes and models of laptop
computers. They offer laptop repair services at the most competitive
prices in the market. When
you call PC Express you can be sure that your computer service will be
done properly the first time. They can repair any computer, no matter
where you bought it and they speak English. Call 210.960.6860 or e-mail them at firstname.lastname@example.org
or go to www.pcexpress.gr/en
Mobile Laptop Connect
A few years ago I bought a media card for my laptop which enabled me to use the internet through the GSM cell phone lines. In most places it was painfully slow. Even slower than dial-up. Plus not only did it cost $120 a month, I also had to pay a per megabyte fee which was not too bad depending on where I was. The problem was that I did not know where it was expensive until I got back to the USA and got my bill. Not only that but because I was in Lesvos my device was grabbing the
signal from Turkey which charged about 100 euros an hour. When I came back to the USA, the company (AT&T if you must know) agreed to take off some of the charges since I could prove that I had not gone to Turkey. But they told me that I had signed up for a years contract (which I had not) and I had to pay $180 to break it. The point of this story is to tell you that there are options out there and you should check them out and make sure that there are not extra charges for use in Greece. (If you find something
good, like wireless highspeed satellite or GSM that costs about 50 euros a month please let me know.) For those of you traveling with your blackberries they seem to work OK, though you may have to get on some international plan, temporary if they allow you. Wind, Vodefone and Cosmote all have mobile-laptop devices but they make you sign a one-year contract and you need a Greek AFM (Tax number). Oh yes, someone I know went to Greece with a plan paid for by his company and got a bill for $8000 for the first month. Apparently he was using it to skype his girlfriend in the USA using video and was paying by the megabyte! Ouch. So make sure you read all the fine-print if you get an international wireless plan for your laptop.
When you get right down to it the best thing to do is stay in hotels with free wireless internet. Personally I think all hotels should offer free wireless. It seems a little chintzy to me that you stay in a 4 or 5 star hotel and they have to charge you 10 euros a day to go on-line? In this day and age that is like charging you for each time you flush the toilet. The Hotel Attalos has free wireless for those with laptops and iphones and free use of computers for those who don't.