When you first arrive, you may be without internet for several weeks or months. Here are a few places where you can access the internet in the meantime.
If your computer registers a wireless network, consider offering your neighbor a small portion of their internet payment, in exchange for their password to access the internet while waiting for yours to be activated.
Currently Starbucks offers free WIFI. See store or website for details.
The Central Library offers free internet access. If you have a library card, you can book one of the computers ahead of time (they are often full, so reserving one is advised). Otherwise you can utilize one of a few computers available for 15 minute increments by those with no library card. Downloading is not available on these computers.
The Aberdeen Art Gallery is also a provider of free wireless access in their coffee shop.
Some fast food restaurants also provide Internet service for their patrons. Specifically, the McDonald’s and Burger King on Union Street have moderately good service.
Once you have a student ID card through the university you will have access to the computer labs in the University Library, The Hub, and other various computer labs around campus.
Many current families may also be willing to let you use their internet for a short time. Don’t be afraid to ask! We’ve all been where you are and we know what it feels like to need some time on the web to stay in touch with friends and family.
Skype is a wonderful resource that turns your computer into a telephone enabling you to chat with your loved ones across the ocean completely for free. To get connected you will need to download Skype from their website and have a microphone or a webcam with a microphone connected to your computer. Once you have installed Skype, search for family and friends using the search capabilities. You can either call them computer-to-computer, which is free, or you can call their landline or cell number for a nominal charge. To do so you must first purchase Skype credit through their site.
Skype is a great way to stay in touch with family and friends far away for free. Even better, unlike the telephone, it provides the option of seeing the person you are talking to. Although a great communication option for those on a budget, there are a few things to keep in mind.
The call quality can vary depending on time of day, connection speed, etc. Sometimes you may experience choppiness in audio or video. Reestablishing the call can usually correct this though.
Sometimes you may experience audio feedback or an echo. Keep your microphone as far away from your speakers as possible and keep your volume low.
Macs do not do as well with Skype as PCs, but one thing that helps is downloading the Skype version that is made specifically for Apple users.