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Internet in China?

 
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JonathanA



Joined: 09 Feb 2003
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2003 7:34 am    Post subject: Internet in China? Reply with quote

Hello, I am going to China for the first time next month to teach English. I want to bring a palmtop computer with me. I have a couple of questions here:

Will my modem with a standard North American phone jack be compatible with ones in China?
How restricted is Internet use?
How reliable/fast are the connections?

Thanks
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asianomad



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 5
Location: China

PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2003 9:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jonathan, my experience is that the phone wiring in China is the standard 4-wire type, but you may not have a western jack - the phone is often hard-wired into the wall. However, if you're the least bit handy, you can easily buy a western plug at a hardware store (in China or before you arrive) and wire it yourself - with permission from the landlord, of course. Laughing

Internet service is widely available -- many cities have a 'free' number you can dial and only pay for the local call. These are generally slow. You can also buy internet time on small pre-paid cards that are easy to use, and the service is considerably faster. Outside Beijing, Internet cafes are abundant and cheap, but the service is hit or miss.

Make sure you buy a spike protector for the phone line - some of the new digital lines can fry your modem. Good luck!

asianomad
Dalian / Bangkok
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Roger



Joined: 19 Jan 2003
Posts: 9138

PostPosted: Tue Feb 25, 2003 7:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As for hardware, I concur with the previous guy although I have no clue as to what a "spike protector" is.
I just want to add that the use of the Internet is subject to Government-monitoring and frequent and very heavy-handed interference!

Currently, it takes me about half an hour to open my hotmail account! On the other hand, Dave's forums can be accessed within seconds. Interesting, isn't it?
BBC is accessible but you cannot read any reports.
Sometimes, the website you are trying to access is blocked. Reroute it through a search machine, and it often works!
It just is crazy here!
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Amanda Williams



Joined: 06 Feb 2003
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Tue Feb 25, 2003 4:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not an expert on the internet by any means, but when I was in China I had some problems with access. Firstly, many internet cafes are closing down (my favourite in Xian changed almost overnight into a snooker hall). According to a Chinese friend, the government is saying that it wants to cut down on 'internet addiction' amongst school students who spend all night in internet cafes playing Counter Strike, instead of spending their time memorising their textbooks... Secondly, I agree with Roger about the 'heavy-handed interference' from the government when you are trying to access certain sites. For example, I was never able to get through to anything on geocities. Thirdly, if your school supposedly provides internet access, it might be that this access is through a password system controlled by your boss, who has to be there to put the password in while you connect, and then stand over you while you email your mum... this happened to me in a Chinese-run school and felt very weird indeed.
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eric the king



Joined: 22 Feb 2003
Posts: 24

PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2003 1:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Roger - your problem may be with your server, not with heavy handed interference. I have no problem with connecting to any sites (BBC being the exception of course) including hotmail and get pretty much instant access. I did have sopme trouble last week but I put it down to a new and cheaper pre-paid connection number I had acquired. I changed back to my old one and now it's all ok.

A lot will depend on where you live. In my old apartment, connections were very slow and would often throw me out. Now, I have no problems. Also, the majority of new apartments in Beijing come complete with broadband - very much a selling pint in the real estate market here. I have it but have never bothered getting connected.
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Edward



Joined: 04 Mar 2003
Posts: 46

PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2003 1:55 pm    Post subject: things come and go in Guangzhou! Reply with quote

And China for that matter it seems...

What am I talking about? The Internet Cafes are back! Evidentally, the rules were relaxed, or the FEES for said licenses were dropped to more affordable levels. Either way, the "E Cafes" are growing in the city each month.

Access to the Internet is relatively good in the city. I have ADSL, and of course you can use those Internet cards to dial into the Net [be forewarned on this though; you STILL pay for every minute you are online using your ordinary phone line, BESIDES losing time off your card! At the end of the month, you may well have a tripled or quadrupled phone bill!]

The ADSL I pay for is around 130 RMB, but it is getting cheaper, and there are more than one provider.

Accessing various sites seems to be a bit of hit and miss as well.

Getting around things with a proxy server or sox proxy is an answer, provided you know HOW to do it.

Roger mentioned trouble with Hotmail. It is true that it can take forever to actually log into your hotmail, but that is more of a problem with hotmail servers themselves, and that blasted "Net Passport" sig-in B.S. than anything else. [for those in the know... use your MSN Messenger to log into your Hotmail. It speeds up the actual Net Passport log-in, and usually shaves off up to a minute off the time you actually see your Inbox appear!]

You are limited in some cases as to what sites you can visit, such as CNN [at times; other times you can access it, as stated you can always try by entering the site, say "CNN" through a web search engine, click the link and <sometimes> PRESTO! You're in]

That was a bunch of bla bla that I hope helps someone out there!

Good luck and happy "Red Surfing" ! Razz

Michael
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Anne-Marie Gregory



Joined: 11 Mar 2003
Posts: 117
Location: Middle of the Middle Kingdom

PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2003 2:53 pm    Post subject: Proxy advice for idiots please Reply with quote

Hiya,

I'm a dumb girlie who'd like some foolproof advice for accessing the BBC's news pages via a proxy server. I'm online from my own aging but lovely laptop using the world's slowest broadband connection in Xinyang (Henan).
All advice will be gratefully received.

Love and mercy,


AM
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eric the king



Joined: 22 Feb 2003
Posts: 24

PostPosted: Sun Mar 16, 2003 4:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Anne-Marie
I've not tried for a while but I've always found that all BBC pages are impossible to access. i don't know the politics behind this but i am sure that there are some.
Good luck
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Anne-Marie Gregory



Joined: 11 Mar 2003
Posts: 117
Location: Middle of the Middle Kingdom

PostPosted: Sun Mar 16, 2003 10:44 am    Post subject: Haha [email protected], I've got the Beeb! Reply with quote

OK, I appreciate that this must be pretty elementary for many of you, but I now have access to the BBC's news page for the first time in this great nation!

http://news2.thdo.bbc.co.uk

Until one of those 30,000 gainfully employed computer graduates pulls the URL.
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