Having access to wireless internet connection means staying connected these days. Staying online is pretty easy and fairly cheap in Istanbul.
You will see that you have a good number of choices even if you have or don’t have your personal computer with you.
There are other options like phone calls and normal mail too. But using wireless internet for communication is far more easy and cheap.
There is a wireless internet connection service for guest use in nearly all public spaces in Istanbul.
Hotels, hostels, pensions, cafes, airports, shopping malls are hot-spots that offer free high-speed wireless internet service.
- Internet with Your Own Notebook:
You will have an easy access to the wireless internet connection service in your room in most hotels.
If not in your room you can easily reach the internet connection in the business center, lobby or the lounge of the hotel. All 5-star hotels have Ethernet ports (RJ-45) for high-speed internet connections.
Wireless internet connection is usually free in small hotels. There might be a small charge in big hotels though.
Just ask the hotel staff for the password. And you are ready to go!
- Internet without Your Own Notebook:
You will have an easy access to the internet connection in the business center, lobby or lounge in most hotels with computers dedicated to guests.
If you stay in a smaller hostel with no internet service the owner will most probably allow you to use an office computer, just ask.
The service is usually free in small hotels. There might be a small charge in big hotels though.
Just ask the hotel staff for the password to access to their wireless internet connection.
If you have your own notebook with you, there is no problem in using the wireless internet connection.
Cafes, coffee shops, restaurants, shopping malls, airports have wireless internet connection for guest usage. These days it is kind of a trend between locals to show up in a café with the laptop and sit there for hours with fixed looks on the monitor.
Just ask the staff for the password and use it!
Internet cafes are very easy to find all around the city with reasonable prices for wireless internet connection.
Internet cafes are generally located around Istiklal Street in Beyoglu and around Sultanahmet, on the upper floors of the side streets of the main street. Just look around, you will see. Or ask someone, they will show you the nearest one.
Prices are time-related for the use of the computer or the Internet. If you want to use scanners or printers you pay an extra.
Here is all info you need about VoIP with wireless internet connection and dial-up phone calls.
Phone calls are easier and cheaper through VOIP services like Skype. These services require wireless internet connection.
You can use a broadband-based telephone service such as Skype (www.skype.com) or Vonage (www.vonage.com) from your own laptop or any computer in an internet cafe. You can make international calls easily.
You can make free international calls if you use these sites. You can talk with other computer users anywhere in the world for free.
And you don’t have to pay horrible prices for making international calls anymore.
How to use Skype:
Computer to Computer:
If you have access to wireless internet connection you can connect with whomever you want in seconds and talk with digital-quality.
The only thing required is two computers on two sides and having Skype downloaded on those computers.
And the best news is; it is totally free!
Computer to Phone:
What if you want to talk to someone who doesn’t have a computer?
You can call all landline or mobile telephones in the world using a Skype service called "SkypeOut".
The cost for this call will be only the cost for a local call at the destination.
Local Phone to Phone:
What if you don't have a computer with you?
You can call all landline or mobile telephones in the world using another Skype service called "SkypeIn".
You will use a regular telephone to call a local number to your contacts via their computers anywhere in the world.
The cost for this call will be only the cost for a local call.
Click here for more information: www.skype.com
You will find public pay phones and private pay phones near hotels, transportation terminals, shopping areas, and public squares.
Don’t use your hotels phone for your calls unless you really have to. Because hotels charge higher rates.
These work with the entire major credit cards and they are available at the airport and all the major touristic areas.
b. Card phones:
You need a prepaid card that can be purchased from the post offices and most magazine kiosks. You can use;- Magnetic cards:
This is a card with a magnetic stripe on it; 30 units, 60 units and 100 units.
- Smart Cards:
This has a little chip embedded on it; 50, 100, 200, 350 units.
There are private establishments for phone calls. These are named “Kontürlü Telefon” in Turkish. There is a usage-unit meter attached to the phones, you pay according to the total units used.
You can find them around touristic areas like Istiklal Street and Sultanahmet. Ask the rate per unit before you make the call. Rates might vary between different shops.
If you have activated your cell phone for "international roaming" you can call anywhere you want. But be aware that per-minute charges can be high.
Or you can buy a pre-paid gsm card from one of the local companies. It would be cheaper. There are cell-phone shops all around touristic areas, the shop clerks will help you with all issues.
Post offices are easy to find with their bright yellow colors and they have PTT (Post, Telegraph and Telephone) signs on the front.
PTT gives usual postal services, sells tokens (Turkish: "jeton") and pre-paid phone cards for the phone booths.
I know it is an "instant" age that we are in but nothing beats down the feeling of holding a real postcard from a friend, traveled all the way to your home.
PTT also has currency exchange and Travelers’ Check services.
Post offices are open Monday through Friday between 8:30 and 17:00.