Ah the cost of isolation!

05/20/2009 - 15:51

Rolling hills and breathtaking views are great but.......Frustratingly having just bought the 'chiavetta' and using TIM and Alice has caused me lots of problems with internet connectivity, even though I've spoken to the helpline in my slightly better than pigeon Italian and got nowhere really.   I'm told by locals that we have some sort of receiving paraphenalia nearby but it isn't TIM it's IWind, typical (yes I know a lot about this type of thing!) So having been fobbed off by Gran Casa  (the local Woolies) to buy TIM I have now found that I spend most of the evening and E40 euros a month trying to get online using a system that has very poor connectivity and is prone to be fragile, ie.at best.  Bit boring I know because there are better things that I'd like to do in the evening.  Anyway should I invest in a new laptop (mines a wireless 5 year old one)  and continue with TIM or buy a new system and change to IWIND?  Who knows?



know the feeling ... i saw a deal with 3 and bought their key for i think 59 euro... my sons phone worked fine here so thought the Internet thing would be the same... not so... every-time we went online we payed god knows how much because it transferred to tim...if you can be sure that it is wind... believe your neighbours then this is your way forward... a new Sim card at least ...although the internet packages with key included for wind might work out cheaper that's how we worked it anyway... neighbours child used tim/alice and we do now...  key cost more... monthly price less.. but it all works with no extras... find your wind shop... local to you...if any doubts try and make them come to your house and prove it works...at the start i would suggest that you take out a monthly type contract.. unless you are totally secure about what you are signing for...its easier to step up from that than try and break a no break contract here good luck

In reply to by adriatica

Thanks so much Adriatica and yes I will consider your suggestion, if only to avoid the year long frustration I’ve had with Alice and TIM.  But a new laptop is far more interesting….got to convince my other half though that it is obvious ours has given up the ghost!!  He’ll just say repair it…being a fanatical DIY kind of guy. Yes I agree with you about the contract. the thing is can we be sure that the mast has an  Wind dish on it? How can you identify one of those I wonder?  I expect that the nearest Vodaphone outlet will be able to advise.  Good advice about the monthly contract, but when I did  ask, the assistant seemed to think that I'd need to be tied to a year, ah!  I'd like to try and get a good deal face to face since the 119 TIM helpline can be quite confusing. For example the term for the Hash key is something to do with a a little gate thingy on the keyboard...don't ask!!  So finally I can put the E136.00 I spent on that TIM key down to good experience and the 'take advantage of foreigner' syndrome that sometimes happens here too, unfortunately.  Or perhaps I am being cynical having been burnt a little.Oh and does your repetoire include knowledge about UPVC (similar) telescopic pool covers and suppliers in and around the Cuneo region of Piemonte Thanks again   Rosi

What costs €136? and what Key is necessary? I am still using a €30 per month (PAYG) system I wrote about on the forum back in 2006, and had Wind info on that post.  

sorry abruzzo is my place of abode... for the last six years or so... piedmont phil used to be around and has a vast knowledge of the area ...vineyards of his own and  lots of things going on... http://stayinpiedmont.com/ he might well be able to help with local knowledge otherewise there is a member map soemwhere on her and it might be worth sending a pm to someone close to you 

In reply to by adriatica

Thanks for your input..........I enjoyed the site you mentioned and Nizza is on the other side of our hill towards Asti.  We also have made some lovely Italian friends who have a summer home near Genoa and will be looking to spend a few sunny days down there taking a trip to Portofino at the same time.  It's all good.     

In reply to by adriatica

I am here - just not very often.  If you need something I guess I am subscribed to this thread now (have not had time to come to terms with the new community yet). Otherwise send me a PM Best PP

Let me try to explain in my technically challenged way what I was advised to do in the first instance to enable my laptop to get online using a mobile system since we can't get Italia telecom or cable where we are.........Am reading the packet I bought and it says the internet key (chiavetta) ALICE MOBILE is USB key and with SIM TIM  enabled the HIGH SPEED ONDA MT503HS CHIAVETTA INTERNET, VOGLIO INTERNET 7.2 MEGA will allow me to navigate on the internet....which it does but intermittently for between 10 seconds and two  minutes each time then it disconnects itself. Why? I buy ALICE E30.00 PAYG which is supposed to give me evenings and weekends gratis for a month plus charge up my TIM card with E10.00 each month too so presumably it can dial out.  It says that it will allow me to navigate using the systems HSDPA, UMTS, EDGE and GPRS (whatever those mean).  However I've now been told by locals that we have a mast very near us but it works best using vodaphone WIND set ups and not TIM.  So infuriatingly I have wasted the E136.00 that the key cost since I now will need to buy into another contract with WIND to get better connectivity.  My question, is  there a guarantee that the connectivity will be better,  without me hanging out of a second floor window, since I don't want to waste more money?   It is quite important for me since I need to check on my UK business status on a daily basis while I am away in Italy for half the year. Also....We have a Piemonte style long, narrow farmhouse which sits idyllically on a steep hillside looking over the Bormida river at around the 400m above sea level mark.  The mast sits on the highest point of the hillside above our heads at around the 1000m mark.  Does this have a bearing on the situation?I'll try looking up past post you mention you put up on the forum if I can and that may help.Thanks

In reply to by Monesiglio Rosi

That said, With most new mobiles you could have just bought a Bluetooth dongle for about £10 and connected that way. Be careful of the 7.2Mb quote, that is normally only associated to those in large cities. In my region I only get Edge which has a limit of 384Kbs. Depends how rural you are. Further, have you tried slowing down the speed of connection of your computer, I would recommend going down to about 64Kbs and progressively increasing till where it becomes unreliable and then go back a speed. Further, in that original thread, there is a TIM map, here it is again: http://www.tim.it/coperturaumts/c/italia/selezionaprovincia.dosee what your area gets speeds of.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Thanks for that TIM map...very useful and I've cut and pasted the bit that applies to me:Verifica se il tuo comune è raggiunto dalla copertura TIM

  • UMTS
  • DVB-H
  • UMTS HI Speed

So what in H's name does all that mean? You won't believe me (well you might) when I tell you that I thought that I was buying a bluetooth dongle when I was advised to buy the USB key here in Italy.  My sources in England reliably informed me that all I needed was a dongle.  Difficult to know wh to trust really isn't it. Anway, water under the bridge now.  I will try and slow down my computer's speed as you suggest.I appreciate your help.Thank you 

Hi Rosi, I know the area quite well, we are looking for a house in Levice / Gorzegno.Now my question is: can you see the Prunetto castle from your house? Because in Prunetto there is a wireless network wich can be capted in Levice 7 km's away, but it can only be capted if you are in sight of the castle. You will need acces by a password. If you can see the castle and are interested I can find out about cost etc.Greetings Marcello 

I am always surprised and dismayed to see people battling with dongles, and chiavettas etc.A little advice - hope its a help. We had reasonable quality internet access in a very remote area of Abruzzo for 12 months for £10.00 per month on 3 (via the 3 Like home service), and before you all ask, it's now been abolished.If you really, really must have internet via a dongle, I would always check on the coverage map of the particular operator first.In Italy, 3 and TIM are the main rivals for rolling out HSDPA (that's the real broadband solution via a dongle) closely followed by Vodafone, then Wind. Check out this:  www.gsmworld.com or look on the individual operators site (links from GSM World provided).That's step No1. Step No 2, go to a SHOP. Check it works there, and if it does, then ask if you can try it at home. Most resellers will allow you to do this particularly if you explain you are only buying it for broadband. Getting it online is asking for trouble!  Another good test, if you have an English mobile, try this. Go into mobile "networks", scan for "new networks", and see what comes up on the operator list. If the operator carries HSDPA, (which is the one you should really go for) you'll see the blue symbol adjacent to the operator name. That means there's a good chance with the right dongle, you'll get coverage.Have I mentioned about Astra 2 connect? Quality 2-way Broadband via satellite? If you want hassle free connections, and Telecom Italia have categorically told you they will NOT supply ADSL to you for a very long time, Astra's solution (which is what the broadcaster's use) is reliable, and covers 99.9% of Italy.  Hope this helps someone.ED