Corporate travelers can use prepaid Internet services to access sales reports and other documents while traveling.

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Prepaid Internet Providers

There are many prepaid Internet providers out there, so it's important to know your options. First of all, many prepaid Internet providers require you to download special software or run an installation CD before you can use their services. That's not a problem for a lot of people, but if you want to avoid having to access the Internet through a particular program, look for ISPs that allow you to simply configure your computer to dial into the service.

You'll also want to look for a prepaid Internet service provider that has a lot of local access numbers. Most of the ISPs' Web sites include a list of all their local access numbers. Look up your hometown, plus any other destinations to which you travel frequently. Dialing up through a local access number, as opposed to a toll-free number, is much cheaper, sometimes half the price.

For convenience, you might want to look for a prepaid Internet provider that allows you to purchase plans and recharge accounts online. Most ISPs now offer this option, but there are a few that only sell plans through prepaid Internet cards sold mostly in convenience stores.

A prepaid Internet provider is only as reliable as its network. Look for ISPs that use established telephone networks with dependable reputations for high call quality and few instances of network downtime.

But mostly you need to look for a service that fits your particular needs. If you're a sales manager looking for cheap out-of-office Internet access for your sales team, then focus on corporate prepaid Internet providers. If you just need a reliable backup for your home broadband network, then find a card that lasts the longest time without expiring. If you vacation in an RV park with WiFi, see if the ISP offers prepaid Internet.

For lots more information on prepaid Internet, see the helpful links on the next page.