The sheer number of people that depend on email and the Internet continues to create demand in tourist destinations for Internet cafes – Florida is no different. These cafes are likely closer than you think – along the interstate, at the airport, in a restaurant, hidden away in your favorite attractions, and just down the street.
So, what exactly is an Internet cafe? Also known as cybercafes, they are not a virtual place (although many have a presence on the Web), they are real-world locations that can be found in many cities. The cafes simply offer travelers access to electronic mail and the Internet for a charge. They also attract local residents who don't have computers at home. Many cafes offer food and drinks as well as the Internet.
What should you expect at an Internet cafe? That depends on its location. Some cafes are no more than a kiosk, while some are cyber-chic coffee houses. The quality varies with some having banks of new PCs and others only one. Some have high-speed connections and full-service email and Internet access, while others only offer no Internet access or only web-based email. One thing is certain, Internet cafes are often a cheaper alternative to checking email from hotel rooms. Hotels sometimes add extra charges to telephone calls; and, many times older telephone systems do not work well with newer, speedy laptops. Charges vary, but Internet access usually will cost less than $10 an hour.
How do I find an Internet cafe? While Internet cafes are flourishing overseas, you may not find as many Internet cafes in Florida, but it is an industry that is growing steadily throughout the United States and will continue to do so as the demand increases. Besides the Internet cafes listed in our directory, you may also find Internet access at such places as Kinkos copy centers, which offers 24-hour Internet access in over 950 locations nationwide. There are a growing number of cyberbooths in airports, hotels and convention centers, and if one company has its way, you may soon be able to stop on any corner and access a computer much like you do the telephone or ATM.
Internet Cafe Tips: If you are planning on keeping in touch with your email buddies while away, there are certain things you should not leave home without. Bring a note of your username, password, POP and SMTP address (in the E-mail client) and the FTP-address you use to transfer files to your site. You may also want to bring your own bookmarks and email addresses on diskette along with extra diskettes. Remember that some will not allow you to configure the email client to receive your email directly from your ISP, so you may have to redirect your mail to Hotmail, Yahoo, etc.
So, if you can't pack your PC or don't have one to pack, an Internet cafe is where it's at! Check out our Florida Internet Directory for a location near where you'll be visiting.