Online Guide for Newcomers to Prince Edward Island - Canada
Internet and Email
Computers have become an integral part of our everyday lives. Many people use the Internet and email for both work and personal purposes. Everyone should have at least the basic knowledge on how to use the Internet and email.
You can save money with a package or 'bundle' plan which includes all or a combination of phone, Internet, and cable or satellite television services. Bundles are usually cheaper than buying each service individually.
In PEI there are several types of Internet service available. They are:
- High speed cable -- Currently provided by Eastlink. This service uses the same cable as your cable TV service. You connect to the Internet via a cable modem.
- High speed ADSL -- Currently provided by Bell Aliant. This service uses your phone line and the connection is made via an ADSL modem.
- High speed FibreOP -- Provided by Bell Aliant in urban areas. This service uses a modem connected to optical cable network.
- Modem dial-up -- This service is being phased out, but is still in use in some remote rural areas.
- Internet via cellular networks -- Service includes a USB stick which allows your computer to connect to a mobile network (the network used by cell phones). This service is currently provided by Bell Aliant.
- Satellite -- This service uses a satellite dish setup to connect you to the Internet.
Cable, ADSL and FibreOP are the most commonly used types of services in an average home in PEI.
Free Internet Access
Some cafés have computers with Internet service that you can use for free. You can also book time to use a computer with Internet service at some public libraries.
The PEI Association for Newcomers to Canada also has computers with Internet access available to their clients.
There are public places where you can access so called 'wi-fi' networks -- free wireless Internet access to anybody at the location who wants to use a laptop computer or other devices with built-in or attached wireless Internet connectivity. These places are sometimes called 'hotspots' or 'freespots'. [See Related Resources]
- Do not publish private information on public websites, such as your full name, address, date of birth, etc. Dishonest people may use this information to steal your identity and access your secure accounts, such as your bank account, or for other fraudulent purposes. For the same reason, ignore/delete unexpected email messages asking you for user names or passwords or other private information, they are always fake (senders pretend to be a genuine business or person).
- Keep in mind that everything you publish on the Internet will stay there forever and may be seen by anyone in the world.
- Check the source of the information! Do not believe everything you read on the Internet. While it can be a great source of information on any topic, consider that anybody can be a publisher of that information.
Electronic Mail or Email
For many Internet users email has practically replaced the regular postal services or 'snail mail'. Email is the fastest and least expensive way to exchange written messages.
Most people have a personal email address. You can sign up for a free email address on the Internet. [See Related Resources]
Other Ways to Communicate via the Internet
Here are some other ways to communicate with people near and far using the Internet:
- Internet telephony -- Voice or telephone communication via Internet is a fairly new technology and it is becoming more and more popular. Internet calls are cheaper, or sometimes free (if both parties use the same service).
- Instant messaging -- Usually companies that provide free email accounts also provide instant messaging (IM) service. While the basic communication via IM is the exchange of short text messages, many of these services also offer audio and video communication and exchange of computer files such as photographs.
- Online forums, social networking sites and blogs -- Another way to keep in touch with family, friends, or people that share common interests.