TBUTLER

What Is The Best Way To Stay Connected Online?

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I use the internet with my business and find it takes a multiple option approach if you want to have reliable internet. Mobile internet is very different from stationary.

We have a Motosat F1 satellite antenna for internet. This works very well every time you have a clear view of the sat. However, it is not as fast a connection as good wifi or strong connection Verizon

Many times we use the park wifi. I do not mind going and sitting in the club house if needed as that becomes a social opportunity. I do not currently have a wifi amp or antenna, but thinking about that.

I switched from being a long time Verizon air card user to being a Droid tetherer after it seemed repeatedly that my Droid phone got the internet better than my aircard. Sometimes my air card would not work and I could get internet on my phone. So because of that I cancelled the air card. I first tried easy tether software and had a few issues so not use pdanet. Seems like pda works better. IMHO the Verizon connections have become much worse in Southern California over the last few years. I suspect it is because of adding millions of kids and smartphones who now watch 90210 on their phones.

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I have read this thread with interest. We are going to be heading down south (Quartzsite, Yuma, etc) then back to the NW for the summer. I use to use my cell phone for slow internet when nothing else was available. My new computer had windows 7 of which the Verizon software is not compatible with the older phone.

I have looked into the Verizon broadband card but it is limited to 5 MB. I play Farmville on Facebook and games on pogo so that would be eaten up fast.

I read with interest regarding the MIFI 2200. But it seems it has limited battery life.

I was wondering if I can get a newer 4g phone, pay for the data plan (which run cheaper than the broadband card), and connect to the internet using a USB.

We have to update our phones as I need to get one with chaperon for my husband (he has Alzheimer's) but I will need one with internet access to use the chaperon capabilities. That is why I am wondering if it will work as a 'modem' for my computer. Being 4g I am assuming the speed will be much faster than my current cell phone.

I have contacted Verizon once but they want to sell. I want to go in informed as much as possible.

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As mentioned, the Verizon DROID can be used to connect a laptop or other computer to the internet. This can also be done when going down the road. The free version of PDANet will not allow you to log into secure sites, but the paid version will. There is an app to allow you to set the phone as a WIFI access point, but I have not used it. Of course all of this eats the battery.

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I have an ATT iPhone (voice and data) and verizon aircard. Many times I have no att service for data and even voice but do have verizon Internet. I have found verizon to be in rural areas where att is absent. Also, have compared data speeds. ATT is faster than Verizon, when you can get it. I use <A href="http://www.speedtest.com/">http://www.speedtest.com</A> to compare services. I also used to have a ATT aircard and had the same experience; it is faster when you can get a signal. Just my finding and they are not based on any measurement instrument other than the website to test the speed. These aircard services are $60/month and really expensive. Now, new plans are available for less. My aircard expires today and I am trying to decide if I want to renew with Verizon or look at some other option. I may just hook up with the cable company at home and just use wifi on the road. It would save me a ton of money but be cumbersome as it was for me before I got the ATT aircard.

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We have a Verizon 5 Spot. It seems to be an acceptable device for connecting to the internet. We were recently in Stillwater, OK and encountered 4G for the first time. It was very fast compared to many locations where even 3G is not available. I guess Stillwater probably got 4G before even some of the larger cities because Oklahoma State U is there. We have both Verizon and ATT. It all depends on where you are which is best. I would say that Verizon is best a larger percentage of the time but it has its dead spots too.

No U.S. company has or will have true 4G as it was first defined, although they claim to but the Verizon 4G is very good.

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Autonet.com has a great system for the best price I have seen. Pay between $200-$400 for their modem and anywhere you can pick up any cellular service you have unlimited fast internet for $30/mo.

Can be shared with others, too.

Kahleen :D

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Guest BillAdams   
Guest BillAdams

Autonet.com has a great system for the best price I have seen. Pay between $200-$400 for their modem and anywhere you can pick up any cellular service you have unlimited fast internet for $30/mo.

Can be shared with others, too.

Kahleen :D

That is not correct. The service for $30/month only includes 1GB/month.

Our $29 monthly plan includes 1GB of data per month, and our $59 plan includes 5GB of data per month.

Share that connection with other and you are going to have an unexpectedly high bill!

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The Verizon 5 Spot is working for me. It has 4G capability. There are some 4G areas and it is very fast. 4G areas can only increase. I like it also because I can connect both my laptop and iPad at the same time (up to 5 can connect at once).

We hedge our bets by having the iPad with ATT. Sometimes it is better than Verizon. One or the other works most places. If a campground has WIFI we use that but sometimes the cell connections are better and faster. Many campground WIFI's are pretty poor and sometimes they are not free or difficult to use.

Find a system you like and learn all you can about it. We have become so dependent on Interne, we think we can not live w/o it.

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We have a Verizon 5 spot (mifi). Works well and accesses 4G where available. Very fast in the few 4G areas and the 4G is expanding gradually. Can connect both laptop and iPad at the same time.

We hedge our bets by having ATT on the iPad. Sometimes (rarely) it will work better than Verizon.

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Am I the only one using a Yagi USB 17dBi directional antenna? I've mounted mine on my Winegard TV antenna, so I have directional tuning from inside my coach. Routing the USB cable was the only challenge. Built in USB connection eliminates signal loss that coax connections experience. I have received FREE unsecured wifi signal from as far away as 4 miles (clear line of sight - Valley of Fire, NM), so far! Free is the key for us, as we need to keep handle on our monthly expenses, being "pre-retirement" full timers. Initial investment is around $100.00 (two months Verizon service).

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jdmosk   

Are there any new internet connection methods that are available since the last 2010 post?

We are getting ready to start a trip that will take us from Ocean City, MD to the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone and return.

Our previous experince with T-mobile leaves much to be desired. No coverage in too many areas.

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BradC   

I haven’t read all these entries, but I didn’t see Millenicom mentioned in my initial scanning of this topic. Millenicom has great packages thru Verizon and Sprint…no contract required!!! Plus 24/7 customer support.

http://www.millenicom.com/

Advanced Plan – 20 Gigabyte per mo - $59.99 – Verizon 3G

Unlimited Plan - Unlimited Gigabyte* per mo - $69.99 – Sprint 3G/4G

Hot Spot - 10 Gigabyte per mo - $69.99 – Verizon 3G/4G

I have the Advanced plan with the USB card, external antenna and a CradlePoint router…works great!!! We use the Internet a lot and have never gone over 10 gigs in a month.

Just thought I’d share if this info isn’t already out there…

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For smartphone users, there is a relatively new way to get an Internet connection. All summer long, as we traveled, we depended on our Verizon Motorola Razr phones using FoxFi to turn it into a hotspot. So, our computers connect to our phone's hotspot. We have the grandfathered unlimited data plan on our phones, so this is a way to get Internet to our computers for no extra charge. FoxFi is a free app for Android phones. Check it out at www.foxfi.com

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For my money, the mobile hotspot (Verizon: "Jetpack") is the way to go. It handles multiple devices concurrently and utilizes the full power of 4G. It has not let us down yet, though admittedly we have not yet camped in very rural or rustic areas.

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We have been on the road for some 30 months now. We started with AT&T tethering and quickly moved to Verizon. AT&T had been our service provider for some 40 years. We had done mucho research and had many discussions with other RV folks and had been told Verizon was much better day in and day out when on the road. We did not want to believe it because we had been with AT&T for so long. After the first year on the road, we finally bit the bullet and switched to Verizon. Verizon seems to be a little more expensive with phone and data service. That being said the additional cost has been worth it. Verizon is way ahead in availability of nationwide 4G service and and where only 3G service is available Verizon is still much better. For some reason AT&T simply has not spent the money on towers compared to Verizon. Another problem involved contacting customer support. Early on AT&T apparently moved their support from US to overseas. When we had a problem the only person we could talk to with AT&T was in the Philipines or India. These folks were all super polite but very difficult to understand much too often. Verizon was always represented by US located folks. At the same time we invested in both companies stock since dividend income was important to us. Both companies stock price was about the same at the time. Guess whose stock value has increased superbly along with the the level of service. We finally sold our AT&T stock as it appears Verizon keeps adding millions of customers and AT&T adds thousands. Must be a reason. I will admit Verizon was not without glitches when we initially moved to their 4G service. Even in and near major south Florida cities the 4G modems/sticks were not always up to the task. This season (2012/2013) it seems everything is working properly. We would highly recommend Verizon now, although we have recently seen the Hughes Net advertisement about their upgraded product and wonder about that product.

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This is the first year we have been on the road for more than a month at a time. We're snow-birding in south Florida for 3 mos. I do mean SOUTH Florida -- last traffic light before the Keys! After much research, I went with a Verizon 4G MiFi Jetpack and I get 3 - 4 bars even this far south of Miami -- without a booster outside antenna. The problem is that we don't have a "grandfathered unlimited data plan". I bought the 5 GB/mo. plan ($50/mo.) and promptly used 90% in the first 11 days! I quickly switched to the 10 GB/mo. plan ($80/mo.) and that's without ANY Netflix, Youtube, or intentional software downloading. I turned off ALL automatic updating of software and have been trying to "unsubscribe" to all unnecessary emails. I save my updating for when I periodically visit the Verizon Store, the Apple Store, and late nights at Starbucks. Every word I could use to describe having a metered internet would have to be typed using all special characters! #@%! Is there a better answer? Am I missing anything? Is there a good detailed article on managing a metered internet?

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Dverstra   

I am in the process of adding a Wifi Ranger Go and Mobile to our coach. The Mobile will be mounted on the batwing antenna to improve reception. This unit should give me a secure wireless network. It will allow me to pick different signals to connect to and set up my preferences for the connections. If I elect to use my cellphone's Hotspot, I think that it should be somewhat secure? I will have a wireless printer attached to the network for printing and faxing.

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I use a Verizon MiFi 4G, Verizon Cell Phone, and Verizon Home Connect.

The MiFi 4G and Cell phone are $85.00 month.

The Home Connect is $25.00 a month and has unlimited calling, free long distance, voice mail, call waiting, etc. The best part is that I can place the box in my Hook-Up Bay and plug it into the factory installed phone system that is built into my coach. That way I can utilize regular home telephones and plug them into all of the jacks that are up in the coach. There are jacks in the cockpit, living area, dining, bathroom and bedroom. I just use regular old ATT slimline phones at each jack. Even when driving, this phone sytem still works because the home connect has a built in battery with two hours of talk time. It's pretty cool to be able to use a regular home telephone because the sound quality is so much better than any cell phone I've ever used. Not to mention free long distance. Also, if you have a home in addition to your motorhome, you can take the box out of the motorhome and use it as your home telephone sytem.

This is great for snowirds or anyone who motorhomes or goes from home to home. That way you always keep one number.

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For WIFI in parks that have poor WIFI, consider a WIFI repeater (http://ampedwireless.com/). I haven't tried mine on the road yet but it works very well in my house where the signal is weak because I have a house with a lot of metal conduit.

Verizon devices work well but we try to cover all bases by having one Verizon phone and one AT&T. the iPhone can be used as a WIFI hotspot. The Wilson Sleek can amplify weak cell reception.

We manage to connect to the Internet most places we go,albeit slow at times. We are addicted.

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The best thing we found to STAY connected even driving down the road is our Mi-Fi. It cost $50 per month. We use AT&T. We use to have a USB stick but found it didn't work very often. We live in Nevada and going from here to anywhere we have a lot of desert. But this Mi-Fi is awesome. We got it at best buy. Good luck!

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