missbrandie

Internet Access On The Road

28 posts in this topic

I'm totally new to wireless internet. I've used wifi at campgrounds, but that is about the extent of my knowledge : )

I recently purchased a lap top computer and need to find out how to get access to the internet on the road. I've looked on line to see what is available and did talk with someone at the AT&T phone store, but I'm still in the dark as to what direction to head in.

Could you help me with the options??? WE just use our computer for e-mail and some internet surfing, but thats it.

Would appreciate any input.

Thanks.

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Do you have a cell phone? Most cell phone providers also offer internet access through the cell phone service. We have Verizon - two cell phones (andriods) that have all the bells and whistles. We can use our cell phones for a wifi connection between our computers and the internet. We recently added another device, called a JetPack, that is a Verizon device added to our plan that is a separate and specific wifi device for internet access. These cell phones are not cheap, and the monthly service fee is also not cheap. But it provides access to phone service and internet access wherever they have cell towers within range - which is almost everywhere you will find main roads.

Also, if you have a satellite dish for TV reception, then you can get internet access. I believe DISH has internet access for an additional fee. Plus you can get satellite dishes specifically for internet access - like HughesNet.

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Kegger,

I have Dish Network and carry one of their receivers in our coach. I looked into their internet connection and found that it required a seperate satelitte dish and you are correct it isn't inexpensive. Maybe one of these days they will add another LNB to their dish for internet.

I just made some changes to our AT&T cell service. I now get unlimited voice (no minutes to worry about), unlimited tecting (again no maximum number) and 3 GB data plan, now my phone is a wifi hot spot. It covers both my phone and the wifes. All for $115.00 per month +taxe. it came oout to less then we were paying and a lot more service.

Herman

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I am by no means an expert on this topic, but I have been researching it a lot lately. The info Keggar prorvided is right on. Also, if you go the JetPack route you can add a device called a Wilson Sleek for about $130. It is an amplifier that you can use to hold the JetPack and it greatly amplifies the cell signal in both directions. There is no connection between the JetPack and the Sleek. The JetPack just sits in the cradle of the Sleek and the Sleek takes care of the amplification. I have also been reading up on something called the WiFiRanger. This device can amplify any WiFi service that is nearby allowing you to use free service at campgrounds or even at public hotspots that you might be near. The Ranger equipment is a little above my understanding so far, but it is worth checking out. Just Google WiFiRanger and check out two products: one is called Mobile and the other is called Go. And be sure to check out the GeeksonTour website. They are forum contributors and connecting on the road is a speciality of theirs. I think I found a WifiRanger forum the other day, but can't seem to find the url right now. Maybe someone else knows it and will update this info.

Anyway, the info provided by Keggar will get you started and what I have posted will start you out with some options if you need wider area access.

Good luck,

Jack

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WiFiRanger Mobile along with the WiFiRanger Go is an excellent system for grabbing WiFi from a distance. They are expensive, but worth the money.

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We switched from two AT&T cellphones with their air card to Verizon coverage with 2 Iphones .. and their MIFI unit.... The MiFi costs us approx $52 per month for 5GB of data transfer ..We are very pleased with their coverage / service .. It handles both our cell phones and both laptops fine .... .. It's proven to be FAR better coverage for us traveling throughout the US.... than AT&T ...... had those phones and service and air card for 2-3 years but was pretty useless for us while traveling - especially in Wisconsin....

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We just got the MIFI unit ( also called the JetPack) from Verizon last month. Ours cost $50 net up front and will cost $10 per month additional on our plan on a 4gb per month usage basis. It is good to hear the Verizon system works well... or better than ATT. My brother has ATT and the Air Card.

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We use our AT&T Iphone as a modem to our laptops. We also use the camp ground WI FI alonf with a JEFA Tech modem and antenna to boost the weak Campground signal. Also if you are in a area with other free WiFi signals JEFA tech will pickup the signal. My antenna has a range of 1 Mile.

Bob and Mary Dawson

FMCA # F408869
SMART #13652



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Be aware that the JetPack is limited in monthly data usage for the basic fee (mine 5GB for about $50). It is easy to exceed the monthly data allocation if you do not keep track of your usage. There is a Verizon App that shows your usage, but it is 24 hours or so behind on actual usage. If you exceed your data allocation for the month, you will be charged $10 for another GB. With some searching on the Verizon site, you can get an estimate on how much data is required for various Internet activities.

On a recent trip across the US on I-10, we had Internet access everywhere we tried it on the Verizon JetPack.

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We changed to Verizon due to the lack of coverage by AT&T. I'm not sure what you would have to do to exceed the basic 5GB. We use our laptop everyday, and have never even come close to using 5GB in a month.

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I'm using http://www.pagepluscellular.com/ which uses the Verizon network. When not traveling, I use the $29 plan which give me 1,200 Minutes, 3,000 Text/Picture* Messages, 250 MB Data. When traveling, I bump it up to the $55 plan which gives me Unlimited Talk, Unlimited Text/Picture* Messages, 2 GB of Data or the $69 plan which bumps the data up to 5GB of data. Then when we get back home, I go back to the $29 plan. Plan on using my Droid X phone as a hot spot.

Previously I was using a Verizon modem and their http://www.verizonwireless.com/b2c/mobilebroadband/?page=products_prepaidmb at $50 a month which gave me 1GB., plus I had to pay for the phone account on top of that.

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When we bought our Verizon JetPack a week or two ago we were told it would add $10 per month to our plan's monthly cost. Our plan allows for 4gb of data. I think we were also told that running over the 4gbs would cost another $10 per gb... but before running over our 4gb plan restriction we would receive notifications at 50% used, 75% used, and 90% used. Soooo... all we had to do was call in to have the 4gb plan restriction raised BEFORE exceeding the 4gb restriction. I think we were told that adding to the 4 gb restriction would add another $10 for adding 2gb. Please understand this was waaaaayyy last week and alot of water and golf balls have gone under the bridge since then. lol

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I would read through these RV internet articles and get comfortable with all the options.

http://changingears.com/rv-sec-in-touch-internet.shtml

http://www.doityourselfrv.com/guide-mobile-wifi-rv-internet/

http://www.your-rv-lifestyle.com/RV-internet-access.html

We use Verizon MIFI but that may not be the best fit for you. Cost, Coverage, Usage Patterns, and a few other factors play into this decision.

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Verizon is not always superior to AT&T. Verizon service in parts of west Texas was almost nonexistent. That's why we have both. We have encountered other areas where AT&T is better.

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We have the Verizon Share Everything family plan, with an 8GB data plan, with four phones and a 3G JetPack on the plan. Typical combined usage is less than 3 GB per month, but when our home internet went out for a week, and again when we spent a week at a no-wifi campground, our monthly usage went over 4 GB. Since an overage is $15 per GB, I figured an extra 4 GB for $20 (the difference between a 4 GB plan and an 8 GB plan) is cheap insurance for those times when we'll use the JetPack more extensively on the road.

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We started out many years ago with one of the first iPads. $25 per month for 2gb AT&T, could turn it on when we traveled, turn it off when we did not. Got e-mail, google maps, and internet. Started traveling more in the MH a couple of years ago and needed more. Our new laptop had a built-in ability to connect to 3g4g. But we went with the AT&T, Apple 4s with tethering. Basic single line with 450 minutes, plus unlimited texting and unlimited calling to any other cell phone, which is $20, and 4gb tethering for $45. Additional gb is $10, so not a big deal if needed. On our last trip that was 5 month, we managed to get e mail every day, pay our bills on our own network, and browse the web, never went over our data 4gb limit. We did learn there are limits. Down loaded some Christman music and a few other down loads that did near our limit. Real easy on AT&T to know where your data usage is at any time. Call *3285# and they text you back within a minute with up to date data usage. Of course, always choose free WiFi when available. And one month long stay offered WiFi for $20 for the month. Still used the AT&T to pay bills because I don't feel comfortable doing it on public WiFi.


We were in a couple of Federal parks where there was no WiFi and the Phone internet worked fine. We just bought a TP Link WA5210G to help access WiFi that may be available that could not be picked up by the computer WiFi. We will see how it works. Like to see a thread on the RV WiFi extension,
Jax@cwis.net

post-17130-0-74429600-1363876161_thumb.j

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Verizon is not always superior to AT&T. Verizon service in parts of west Texas was almost nonexistent.

Thats good to know, as we are going that direction next spring, good Lord willing and the creek doesn't rise! Will pick up a cheap Walmart phone for that month for emergencies.

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We went the Virgin Mobile route. Cheap, simple to setup. Bought the Virgin Mobile USB "Stick" at Walmart for $34 and a $50 aircard. We then released what we thought was enough time for a month from the $50 account. The DW found the Virgin Mobile system quite acceptable for the amount of time we used the internet. It worked out so well that several others in the RV resort went the same route.

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We went the Virgin Mobile route. Cheap, simple to setup. Bought the Virgin Mobile USB "Stick" at Walmart for $34 and a $50 aircard. We then released what we thought was enough time for a month from the $50 account.

Would be interested in cost and how much that bought per month.

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We have the Verizon MiFi 3G card. It costs $35/ month for 3GB plus $10 per GB when you go over. It can be suspended when not traveling. One drawback is at Rallies or parks when there are many people with Verizon. The problem is too many users on the same cell tower. The speed of downloads really slows down. I have a friend with a 4G card and he is not happy with the speed. I have talked to Verizon and they offer no help. You don't want to download a movie on an Ipad. It cost $20 in over charges due to 1.5 GB size of movie. Good luck

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Verizon is not always superior to AT&T. Verizon service in parts of west Texas was almost nonexistent. That's why we have both. We have encountered other areas where AT&T is better.

Who would have good coverage with a non-contract phone in that area? AT&T coverage map does look better. Looks like a external antenna would be a good idea there.

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I work remotely and rely on the Internet every day from our coach. I have researched a number of the solutions available extensively, and decided to go for a Mifi as well. I was using Verizon with a 16 GB plan on the 4G 890 hotpsot until I read about Millenicom, http://millenicom.com/. They are a reseller and use both Verizon and Sprint as the underlying carrier for their plans. I have the 20GB plan, which runs on Verizon, and costs 1/2 what my 16GB plan was running with Verizon. I have been using the service and it is very reliable.

They also offer an unlimited plan for the same price that runs on Sprint, so coverage is a little spotty away from the cities.

I use an exterior antenna and a Cyfre 819 amp for the hotspots and never worry about it anymore. I was going to spend quite a bit of money on a satellite mounted to the roof of our coach until I started talking with those that have them and reading about the service. Did not really want to get tied up in all that.

Millenicom plans are no contract as well, and the initial device fee is only $99 for the Verizon plan.

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I have Verizon smart phone and a free app PDANET+ which turns phone into wifi hot spot. After using for a while you will need to update to the pro version for$7.99. Works great where you have cell service.

Ralph Burns

F422270

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To the OP...as you can see there are several options. We use an Apple I Phone ( smart phone ) Wilson Signal Booster / cradle which plugs into any 12 volt outlet ( cig liter ). The Wilson signal booster amplifies a one bar signal to 5 bar every where we have traveled nation wide. We have unlimited ATT minutes and 6 gig internet. IF you don't watch movies / videos / down load music, 6 gig is a lot of internet access. Our set up allows us to use lap top, IPad and phone all at the same time while driving down the road at 60 mph. We also have the Rand Mcnalley 7710 (garmin type thingy ) for road directions and food, gass, rv park locations. In short these electronic gadgets make full time motorhoming a breez.

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