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rrlowther

On-The-Go Internet Access

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Greetings,

I have not had the distinction of calling myself a geek for many years now. I did, however, spend 13 years with a little company called MCI/WorldCom as a Director of Network Solutions for the Global Product Assurance Group. So I know a little bit more than most about Internet connectivity and global networking.

We bought our Safari Zanzibar 40-foot diesel pusher for business. As such, reliable, affordable Internet access when on the road is essential to our business.

We installed a Cradlepoint wireless router in our coach and plugged in a USB 3-g / 4-g card into it.

We enabled WEP and set up the network to allow our laptops and wireless printer access. When in a 4-g service area we are even able to stream movies via Netflix to our wireless DVD player. On a recent trip to Santa Fe, NM, a storm moved in complete with pea size hail. Although our satellite lost it's signal, we were able to pile in the bus and watch a movie while it passed.

4-G isn't as widely available but it is expanding. The 3-G network, however is pretty much available most everywhere. We're even able to connect while driving down the road. The 3-G service allows us to check and send emails, update our website and communicate with our clients, friends and families.

When in a 4-G network area we are able to achieve 6 to 12MPS.

The service is $50 per month from Sprint. We are limited to 5 Gig on the 3-G network however, there is not data limit on the 4-G network.

We installed the router in one of the overhead cabinets in the front of the coach and even take our wireless Trig hard drive for our back ground data back ups.

I've read your posts and just thought that this might be information that could help your readers. The Cradlepoint router runs about $100.00 (online). But can also get them at Best Buy or any other major electronics store. If they don't have it, they can most likely order it for you. Sprint offers the dual band 4-g and 3-G USB card for free with a two year contract.

Hope this helps.

Robert

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Unlimited 4G - sure would like to have that. We've only been in one good 4G area since we got our 4G mobile hotspot from Verizon. It worked Great!! but, we zoomed thru our 5Gig allotment in record number of days. We even paid $80/mo for the 10Gig plan and went thru that too. See our article: 3G vs 4G: the Tortoise and the Hare

As for the Cradlepoint - we have that too. It's a great device, but it needs a a USB or Ethernet connection. We have switched to the WiFi Ranger as our router because it can accept Wi-Fi as it's Internet source - see more discussion here: Discuss the WiFi Ranger.

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Unlimited 4G - sure would like to have that. We've only been in one good 4G area since we got our 4G mobile hotspot from Verizon. It worked Great!! but, we zoomed thru our 5Gig allotment in record number of days. We even paid $80/mo for the 10Gig plan and went thru that too. See our article: 3G vs 4G: the Tortoise and the Hare

As for the Cradlepoint - we have that too. It's a great device, but it needs a a USB or Ethernet connection. We have switched to the WiFi Ranger as our router because it can accept Wi-Fi as it's Internet source - see more discussion here: Discuss the WiFi Ranger.

You should check out their website http://www.cradlepoint.com/ The router we bought has a USB port built in, and we just plugged our USB 3-g/4-g card directly into it. Configuration was pretty simply and I rarely say this but their support was pretty good too.

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Calling all Geeks:

Here is my situation. 98 Beaver, new to us this year, so equipment for internet access is presently non-existent.

Canadians, home base in Vancouver BC, so no US address. Newly retired, so planning on 3 to 5 months in warmer areas (snowbirds).

Have tried Netflix, and use it for movies. Have a KVH in motion tv sat receiver on the roof, but no DVR. Have laptop computers equipped with DVD drives, wifi, HDMI capability.

Want to only buy the minimum to get reliable, accessible internet and tv.

Have considered using a cellphone based system for all. In fact, on our boat, we use a Telus stick (that's in use as I write this) for our internet access and it seems adequate. Trouble with Telus is the roaming charges would soon buy us a newer coach if we used it in the US.

So what is the most economical total solution? We need one that we can use both at home in Canada and as far south as we end up straying (Mex border?). One that will be billed to our Canadian address, but still allows connection in the US.

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Guest BillAdams

Billed to Canadian address but usable in US? I don't believe that this is going to happen with any internet connection.

You can sign up for Bell Express Vu or Star Choice (the preferred provider S. of the border) and receive this programming while in Canada or the US. TV via internet (no matter the connection choice) is not a viable solution for TV. Your KVH might work with Bell Express Vu but will not work with Star Choice.

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Bill:

Thanks. You have reinforced what I have learned from other sources. My KVH is basically ballast. Starchoice is the only service that will work both at home in Canada and away. KVH won't receive Starchoice. Internet over cellphone has to be purchased down south, as my Telus service will charge huge roaming fees. Basically, no free lunch.

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Verizon NOT: A Canadian perspective.

Last spring we were at the FMC rally in Perry Georgia in March. ( it was fabulous by the way). At the rally was a Verizon dealer promoting their Wifi Hot spot device. I clearly (very clearly ) established the following facts.

  1. Canadian, with no US address.
  2. In UD for one more month that spring, then alternating Canada and US at 6 month intervals.

The dealer told me no problem. In the US my cost would be $45 a month for 5 GB of service. I could use it in Canada for an extra $10 per month. There was no mention of roaming charges. There was no disussion of social security number, US address etc. I was told I could suspend the service for up to six months in each year.

Based on this, I signed up. I paid for one month, plus a $400. deposit because I was not a Verizon client.

The device did not work well at Perry, but with 3000 motorhomes using cell phones, that was not surprising.

It was useful the rest of the month in Georgia and the Carolinas. Then I went back to Canada.

I used the device for about 5 days until it stopped connecting. That's when I found out that none of what I was told was true!

I called Verizon customer service. Very quickly, they informed me that my account was suspended for suspected fraud and I had to call their security department. here is what they told me:

My account had been flagged because of excess roaming charges of $500. (remember from above, no roaming charge). When security pulled my info they saw a fictitious address ( my street name and number transported to a NY postal code). My purported US social security number was 123 456 789.

I explained as above. The verizon agent quickly realized I had been mislead ( his word) by an enthusiastic salesman who was not aware of the truth. The agent promised to adjust the roaming charges, fix my bill, and suspend the account until Ocober. He also took my correct address.

To this point, blame the salesman, not Verizon. Having said that FMC should share some blame about the agent as FMC is surely aware they have many Canadian members, and need to vet their on site advertisers to ensure they are up to date on Canadian issues with their products.

In October I called Verizon to get an update and to start my service in the US back. It appears there was almost no record of the previous call. The bill had not been fixed, the address not rectified, and the account could not be re-established because the sixth month suspension time can only start after the account hjas been active for six months. Despite repeated objections on this obviously fraudulent transaction, Verizon would not make good on the salesman\s promise, or the Fraud departments agreement to fix it. They said they would refer my problem to their fraud department who would call me to straighten it out. As you may have guessed, that call never came. This part is Verizon's fault. They are not an honourable company. I will pursue this more now that I am in the USA when I get a US cell phone. ( not Verizon I am sure). I am also suggesting that FMCA have a closer look at merchants like this at their rallies.

cheers

Paul

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After talking with a Craddlepoint tech support person we determine that the craddlepoint MBR95 wireless router was the best solution for my needs as it provides USB data card, WIFI, cable or DSL connection. The MBR95 was under $100 on Amazon and arrived within 5 days of placing the order. Setup was simple. It is capable of receiving 4G however I am currently using AT&T 3G USB data card so I have not tried any of the 4G capability. Even with 3G, I have been able to stream video and audio to the other devices in the motor home. When located at home or were WIFI is provided, I simple unplug the datacard and unit automatically searches for a WIFI signal. I can then setup the router to logon to the WIFI and I am no longer using any of my alotted air card data bytes. To date, I have had this unit about 4 months now, it has work flawlessly.

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I have started doing a bit of research on the Craddlepoint MBR95 and it seems to be the unit that would suit my needs for the RV. I would like to get a Wilson external antenna and signal booster for my Iphone and use the AT&T 3G/4G USB data card. Has anyone used the Wilson external RV/Truckers antenna?

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