Jump to content
john@jheim.com

Internet connection, service

Recommended Posts

I'm in my RV for four months each summer. While some campgrounds offer Wi-Fi, I find the service to be sketchy at best. I'm trying to figure out how I can carry my own Wi-Fi connection (cellular or satellite) for the four months I need it without paying for it for the whole year. It seems that the services that I've talked to want a year or two-year contract and that just doesn't work for me. Any ideas out there that might solve my dilemma?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've read of a program that turns a cell phone into a wi-fi hot spot. Somewhere on this forum you will find the details. Search the technology section to find the info. If you have a compatible cell phone, you could use it for wi-fi when necessary. I'll edit this post if I can find it for you.

The post is... What is the best way to stay connected online? Look for the forth or fifth reply by Geeks on Tour. This is one possible answer to your problem.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The post is... What is the best way to stay connected online? Look for the fourth or fifth reply by Geeks on Tour. This is one possible answer to your problem.

Here's the forum discussion to which Tom is referring: http://community.fmca.com/index.php?showtopic=309.

Jim and Chris Guld address this topic in FMCA.com's Computer Geeks section.

Also, here's an FMCA.com article that might give you some insight: Internet to Go.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm in my RV for four months each summer. While some campgrounds offer Wi-Fi, I find the service to be sketchy at best. I'm trying to figure out how I can carry my own Wi-Fi connection (cellular or satellite) for the four months I need it without paying for it for the whole year. It seems that the services that I've talked to want a year or two-year contract and that just doesn't work for me. Any ideas out there that might solve my dilemma?

Hi Vidcity,

Yes, that 2 year contract is often a dealbreaker for part-time travelers. Ask your provider what their policy is on 'vacations' ... meaning, you can suspend the service when you're not using it. Another thing some folks have done is to get rid of their home land line and use the cell phone / internet service year round.

For temporary Internet service from your cellular provider - we use the 'tethered cell phone' method. There's no separate contract involved, it's just a feature that you can add to your phone service. It's $50/mo thru Verizon, but you can turn it on and off whenever you want. We've turned it on Friday and off the following Friday and our bill was prorated for the time we used it.

The phone tethers to your computer. If you have more than one computer that needs to be online at the same time, you need to get a router like the Cradlepoint. Then the phone tethers to the router, and the router creates the hotspot.

The last option is www.walkinghotspot.com which turns a smart phone, with it's own data service into a wifi hotspot. Way cool - but only available for certain phones and it is not supported on Verizon.

More detail is included in the links already provided. You can also watch our video on tethered cell phones.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We have Verizon cell phone service, and have had it for several years, including a move from Phoenix, AZ to Indian Land, SC. We also got fed up with the camp ground service, and decided, after much research, to get the Verizon USB system. Yes, we bought the two year contract, though month-to-month and one year were available (at a more expensive rate). We were told that we may suspend service when we don't use it, though the months suspended will be added to our contract. We didn't think this a bad thing.

At home we use Time-Warner internet and a router, as we have two computers. We are very seriously considering dropping that service in favor of the Verizon and getting another router capable of handling the USB device. Cost-wise it is about the same, except for the cost of a new router.

The only problem we've encountered with coverage thus far has been along the coast of Maine; specifically the Bar Harbor area. When I was still working and travelling the country I had little problem with Verizon coverage, and I expect that this is the case with the USB device as well. Now considering their absorbing Alltel, the coverage areas may even be improved.

Doc Mike

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's a very good question. In all candor, it varies, but has only once been as slow as dial-up. Usually it is as fast or somewhat faster than the Time-Warner we presently have in our home, using the router. Indeed, without the router our home speed might be a bit faster than it is with the router.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, the only area we've had any problem thus far was in Maine. If we have Verizon phone service, and we usually do, then we have internet capability as well. When I was working and travelling the country I had very few experiences NOT being able to use my Verizon cell phone. One notable area was in northwestern Minnesota, south of Bemidji; though that was one of very few areas I'd noticed.

So, bottom line for us is the Verizon USB, at least until something better comes along. My take on it is that if one of the major providers comes out with something faster before Verizon, they'll have it in a short time. It seems this type of thing is a commodity anymore. Fopr what its worth, I don't have any stake in Verizon. Both of my sons each use different services for cell and on the road internet (with USB), and have had dead spots much more frequently than we do. Hope this helps.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have used Sprint for years, both for voice and data. I have found nothing better yet. As for speed, around major metropolitan areas you will find high speed (2-3mb) and other areas it will be about 2-3 times faster than dial up. I only use it tied to my laptop. Surfing the net on a cell phone screen does not appeal to me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We use a Verizon USB modem and since we have 2 laptops we added a Cradlepoint 1000 wireless cellular router that creates our own network or hot spot. We have never been in a location that we didn't have internet access, although once or twice we had the low speed connection (2-3 times faster than dial-up), but that was in really isolated locations. Normally we connect at actual broadband speeds ranging anywhere from 1.5 mbs to 2.3 mbs, depending on location.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here is my 2 cents.

What is best for me may not be best for you.

I go to a lot of places that have NO or very weak Cell service so I chose to ge with satellite Internet setvice.

Started out with a tripod system then moved to a Manual roof mount where I climbed up on the roof & aimed the dish.

Then I bought a used Motosat system that all I have to do is push a button & on average I online in less than 5 minutes.

I am not a full timers we are on the road 6 8 months a year. I also use the satellite

syatem at home. I have a dish mounted in the back yard & when I'm home I just move the modem from the RV to the house. My automatic used Motosat system cost me $1500 & I installed in on my own.

I can't hace internet while we are going down the road & if I want to connect I have to park & wait 5 minutes to get online but I also have internet the 30 days I stay in Death Valley where an Cell air card will not work.

Mike

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

After being away from the MH scene for a few years, we just ordered a new coach and I started doing some checking. Before I retired I had a PC card for wifi from AT&T which was about as fast as my basic DSL line at home, with a 3G connection (it was slower than $#&% when not in a 3G area).

I thought about going the same route but AT&T only has long term contracts. I checked out Verizon and they have a program they call a Day Pass where you can use it for a day, a week, or a month. The monthly rate is only slightly more than the charge if I was on a long term contract.

With their ads about the gee whiz 4G service it looked promising so I checked with my nephew who's an area mgr. for them. Turns out the 4G is only in a few test marlkets right now, but it's coming. He did say that their Day Pass would be the way to go if we're only going to use it for a few days or weeks at a time.

They also have a device called a Myfi that allows 4 or 5 devices to be used at the same time. Since my wife and I don't normally use each other's lap tops, that's the route we're going.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest 2driftrs

Jan and I have been using an Alltel (now Verizon) USB cellular modem for over a year. We use it at home and on the road. We find the speed to be comparable to DSL in a good area, but more like dial-up if you're not. Wifi is included in the package, but we rarely use it.

The biggest advantage for Jan is she can surf while we roam down the Interstate - - comes in handy if you're looking for a place to fuel, eat, park, whatever. On a recent trip around eastern Tennessee, Jan was doing her email and facebook stuff for over an hour while we were on I-40 and never lost the signal. Connection can be non-existent if you're out in the boonies (which we quite often are) but it will surprise you - - we've had service in some really remote areas.

We have some kind of long term contract (2 years) because we also have 3 cell phones - - we don't have a land line at home because we just couldn't deal with 10 messages a day telling us our new credit card was ready, or we had won some contest we never heard of!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just got the tethered service through Verizon as my son works for them and we share a family plan. My part is $25 a mo. or about $.80 day & we can turn it on & off whenever we want. We only pay for time used. I have to say, it's many times faster than my middle of the road Wildblue at home.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest 2driftrs

As a follow-up to our post before the holidays, we just added a Cradlepoint CTR500 broadband cellular router to our setup. The home desktop plugs into the router, as does the USB modem. Now we can use the laptop anywhere in the house without having to unplug the modem from the desktop. In the motorhome, we just unplug the router from the house, plug in into the 12-volt outlet in the rig, and hook up to the antenna. Now Jan can surf the net from anywhere in the motorhome!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...