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Old 02-10-2014, 05:12 PM   #1
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Internet when traveling

Just wondering what most of you all are using for Internet service while traveling. I have Verizon but don't know if Hot Spot is what I want to use. Any suggestions would be great.
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Old 02-10-2014, 05:29 PM   #2
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In our case if I can't handle it on the iPhone, then I'm just not disconnecting enough. And the DW gives me enough grief for just the phone usage.

There's several alternatives for getting internet access. You could only go to campgrounds that offer WiFi. You could go with HughesNet (or another) and access via Satellite. You could go with a cellular HotSpot, like Verizon's Jetpack.

But, if I really needed access I'd probably just tether through the phone. Most smartphones offer hotspot service, on 4G / LTE speeds, and are going to be almost as fast as home DSL service. Faster in some cases.

If you're in remote enough areas that you're not getting 4G, then the satellite option's probably the only thing that's going to give you decent speeds, provided you don't mind the inherit latency of satellite internet service.
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Old 02-10-2014, 05:30 PM   #3
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I have Verizon and just use my hotspot when needed. Some campgrounds offer free wifi at or near the office. If no service then I just go without!! After all I am on Vacation!!!
Even though one time we had a real bad signal and we needed to get online to order something so I was up on the roof trying to get a better signal...lol
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Old 02-10-2014, 05:39 PM   #4
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On the road, iPhone with hotspot turned on and the laptop, or iPad. In the campground, half of the campground wifi's are so slow I just opt for iPhone.
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Old 02-10-2014, 05:59 PM   #5
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We use a mifi at home, att now but used to be verizon...so we just take it with us.
Works out well.
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Old 02-10-2014, 06:00 PM   #6
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Old 02-10-2014, 06:05 PM   #7
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We use smartphone w/ hot spot. Unless you are steaming lots of audio/video I think u will find that even a modest plan will work for you.
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Old 02-10-2014, 06:28 PM   #8
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If there is no WIFI or hard wire for the lappy then the net will just have to get along without me.

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Old 02-10-2014, 06:51 PM   #9
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I been using my 4G ATT hotspot. is good enough to Stream NetFlix, and surf the WEb at same time. I have never seen the campground Wifi ever working well enough.
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Old 02-10-2014, 07:05 PM   #10
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The Uconnect radio in our RAM has a feature to create a WIFI hot spot in the truck. I believe you can subscribe weekly, monthly or annually. We used it last year for 1 month... IIRC it was $35.00/mon.
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Old 02-10-2014, 09:49 PM   #11
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We use a Verizon mifi for home Internet, so we just take that with us. If we forget it, we turn one of our phones into a hotspot. I have an aircard for work but only use it for work stuff.
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Old 02-10-2014, 10:13 PM   #12
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The Uconnect radio in our RAM has a feature to create a WIFI hot spot in the truck. I believe you can subscribe weekly, monthly or annually. We used it last year for 1 month... IIRC it was $35.00/mon.

Surprisingly that hotspot option seemed to be a US only one. I couldn't get it in my RAM on the Canuck side of the border.
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Old 02-10-2014, 10:54 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Bednarski1 View Post
Just wondering what most of you all are using for Internet service while traveling. I have Verizon but don't know if Hot Spot is what I want to use. Any suggestions would be great.
I think most of the options have been covered. As someone who works full time while we're on the road- not having Internet is not an option. I'm lucky in that I get to work remotely from my office, but my office expects 8+ hours of online time and during that time, I need to be able to send email, get on the web (I'm a web developer, after all!), use chat, use screen sharing applications and remotely access servers (like seeing the server's screen from my PC).

Here's what I've found:
  1. I started with using the campground's WiFi until I found myself camped too far from the office or lodge or whatever crap building they put it in. Or when I hit daily bandwidth limits and was throttled to the point of it being unusable. Or when it dropped every 45 minutes on the nose and kept me unable to reconnect for 7 minutes -- that was the day that I started paying $45/month extra for my hotspot feature to be turned on for my phone.

  2. I then switched plans and the hotspot was included in the regular cost. Using my phone as a hot spot is OK until I need to talk and be on screen sharing or remoting into a server or whatnot. I have AT&T and can talk + use data at the same time, but bandwidth becomes an issue. I started using my wife's phone for Internet and my phone for conference calls. Worked great except when she wanted to go to the beach, store, or pool, etc.

  3. I then bought a dedicated MiFi hotspot device. That worked well, but I found we used a lot more data in a month's time because it was easier to forget that we were connected through it (especially when the mother-in-law was around!). And then there was OH, where I literally had to move it around the camper to find the best spot for it. Phone internet was essentially unusable due to the amount of service we had. It seemed if a crow crapped while it was flying, I'd lose a bar and my speed would drop.

  4. Well, I haven't moved on yet. I generally stay in fairly populated areas on the east coast. My next steps are exploring a few options:
    1. WiFi booster with external antenna so that I don't have to be right on top of the office to try and use their WiFi.
    2. Cellular booster with external antenna so that when I'm in a marginal area that maybe I can get better service.
    3. Satellite Internet Service as a fallback for when the first two just don't cut it.
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Old 02-10-2014, 11:07 PM   #14
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Walmart just started selling a new month to month mifi, priced by data usage/mo. I believe the charges top out at 5 gig/mo. for $50.00 with no contract.You can also buy less usage depending on your needs. It uses Verizon network for coverage. Should fit the needs of RVers that go on the road for extended periods, and then return to home base.
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Old 02-11-2014, 12:06 AM   #15
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Satellite Internet Service as a fallback for when the first two just don't cut it
I used to work with a guy who lived in a rural area and used satellite for his home service. Be aware that you have a distinctive latency with satellite. It's great for downloads, perhaps even things like netflix, but fails when you need real time like screen sharing, VoIP, etc...
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Old 02-11-2014, 12:07 AM   #16
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I used to work with a guy who lived in a rural area and used satellite for his home service. Be aware that you have a distinctive latency with satellite. It's great for downloads, perhaps even things like netflix, but fails when you need real time like screen sharing, VoIP, etc...
Thanks for the head's up. If I've fallen back to the satellite, I could live with that.

I think my aunt's house has satellite Internet and seem like I noticed those issues.
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Old 02-13-2014, 05:55 AM   #17
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We use a Verizon MiFi for travel. Shares data plan with our iPhones. Costs $20.00 per month. It works well in almost all situations. Once at a remote campsite I had to move it around to find a good signal. Ended up putting it outside on a small table (while working inside). I have used it for video meetings, etc., and it works fine.
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Old 02-13-2014, 06:11 AM   #18
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X's 2 with RvBill3 I use the same, watch which model you choose. Some will only work on the 4 g net work the MIFI5510L will work with 3g or 4g networks by Verizon. NOT all areas have 4G yet.
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Old 02-13-2014, 06:19 AM   #19
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X's 2 with RvBill3 I use the same, watch which model you choose. Some will only work on the 4 g net work the MIFI5510L will work with 3g or 4g networks by Verizon. NOT all areas have 4G yet.
Many areas of the U.S. don't have any cell coverage at all, especially in the ozarks. I've camped in places where I would have been happy with 2G coverage. The same applies for the mountain states. BTW, for those who have never experienced camping in areas without cell service turn your phone off or put it in airplane mode. It's amazing how fast a battery runs down when the phone is continually searching for cell service.
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Old 02-13-2014, 03:33 PM   #20
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Wilson electronics makes several cell phone boosters. The easiest to set up and use is the sleek model. Has a cradle that a phone rests in and connects to an external antenna. The cradle boosts the signal in and out of the phone. Requires that the phone be in the cradle, so you need a bluetooth headset. However, the Verizon MiFi can be put in the cradle to boost signal for internet use, which will allow several phones or computers to share the boosted signal for internet and text messaging. (Verizon limits MiFi to max of 10 devices if getting a 4G signal and 5 if getting 3G or less.)

While nothing can boost a signal that just plain doesn't exist, this may be helpful in fringe areas. They make specific models depending on which carrier you have. I don't have one yet but it is getting close to the top of my wish list.
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