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Old 04-20-2014, 02:18 PM   #1
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internet on the go

any suggestions for internet connectivity while on the road. The GPS requires a wifi connection for real time traffic and weather. is a mifi card better than a smartphone that can be a hotspot? any idea the amount of data needed for that kind of usage? Is there a satellite service that might be better than a cell service? Is satellite available on the move? Haven't done much research on that yet.

most places we've stayed advertise wifi but experience has been limited at best, and not always good to share a public access for certain transactions.

suggestions?
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Old 04-20-2014, 02:21 PM   #2
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We use a verizon mifi up and down the east coast without issue. My wife has it through her employer so I don't know the details of it.
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Old 04-21-2014, 08:45 AM   #3
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Frank, I use a Jetpack. I am told it uses the same amount of data that you would use if you made your phone a Hot Spot, the only difference is that if you get a call on your cellphone, while it is a Hot Spot, it cuts out the Internet connection. I have a 10 Gig plan. Enough for 3 phones and the Jetpack to date. Craig
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Old 04-21-2014, 08:50 AM   #4
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Verizon MiFi is the way to go. Very easy to use and you can connect up to 5 things to it.
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Old 04-21-2014, 09:03 AM   #5
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I would say use your phone as the hotspot. This way you don't have to pay the cost for an additional device on your data plan!
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Old 04-21-2014, 09:58 AM   #6
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Verizon Mifi is what we use and it is great especially since Verizon pretty much has the best coverage of anyone. BEWARE, normal email activity uses very little data but if you start downloading lots of videos (youtube, movies, etc) your data usage will go thru the roof. And Verizon makes it really easy to monitor and manager your account online too.
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Old 04-21-2014, 10:03 AM   #7
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I use the Verizon WIFI that way the kids can use their computers and tablets, as needed. You can set your plan for 4 gigs of data and up, in 2gig increments. the price isn't prohibitive, and it keeps everyone happy.
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Old 04-21-2014, 10:06 AM   #8
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Started out using a Mifi but converted when the smart phones came out. No cost for the Mifi unit when we took the additional line, $200.00 for the smart phone. We wanted the smart phone (grand-daughter) so the additional usage (Mifi) was a benefit.
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Old 04-21-2014, 10:08 AM   #9
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I use the straight talk hot spot. Works well on the East cost. 3G speed, but works good. No contract, can buy several different refil cards that last for 30 or 60 days.
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Old 04-21-2014, 10:57 AM   #10
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Thanks everyone. We need to get ready for 6-8 months on the road. Craig, if we are on the computer (with wifi hotspot) and a call comes in we lose or connection. Did I understand that correctly?
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Old 04-21-2014, 11:08 AM   #11
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Thanks everyone. We need to get ready for 6-8 months on the road. Craig, if we are on the computer (with wifi hotspot) and a call comes in we lose or connection. Did I understand that correctly?

First that only applies if your using your smartphone for access and second it depends on which technology your carrier uses. I'm only certain with the Canadian carriers but watching US commercials they claim AT&T doesn't drop internet. Makes sense since they use GSM like my carrier (Rogers) and I can use both at once. They other form of cell service (CDMA) is supposed to be the one that drops internet when a call comes in. On the flip side I've heard that CDMA has better range than GSM so you should get better coverage between towns.

However if you go with a mifi, that's a separate device from the smartphone, so calls coming in aren't an issue.
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Old 04-21-2014, 12:07 PM   #12
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Frank, I have Verizon. If I use my Iphone as a Hot Spot to connect to the Internet, and a call comes in on my Iphone, I loose the Internet connection. If I am using the Jetpack to connect to the Internet, I would not be using my Iphone as a Hot Spot, thus if a call came in on my Iphone, I would not lose the Internet connection on the Jetpack. Hope that helps. Craig
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Old 04-21-2014, 12:11 PM   #13
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Basically, the jetpack is another "phone" line on your bill. And it's like Craig just said. We've had the mifi for a couple of years and it looks like mifi is now called jetpack.
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Old 04-21-2014, 01:18 PM   #14
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Frank. The other thing to consider, is if you already have an unlimited data plan and you add a Jetpack, they will put that on a data plan. So if you do have unlimited data presently, I would just activate Hot Spot for $30 per month on one of your phones and not get the Jetpack. Craig
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Old 04-21-2014, 01:31 PM   #15
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When we replaced our old I 4 phone with the 5s we lost our unlimited data plan thru Verizon. We have a jet pack we use and it adds 10 per month and shares our plan. Be careful to monitor your usage as it can add up very quickly. Verizon also has some strange policy on when the plan is changed and what direction you can go. You can add data but you can't go down in mid bill cycle. So if you have a 10g plan and are using 12 g you can go up to the next tier but if using only 5 g in the cycle to bad you can't go down and can't bank it.



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Old 04-21-2014, 06:42 PM   #16
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When we replaced our old I 4 phone with the 5s we lost our unlimited data plan thru Verizon. We have a jet pack we use and it adds 10 per month and shares our plan. Be careful to monitor your usage as it can add up very quickly. Verizon also has some strange policy on when the plan is changed and what direction you can go. You can add data but you can't go down in mid bill cycle. So if you have a 10g plan and are using 12 g you can go up to the next tier but if using only 5 g in the cycle to bad you can't go down and can't bank it.
Another thing for those thinking of using their smartphone as a hotspot..... Under some plans, Verizon "frowns upon" doing this and will try to block you.

They don't want you using your data allowance for anything but the phone itself. This seems to be only when tethering via wireless instead of a USB cable BTW.....

Why?? Who knows!! You've paid for 2GB per month.... Why should they care how you use it???

There ARE ways to thwart their evil plans, however.

Boowho??
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Old 04-22-2014, 11:18 AM   #17
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Verizon's Share Everything plan let's you use your phone as a hotspot without additional charge. I may or may not have used workaround apps in the past, but once I went to "Share Everything" it got simple. No fees, use the Verizon apps. Also, if you have an iPad with 4g that can function as a hotspot, and those are $10 a month on the plan vs the $30 or whatever for a Mifi.

Is your Garmin HD Digital Traffic compatible? If you so could add the HD receiver and not have to fool with cellular data at all... Was thinking "do you have to have a wifi connect to use the Garmin traffic? "

https://www8.garmin.com/traffic/
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Old 04-22-2014, 11:31 AM   #18
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The verizon MIFI Jetpack is ten$ a month and shares that same plan. The advantage is having it in all the time and not worrying about the phone battery going dead. For ten dollars I find it worth it. Again be careful of going over the plan. When using for everything it adds G bits fast.



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Old 04-22-2014, 09:23 PM   #19
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To OP...
Suggest you read this article before making a decision. Seems like Millenicom uses the same robust Verizon network but gives a LOT more data for the bucks without impacting your Verizon phone and requires NO CONTRACT.
The Millenicom Verizon Hotspot Plan Survival Guide | Technomadia

Lots of good reviews on other boards. I have ZERO experience with this ...but this is the one I will try when we take off later this year.
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Old 04-22-2014, 09:59 PM   #20
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To OP...
Suggest you read this article before making a decision. Seems like Millenicom uses the same robust Verizon network but gives a LOT more data for the bucks without impacting your Verizon phone and requires NO CONTRACT.
The Millenicom Verizon Hotspot Plan Survival Guide | Technomadia

Lots of good reviews on other boards. I have ZERO experience with this ...but this is the one I will try when we take off later this year.
Looks interesting, and for full-timer looks really great... glancing at activation fees and reactivations it loses a little luster if you were gonna use it a month or so then shut it off and reactivate. I think I'd want to talk through THAT process with 'em. DEFINITELY a deal if you're hitting 10-20 gig of data a month consistently. Good catch.

If you have a verizon shared data plan, you can buy more data for the months you're traveling and keep it lower when at home.
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