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Internet Connection for Work


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I want to work on the road but need an internet connection so I can vpn in my laptop.

 

I need decent speed and unlimited data what is a good way to do this? I prefer a pay as you go as opposed to buying a plan even if it is more expensive up front but would consider either. I would also prefer it to be a personal hot spot or wifi or whatever you call it so I can connect my tablet, phone, and laptop to the wifi but the biggest issues are speed and unlimited data transfer sometimes I work with large data files.

 

So is this possible and what do you recommend?

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I'd suggest that you look at Geeks on Tour website and also at Technomadia site as both of them work as they travel and specialize in helping others with this sort of issue. Both couples make all of their income as they travel and do so mostly via the internet. They also do seminars at the Escapades and having attended both, I have found them to be the very best place for this kind of advice and support because they are both using the very things that they teach and both test new technologies as they become available. Such advice just doesn't get any better!

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...I need decent speed and unlimited data ...

 

If you're planning on working your day gig - you no doubt need to include "reliable" in your list of requirements as well. The need for reliability pretty much dictates that you go with a solution that's based on cellular internet connectivity (as opposed to trying to use Ethernet WIFI resources such as campground provided WIFI connectivity, etc.). When it comes to cellular connectivity - it would be hard to argue that Verizon isn't #1 in that space - if for any reason, simply because of their coverage. Verizon advertises 5 - 12 mbps download speeds and 2 - 5 mbps upload speeds. I regularly work from my coach using a Verizon WIFI jetpack - and have no complaints about speed/performance.

 

The one requirement you're not likely to find is "unlimited data". Verizon certainly doesn't offer an "unlimited data" plan. It's also no secret that data plans ain't cheap. You'll need to track your daily utilization over time in order to figure out just how much bandwidth you consume over the course of a month. My average daily consumption is typically between 200mb - 250mb ... but has spiked as high as 800mb on a single day. I'm currently on a 10 GB per month plan (which with the employee discount my company has arranged with Verizon runs me roughly $50 a month). At present I typically work 2-3 days a week from the coach. When we're fully transitioned to full timing - I expect I'll need to double that.

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Greetings.. as others have mentioned, we do indeed work online and rely on mobile internet. You can see our personal setup at : www.technomadia.com/internet. We also have a list of other full timer's setups at: Full Time RVer Mobile Internet Setups

 

We ended up writing so much content about mobile internet and answering so many questions, that we created a website devoted to the topic ... would recommend starting with our RV Mobile Internet Overview article, which goes over the basics of cellular, WiFi and Satellite options - and explore from there. We have a bunch of content here for free, a book and a premium membership group with even more resources.

 

There are some unlimited options out there, but they all have trade-offs that you have to evaluate. The most useful one is the Verizon Unlimited Data Plan which is no longer available, and requires some hoops, upfront investment & risks to obtain a 3rd party grandfathered in one. We cover that in depth in one of our member guides on how to get one.

 

Enjoy!

 

- Cherie

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I need decent speed and unlimited data what is a good way to do this?

 

A lot of that is dependant an where you plan to be travelling. If you stay within normal cellular corridors, that is probably your least expensive and fairly reliable option.

 

If you trek off the beaten path on a regular basis, satellite might suit you better. Upfront the investment is fairly high, but month to month isn't prohibitivly more expensive than other mobile options out there.

 

I use both cellular and satellite, pay as you go, but neither offers unlimited bandwidth. For pay as you go, I almost prefer satellite. It's not capped on a monthly basis like cellular with exorbatant prices if you exceed your monthly allowance. With satellite I simply purchase a bandwidth package and re-puchase as needed whenever the need arises.

 

Ie., I buy a 5gig plan (other options are available) for $125. If it takes me a few weeks or several months to use doesn't matter. If I find myself low, I can simply go purchase another prepaid allotment of bandwidth. If I'm in a cellular corridor, I just let my satellite ride until I need it again.

 

I have to admit though that the inital investment can sting a little. The dish I have now was nearly 6k, however, regardless of how remote, I have never had any issues with being able to lock on to a signal. I don't do streaming or voip stuff so latency doesn't affect me, but if that's your thing, satellite wouldn't be a feasible option.

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I guess I should also mention.. if satellite is something you might be considering.. the speeds may be lower than what you are used to. There may be other providers with higher speeds (I dunno), but my ISP runs around 4mbps whereas 3 or 4g on cellular might be more like 5-12mbps.

 

Just sayin... :P

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How is satellite working these days with a VPN? Back many years ago when I had my DirecWay trying to use a VPN was really slow. Same for HTTPS websites since the web accelerator the system provided can't help with them.

 

What ping times are folks seeing on their satellite links today, I've heard it is better than the 1200 ms DirecWay gave me but how much better?

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What ping times are folks seeing on their satellite links today, I've heard it is better than the 1200 ms DirecWay gave me but how much better?

 

Stan:

 

The ping time for satellite internet is largely governed by the distances involved, irrespective of anything the provider can do about it. All geosynchronous satellites orbit at ~22,236 miles above the earth's surface. All such satellites orbit over the equator. The slant angle distance to a satellite from an arbitrary location in North America is on the order of 40,000 miles. At the speed of light a signal will take approximately 200 msec to traverse 40,000 miles so the roundtrip transit from your computer to the satellite to the ground station and back consists of four legs each of which takes roughly 200 msec. So the minimum ping time can't be less than ~800 msec.

 

We had the "old generation" Hughesnet at our S&B until 5 years ago and our typical ping times were in the range of ~900-1000 msec.

 

Joel

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I still have and use my Hughes satellite connection for backup and for those times we are not in cell range. To say it is slow is an understatement. Normal browsing is marginally ok, but downloads are terrible. The worst is HTTPS which is almost unusable. There's also the daily limit on the old plan like I have. 425M per 24 hours, although there is a free period during the middle of the night for a few hours that does not count towards the limit. Also, the limit only applies to downloads. You can upload all you want, or can, but that is way slower yet.

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I have been working on the road for 3.5 years. Started with Sprint and Wifi ranger to connect to park Wifis, then quickly the Millenicom deal which is ancient history. Then moved to Verizon and hotspot, when Millenicom went away. I am a software developer and don't do huge amounts of file transfers. But I use VPN and pass files back and forth. Fair amount of terminal emulation and screen sharing. Last Oct or so Verizon had a double data deal, and I signed up for 30Gb/mo for $130. Unfortunate part of that is that you cannot change the 30Gb without losing the nice price. (it is currently $225 now, I believe.) Anyway this works for me as a software developer. I don't have satellite, although I periodically think about it. But based on past experience..... I don't seem to need it. If I cannot hit a Verizon tower, then I have to move to where I can. So far it really hasn't been a problem. But I haven't been in the really remote places.

 

Hope this is helpful

Alex

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I think Docj just about covered it. It just depends where you are. I'm right around 40N and am getting about 750ms. I don't think I've ever really had much lower than 700ish and some parts of the country I'll see 1000ms. I do know there are some providers that boast 500-650ms and use dedicated channels for VPN. I have no idea how much that might cost, but it's out there.

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The distance based delay is unavoidable but there is delay in the system from your modem to the satellite electronics to the modem at the other end through their networking gear and that was what I'd hoped had improved in the new generation of equipment. Ground based net users are probably looking at the ping times in horror but going from the old 1200-1500 ms delay to 700-1000 now is a huge improvement, it makes things like VOIP or remote computer control a lot closer to usable.

 

Before buying a satellite system to use I'd sure recommend finding someone with a very similar system and trying to use it for a couple hours. Far better to find out it won't meet your needs before you have a few thousand invested and a long contract to pay out every month.

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I first started working remotely (from home) in 1988 with one phone line. I showed my boss how to flash my screen so I could see he wanted to talk to me and then I would disconnect and talk to him.

 

It worked great!! I was surprised at how much productive I was working at home rather than at work! In those days, the Forest Service had their entire filing system on-line nation-wide. Also every Forest Service employee had a unique e-mail address. So I could contact anybody I wanted at any time. I did have other employees call me long distance!!! Remember in those days you had to pay for long distance!!!

 

Years later, I had an employee whose mother was dying 2,000 miles away and she was the only one in her family that could take care of her. She left with her laptop and cell phone. Worked two months, 2,000 miles from the office. Nobody noticed that she was gone. She did have to run some GIS programs and had to go to the local Forest Service office to do that.

 

BTW...both those cases were medical emergencies. So both of us dropped our hours to about six hours a day and used vacation time for the balance.

 

My advice, is to look at your needs and what you need to do. If you are only moving text you can do that anywhere. If your moving pictures or large data files that will require some pre-planning to make it work. You do need fairly high speed access for those files. Also look at the need for plotters and other specialized equipment.

 

Quite frankly, I think the days of an "office" are done. In my daughters generation, everybody works AWAY from the office.

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