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What is everyone using for Internet access now?


froggi

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Two years ago when we moved to Ecuador, we cancelled our Verizon 3G unlimited plan (sigh...it as $60 a month). Now that we are planning to return to full-timing, we are wondering what folks are using. We have bought, and are waiting to receive, a new device from Karma.

 

We bought it when we thought we'd only be using it a few weeks out of the year. It's $14/GB but it never expires. SHould have it next week and will be testing it then while in Delaware parked at our daughter's house, she doesn't have good wifi for us to borrow.

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Since I currently have two Verizon based plans, with one currently suspended, that are no longer available to the general public, maybe I shouldn't comment, but with Karma using Sprint and their limited coverage, I think I'd give them a pass if I were looking for a new data supplier. There are just too many places we go that Sprint doesn't.

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Garry, are you online very much? We have a Verizon 12GB plan for our smartphones and don't use very much of it. Haven't tried the hotspot yet but guess we can do that on hubby's iPhone 6.

 

Dutch, we chose it because it was the only one we found that covered Greenwood, DE. This was done before we thought about returning from Ecuador permanently. We have friends that were using Verizon's Mifi when we left, was just wondering if there was a better alternative. We will be parked in FL for three months at a park where wifi is only available at the office. Ugh!

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Verizon's coverage map shows LTE coverage for pretty much all of DE, including Greenwood. Sprint does have fairly good coverage in much of Florida, although none at one of our favorite campgrounds on the Tamiami Trail. If the Karma deal doesn't work out for you, take a look at the pre-pay MiFi plans offered by Straight Talk. They offer both Verizon and AT&T devices.

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Thanks, Dutch. I didn't know that Straight Talk offered MiFi plans. That's what happens when you move abroad for two years. LOL! I write books and do a lot of research, marketing and promotion so we tend to eat up a lot of time. Definitely going to miss our old unlimited aircard.

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We have a 40 GB Verizon plan that we picked up last October when Millenicom (which we used) went away.

 

As an aside, we work camped this summer and were able to use a cable modem over the park's cable system -- za-zoom! Cheap, fast, 250GB data cap.

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Garry, are you online very much? We have a Verizon 12GB plan for our smartphones and don't use very much of it. Haven't tried the hotspot yet but guess we can do that on hubby's iPhone 6.

 

Dutch, we chose it because it was the only one we found that covered Greenwood, DE. This was done before we thought about returning from Ecuador permanently. We have friends that were using Verizon's Mifi when we left, was just wondering if there was a better alternative. We will be parked in FL for three months at a park where wifi is only available at the office. Ugh!

 

 

Yes I have used it allot all over the Northeast, South and Southwest. Most of the time I don't need the booster. It was in places like Palo Duro Canyon in Texas that I needed a signal booster. I Had a 6 gig plan that I have now reduced to a 4 gig plan. 90% of the time I had a 4G signal.

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Garry, are you online very much? We have a Verizon 12GB plan for our smartphones and don't use very much of it. Haven't tried the hotspot yet but guess we can do that on hubby's iPhone 6.

 

Dutch, we chose it because it was the only one we found that covered Greenwood, DE. This was done before we thought about returning from Ecuador permanently. We have friends that were using Verizon's Mifi when we left, was just wondering if there was a better alternative. We will be parked in FL for three months at a park where wifi is only available at the office. Ugh!

 

 

Donna & Stu,

 

If you absolutely have to have WIFI, this is the only game in town: https://www.wifiranger.com/shop/product/52-elite-pack-flat-mount

 

It is pricey to be sure ($650.00) but it will pull in a WIFI signal from as far away as 1-ish miles away (they claim 2 miles, but that is under optimal conditions.) What it WILL do is snag that WIFI signal that is only at the office and broadcast it to your RV on a private secure wireless network (so multiple devices can access the WIFI signal.)

 

Pair this with a WeBoost 4G Cell booster (https://store.weboost.com/products/drive-4gm) and you will have the best solution out there for cellular & WIFI connectivity. If you mount it on a metal ground plane (get one from Lowe's) it will provide a bigger boost to your cell signals. Like the WIFI Ranger, this is a booster 'network' so all cell phones in your rig will benefit from the boosted cell signal. Again, at $380, it's a expensive solution, but one that really does work.

 

Obviously, this is not for everyone, but if you are FT or operate a office on the road, these two items are indespensible.

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Donna, Verizon is still the best game in town. ATT being a close second. So if you are travelling (vs. a fixed location) and are only going to have one device then it should be Verizon unless you have a very good reason for something else.

 

As stated above, you can hotspot your phones and that works well most of the time...as long as you can deal with the inconvenience of the hotspot potentially going "shopping".

 

The wifiranger is still the best cellular router with the most capabilities and best wifi as WAN available. You may or may not need that. If you want to pursue that avenue it is a whole separate discussion from just cellular Internet access. I'l be happy to answer any of your questions....

 

Welcome home....I've been following your Ecuador blog....

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My experience with cellular seems to be a little different than some of the others here. Until three months ago, we had a Pantech Mifi and Wilson Sleek which seemed to work pretty well even in areas with only a 1X signal. We switched to Pantech android phones and I am not impressed. Using the hotspot feature, the connection is lost on a regular basis. Tethering to the router/hotspot provides a pretty consistent connection. However, the phone does not like 3G and will not connect and pass data on a 1X connection at all. In the past 3 months we have had no cellular data service in locations in MD, WV, KY, and several places in New Mexico. We are currently 7 miles from Deming, NM and have no data service even when using the Sleek. We do have voice service even without the Sleek.

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We use a Verizon Jetpack (the one with an antenna port) and our 2 IPhone on Verizon. We have a Small antenna that we used in the truck ( pre motorhome purchase) and we have a Wilson Trucker antenna that rides on the ladder on the back of the motorhome if we need any help pulling in the signal. We have a 12G plan. We have had service pretty much wherever except in western PA but that a line of sight issue from where we park.

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We have an arsenal, and are in a holding pattern for the we all hope (Not as much as Gord!) will be a great product from Maximum Signal (A cellular amp, the new wave kind:)!).

 

We currently use:

-WiFiRanger GO2 with roof top Bullet Antenna

>Park or other free wifi, when our Cellular plan won't pull in a useable signal

>Samsung S6 Hotspot, sometimes just strait the my PC's, TV's, AVR, BluRay, etc. - but if I want outside coverage, I go thru the WiFiRanger

>We also have a UML290 USB, that I've moved our phone card to on occasion, plugged into the GO2

-Samsung S6, as mentioned, as a hotspot. However if needed, we are using a WeBoost 4G to amp the signal.

(Note: We bought the WeBoost as a holdover until Gord's Maximum Signal Amp is averrable. We'll move it, and have used it frequently, in our Toad while driving around. Most recently we were getting data in Yellowstone, when others around us were not. I will share how surprised I am at how hot the WeBoost gets. I have actually burned my fingers from touching the metal parts where the antenna attaches. I used it the first time and laid it on it's back on a vinyl cover footstool - and it melted the vinyl. I've seen Technomedia's recommendation to place a insulating buffer between the WeBoost and the phone, or MiFi. But frankly, not very pleased with Wilson that they put a product out that runs this hot. Could cause a fire, and could cause damage to a phone in the way of battery bulge. And, talk about planned obsolescence - I just can not see the electronics in the WeBoost lasting very long, at those temps! (All, IMHO!).)

 

We also recently jumped in on the OmniLynx Verizon Network program, and have the Jetpack they sent. It works well, and allows me to take my Unlimited Data Verizon Hotspot Samsung S6 when leaving the coach, and my wife still has internet coverage. (She does have a ATT iPhone 5S, but just on this trip, we've had probably 4-5 times where she ended up needing to use WiFi via our MiFi or Samsung S6 Hotspots for internet access...

 

Lots of options out their, and lots of ways to spend money!!!

 

Best to all,

Smitty

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Once again, thank you all. I will keep all your notes and we will adapt over time. We will monitor our usage on our Verizon data plan, then try it as a hotspot and monitor it again. We will also get our Karma this week and can see if it works well. Nice thing on the Karma, the data never expires.

Kept notes on all the antennas, extenders, etc. for future reference. We still have to go back to Ecuador until the end of the year, so will be January before we really start using this.

 

Appreciate it!

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My experience with cellular seems to be a little different than some of the others here. Until three months ago, we had a Pantech Mifi and Wilson Sleek which seemed to work pretty well even in areas with only a 1X signal. We switched to Pantech android phones and I am not impressed. Using the hotspot feature, the connection is lost on a regular basis. Tethering to the router/hotspot provides a pretty consistent connection. However, the phone does not like 3G and will not connect and pass data on a 1X connection at all. In the past 3 months we have had no cellular data service in locations in MD, WV, KY, and several places in New Mexico. We are currently 7 miles from Deming, NM and have no data service even when using the Sleek. We do have voice service even without the Sleek.

 

You don't say what carrier you are using, but our experience is like most others here. We have two Samsung Android phones on Verizon both of which are capable of being hotspots and both of which work excellently.

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You don't say what carrier you are using, but our experience is like most others here. We have two Samsung Android phones on Verizon both of which are capable of being hotspots and both of which work excellently.

My bad, we are with Verizon. The Mifi was originally with Millenicom and then Verizon after the demize of Millenicom. The Mifi worked very well with the exception of the battery bulge issue when left connected to the charger 24/7. It would run for weeks without needing rebooting and worked on 1X, 3G, and 4G. The current Pantech phones are also with Verizon. I can't speak to the quality of the radios in various phones, but as I said, I am not impressed with the phones as compared to the Mifi. In my opinion, cellular connectivity as with real estate is all about location, location, location. Both distance from a tower and the topography affect the ability to get a signal. None of the places, with the exception of the Rio Grande Del Norte National Monument, where we could not receive signal this year, were really all that far from civilization. Even there, we were in developed campgrounds and not really that far from the nearest town. Others we spoke to in these locations were also unable to get connections.
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So no one is using a mobile satelite connection?

That is probably still the best choice if internet is vital and you plan to spend a lot of time in really remote areas. But most of the portable dish users seem to have left that service but I do still see some automatic dish users around. With the tremendous improvement in cellular service that has replaced the satellite service as the most popular and it may cost less as well.

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So no one is using a mobile satelite connection?

 

There are lots of reasons why satellite connections aren't the best for RVers, but the inherent latency of a satellite connection and the limited data allowances, to name just two factors, make it difficult to use satellite as one's primary connection. I lived with 8 years of satellite connection at a house that was in a cellular dead zone, but I wouldn't voluntarily sign up for that again unless I had absolutely no other choice. Personally, my internet needs are such that I can live with cellular dead zones which have become fewer and fewer over the past few years.

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Good to know, I just assum.... err, never mind. Maybe I just stumbled on another life style change to go full time. We use ALOT of net flix at home as we do not have cable. 4G with 20 GB plans aren't going to handle that. How common is it for a park to have open access wifi, to residents?

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Good to know, I just assum.... err, never mind. Maybe I just stumbled on another life style change to go full time. We use ALOT of net flix at home as we do not have cable. 4G with 20 GB plans aren't going to handle that. How common is it for a park to have open access wifi, to residents?

 

One fellow camper complained that he couldn't get his NetFlix to stream . I simply told him that he was competing with another party that also loved to stream movies and everyone else in the park that was trying to use the parks wifi for what ever reason .

 

Maybe another one of those life style change things ... ;)

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