Originally Posted by Foiled Again
I know there have been innumerable threads regarding fulltiming and staying connected, but what was advanced tech last month may already be out-of-date or overpriced. So since I retired I really need to get over the luxury of using the office's internet. And antenna TV is leaving me tepid.
So best cost benefit tradeoffs today? I don't think I'll be a heavy internet user but boy the stuff that takes 10 minutes to send an e-mail is not for me either. And since I have two trailers... portable is better.
I thank all of you in advance for your help and wisdom.
Strangely most solutions for internet outside of the house have remained the same. Some expansion in larger cities of wifi nets that blanket things but just about the same. I would not worry about things being "out-dated".
So for a RV or remote anything you only have so many solutions.
You can use your phone and tether it to your device. iPhones and Andriod phones do this easily. You most likely will gobble a lot of data and using that solution when your using your phone when your out and about you tend to accelerate your data usage if its double dipping tethering it when your in your Airstream. Also data packs are not that competitively priced. Its a breath taking rip off actually.
They sell LTE pucks/aircards whatever you want to call them. The data caps on those tend to be a little more and you can buy non contract ones. Best Buy for instance sells a plethora of them.
The issue with both is when your in a remote area you can simply not have a signal. Cell phone towers cost in the excess of a million dollars and it makes no sense to put them up everywhere. When they do they tend to be just for voice. I'm in Texas and the distances involved from say El Paso to Dallas is over 8 hours and long stretches of either no cellular or just EDGE service which is a very low data system. The issue is LTE requires a fiber trunk hooked into the tower..remote tower have no such luxury.
Now one way to dramatically increase your signal strength is to get a external antenna for Cellular. Once upon a time all cell phones had a screw in port for one. Today hard to find. Almost all of the internet pucks you can buy have that port still.
A lesson on RF. For the most part how far you can transmit is the size of your antenna coupled with how large a power source. So if you go way back to those Motorola brick phones...they had 3 watt transmitters if I recall. Today a iPhone has a like a max transmission power of 2 watts but often uses less then a half of a watt to conserve power. The drive for slim devices has actually neutered RF communications. As a result phone companies have to put towers everywhere to make up for the lack of your phones ability to send a signal far. Couple that with a slim line battery and you actually have a dramatically inferior transmission device compared to phones of the past.
Cell phone boosters cheap ones are generally not powered and basically its just a longer antenna to capture more signal. They sell 100-300 dollar powered cell phone boosters that can dramatically increase a signal.
So other then a puck or tethered to a cell phone really your only other choice is a Satellite Internet/TV dish scheme. There is a couple of brands out there but they are by FAR the cheapest solution.
There metered like your cell phone but for instance Exede its 130 a month for 25 gigs but anything after Midnight to 5am is free. The others have something similar as well it varies.
The biggest issue is Sat Internet is a BLOS system (Beyond Line of Sight) and obstructions can degrade or stop the signal. There also is latency in the those set ups as well due to the round trip signal having to go tens of thousands of miles in space and back.
I have seen Dish Turrets that auto align for RVs that are in protective housings that get installed on top of your RV but have not looked into if they also do internet. If you have the money and they do do that that is a ideal set up. There like 300-400 bucks a i think.
Other then that those are the main ways and have been for quite some time.
If I were you I would get a Sat Internet system that provides TV and Internet put the bloody thing on a tripod and just figure out how to align it. Its not that hard to do. Spent 13 years in the Marine Corp dealing with RF systems and now work on planes that have internet hook ups up in the air. If a 18 year old from podunk nowhere can be taught to do that anyone can.
A satellite for that is always in the same place..sometimes multiple ones if say your on the East Cost and go to the West Coast but usually they put those in high orbit so one can service most of the region. There are tools as well that you can hold and it picks up the signal so you know the direction. Then usually if the reciever is hooked up to a box it has a menu screen that shows you when your locked on with a tone so you can turn up the tv and fiddle with it till you get the lock.
Oh this is my first post!!!!