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Old 01-04-2013, 02:05 PM   #1
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Question Mobile Broadband

Does anyone have experience with mobile broadband? Good, bad, indifferent? Any brand recommendations?
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Old 01-04-2013, 02:59 PM   #2
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I have had excellent experience with Verizon cell based mobile broadband. I have used it for 5 years. My first modem was a USB 720 which plugged into the computer directly, then later I used it with a Cradlepoint router. It finally died and now I use a Verizon Mi Fi combined Modem and wireless router. That also works great. I often am in areas where cell reception is weak, and then use a Wilson magnetic based antenna and adaptor to plug into the Mi Fi. Almost never am I without service, including some pretty obscure NFS campgrounds in Montana. It will also work while driving down the road (not by the driver, of course). $50 a month for 5 gb bandwidth. Highly recommended, as you can probably guess from the above information.
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Old 01-04-2013, 03:20 PM   #3
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I also used a Verizon USB with great results. Switched to a iPhone in 2011 and my internet access is via the iPhone hotspot. Works very well for me.
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Old 01-04-2013, 03:44 PM   #4
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We recently bought the Verizon 4G Jetpack. We use it at every campground and have never found a place it didn't work from California to Florida. About the size of a drink coaster. We use no special antenna, although I am looking into antennae as a "just in case." We connect use it with two laptops, an iPOD and an Android tablet. No complaints yet.
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Old 01-04-2013, 03:45 PM   #5
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I'm happy with my Verizon.
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Old 01-04-2013, 05:42 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mstephens View Post
We recently bought the Verizon 4G Jetpack. We use it at every campground and have never found a place it didn't work from California to Florida. About the size of a drink coaster. We use no special antenna, although I am looking into antennae as a "just in case." We connect use it with two laptops, an iPOD and an Android tablet. No complaints yet.
Same here, we have the 4G Jetpack from Verizon and I use it both at home and traveling, in our AS or in the airport. I don't use public WI-FI if I can help it. Too many hackers out there just lurking. The Jetpack is a secure air card, cheap at twice the price.

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Old 01-04-2013, 06:44 PM   #7
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Verizon MiFi recommendation

If you need any more positive reports on the Verizon broadband service you have mine. However, while I have the Verizon MiFi, we have a data plan with AT&T for our cell phones with an iPhone that can be used as a hotspot. Where we live and travel many times one service is available and the other is not, or vice versa. This way we have access to whichever is available. If you have a Verizon data plan for your cell phone and want to diversify, AT&T also has MiFi available.
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Old 01-04-2013, 09:09 PM   #8
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Mobile Broadband - Pepwave + Millenicom

We use the Pepwave Surf on the Go travel router with the Millenicom 3G 20GB plan. This Millenicom plan operates on the Verizon network. A USB modem can be acquired with the Millenicom service to plug into the Pepwave or directly into a PC. The Pepwave creates a secure mobile hotspot router with which we can use multiple computers in the Airstream as well as outside around the Airstream.

When on the road we move the Pepwave to the tow vehicle where it plugs into a 12V outlet. My DW uses the mobile connection to connect an iPad to the internet while we are in motion.

We are very pleased with the Pepwave and the Millenicom service. Since we don't stream video the 20GB of monthly data has never been an issue. Download and upload speeds have ranged from good to excellent. Most of our usage is emails, web surfing, and iPad app connections. Links to more information:

Pepwave: Pepwave Surf On-The-Go
Pepwave Surf On-The-Go 3G/4G Router w/ WiFi as WAN (Surf OTG) Version 2.0, 21 Reviews : 3Gstore.com

Millenicom: Millenicom | High Speed Wireless Broadband

So far this has been a great solution for wifi service on the road or in campgrounds where wifi service is poor or nonexistent.
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Old 01-04-2013, 09:53 PM   #9
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WiFi and Hotspots

We have had good luck with the WiFiRanger Sky. This unit picks up and amplifies the campsite's WiFi, making it more functional. It mounts to your batwing antenna and is powered by the batwing's coax cable.

https://www.wifiranger.com/wifiranger-sky

When Wifi isn't available, we use (very successfully) the Millenicom 3G/4G Hotspot with 20 G per month for 69.99.

Millenicom | High Speed Wireless Broadband

You can learn more from these two excellent articles:

Mobile Internet Options for RVers & US Travelers | Technomadia

Mobile Internet Geekery & Gadgetry How We Stay Online While RVing | Technomadia

We have been fulltiming for about five months and found these tools to be very effective.

Cheers
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Old 01-05-2013, 09:23 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flynaxos View Post
We have had good luck with the WiFiRanger Sky. This unit picks up and amplifies the campsite's WiFi, making it more functional. It mounts to your batwing antenna and is powered by the batwing's coax cable.

https://www.wifiranger.com/wifiranger-sky

When Wifi isn't available, we use (very successfully) the Millenicom 3G/4G Hotspot with 20 G per month for 69.99.

Millenicom | High Speed Wireless Broadband

You can learn more from these two excellent articles:

Mobile Internet Options for RVers & US Travelers | Technomadia

Mobile Internet Geekery & Gadgetry How We Stay Online While RVing | Technomadia

We have been fulltiming for about five months and found these tools to be very effective.

Cheers
I watched the utube video on the installation of the wifiranger sky on the batwind antenna, but was unable to find anything on what is required inside the airstream to receive wifi signals. Did you make any modifications or add a router inside to provide this signal? Appreciate your direction on this. I could not find the cost of this unit or how you order one from the instructional information on the website.
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Old 01-05-2013, 10:31 AM   #11
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WiFi Ranger doesn't make it easy to buy this. Go to their sales partner MITO OEM to make a purchase. I recommend you call them and order over the phone. Make sure you get the retrofit model with the coax pigtail. The OEM model doesn't have the pigtail since it's wired in at the factory.

Installation on the batwing was easy. Just strap it down, and make the coax connections. They may include a small power booster switch for the coax. The 12 VDC comes through the coax. I mounted this in the coax switchplate . Total installation took less than an hour and only required a drill for the hole in the switchplate, screwdriver to remove the switchplate and a wrench to loosen and tighten the coax.

Do a search on Airforums for "WiFi Ranger" and you'll learn a lot more about the product.

Cheers
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Old 01-05-2013, 12:17 PM   #12
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On the fence about cell broadband
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Old 01-08-2013, 02:46 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flynaxos View Post
WiFi Ranger doesn't make it easy to buy this. Go to their sales partner MITO OEM to make a purchase. I recommend you call them and order over the phone. Make sure you get the retrofit model with the coax pigtail. The OEM model doesn't have the pigtail since it's wired in at the factory.

Installation on the batwing was easy. Just strap it down, and make the coax connections. They may include a small power booster switch for the coax. The 12 VDC comes through the coax. I mounted this in the coax switchplate . Total installation took less than an hour and only required a drill for the hole in the switchplate, screwdriver to remove the switchplate and a wrench to loosen and tighten the coax.

Do a search on Airforums for "WiFi Ranger" and you'll learn a lot more about the product.

Cheers
Just got a message from the manufacturer and learned that they are no longer making the batwing version of this WiFi router so the only option is to drill a hole in the roof that I am not excited about.

Does anyone have other options for improving WiFi inside an Airstream without drilling holes?
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Old 01-08-2013, 03:24 PM   #14
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The 3Gstore is a good source for information, and their prices are usually competitive.

Comparison of three typical "WiFi as Wan" routers: WiFi Shootout: CTR35 vs. WiFi Ranger vs. Pepwave Surf Mini - 3Gstore.com - YouTube

Products from two manufacturers, CradlePoint and PepWave: Search Results : 3Gstore.com, 3G/4G Routers, Antennas, Amplifiers, WiFi, Extended Batteries, Verizon & Sprint Data Cards

Note: Additional products appear on page two of above link.

I use a Novatel MiFi 4510L on Millenicom's 3G/4G Hotspot plan ($69.99 for 20GB via Verizon network), and a PepWave SURF On The Go (SOTG) as a "WiFi as WAN" router.

To use campground and other free WiFi, the PepWave SOTG is placed in the Airstream window facing the WiFi signal source, and it acts as a WiFi repeater. While it cannot be used with an external (outside) antenna, the one provided is usually sufficient. However, I suppose one could attach a 12 volt power source and temporarily place this device outside on the top of an Airstream.

Otherwise, I just turn on the MiFi 4510L, provided a cell service signal is available.

In fact, MiFi provides a secure Internet connection, usually at faster speeds than free WiFi; and this is my preferred method of connecting to the Internet.

Note: I have no affiliation with the 3Gstore, other than being a satisfied customer.
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