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Old 01-13-2011, 05:21 PM   #15
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AppleInsider | Verizon iPhone offers Wi-Fi tethering but no simultaneous data and voice [u]
Verizon iPhone Costs $199 For 16GB, $299 For 32GB… With Tethering! | Cult of Mac
Here is some articles on the differences with the AT&T and Verizon iPhones...and it looks like Verizon is offering a 3G Mobile HotSpot app included in their iPhone. From the sounds of this, the Verizon iPhone could be linked using the phone's internet signal.
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Old 01-13-2011, 05:48 PM   #16
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There is extensive discussion of mobile computing and networking at rvforum.com, where there are a number of regulars who fulltime or are retired and traveling extensively. I would suggest that site as a better resource for non-Airstream specific aspects of wireless networking.

The aluminum skin of the Airstream does affect signal strength but the difference is not as dramatic as you might think. At the 800 Mhz-2.5Ghz frequencies at which wireless networking systems operate, radio waves come through the windows and skylights and bounce around the interior reasonably well.
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Old 01-13-2011, 06:07 PM   #17
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Verizon USB modem, but switching soon to a Verizon phone with android os so that I can loose the modem.
According to my son (and a lady at Verizon), the android phones have a 3rd party software plugin that allows you to tether your laptop to the phone for broadband.
Then if you have unlimited internet on your phone you don't pay any extra. If you use the Verizon plug in for the same purpose, they charge you a monthly fee.
The lady at verizon said that she used the 3rd party plug in.
If you have a MacBook Pro, you become a hotspot and you can share your connection wireless-ly.
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Old 01-13-2011, 06:11 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hazelgreen View Post
One you can get on Verizon, the MiFi 2200 is the only way to go since its use is dependent on your cell phone coverage. We have one and it is great as it can have 5 independent wifi devices working at a time and is extremely small. There is no need for another router.
The MiFi was not available when we got our air card and Netgear WIFI router. Today, I would take a serious look at the Verizon MiFi, as it is nice to be able to network WIFI devices such as laptops, scanners, printers etc.
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Old 01-13-2011, 08:57 PM   #19
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mobile broadband signal strength is a problem

We've been using a Verizon 3G card for some time now but our trailer degrades cellular signals significantly - perhaps due to it's dual interior/exterior aluminum skins. I have gone through a number of configurations but the one we have now works well for us.

I mounted a Wilson Shorty RV antenna on the refrigerator vent cover and ran the cable into a closet (no holes to drill in roof). The antenna cable plugs into the Verizon card and is a huge improvement - I usually always have a very strong signal and 1Mbs+ download.

The Verizon card slides into a compact Cradlepoint CRT500 WiFi router, giving us Wifi for both laptops, Skype phone, iPad.

Although the MiFi does the same thing, it does not have an external antenna port - also a problem with tethering our cell phones.

We just leave it running in the Airstream while towing and have WiFi in the truck and wherever we stop along the way. The cellular antenna is great - we have broadband many times when the cellphones have no bars.
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Old 01-13-2011, 10:27 PM   #20
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Ditto with Wayward. We have a very similar set up using a VZ USB and we get wireless on cell phones as well as an iPad for web surfing even while driving in the truck. It's great and beats the ATT cell service as a broad band connector hands down. We have no contract and activate it during the months that we are in the AS. A 5gig/mo data limit for $50/mo with the new 4G USB unit. If you have need for broad band, this beats McDonalds and can be secured. The whole set up is installed on closet wall and totally out of sight. There are less expensive ways to go, but I believe that this is the best way - acknowledging that technology will change before I can send this;-D
Go safely, Peter
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Old 01-13-2011, 10:42 PM   #21
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A word of caution to people planning to get the Verizon iPhone and use that for their internet connectivity... the first generation of the VZW device will be EVDO only, so they won't be able to support data while you're on a call until the LTE version comes out on Verizon.

If they're like Sprint with their Android devices, the app will be on the phone but in order to use the HotSpot functionality you'll have to subscribe to an extra add-on to your plan. With Sprint it's an extra $30/month.
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Old 01-14-2011, 07:44 AM   #22
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We have no contract and activate it during the months that we are in the AS.
I like this idea too. Buying the broadband card/USB outright lets me skip the annual contracts. eBay is a good place to find them sometimes.

With 4G coming, I am thinking about upgrading, putting a cellular antenna in the house, and then moving the card&router back and forth between home and the Airstream.
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Old 01-14-2011, 10:00 AM   #23
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Been using Verizon USB aircards for over 3 years. The coverage has always been good, and seems to be getting much better as more towers are being added. We're on a cross country trip right now, and have only had to use the external antenna and amplifier once near the Salton Sea, CA where the modem fell apart (literally).

Yesterday, we headed south to El Centro to the nearest Verizon store, and replaced it with a 4G aircard with an external antenna connection in the event we need the external antenna/amp. It's a Pantech UML290, and and is bulkier than the old aircard, but comes with an extension cable that clips to the top of my laptop, and the USB plug is jointed to lower the profile when plugged in, and folds up inside when not in use.

So far, everything is working fine. I'll report back, if otherwise. We're somewhere in Arizona now, and will be headed back east for the next week or so.
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Old 01-14-2011, 11:38 AM   #24
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With 4G coming, I am thinking about upgrading, putting a cellular antenna in the house, and then moving the card&router back and forth between home and the Airstream.
Our home in the California Delta is set down below the top or the levee along the Sacramento River. Cell service is very poor, unless we walk to the end of the street, and up on the levee. I installed a Wilson trucker omni directional antenna at the peak of the roof with an inside the house amplifier and inside dome antenna. As soon as I plugged the amplifier in the wall, all of the bars came up on the cell phone. It works so well that we disconnected our land line. Not cheap, but what I have saved in just one year in land line bills has more than paid for the Wilso n set-up.

I understand that if you use the "flag" or directional antenna, service would be even better. Which antenna you use would depend on how far the cell tower is from your location. Our cell tower is only a couple of miles, but line of sight is blocked by the levee except from the peak of the roof.
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Old 01-14-2011, 02:18 PM   #25
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We used a Verizon wifi card this summer on out 2 month trip. It worked well for us. It is a bit pricey and we went over on usage both months which was 5 gig. Fast forward a few months we cancelled our Verizon card and now tether using the My Wi app on our jail broken iphones with Tmobile service. Works well. One time $20 fee to purchase app and both my husband and I can be on the internet at the same time. It also works with our ipad.
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Old 01-14-2011, 08:45 PM   #26
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Sprint USB modem for us. 3G or 4G where avaiable. Works great in all 35 states I've been to in the Airstream. $50.00 a month.
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Old 01-15-2011, 08:57 AM   #27
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We use free campground wifi. Ah, duh. We use what we deliver. (In truth, we turn off the more powerful system for closed season and just use a standard household router.)

Seriously, though, on our (my) fall trip, I wanted to use wifi, but it wasn't available at all in the campground near Bosque del Apache, and the wifi at the campground in Alburquerque was pretty quirky. Of course, with the 200-buck netbook, I wasn't expecting that much, given that its antenna is apparently about the size of a small earthworm. (Its reception here at home isn't very good, either.)


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Old 01-15-2011, 10:48 AM   #28
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Quote:
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With 4G coming, I am thinking about upgrading, putting a cellular antenna in the house, and then moving the card&router back and forth between home and the Airstream.
I didn't know you could put a cellular antenna on/in your house. Where can I find out more? Do these simply amplify signals or...?

For what it's worth, I've recently been told that the bars of reception only help define signal strength when you are not on 3G. If you are on a data network, then you are live, and it operates equally fast no matter what the connection strength. If you are having connection speed difficulty usually it is because of other user traffic or your device is switching from 3G to Edge coverage.
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