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Old 07-11-2016, 04:34 PM   #1
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Internet on the road

We have Verizon and just started full time on the road. The first month we used over 30GB and the Verizon cost was prohibitive.

The 2nd month we turned off auto videos on Facebook and automatic cloud backups, and stopped watching all videos everywhere, but we still are over 18 GB per month. Again, high cost from Verizon.

Does anyone have a better solution for internet on the road?
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Old 07-11-2016, 04:54 PM   #2
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No.

Having internet that goes with you when you travel is expensive.

You could spend some time in Starbucks and other places with free wifi periodically, which would help, but I think you basically need to change the way you live and use wifi if you are going to travel full time and take wifi with you.


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Old 07-11-2016, 05:01 PM   #3
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We have a similar issue with our campsite.

http://www.ourflyingcloud.com/2016/0...ata-usage.html

I have since learned that iOS devices are very data hungry, and there are no safeguards when connecting to wifi, which is what we use. They forget that there are such things as cellular wifi hotspots, like the Verizon JetPack.

This makes it essential you understand EXACTLY what applications are using data and you shut them down. In our case, it was a combination of iCloud backups, photo library, and app updates. Some app updates were over 1GB! We had to turn all that stuff off until we were connected to a true wifi connection.

You will find that if you limit your use to email and light browsing (no videos, no streaming anything), 3-6GB a month is very doable.
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Old 07-11-2016, 06:28 PM   #4
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WE seem to get by fairly well at about 5 gb a month. We do not stream video and usually not audio. We do use skype but voice only. Be aware that many news and financial sites will automatically refresh every few minutes. try not to leave anything open you are not using at the time. Likewise weather sites and radar maps. I have found weather underground can be a bandwidth hog if left open. If you are running windows set it to notify but not update automatically. In win 10 you will have to set it to a "metered connection" to get any control over updates. I also have found the Kindle fire will occasionally do some large updates and there is no way to control it short of airplane mode. Hope some of this helps.
We are also using Verizon with a MiFi and never camp anywhere where wifi is an alternative.
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Old 07-12-2016, 11:00 AM   #5
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After a year of trying to keep our data usage at a reasonable level (below our 30GB Verizon plan plus my unlimited AT&T on my iPhone), we decided to make the leap and get a Verizon unlimited data plan. The process is complicated and initially expensive but we are really happy with the result. Since we both work when we travel in our Airstream, not worrying about data has been great and made the experience a lot better overall. We paid a large fee to acquire the unlimited plan and now we pay a much more reasonably monthly fee for the unlimited data (which is truly unlimited - no throttling or data caps of any kind).

Technomadia's RV Mobile Internet Center has information about how to go about acquiring an unlimited Verizon data plan. We used one of their recommended vendors that is listed only in their member's only section and were pleased with the experience overall. You can learn more here: https://www.rvmobileinternet.com/res...ed-data-plans/ While you can do all of this on your own, we think the fee to pay someone to do all of the work with Verizon was well worth it since it was very complicated.
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Old 07-12-2016, 11:12 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TwoSporks View Post
After a year of trying to keep our data usage at a reasonable level (below our 30GB Verizon plan plus my unlimited AT&T on my iPhone), we decided to make the leap and get a Verizon unlimited data plan. The process is complicated and initially expensive but we are really happy with the result. Since we both work when we travel in our Airstream, not worrying about data has been great and made the experience a lot better overall. We paid a large fee to acquire the unlimited plan and now we pay a much more reasonably monthly fee for the unlimited data (which is truly unlimited - no throttling or data caps of any kind).

Technomadia's RV Mobile Internet Center has information about how to go about acquiring an unlimited Verizon data plan. We used one of their recommended vendors that is listed only in their member's only section and were pleased with the experience overall. You can learn more here: https://www.rvmobileinternet.com/res...ed-data-plans/ While you can do all of this on your own, we think the fee to pay someone to do all of the work with Verizon was well worth it since it was very complicated.
none of those links work on my end.

what was the complication and cost?
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Old 07-12-2016, 11:19 AM   #7
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Verizon hotspot from Walmart. I tried other non-brand hotspots but come to find out that they all just resell bandwidth from the primary providers - and since they down price they get what's left from the primary provider's users which means you get "throttled" down for download speed. I pay for a "by the drink" plan in which you buy 2, 5, or 10 G and I bite the bullet and try to get over the cost with a "gotta pay to play" reasoning. 10 G is $100 and expires in 90 or 120 days, it feels expensive for the first couple of times but it is fast, has great coverage, and good battery life. I try to find campgrounds with cable for TV but that is pretty rare these days. You could pay for satellite TV but it evens out pretty quickly on cost + the storage the dish takes up. Not many workable options which means not much competition. Most campgrounds have tons of DVD's that are very cheap or free to borrow and we do use our DVD player quite a lot when camping.
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Old 07-12-2016, 11:46 AM   #8
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As others have said, you need to actively manage your data usage. Track it everyday to see how you are doing against your allotment. I developed an Excel workbook which tells me what my cumulative usage should be for a given date.

For iPhone, first thing you should do is turn off everything in the iTunes and App Stores setting. Even when doing this, an iPhone will automatically download an iOS update in the presence of a WiFi connection. But only when it is being charged. As mentioned earlier, if you are using a Jetpack/MiFi, your iOS phones will see it as a WiFi spot and can result in an inadvertent automatic iOS update download.

Also, consider downloading the 1Blocker app. It will block ads, trackers, pop-over ads and otter data consuming elements in your web browser.

For a Windows computer, you need to discover and manage all applications that typically perform automatic updates. Windows Update is one, as was mentioned earlier. Norton Internet Security is another.

I have found that local libraries are the best source for reliable WiFi connections. Some libraries leave them on 24/7 and you can sit outside after hours to do heavy updating. Medical facilities (hospitals, clinics) also typically have free WiFi.

When out and about shopping, always keep in mind the store may provide free WiFi. Remember, public WiFi is not secure, so pick your activities wisely.


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Old 07-12-2016, 11:51 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kdickinson View Post
Most campgrounds have tons of DVD's that are very cheap or free to borrow and we do use our DVD player quite a lot when camping.
RedBox lets you drop off your DVD in a different kiosk than where you picked it up. They have an App with their locations.


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Old 07-12-2016, 12:02 PM   #10
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"Speed Costs Money; How Fast You Wanna Go?" one of my favorite sayings :-)
We have the same problem with ATT. We have a 5 Gig data share which never gets totally used when we're home, but quickly gets eaten up when we are on the road and use the "hot spot" feature for internet access. ATT warns us when we are about to hit the wall with the 5 gig, then about 15 minutes later says "hey dude, you just went over and we are spotting you another gig" at $15 a pop. So... when I got a chance to consolidate billing with ATT cellular, ATT UVerse for Internet at home and DirecTV in the camper plus...get a new Unlimited Data Plan I called and signed up. Saying I was willing to pay just a bit more monthly if we had unlimited data and consolidated billing.
Problem was, first time on the road I tried to activate the Hot Spot :-( Wouldn't work so I called tech support.. seems as though the monkey who sold me the unlimited and consolidation lied about losing my hot spot. to finalize, we went back to the original plan with apologies and a "promotional reduction" cost, waiting for the next shoe to drop. See you at McDonalds :-)
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Old 07-12-2016, 01:26 PM   #11
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Lots of bandwidth

You most likely will encounter two probelms on the road. Bandwidth and even getting cellular coverage at many places.

If you have AT&T and spend time at home or a fixed location they are offering an unlimited cellular account with a Direct TV package. But the Direct TV is not the kind you can use on the road. No one is offering real unlimited accoutns any more. And any "unlimited" account is choked down at 20 Gb - but still strong enough to stream Facebook, YouTube or some TV shows.

I have an older unlimited cellualr data account. All the bandwith I can use for a very low monthly fee. But this hasn't been offered by AT&T in over 3 years. You can get a "grandfathered" unlimited cellular data SIM on eBay. Verizon, AT&T, Spring. You will either be able to transfer the account to your name or pay the person providing the SIM. You have to be careful about buying these. Then as noted above get a MI-FI cellular router and all your devices will hook up.

To get cellular coverage in remote areas, I use a WeBoost Drive 4G-X 470510 hooked up to a MI-FI with an weBoost 4G-OTR Antenna. Then I put the antenna on top of a telescoping flage pole that fits under the trailer tire - American Flag $50 on Amazon. With this setup, I can use my laptop, iPad and smartphone and get 4-5 bars when others are sturggling to get one bar.
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Old 07-12-2016, 01:31 PM   #12
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Agree. We are using ATT and it is hard to stay under 20 mb. We are still weaning ourselves from the data plan. When we travel for more than 2 weeks we go over 20. When we do not travel we are under 10.
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Old 07-12-2016, 04:18 PM   #13
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Anyone heard of HughesNet Satellite Internet?

Thanks for all the comments so far!

I just talked to HughesNet about a mobile satellite internet service.

See the attached with all the details, but basically you buy a $1,000 satellite antenna and receiver and pay $100 a month for 24 GB.

In January 2017, they promise a new satellite is being deployed and faster and more cheap data will be offered.

It appears it takes about 30 minutes to set up and 'find' the satellite when you get to your campsite.

Right now Verizon is offering 24 GB for $110, so Hughesnet is not that good of a deal. Plus as of last Thursday, Verizon is offering a new plan that allows unused data from one month to be forwarded to the next month. Sweet!!!!!

Verizon and all other companies are still way too expensive and you know they are making bucket loads of money off us 'travelers.'

I still have no idea solution.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Hughesnet Real Time Communications mobile1.pdf (1.31 MB, 19 views)
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Old 07-12-2016, 04:31 PM   #14
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The satellite deal is pretty pricey, but then you would have that at home or on the road, so that would be good.

I hadn't heard of that Verizon plan change, with carryover data, but I'll be looking into it.....they are very late to the party with that.

Until adding Xfinity wifi to my home a few months ago, I did fine with 15GB of data as long as I didn't try to watch much in the way of movies.

What I would usually do was check data close to the end of the billing period, and get in a movie or two if there was enough data left.

With alerts at 75% and 90% usage, going over is only intentional, not accidental.


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