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Old 03-26-2014, 03:38 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by Alumitater View Post
My question revolves around the JetPak....would it work as well as the PepWave? The JetPak does not come with an antenna, I assume one would be desirable?
Well they are two different things, if I recall correctly -- the PepWave is for creating a local hotspot using ANOTHER source of internet (such as a JetPack, USB internet stick, or RV park WIFI. Think of it as a "rebroadcasting" device. The JetPack both provides internet AND a hotspot to connect to.

If you use an antenna or amplifier, you generally would attach it to the jetpack or USB stick.

If you COULD attach an external antenna to the PepWave, it might help you pull in the wifi signal from an RV park from further away than what you can receive inside your trailer. Even without an external antenna, you could put it near a window in the trailer to pick up a faint signal that you might not otherwise be able to receive, say, sitting on your gaucho with your ipad or laptop.

So yes -- an external antenna is helpful but not always essential. But we are talking about two different antennas and setups -- one for getting wifi from Verizon or another provider, and the other for picking up a wifi signal.

Is this explanation helpful? Feel free to follow up with more questions if I'm not being clear enough or if I'm missing your question.

An easy way to get going with internet on the road is with a JetPack, and then you can add on an external antenna to that if you want (you'd route the wire outside and stick the antenna on the top of the trailer). You can also put an amplifier in-line with this solution.

I'd suggest that the PepWave is a slightly more advanced solution and generally an add-on to a solution similar to the above. For me, I use a CradlePoint router that is similar to a PepWave. When using the router, I like to use USB sticks rather than my jetpack, and I can just move the SIM card back and forth.
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Old 03-26-2014, 05:46 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by featherbedder View Post
I have verizon jet pak also called mifi $49.99 per mo. for 5gb overage is $10 per gb. I have not found any spot where it does not work. We run 2 laptops and desk top at same time w/out any prob. My wife works in legal field of spec. education so must have coverage. She has used inside of A.S. w/out any external antenna or power boosters w/out loss of signal, works for us. Bill
I too have the Verizon Jet Pak and I have run as many as 5 computers off of it at one time. Sometimes the Verizon coverage is only a 3G and is slow, but quite good at most locations as a 4G connection. I especially like it when traveling through airports and RV parks as most free wifi connections are not secure.
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Old 03-26-2014, 05:54 PM   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alumitater View Post

My question revolves around the JetPak....would it work as well as the PepWave? The JetPak does not come with an antenna, I assume one would be desirable?
JetPack has a built in antenna for the 3G/4G connection, just like your smartphone. It also has a connector for an external antenna.

As CA_Tallguy said, the PepWave is also a wifi repeater. The rubber ducky antenna that is used to communicate with the upstream wifi router can be removed, and replaced with a cable to an external antenna.

What I liked about the PepWave is that, when used with a USB modem (or jetPak), it can repeat either wifi or cellular data, using external antennas if you wish. The source is selectable via the PepWave device's configuration webpage.

But, the JetPak is much simpler, and more portable. Cheaper too, if you are ok with a contract. but it won't repeat wifi. I found that the external antennas make a BIG difference in signal strength - the aluminum skin of Airstreams make excellent RF shields, so that was a prime reason why I chose the solution I did.
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Old 04-01-2014, 11:47 PM   #46
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I am now back home from being on the road, and just looked on the Verizon website and see they have lowered their plan prices now. 10 gig used to cost $90 for the month, and now is $60.
I found that the last month I was out, for me, 3 gig was not enough, 10 was way more than I needed, so if I were doing it now, I'd probably do the 6 gig for $40.

I think you were looking at the regular contract plans re: lower prices. I just checked and it seems to say the pay as you go plans are still 3gb for $60 or 10gb for $90. The contract "more everything" plans are the prices you quoted BUT there is also a $20 "access fee" for a usb stick or jetpack on those plans.

I just got notice that millinicom is raising rate for verizon jetpack service to $90/mo for 20gb. Ugh. Trying to see if I can find something reasonable for on demand usage so I can save on low usage months.
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Old 04-01-2014, 11:57 PM   #47
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Latest & Greatest Mobile Internet Options

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Originally Posted by time2play View Post
It's true Verizon requires a contract for MiFi, but you can always switch your line to a cell phone line - you just need an old Verizon phone. It's only $10/month for a cell phone line as opposed to $50+ for the internet.

During the months we don't travel, we make the switch and pay $10 instead of $50. It works great.

Any more details on this? I don't see a way to have a verizon account for $10 -- the cheapest monthly rate I can find on their site is $30 for a basic phone but I think extra charges will make it even more expensive. Are you talking about the rate to keep it active if you also use verizon for your primary phone?
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Old 04-02-2014, 12:22 AM   #48
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Those of you with iPhones and hotspot capability - how well does that work for you? Do you suction-cup the phone to a window, leave it on the dinette, or what? We have a 10GB / month plan with Verizon and plan to use that while camping. Thanks!
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Old 04-02-2014, 12:31 AM   #49
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The wilson sleek booster cradle is a simple, great option for maximizing data rate -- this one is for Verizon...

http://amzn.to/1fpH06y

This will help you pull in a signal from a longer distance away and also bring it inside the trailer.
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Old 04-02-2014, 12:54 AM   #50
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Originally Posted by CA_Tallguy View Post
Any more details on this? I don't see a way to have a verizon account for $10 -- the cheapest monthly rate I can find on their site is $30 for a basic phone but I think extra charges will make it even more expensive. Are you talking about the rate to keep it active if you also use verizon for your primary phone?
Tallguy--yes, I'm sorry I wasn't more clear on this. We already have a Verizon account. You can add additional phone lines for $10. During the months we don't use the internet, we switch it to an "additional line" and only pay $10 (as opposed to $50).

Because we already had a Verizon account, to us, it was only a matter of paying $10 extra per month during the winter. Again, I apologize for not being more specific.
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Old 04-02-2014, 04:53 PM   #51
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I think you were looking at the regular contract plans re: lower prices. I just checked and it seems to say the pay as you go plans are still 3gb for $60 or 10gb for $90. The contract "more everything" plans are the prices you quoted BUT there is also a $20 "access fee" for a usb stick or jetpack on those plans.

I just got notice that millinicom is raising rate for verizon jetpack service to $90/mo for 20gb. Ugh. Trying to see if I can find something reasonable for on demand usage so I can save on low usage months.
Yes, Tallguy, I believe you are right. I stand corrected ! I logged into "my account" a little while ago, and see the 10 gig is in fact still $90 on my plan.
I do wish there was something in between, because as I stated in an earlier post, for me, 3 gig was not quite enough, but 10 gig was far more than I need. 4 or 5 gig would work for me. Ah well....gotta take what's available, I reckon.
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Old 04-02-2014, 08:33 PM   #52
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One option I'm looking a bit more closely at now is AT&T -- looks like I can add on 10 gigs of bandwidth for $50 -- this is on the AT&T mobile share plan with 10GB of bandwidth now, adding on another 10 for $50. So that's $5 a gig, vs $4.50/gig on millinecom. Oddly, AT&T hits you quite a bit harder if you want to go from 20 to 30 gigs -- that bump is $75 bucks or $7.50/gig.

The nice thing about AT&T is it might cover me in both my summer and winter locations, whereas right now I use sprint at one location and verizon at the other (both via wholesale providers).

I think it's pretty easy to upgrade and downgrade bandwidth as needed on AT&T as well. I'll have to look into that as it would be REALLY nice to have some bandwidth that I could scale on demand -- but that is still pretty inexpensive.
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Old 04-02-2014, 11:53 PM   #53
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I know that straight talk data plan uses Verizon or ATT (depending on the equipment you buy) network and charges mthly on their accounts for up to 2GB. The 4 and 5 GB are 60 day accounts then you refill as needed. The straight talk is 5gb for 60 days@ $50. There are no fees.

Internet on the Go is a full pay as you go data plan so there is no expiration on your prepaid minutes. They use Sprint. It is $45 for 3GB with no expiration.

So, it all depends on how regular you are in use and quantity of data. I get a monthly emailing on prepaid. It is constantly changing. Here is a link to some interesting info.:

Updated and Expanded: The Best US Prepaid Data Deals | Prepaid Phone News

Here is one on the data plans (a table mind you!)

US Prepaid Mobile Broadband Plans Compared | Prepaid Phone News

One I just noticed that offers faster speeds but at a min of $48/year fee is Freedom Pop
That is a great table! As you state, it is constantly changing so the table is already out of date in a number of places, but it is very, very useful for quickly seeing who the players are and doing some shopping.

One general rule of thumb I have is if the price is over $10/gb, it's a ripoff in my book and there are better options out there. Except if data rolls over or doesn't expire, it's more valuable because you end up using all you've purchased rather than having some leftover every month and wasted on the turn of the billing cycle.
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Old 04-03-2014, 01:25 PM   #54
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Here's another tip... just checked with Verizon and they said you can put your account on hold for up to 180 days per year.

From their FAQ: "Your line will automatically reconnect after 90 days. There is also a suspend limit of 180 days in any 12-month period."

Also, they say that if you are on a subscription plan you can change it as often as you wish. So, I could also drop my monthly charge down as low as $50 (4GB). This may turn out to be a better deal for me than the 20GB monthly plan that now costs me $90 through Millenicom if I want to constantly change my plan to suit my location and need for verizon service.

Another note: Verizon just changed rates TODAY to match ATT prices. So the things I said previously about the cost per gigabyte in changing from 10GB to 20GB plan on AT&T also apply to Verizon. Basically, changing from 10gb to 20gb costs an extra $50, but adding additional 10GB after that cost $75.
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Old 04-04-2014, 10:57 AM   #55
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We have had Verizon for yearsand been very happy with it. We were shocked to find out what poor reception we get when we are camping - thought it was the areas we were camping in, never considered that it could be the trailer. The hotspot on our iphones does not work well at all - I think a booster will be the answer to that problem.
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Old 04-04-2014, 11:40 AM   #56
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The wilson sleek would be a good option if you want to use your iphone as a hotspot. Just make sure to get the Verizon LTE version.... that's the one I linked to a few posts back.

The other thing to look into might be the coverage maps to see what kind of service you should expect in the locations where you camp. Note that if you are on the fringe of the LTE coverage there is a decent chance that you won't get the LTE, even with a booster. I suspect those maps can be a bit optimistic. 3G coverage should be slightly more widely available even though Verizon has been taking pride in expanding 4G coverage to all their 3G area... BUT I believe verizon's 3G isn't terribly speedy. A booster will likely improve this in fringe areas but it still will likely be somewhat lackluster in performance.

You'll probably be fine with Verizon's 3G and a booster if that's all you can get, and if you are not reliant on a faster connection for business or as a full-timer. Hopefully the booster will allow you to pull in the 4G though -- you definitely will have a lot better chance with an outside antenna and booster.
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