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Old 01-18-2010, 07:31 AM   #29
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Uh, oh. That's not good. We have had not had that experience.

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Old 01-18-2010, 08:26 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by pattimarty View Post
from website

"WiFi In Motion is a packaged wireless Internet access solution that includes a high-gain antenna, a 3-watt amplifier, a 3G mobile router, and all the accessories you need to create your own hot spot."

How does this compare to the Verizon air card? Does it make the RV a hot spot using the aircard and amplify whatever signal the air card picks up?

Can someone explain? Is this extra cost/stuff worthwhile?

I have not tested WiFi In Motion, buy I did lots of research on it for my Internet access needs on the road.

Yes, it turns your RV into a hot spot, but you still need a data card form Verizon (or any other carrier)

You plug the data card on the back of a CradlePoint (model mbr1000) and that way you can share the connection with more laptops/devices.
All that WiFi in motion did is to put together a package of parts that you can get separately on places like "The 3G Store" or "More Mobile".

The WiFi In Motion package includes a CradlePoint mbr1000 router, a cell signal booster, and a cell antenna. You can see more info on this video.

I did not get the WiFi in motion because of the price ~$900 and because I did not want to mess with the roof antenna installation and cable routing.
Instead, I got the CradlePoint router, a Verizon data card, and this indoor antenna.

By the way...if you do not need to share the data connection, all you need is the data card.

Verizon also sells this MiFi device that acts as a mini-router and allows share up to 5 connections.

FYI: Because of Verizon is peddling the MiFi device, it is discouraging people from using their data cards with other 3G routers.

The main differences between CradlePoint and a MiFi is that CradlePoint can share more connections, can function as a hardwired (DSL/Cable) router (and use 3G as a backup connection) and creates a larger hot spot...up to 100ft I think, MiFi is only about 30ft. An finally, the MiFi device does not have a port for an antenna.

Hope all this info helps!


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Old 01-18-2010, 04:38 PM   #31
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I have a neighbor who has the Verizon MiFi. She travels constantly, both in planes and on the highway. She is more than delighted with the contraption and the service.
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Old 01-18-2010, 05:26 PM   #32
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Depending upon usage...

Originally Posted by zenarmy View Post
so.... we are heading out on a year long tour and we MUST have internet access

Wireless cards will not provide enough coverage
so Satellite will have to be the way

I am having a hard time figuring out HOW to do it? we do not want to mount it and we have a tripod just need to figure out what service works and how to get it..

PLEASE advise Thanks!!!!!
...a smartphone might suffice. We've used our iPhone all over the country and except in remote areas of Wyoming have had internet service everywhere. We have a 1st generation iPhone but the newer 3GS iPhones are considerably faster for data. Also, if you can wait a little while, you might be pleasantly surprised to see what Apple is concocting for the January 27th event.
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Old 01-18-2010, 06:28 PM   #33
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We have satellite service at home. It was better than dialup in 2006, but last week bought a Verizon card for mobile use. It is to be installed for home use this Thursday (we need an antenna, etc, due to weak cell signal).

One thing I would check is if there is a roaming charge on the cell system. In NY state, we got a message that made me wonder, so didn't stay connected.

Our brief experience is that the cell service is 2-3 times faster than satellite and about $20 less per mo.

Satellite is "hi speed dialup" and painfully slow. It also has a limit on download cap.

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Old 01-18-2010, 06:31 PM   #34
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some of us are slow with technology and so can you please explain how exactly the least expensive service works. We have laptops , cell phones just for cell phone service. Thanks, gail
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Old 01-18-2010, 08:03 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by myoung View Post
...a smartphone might suffice. We've used our iPhone all over the country and except in remote areas of Wyoming have had internet service everywhere. We have a 1st generation iPhone but the newer 3GS iPhones are considerably faster for data. Also, if you can wait a little while, you might be pleasantly surprised to see what Apple is concocting for the January 27th event.
I have the Iphone 3gs, It is fast as long as you are in the 3g areas, and they are only in the metro areas, check the maps. The Edge service is in a little larger area, but it is slow. I am very disapointed in ATT service, and have been with ATT for many years. The new Iphone was to have tethering, and it still does not, So I wonder what they are concocting for January 27th, maybe they will deliver on what was promised some time back. Or could it be more empty promises
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Old 01-18-2010, 08:53 PM   #36
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I've got the same problem but haven't yet taken the plunge. There are LOTS of places where AirCard, iPhone, etc. just don't have coverage ... I think that the OP's point is that this is where he/she needs coverage also. There's a lot of actual wilderness out there in this great country of ours and those to the north and south of us. And that's where I like to go.

Only answer is satellite. HughesNet is one of the few providers that runs with mobile service ... if you go to, they have information about services, etc. StarBand used to be another. Problem is that some providers will not work with "tripod mount" systems, because the owner has to be pretty careful about setup or else he/she gets poor signal quality, complains to tech support, etc. And tripods are notorious for getting bumped by the dog, knocked askew by kids, blown around and over by wind, etc. even after most careful alignment. used to specialize in these systems, but now says they are out of the tripod business. Darn. But try mobilsat ... if memory serves, you can buy all the bandwidth you want. Just higher prices for more throughput ... sounds reasonable to me.

The other big issue is dish size. I think that most come in .74 meter and 1.2 meter sizes these days. Smaller is cheaper, easier to mount, easier to align and move, etc., but larger has better gain and more data throughput. As usual, ya' pays yer' money and ya' takes yer' chances!

But I'm waiting until someone I know has a system up and running so I know what it actually costs every month, how long it takes to align, what is the REAL throughput up on some river in Ontario, etc. Oh, and can I run it off 12volt so solar cells do the heavy lifting, or do I neet to start the generator every time I want to get email or read the news? Let me know how you do, and maybe I'll be a convert!
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Old 01-18-2010, 10:07 PM   #37
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There are packages, e.g. wi fi including roof mounted antenna that might address the issues raised by some that the aluminum hull degrades the signals. Some people have recommended these. But it seems that almost everyone i've spoken with says air cards will suffice in most places, and that verizon has the best coverage. We going to get a Verizon Mi Fi....similar to the aircard but that way you can have several computers and blackberries on line at the same time. For the times work is required, the flexibility of a wifi hot spot like mi fi seems worthwhile.

Would welcom any thoughts anyone has.
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Old 03-04-2010, 08:39 PM   #38
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Verizon may have the best nationwide coverage UNLESS you are traveling the roads less traveled in the western US. I can only relate my experience with Verizon coverage for voice/text network from a trip in December 09 and January 2010. It should be fair to conclude Internet access through Verizon has similar coverage limitations.

It is a fact that wireless coverage was developed first in major cities and along the interstate highway corridors. There was sufficient demand for service in those areas to make wireless coverage economically feasible, even profitable (a good thing).

I found I could rely on Verizon coverage where our route crossed an Interstate highway and in cities of more than about 100,000 or 200,000 population. There were hours on end when I wanted to call family. However, being on the road in the boondocks meant I waited and waited for Verizon coverage until a city was looming within 20 miles or less. Then I could make two or three calls as we drove across town before losing coverage on the outskirts.

This was common experience throughout four weeks of travel. Our intention was to follow US route highways most of the time and they were seldom within a line of sight to any Interstate highway. Most of the time there was some signal from another carrier so I would not panic about making a call in an emergency. I just wanted to avoid roaming charges so I kept watching and waiting to call until my phone indicated I was back in Verizon coverage. I had only two days on this trip that I needed internet access, and I used WiFi hotspots in towns where we made some sort of stop.

For example, the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Natchez Trace Parkway had spotty coverage - best bet was near a crossroads that led into a larger town or city. My conclusion for internet coverage would be probably OK if you plan to stay near interstates or in towns large enough to have a Walmart.
Verizon wireless coverage is not assured if you plan to stay miles from nowhere and in places of rustic, totally natural, or wild scenery.

For those who want more details of our route:
Head south from Rochester, NY through Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, and North Carolina
Head west through Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas (panhandle), New Mexico, Arizona,
Head north through Nevada including Las Vegas, Tonopah, Hawthorne, and Reno
Head west to Yosemite - no coverage at all in the Valley, zero, zilch, nada
Head south to Bakersfield
Head east on the way to El Paso, Texas, across to Louisiana
Head north on the Natchez Trace Parkway
Follow US route 62 most of the way back to Buffalo, NY
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Old 04-27-2010, 08:46 AM   #39
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One of the cheapest/best ways to connect these days is through your smart phone tethered to your laptop. With most smartphones these days, you are already paying for Internet service for the phone itself. I know with the IPhone, it is super easy to 'jailbreak' (google for blackrain) and then install MyWi which is a 3rd party app for $10 that turns your phone into a hotspot. Now you can connect a few laptops over wifi or tethered with a USB cord to your phone and use the phone's internet.

Of course, you'll want a phone on Verizon since the coverage is far superior to AT&T, so I'm waiting until June 22nd to get a new iphone on Verizon (if the rumors can be believed).

I believe Verizon still has the 5gb data cap which is pretty ridiculous, but that means you'll just have to wait to download videos when you're on a real wifi network.

For what it's worth, this option is probably the cheapest if you already pay for Internet on your smartphone. Unlock your phone's true potential and tether it!
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Old 10-15-2010, 12:11 PM   #40
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I used to be a VP of IT for an outfit with a very large user base of travelling support and sales folks whose responsibilities were 100% dependent on low latency internet connectivity.

Our experience was that the best bet was to maintain a fleet of air cards and a few satellites from a variety of service providers and to issue them based on travel site requirements.

For emergency response remote offices (we did a bit of business with FEMA) we'd bond multiple satellite and air card connections together using a heavily customize Linux software router based on WRTG and a PFSense cluster.

What we found was that Verizon air card coverage/connectivity was generally good, and usually very good with a booster antenna, but that in certain areas connectivity speeds were better with other providers.

Non-hybrid Satellite Internet is high latency by it's nature but within the continental US you can pretty much always count on a serviceable, if slow, connection. Satellite latency is usually in the 250 millisecond range due to distance travelled by signal -- this breaks some IP based applications.

The long and short is if you are travelling within predictable locations near metros and highways a single air card may work for you. But if your budget will allow, load for bear with multiple vendor's air cards and use satellite as backup.

Regarding your usage requirements in excess of 5 GB monthly. How much more than 5 GB? Will the usage be mostly up or down? What protocol(s). Is it all TCP or do you need UDP as well?
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Old 11-12-2010, 04:00 PM   #41
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I hack my evo with a program from June Fabrics PDA Technology Group so I don't have to pay the extra service fee to use it to provide internet service for our laptop
We will soon begin traveling with our family of 5 (and a large dog) Looking forward to remodeling our Airstream, awesome adventures, and meeting new people.
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Old 11-17-2010, 07:06 PM   #42
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A subject close to my heart! We are working campers, full time. In the software business in fact. Remote internet is NOT ready for us 'streamers I am afraid. But I am used to living on the bleeding edge of technology.

We have been using the Virgin Mobile "Broadband 2 Go" MiFi for a couple of months now, with mixed results. Unlimited data for 40 bucks a month, no contract, $150 purchase. It is the size of a pocket calculator, and creates a wireless local area network. When it can get a strong Sprint signal, it has a chance, but it loses its connection and needs resetting frequently. Very frustrating. Speed is ok for email and browsing, even remote desktop connection, but not good for large files. When it is working well, we can Skype and watch TV on shows .92 Mbit/s download and .15 upload, which is pretty lame. (My old DSL was 3 Mbit/s down and .7 up. My daughter's dorm room access at UC is a freaking 16 Mbit/s) From what I gathered in my research, the satellite systems are not much faster, and cost about $5k to install.

The 4G networks are being deployed as we write in late 2010. I will probably opt for the Sprint 4G MiFi system soon, which I expect will be better than the Virgin 3G MiFi I have now, but getting a 4G signal will be a quest.

This is the single most challenging aspect of working as a full time camper. I would love to hear about someone's success with the satellite systems.


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