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Old 02-18-2011, 04:33 PM   #1
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Smart phones with mobile hotspot feature

In the last year or so phones with a "mobile hotspot" feature have become widely available. I have recently switched to the Droid X which offers such a feature using the Verizon EVDO network, the same used by many RVers with aircard-like devices and wireless routers.

The mobile hotspot feature on phones that have it, provides the same kind of WiFi service that you get from an aircard and a router. The advantages are that you also get the capabilities of the phone, and everything you need is in one fairly small piece of equipment that comes from the factory set up to run off a 12v cigarette lighter outlet.

While I won't be able to report firsthand on the effectiveness of this system while traveling until later this year, the results I've had experimenting with it in my stick house have been good.

Definitely something to consider for those looking for reliable internet while on the road.
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Old 02-18-2011, 05:02 PM   #2
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We got a Droid phone in January, with the mobile hotspot, but haven't yet let got of our portable broadband and router. Want to look into it some more and think about it carefully.

We have heard that you have to be really careful about how much you use your computer and what you do with it and your phone, so as not to use up all the whatever-it-is that is the data plan---I think that is the term. There is not a data plan with the portable broadband.

Any information on this?


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Old 02-18-2011, 05:53 PM   #3
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Old 02-18-2011, 06:17 PM   #4
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If you use an unsecured hotspot, do not use it to login to any site. Your login credentials can be stolen right out of thin air.

There are browser add-ins that you can download that will allow you to do this to other people as well.
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Old 02-18-2011, 07:10 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doug&maggie View Post
We got a Droid phone in January, with the mobile hotspot, but haven't yet let got of our portable broadband and router. Want to look into it some more and think about it carefully.

We have heard that you have to be really careful about how much you use your computer and what you do with it and your phone, so as not to use up all the whatever-it-is that is the data plan---I think that is the term. There is not a data plan with the portable broadband.

Any information on this?

Maggie
Plans vary from one carrier to the next but the Verizon data plans most RVers use for portable broadband are $50 a month and start to accrue extra charges when your usage exceeds 5 GB. The extra charge is $10 per GB.

The plan I have currently for my phone includes a $20 charge for the "mobile hotspot" feature with overage charges after 2 GB. The overage charge is $20 per GB, so if I go over 3 GB it ends up costing more than the portable broadband did.

In practice I find that the limit does not pose a problem unless I download video or other extremely large files.

Quote:
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If you use an unsecured hotspot, do not use it to login to any site. Your login credentials can be stolen right out of thin air.

There are browser add-ins that you can download that will allow you to do this to other people as well.
DanielB we're talking about using our own mobile hotspots which have, to a degree, their own security, as well as vulnerability to theft of service. The problem you describe is a separate topic; suffice it to say that the issue is more complex than you describe.
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Old 02-19-2011, 07:47 AM   #6
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Our Verizon broadband has unlimited usage, if I remember correctly, and we are grandfathered in with the original plan cost---unless we were to leave and come back, when we would pay the higher rate. There may be a 5 GB limit, and we have just never gone over it. We never download movies, but do download documents and files at time.

Going to the Droid phone has added $20 a month to our combined bill, we have secure internet access wherever we are, and no-coverage areas are very limited. Given that we are on the road so much, not sure that giving up that peace of mind would be worth any savings.

It is all rather confusing to we electronically-challenged.

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Old 02-19-2011, 08:31 AM   #7
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We were originally on an unlimited use broadband plan with Alltel that was carried over to Verizon. It involved tethering SuEllyn's cell phone a notebook. We used this for a number of years with great success all over the country. We switched over to a Verizon smart phone hot spot plan about three months ago. It has worked out very well for us as we can now both be on-line at the same time. This is a big plus for us as we run an internet business from the Airstream on the road. Our plan has a 5 gb per month download limit. Thus far we have not reached 1/2 gb in any month. We do try to avoid large downloads until we are on a campground wifi.

Our new hot spot plan costs an additional $20 over and above the $30 smart phone data package. We formally did not have a smart phone, and paid $25 for the unlimited tethered internet use. We did increase our monthly cost by $25, but we have found that having the smart phone is well worth it. We can now find campgrounds on the fly while traveling. We have found and stayed at several really nice campgrounds that are not even listed on Woodalls. We can now also check for orders while underway.

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Old 02-19-2011, 08:49 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanielB View Post
If you use an unsecured hotspot, do not use it to login to any site. Your login credentials can be stolen right out of thin air.

There are browser add-ins that you can download that will allow you to do this to other people as well.
You all are talking about online 'snooping' and being 'out there'. So I am pasting this link in here- this will open your eyes as you scroll down thru the comments etc.

http://www.online-tech-tips.com/comp...ing-software/:)
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Old 02-19-2011, 09:21 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moosetags View Post
We were originally on an unlimited use broadband plan with Alltel that was carried over to Verizon. It involved tethering SuEllyn's cell phone a notebook. We used this for a number of years with great success all over the country. We switched over to a Verizon smart phone hot spot plan about three months ago. It has worked out very well for us as we can now both be on-line at the same time. This is a big plus for us as we run an internet business from the Airstream on the road. Our plan has a 5 gb per month download limit. Thus far we have not reached 1/2 gb in any month. We do try to avoid large downloads until we are on a campground wifi.

Our new hot spot plan costs an additional $20 over and above the $30 smart phone data package. We formally did not have a smart phone, and paid $25 for the unlimited tethered internet use. We did increase our monthly cost by $25, but we have found that having the smart phone is well worth it. We can now find campgrounds on the fly while traveling. We have found and stayed at several really nice campgrounds that are not even listed on Woodalls. We can now also check for orders while underway.

Brian
Hmmmm, good information. Part of my confusion is not understanding just what constitutes a GB in terms of pages, etc. We have also had times when the Droid phone didn't pull up new emails, but the computer with the broadband did.

We have always been a little concerned about campground wifi and handling finances on the road. If we all have the same access code, can't people with those thingies that let you pull info from the air get your bank access info, etc. ?


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Old 02-19-2011, 11:01 PM   #10
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I recently got a Verizon iPhone and signed up for the $20 Wi-Fi hot spot. Tried it out for a few minutes while we were running errands today. It seems better than our air card. I will need to look into the additional charges before we go cross country this summer.
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Old 02-19-2011, 11:37 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doug&maggie View Post
Hmmmm, good information. Part of my confusion is not understanding just what constitutes a GB in terms of pages, etc. We have also had times when the Droid phone didn't pull up new emails, but the computer with the broadband did.

We have always been a little concerned about campground wifi and handling finances on the road. If we all have the same access code, can't people with those thingies that let you pull info from the air get your bank access info, etc. ?


Maggie
A Gig is quite a bit of information. For instance, you can stream about 30 hours of television or movies and download about 1 gig of data.

We have noticed the same situation with emails on the smart phone. They sometimes take a while to come through.

As far as security goes, we always use our cell phone hot spot to do financial stuff even if the campground has good wifi. You can put your own security code on your hotspot to keep it private. Also the range is only about 30 feet, and getting out of the Airstream diminishes the signal even further. Also, you can look at your smart phone and it will tell you in real time how many devices are on your hotspot and what their names are.

Brian
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Old 02-20-2011, 07:06 AM   #12
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suffice it to say that the issue is more complex than you describe.
No, it is really not.
It is a firefox add-in
http://www.infoworld.com/t/endpoint-security/sidejacking-browser-add-stumps-security-experts-790
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