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Old 07-29-2011, 02:28 PM   #29
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My understanding is that the prepaid Verizon aircard does not give as good coverage as the aircard you pay for all year. They want you to pay more, but because others have prepaid cards, they have to, sort of, compete. I don't know whether this is true of mifi, but it it good to check.

~~~
The reason prepaid cards don't have as much coverage as postpaid, contract cards is that prepaid devices typically do not roam. A VZW prepaid device will only work with VZW signal, but a contract device will roam on a Sprint tower if VZW signal isn't available. This usually applies to voice devices as well.
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Old 11-04-2011, 08:53 PM   #30
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You might look at the WiFiRanger Pro, and WFRBoost. They use your 3G MiFi if no other WiFi is available, but most of the time can connect to even the ugliest campground WiFi no problem. www.wifiranger.com

I've had mine for about a 6 months, and am amazed at the distance it can pull in free wifi.
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Old 12-18-2011, 12:35 PM   #31
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Just curious -- should one be concerned about security when using campground wifi? Do you use free wifi for paying bills, buying things online, etc?

It would seem that using your own cellular modem or cell phone tether would be more secure.

Opinions?
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Old 12-18-2011, 12:40 PM   #32
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We have the Verizon mi-fi thingy, love it and only rarely use campground wifi.

I would never check the bank account or handle any financial transaction on public internet.


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Old 12-18-2011, 12:47 PM   #33
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I absolutely do not use public wi-fi for anything secure. Use your air card. It's a private connecton that others nearby can't hack into unless you connect it to a router. If you do that make it secure by password protection.
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Old 12-18-2011, 02:07 PM   #34
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You should be using ssl connections with banks, etc. Those should be secure even on unencrypted wifi.
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Old 12-19-2011, 12:55 PM   #35
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You should be using ssl connections with banks, etc. Those should be secure even on unencrypted wifi.
Let me clarify that - as long as you are sure you're connecting to the proper website, and not some spoofed one (known as a "man in the middle attack"), it should be fine. If you get a warning that the certificate doesn't match, or something like that, then you should wait. SSL security, as designed, is fairly good.
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Old 12-21-2011, 04:51 PM   #36
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Wifi security starts with you. Make sure your computer has the firewall enabled. Don't answer e-mails that purport to come from banks, the IRS and others—they are almost always attempts to get your personal information. I would think a campground with a password is better than one without. I suppose some hackers like to stay in campgrounds and their RV's are loaded with electronic gear, but it appears unlikely. Make sure websites of banks, brokerages, etc., have the symbol for a secure server (a locked padlock) on them—I have never seen one that didn't.

You can't defend yourself from a company that has insufficient security for your information or an employee who losses the company laptop or phone with that information on it. You may not know that has happened. And when you have to give your social security number at some business (doctor's office seem to like this) or your Medicare card (it has your social security number printed on it), you are exposed to an unscrupulous employee. If you leave your credit card with a gas station employee while you pump gas, that is asking for trouble. Credit card receipts that print out your credit card number are another problem at the gas pump—don't leave that receipt in the machine either. Or if you use a computer at a library or a hotel, previous web pages that you have used for financial transactions are easy to access unless you go back and delete them all. That's just a few of the things to watch for.

But, Skater is right—most of the time you are ok.

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Old 12-21-2011, 06:13 PM   #37
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Adding to what Gene wrote, if you get a printed credit card receipt that has your whole credit card number on it anywhere in the US, call your credit card issuer and complain. The merchant is out of compliance with their merchant agreement. They should only print the last 4 or so digits of the card number on any receipt for you or on any form that the merchant retains, along with a transaction number.

(Note that I'm not talking about an old-fashioned card imprint machine that makes a physical rubbing of your card number. There are places that still have these for "emergency" situations where their card reader doesn't work.)
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Old 12-21-2011, 07:25 PM   #38
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You should be using ssl connections with banks, etc. Those should be secure even on unencrypted wifi.
You know, even though this is "technically" correct, I work full time on the road, and my company's internal PCI requirements say that I cannot use any public wifi period, regardless of security. I travel with 3 mifis (att, sprint and verizon) and a RSA security dongle and use them exclusively. We don't even check gmail on a public wifi....but we've also found that if we're paying for internet anyway (which we do) then we're just going to use what we pay for, as we've found 99% of the campgrounds that we stay at have horribly slow internet anyway.

This is how my computer, with access to lots of sensitive data, does not fall into the wrong hands
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Old 12-21-2011, 09:20 PM   #39
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Safe to perform transactions over the web, even via public WiFi - just ensure you have your SSL certificate on the web site "Https"...
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Old 12-23-2011, 09:33 AM   #40
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You know, even though this is "technically" correct, I work full time on the road, and my company's internal PCI requirements say that I cannot use any public wifi period, regardless of security. I travel with 3 mifis (att, sprint and verizon) and a RSA security dongle and use them exclusively. We don't even check gmail on a public wifi....but we've also found that if we're paying for internet anyway (which we do) then we're just going to use what we pay for, as we've found 99% of the campgrounds that we stay at have horribly slow internet anyway.

This is how my computer, with access to lots of sensitive data, does not fall into the wrong hands
It's funny - my employer sent a message with advice of using cell phone provider connections instead of public Wifi since I posted the above. I had to laugh.

I too work for a company with some incredible security requirements, so I totally hear what you're saying. Sounds like yours is even more strict. Still, thinking AT&T, Verizon, or any other provider is necessarily safer is dangerous - the data could be intercepted at any point on the internet between your laptop and the server you want. There are always risks.

I agree with you about the campground Wifi; they sometimes (not always) are pretty bad. We happened to be camping the weekend of Michael Jackson's death...and a friend of ours was having a baby. It was pretty frustrating to get the news about the baby. We now have iPhones and can surf that way, which is generally slower than Wifi, but at least it's usable. I have the tethering plan for my phone, so we can hook up a laptop, and when we replace the phones, we'll be able to set up a Wifi hotspot with my phone.

We don't work out of our camper, so our requirements are a lot looser. Our employer still requires us to go into the office at least most of the week, and we can't telework for certain things (namely working on private data). Aside from employer security restrictions, as long as I'm certain I'm talking to the correct website, and it's SSL, I don't worry about it.
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Old 12-23-2011, 09:42 AM   #41
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It's funny - my employer sent a message with advice of using cell phone provider connections instead of public Wifi since I posted the above. I had to laugh.

I too work for a company with some incredible security requirements, so I totally hear what you're saying. Sounds like yours is even more strict. Still, thinking AT&T, Verizon, or any other provider is necessarily safer is dangerous - the data could be intercepted at any point on the internet between your laptop and the server you want. There are always risks.

I agree with you about the campground Wifi; they sometimes (not always) are pretty bad. We happened to be camping the weekend of Michael Jackson's death...and a friend of ours was having a baby. It was pretty frustrating to get the news about the baby. We now have iPhones and can surf that way, which is generally slower than Wifi, but at least it's usable. I have the tethering plan for my phone, so we can hook up a laptop, and when we replace the phones, we'll be able to set up a Wifi hotspot with my phone.

We don't work out of our camper, so our requirements are a lot looser. Our employer still requires us to go into the office at least most of the week, and we can't telework for certain things (namely working on private data). Aside from employer security restrictions, as long as I'm certain I'm talking to the correct website, and it's SSL, I don't worry about it.
Yeah...when I'm dealing with certain things (and it's not like I have trade secrets or classified information or anything -- I work in e-commerce) they make me use citrix to connect to a computer in the office, so that 100% of it is encrypted. I think it's silly, but I'm just a worker bee, and don't complain too much! Since we've got all of the mifi's, and pay for them, we use them until they're totally used up....then perhaps we'll kick over to a campground wifi. For us it's more of a convenience thing, rather than a security thing, and we've found that for the majority of the time, it's fast enough for our needs (work plus downloading stuff off itunes for the apple tv).
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Old 03-03-2012, 08:31 PM   #42
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We've come around to Exthemius' way of thinking and added a T-Mobile hot spot to our internet bag of tricks along with the Verizon 4G stick and Wifi in motion system. Have to be able to work on the road. It's critical and we found some places get great reception on one network but not another and if you really need to be on line 2 options is almost essential. While many carriers claim to cover most of the country there are gaps and its hard to predict which carrier is best. Not a cheap solution but one carrier alone left too many gaps.
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