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Old 06-22-2016, 10:06 AM   #1
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1976 25' Tradewind
LaPorte , Indiana
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Full Timing - Heavy Internet Usage


To set up: we're full timers and have been staying at parks with free wifi with various results. We don't own a smartphone. We don't have cable. We use the internet heavily, for everything from watching TV to YouTube and connecting to MMORPGs (though that doesn't use much bandwidth).

The question: Heavy streaming full timers, what internet provider do you use?

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Old 06-22-2016, 10:15 AM   #2
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I would "step off the cliff" and buy a smart phone w/ a data plan . . . probably a 10G plan from what you're saying your use level is. And then you can use your phone as a "Hot Spot" (my iPhone can function that way, I don't know that ALL Smart Phones can). Alternatively you can buy a "Hot Spot" device w/ an associated Data Plan from a Cell Provider . . . or always park near a Starbucks.

I'm guessing you'll get a better answer, or different answer from "full timers".


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Old 06-22-2016, 10:21 AM   #3
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I like Verizon, but to have something for "heavy streaming" that travels with you, you're going to pay...and a lot.

You might want to modify your usage, in your fulltiming life.

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Old 06-22-2016, 10:37 AM   #4
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The folks I know who are full-timing with heavy Internet usage (because this is how they work while full-timing) typically find a way to get their hands on a Verizon UDP (Unlimited Data Plan). They almost never rely on campground WiFi, which is famously slow, bad, and useless for anything more than basic email.

BTW, those UDPs are more difficult to find than they used to be, as Verizon no longer sells them directly. You'd have to find your way into a "grandfathered" plan. To us the whole Verizon UDP situation seems a bit wild and woolly, and since we aren't full-timers we haven't made that plunge. Instead, we use a Verizon 10GB plan and manage our usage to fit within that envelope. Resourceful folks still seem to get their hands on UDPs. Just be careful, as the Internet can be a maze of dark and twisty passages, all alike.

Oh, and those same full-timers often add their own antennas, boosters and routers to optimize signal & bandwidth while on the road.

If you haven't already been there, you might want to check out Technomadia's website at, which has relevant info for full-timers, as well as their "rv mobile internet resource center," at (BTW, I am not affiliated with them in any way - just trying to be helpful.)

Happy trails!
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Old 06-22-2016, 12:31 PM   #5
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Depending on your location and coverage, TMobile accounts have unlimited video streaming from supported sites (which actually covers a lot of major sites). Technomadia (refered to above) recently had an article on a 3rd party plan that partners with TMobile and a number of other smaller cell providers, which seemed to expand coverage quite a bit.

We have a grandfathered Verizon unlimited account, and will likely get a TMobile plan for backup once we're back to the US.

FWIW, those living in Canada would do well with a Rogers plan which has a scaled pay plan, starting at $60 going up to $145 for 100GB.
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Old 06-22-2016, 12:47 PM   #6
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I'll be watching this thread, we live in our AS anywhere from four to six months at a time; we pay all our bills online, stay in touch with family, and like to watch netflix at night for a few hours before bed. This RV park has fairly decent wifi considering, but they block streaming. We simply cannot afford more data on our phones at this time.
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Old 06-22-2016, 12:53 PM   #7
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Even unlimited plans may be more expensive than pay as you go plans, but you are using Internet for everything, I think you will have a problem finding an unlimited plan especially if you are doing all that streaming. A portable dish might be a better solution. For TV we use the AS antenna or bring along our own movies on a media player and attached hard drive.

The Verizon Ellipsis Jetpack is only $49 at Best Buy. The Jetpack has very good battery life, USB charge, supports 10 connections and has a number of "pay as you go" plans:

Data Charge Expiration
500MB $15 1 Week
1GB - $20 1 Month
2GB - $35 2 Months
5GB - $60 2 Months
10GB $100 2 Months

I've been using my Jetpack when we travel to Florida for the winter. We had excellent coverage there (inside the AS) and on our journey to Texas. Verizon had excellent coverage wherever we went.

500MB will last me a week, if I use the Ad Block Plus tool to keep sites from using up my data to show me unwanted mini-videos. For our entire 3 month trip I used less than 15GB and I do contract work as I travel. I have a personal laptop and we have 2 smart phones connected to it (cheaper than Tracfone's rates).

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Old 06-22-2016, 12:57 PM   #8
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We had the unlimited data plan until upgrading to 4G a number of years ago, at which time we had to give it up.

It does spoil one.

A 14 GB plan has since been enough, as long as there is no streaming of movies, tv shows, etc., as those things go thru data very quickly.

I dropped back to 4GB a couple of months ago, when I added Xfinity wifi at home, leaving me some to use when doing short trips this spring, and the ability to increase data at any time when I am gone for longer periods.

My IPad mini has the cellular data card within, which can also be a hotspot for other devices, and I've been very happy with it as it eliminates the MiFi device which was separate and also had to be charged.

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Old 06-22-2016, 02:44 PM   #9
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My T-mobile tablet was FREE with a two year UNLIMITED ( but sometimes throttled ) $10/month plan. I use it as my hot spot. The plan has 1Gig of 4g data then cuts back to 3g.
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Old 06-22-2016, 03:28 PM   #10
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My business causes me to be a very, very heavy data user. We are on Verizon and yes, it is very expensive. It is, however, a business expense (thank goodness). The plan we have is 15G/mo, I think, and on Verizon. We have a jet pack which helps with signal a little and are looking at a booster.
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Old 06-22-2016, 03:47 PM   #11
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I use my windows phone as a hot spot. I use around 4-5 GB per week just for work and am on an AT&T go phone. I have to attend virtual conferences that use a good bit of data. I like the plan because it includes 6 GB data per month that rolls over for a month if it's not used. Then I can purchase additional data as needed at a cost of $10 per 1 GB. I think the go phones give you flexibility if you travel into Canada too. Might be worth taking a look at that as an option. (I do have a Verizon mobile hot spot as a backup. The data plan for it is very expensive so I try to avoid using it.)
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Old 06-22-2016, 04:21 PM   #12
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We have a Verizon/Novatel MiFi device with a grandfathered "Millenicom" data plan, and we pay $100 per month for 20GB.

Verizon service and coverage is excellent; but we have outgrown 20GB per month, and the overage charges are becoming excessive.

Are there any mobile broadband plans (with similar nationwide coverage) that are more affordable?
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Old 06-22-2016, 05:07 PM   #13
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First you need to specify what is considered heavy internet use. That is subjective. Heavy for me is over 60GB per month, I hoover between 60 and 90GB / month on my phone. AND NO it is not porn!

From what I can tell, if you don't own a smart phone, you might not be (and don't get insulted) technical enough to root a phone and hack for hotspot with you unlimited data plan: Sprint, T-Mo, etc.

Get a smart phone, older model like Galaxy S5 with an older firmware, those are easier to Root, then enjoy.

You may have to ask your local "hacker" phone guy to help you out.
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Old 06-22-2016, 05:10 PM   #14
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Fulltime cellular Data

I travel fulltime – often to fringe cellular areas. I use a Sierra Wireless mi-fi unit with a weBoost Drive 4G-X 470510 signal booster. The antenna is a weBoost 4G-OTR Antenna 304415 attached to a Valley Forge Flag 16-Foot Telescoping Flagpole which can either fit under a trailer tire or be staked to the ground. And I have an older AT&T unlimited 4G/LTE data plan. But any and all “unlimited” data plans get throttled back after 22Gb. Still usable even throttled back for watching videos on Amazon or YouTube.

I get 4-5 bars where I used to get maybe 1 to a maybe 2. So it really works well.

The mi-fi is a wireless router so it provides a strong signal to my Google Chrome, laptop, iPad and mobile phone.

You can buy “grandfathered” Verizon or AT&T data SIMS by themselves or in a mifi on eBay. You then transfer it to your own name. But be careful, there are lots of frauds.

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