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Old 01-30-2015, 02:36 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lily&Me View Post
Some have encouraged me to use the phone as a hotspot, instead of the Mi-Fi, others (including my son the wizard) have said the signal strength isn't as good.

Verizon provides the best coverage nationwide, and very rarely is there no wi-fi signal and no phone signal.....but it does happen on occasion out west.

I like some connection to family and the rest of the world, is the truth.



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The phone works fine. Dedicated hotposts are very small so the signal capacity won't be all that different from your phone. A cell signal booster is needed if the cell signal is bad. If the cell signal is bad, both the phone and the hotspot are going to suffer.

I only use my phone in a pinch because, well, I use my phone to talk. I don't like to run down the battery doing data stuff and then I can't talk on it. If you keep it plugged in while using it as a hotspot you fix that problem. Also using a hotspot lets you create a wifi network that let's you share info between computers connected to the same network, but if all you need is to connect one device to the internet for a little bit, the phone is great. No separate MiFi or Unite or device needed
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Old 01-30-2015, 03:34 PM   #30
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Hmmm.

I think 5 devices or so can be connected to the MiFi at one time.

I'm leery to change, as the MiFi is the only internet I have. It might save me a few dollars a month, but I don't think all that much.

Good info to have, tho, and thanks.


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Old 01-30-2015, 09:07 PM   #31
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This is our first real experience on the road. I support a critical application and need to be able to access the company network. The Verizon Ellipses Jetpack, at least between Kentucky and Florida (except for a large spot in central Kentucky) has been excellent. The device is small, about half a cell phone, but the response has been excellent. The price of the hardware ($50) is half that of AT&T and Verizon offered 3 different plans while AT&T offered only 2.

I took the Verizon plan for 10gb for $90 for 30 days. After a week and a half of daily contact with my company (several hours each day) and casual use on the personal devices, I had not used 2 gb. Then we connected the Roku to the TV, watched 1 movie on HBOgo and that jumped it up to 6.5 gb.

I like that I have a secure network and it just fits in my pocket. I can go anywhere Verizon goes and have WIFI. The person at Best Buy set it up for me, I took it home and started using it. The device will show your usage or you can connect to their site and view it, change various options, if you like. I just take the defaults.

It's 'Pay as you go' so you buy what you need. We connect 3 cell phones and 2 laptops on this device. I am very impressed with its performance. I'm a long time Tracfone user and this is just what I need for being on the road.
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Old 01-31-2015, 07:03 AM   #32
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If you do any serious traveling, having your own wifi with you is worth its weight in gold, IMO.

I do all banking and bill-paying online, and would just not do that from a public wifi system.

Unless I am downloading large documents, or watching missed TV programs , my GB plan shares between and covers the IPad and phone without a problem.

Alerts are sent when data usage starts getting to 50% and greater, and you can increase your plan to cover to avoid over-usage fees.


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Old 02-01-2015, 09:58 AM   #33
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Minimalist Solution

This isn't for everybody, but it's a good first step if you don't mind using public wi-fi and are just looking to increase your odds for great reception at RV parks.

Alfa AWUS036NHR v2 - High-Gain 2000mw 2W 802.11 B/G/N Wireless USB Network Adaptor - Wireless-N 802.11n Wi-Fi - 150Mbps - 2.4 GHz - 5dBi Antenna - Lon

Just plug this antenna into your computer's USB port and go. Costs about $30 on Amazon and works with latest Apple and Microsoft operating systems.

What does it do? It increases the signal strength of a typical RV park wi-fi signal from three bars to five bars which for us, is often the difference between terrible and great response times.

Downsides:
* not private
* does not help you when boon-docking in places with no wi-fi

Upside:
* we now get great performance at most RV parks with wi-fi
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Old 02-01-2015, 11:42 AM   #34
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Old 02-01-2015, 11:46 AM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lily&Me View Post
Some have encouraged me to use the phone as a hotspot, instead of the Mi-Fi, others (including my son the wizard) have said the signal strength isn't as good.

Verizon provides the best coverage nationwide, and very rarely is there no wi-fi signal and no phone signal.....but it does happen on occasion out west.

I like some connection to family and the rest of the world, is the truth.



Maggie
Biggest issue with using a cellular phone as a Wi-Fi hotspot is the fact that it mainly is built as a device with a battery to take care of it's own needs. Consider the fact that could be using as many as three radios (cellular, bluetooth, and Wi-Fi), battery life can be compromised. We carry multiple Wi-Fi devices with us, iPhone, iPad, and lap top. Providing wireless to multiple devices concurrently takes a toll.

I recently upgraded my Verizon Mi-Fi device to the new 6620L. This one is probably one of the best units that Novatel has built. Battery life is claimed to be 20 hours along with an ability to function as a backup battery for your wireless devices that may be of need for a charge. It provide wireless for up to 15 devices concurrently and can broadcast Wi-Fi in either the 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz bandwidth. 5 GHz has less interference issues and may perform better if you are in a crowded environment where there are a lot of 2.4 GHz signals.

I've not tested the battery yet to see how realistic the 20 hour claim is, but it is much better than my old Mi-Fi unit (4620L) which lasted a little over 4 hours.

Here's a link to the info. Novatel Wireless - MiFi 6620 €“ 4G LTE Intelligent Mobile Hotspot with Universal Charger

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Old 02-25-2015, 04:50 PM   #36
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Change from Verizon USB modem to Jetpack?

I've used a Verizon USB modem attached to my laptop in the trailer for several years, at $50/month for one GB. I use it for three months each year. I see that I can buy a Jetpack for $50, and for $60/month get 3 GB. I only need to use the one device, but 1 GB is quite restrictive in 2015, although it used to be adequate for emails and a little surfing. Perhaps modern web design is more profligate with data.
Are there any disadvantages to this change?
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Old 02-25-2015, 04:59 PM   #37
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If you use your Verizon smartphone as your wifi hotspopt using the Foxfi App, you don't pay Verizon any extra charge. When you use this hotspot, you will be using your phone's data. You can get some extra data on your phone package for a lot less than paying for an extra device to get wifi.

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Old 02-25-2015, 05:13 PM   #38
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Brian, I don't use a Verizon or any other smart phone. I use a pay-as-you-use simple Tracfone which for $8 a month gives me far more minutes than I need.
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Old 02-25-2015, 05:33 PM   #39
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Wer got a Verizon Jetpack about 1 1/2 years ago. We needed something portable at that time and the portability is good, but the charges are not. We have a plan (plans change all the time) for 5 Gb. for $50/month and $10 for each extra Gb. According to Verizon, we would never go over 4 Gb. because of what we do on the internet. That was far from true, but we were naive about how much data we would use.

Overages are kind of unpredictable, but they keep going up and up despite that fact we haven't changed our internet use except to make it less and less. Verizon doesn't care so long as you keep sending them more and more money. A company that doesn't care about its reputation is more than difficult to deal with.

I may file complaints with the FTC and FCC. Even though the FCC has declared the internet to be a public utility, they have no plans to regulate charges.

Where we live there are not many options, even though we are 10 miles from a middling sized city—satellite being the only other one. That has charges just as onerous and isn't portable. The US keeps falling further behind the rest of the world in broadband and there's no solution in sight.

We used to travel looking for campgrounds with wifi. Many have it, far fewer have good wifi, so a Jetpack usually provides better service, at a cost. I'm not sure I want to go back to that as internet is essential to contemporary life. Only staying at campgrounds with wifi is limiting and then we find the wifi doesn't work or is so slow as to be almost useless. Our contract is up this summer and I don't know what we'll do. There used to be reseller (Mellenicom) that leased Verizon's system, but they pulled out of that market several months ago. Maybe another reseller will appear, but I haven't found it yet.

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Old 02-26-2015, 06:56 AM   #40
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Gene, that's very useful, thank you.
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Old 02-26-2015, 08:27 AM   #41
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Quote:
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Brian, I don't use a Verizon or any other smart phone. I use a pay-as-you-use simple Tracfone which for $8 a month gives me far more minutes than I need.
Nick.
I am Tracfone user also and I sure wish they'd get into the data market like the Verizon Jetpack or let me share off the smartphone. The best thing about Tracfone is you get to keep what you bought as long as you keep your account active. With the others, you buy 3gb but you have to use it in 30 days, or lose it.

Yeah, Tracfone for me all the way. The 3 of us each have a smartphone that seems to do just about everything, cost is no more than $30 a month for all 3.
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