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Old 08-15-2013, 10:48 AM   #1
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Best Mobile Internet

Hey guys, I've been poking around and haven't seen any recent reviews/feedback on the best mobile internet options.

I'm about to start full-timing and need to figure out the best mobile internet options.

What are people here using? Do you use a booster to get a better signal when out of town?
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Old 08-15-2013, 11:04 AM   #2
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Lots of threads on the subject. My long term solution is a Verizon Mi Fi. $60 a month and works most everywhere.
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Old 08-15-2013, 11:05 AM   #3
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Lots of threads on the subject. My long term solution is a Verizon Mi Fi. $60 a month and works most everywhere.
Ditto.


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Old 08-15-2013, 11:06 AM   #4
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I think the first question you need to ask yourself is "Where will I be primarily be camping?" This will determine if your best solution is connecting to free WiFi or using a cellular data network. There are different products available for each. You may find you need to use both.
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Old 08-15-2013, 11:18 AM   #5
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It really comes down to network and where you are located at. I chose Verizon and use a MiFi device. Cost is $50 a month for 5 gigs of service a month. Typically not camping, I use 1 gig a month. My greatest use was on the road where I used 3 gigs.

From what I have checked out, AT&T has the fastest 4G service but unfortunately that level of service is pretty limited which is why I chose Verizon whose 4G service coverage is much larger. My connect speed in 4G areas is 13-17 gig. Verizon's 4620L MiFi unit, which I use, is especially attractive since it produces a WiFi signal in a 100 ft radius. That's about 3 times the ability of most cellular/Wifi devices. This allows us to keep the unit inside the trailer, but get a good WiFi signal sitting outside in the campsite. There is also an aftermarket battery available that provides about 8 hours of power, compared to 4 hours for the standard battery for most WiFi devices.

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Old 08-15-2013, 11:25 AM   #6
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Can anyone say how much basic Internet usage you get for the fee? I am thinking email and stuff like checking the Airstream Forum, but not watching Netflix movies or downloading massive files.

When you're on the road with the Verizon package, for example, what would be your average sort of use?
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Old 08-15-2013, 11:29 AM   #7
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Basic data plan for Verizon starts at 5GB per month.

As long as you're not streaming video (a full-length movie can run 2GB all by itself), downloading GPS updates (usually run about 3GB for Garmin) , or listening to Pandora all day every day, the basic 5GB should be enough.

You can set up your account to give you e-mail or text warnings that you've gone 50%, 75%, 90%, and 100% of your allowed data.

If you are a heavier user, you can get a 10GB plan for $80 per month from Verizon.
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Old 08-15-2013, 11:31 AM   #8
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We have the smallest data package...5GB, does that sound right?

We do email, Airforums , news pages, etc.

Plenty for us. We don't download or stream movies, tv programs, etc.

We are longtime and loyal Verizon customers.


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Old 08-15-2013, 11:33 AM   #9
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I've had pretty good luck with the Verizon MiFi. I also use the Wilson cradle booster with an external magnetic mount antenna. Relatively inexpensive at Best Buy and no holes need to be drilled. I find the wifi signal is degraded inside the AS, so with the booster (Cradle Boosters | Store | Wilson Electronics) I can usually go from 3 bars to 5. I also bought the slightly larger antenna, also cheap about $20 on Amazon and that helps a bit too. Easily transferable from AS to TV. Keep in mind that just because you have 5 bars doesn't always translate to a faster connection especially in rural areas. Many factors affect speed.
There are better antennas like the Wifi Ranger, but way more expensive and installation is permanent and can be a hassle.
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Old 08-15-2013, 11:57 AM   #10
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I've had pretty good luck with the Verizon MiFi. I also use the Wilson cradle booster with an external magnetic mount antenna. Relatively inexpensive at Best Buy and no holes need to be drilled. I find the wifi signal is degraded inside the AS, so with the booster (Cradle Boosters | Store | Wilson Electronics) I can usually go from 3 bars to 5. I also bought the slightly larger antenna, also cheap about $20 on Amazon and that helps a bit too. Easily transferable from AS to TV. Keep in mind that just because you have 5 bars doesn't always translate to a faster connection especially in rural areas. Many factors affect speed.
There are better antennas like the Wifi Ranger, but way more expensive and installation is permanent and can be a hassle.
Again,
Remember that these are two separate means of downloading data. The Wilson boosters amplify a cellular signal. The WiFi Ranger amplifies WiFi. You have to decide which (or both) is right for you.
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Old 08-15-2013, 12:32 PM   #11
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Thanks for all the feedback. I'm leaning toward getting a Millenicom Unlimited. They said it will run off Sprint (but I think it can roam on Verizon?). Then I can hook it up to a small router in the trailer to share with my other devices (Cradlepoint Wireless Router)

Seems like that could be a good set up. That or a MiFi from Verizon. But my work is online and I'm worried about how much bandwidth I'll use, the Verizon looks like it can get expensive real quick if you use a lot of data.

Anyone used the Millenicom?
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Old 08-15-2013, 12:46 PM   #12
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But my work is online and I'm worried about how much bandwidth I'll use, the Verizon looks like it can get expensive real quick if you use a lot of data.
Something you might consider…

If you're concerned with data usage for work, you might want to get two separate accounts/devices, one strictly for work and one strictly for personal. The work account can be written off as a business expense if you're self-employed, or reimbursed as an expense if you have clients. If you have a boss that you're working for on salary or wages, have HIM provide the work account rather than doing it out of your own pocket.

Chances are, if you can do that, your personal wireless broadband account can be at a lower cost with lower base usage allowance.

But if you use your personal broadband account for work, you'll never be able to separate out the business expenses on your tax deductions.
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Old 08-15-2013, 01:07 PM   #13
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In the Mac arena, a software update can be several Gbytes whenever a major upgrade is released. Otherwise cruising the web is pretty modest on data usage.

I use Verizon and have an unlimited data account for my iPhone as I buy the latest hardware outright and thus maintain my existing contract which goes back to 1988 with them. My wife, two of her daughters, the MiFi, and several iPads share a 10Gb data plan with unlimited texts and voice. Seems to work okay.

My experience driving from Phoenix to Indianapolis more times than I can count over the last ten years is that Verizon was there. I had an additional side affair with AT&T when the iPhone came out and I was able to break the contract due to lack of reception at my three homes: East edge of Phoenix, Santa Fe and Bloomington, IN (a big 10 university town).

When we are really remote, I have a sat phone in case of an emergency. I have used it once when our motorcycle group of old riders had a rider go down in a remote area.

YMMV
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Old 08-15-2013, 01:25 PM   #14
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Thanks for all the feedback. I'm leaning toward getting a Millenicom Unlimited. They said it will run off Sprint (but I think it can roam on Verizon?). Then I can hook it up to a small router in the trailer to share with my other devices (Cradlepoint Wireless Router)

Seems like that could be a good set up. That or a MiFi from Verizon. But my work is online and I'm worried about how much bandwidth I'll use, the Verizon looks like it can get expensive real quick if you use a lot of data.

Anyone used the Millenicom?
You need to make absolutely, positively sure that it'll work well with Verizon. As a long-time Sprint customer, I'm currently waiting for my ETF to dwindle to the point where it's not worth waiting longer to switch.

I experience this most often in the DFW metro area where we live, but have duplicated it in Austin and in other cities, never mind rural coverage: Start loading map or website on my personal phone with good signal, (Evo 4G LTE), get frustrated, take out my work phone (Droid Razr on Verizon), unlock, start app, tell it to load the same map/traffic data/website and get the result on the Verizon phone first.

AT&T's "faux G" hspa+ on my partner's Galaxy S2 is similarly superior, and the Evo is always pleasantly fast on wifi so I'm confident it's the network, not the device. Avoid Sprint and Sprint-hosted MVNOs for data.
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Old 08-15-2013, 02:34 PM   #15
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I & both sons had nextel now sprint many dropped calls no signal, 1/2 mile from tower, on road many dropped calls we dropped sprint, I wernt atat much better 1 son has sprint now as unlimited freebie from employer still no better than past but walkie talkie part works, needed for routing or pick up points. use verizon mifi 5gb mo. have had exc. results, only went over usage 1 time in over year, as wife watched nascar race in full, extra chrg. 5$, used many states in & out of A.S. always worked
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Old 08-15-2013, 02:55 PM   #16
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Thanks for all the feedback. I'm leaning toward getting a Millenicom Unlimited. They said it will run off Sprint (but I think it can roam on Verizon?). Then I can hook it up to a small router in the trailer to share with my other devices (Cradlepoint Wireless Router)

Seems like that could be a good set up. That or a MiFi from Verizon. But my work is online and I'm worried about how much bandwidth I'll use, the Verizon looks like it can get expensive real quick if you use a lot of data.

Anyone used the Millenicom?
I've been very happy with Milenicom, but I'd recommend the 20gb plan with Verizon Mifi instead of the unlimited on Sprint as the coverage is so much better, at least where I am.

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Old 08-15-2013, 02:55 PM   #17
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Millenicom Unlimited is Sprint only.. IT WILL NOT work on Verizon. You have to get their hotspot plan for Verizon.

We full time and still work. Ut is what we use. Rarely come close to 20gigs and that is entertainment streaming that puts us near the cap.
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Old 08-16-2013, 08:35 AM   #18
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Thanks for all your feedback guys. I'm leaning towards the Verizon MiFi. Seems like the best combination of speed, availability and price. I'll just have to cut back on watching old Star Trek episodes on Netflix ;-)
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Old 08-16-2013, 09:14 AM   #19
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We have a Verizon Mi-Fi with 5G's per month which is good just for checking e-mails and not for downloading movies or streaming Netflix. If that is your intention, check into something else besides Verizon or you will end up with a $300.00 bill like we did. I learned very quickly about what 5 G's really is and now I understand much more about this technology. I swear, i'm being dragged into the 21st century technology by the roots of my hair. Good luck.
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Old 08-16-2013, 11:19 AM   #20
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Which service provider is best probably depends on where you travel. We do our US camping in the western states (so far), and Verizon is the only carrier that we could find in the rural areas. AT & T is OK in or near cities, but we tend to stay in more remote places.

For any Canadians traveling to the US, we have a Fido (Rogers) plan, and no matter what they say in the store, it will not pick up Verizon. I am tired of paying for worthless travel packs and watching all these people chatting away on their Verizon cell phone plans when my phone would only pick up AT & T or Sprint-- which seems even less viable in the West.

Does anyone know if Telus picks up Verizon? I asked at our local Telus store, and they couldn't tell me.
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