Cell Phone and I-net while on the road - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-09-2010, 11:18 PM   #15
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Getting the Antenna in the air is always the most important consideration.
Height makes Right!
Thanks Ed ...
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Old 06-10-2010, 09:58 PM   #16
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Check out the Palm Pre Plus with Verizon. I recently got one and you have to get the $29.95 per month Data package, but with Palm, you can "Tether" up to 5 wireless devices at once with the Palm "Mobil Hot Spot" and the GOOD NEWS, there is NO extra charge for this. All the other Verizon Smart Phones, you have to pay an extra $25 per month to Tether. You get 5G useage per month and I think that will be enough for me when I'm out of my home ISP.

I recently went for 2 weeks without any ISP other than "free" stuff and I swore it wouldn't happen again. I had the Verizon Air Card last year but that was $60 per month and that was just too much.

So far, I love the phone and service. I can tell instantly when I get an E-mail.

good luck.

Keith
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Old 07-01-2010, 04:46 PM   #17
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As soon as we get rid of 2 dial up providers (seldom used) we will probably go with the AT&T card. In Duluth we are on telephone modem and it drives me nuts.

Went to the AT&T booth to learn more. They only had brochures on package deals. Guess they don't want people to know about just getting the card. After asking questions we got answers.

The card that goes in the computer is $100 and there is a $100 rebate. You have to sign up for 2 years. Monthly cost for just this one card for the one computer (can they be switched from one computer to another?) is either $30 a month or $60 a month depending on how much one would use the service. If we cancel I think the charge was $150.

In Duluth we would have high speed internet via this. In the fringe areas where AT&T is we would have something that the sales person said would be about 3 times faster than my current dial up.

I could live with that in order to have coverage in Duluth. Now we just need to stop camping in the middle of nowhere to be on the fringe of something.

Thought this was worth bringing back to the top. I had to search for the subject.

Nancy (who normally lives in the fringe, but has high speed while there)
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Old 07-01-2010, 05:55 PM   #18
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Nancy
When you say"the card goes in the computer" I have to wonder exactly what this means?
Every broadband WWAN card sold that you would consider for portable use connects in one of three ways.

1-USB by plugging in to a USB port on the computer
2-PC Card where a card slides into a slot in the computer almost all the way.
3-MiFi WiFi device where the device that gets the internet signal is really separate from the computer and the computer just connects to it with WiFi like it is any other WiFi Router.

It should be clear I am oversimplifying this description for the sake of speed so please consider this if replying.

I think by far the easiest most flexible choice is the 3rd one.
With a MiFi device anyone with a wireless capable device can connect to it and be on the internet with almost no configuration once it is set up initially.
Your machine can be any operating system or platform as long as it has WiFi and often several people at once can connect just by jumping on to it-so to speak.
You can easily secure it with passwords and they are small and simple to move around.
Now you can even get a Smart Phone like the Palm Pre mentioned above that even acts just like a MiFi in addition to beingg your phone.

It is getting crazy.

The USB option is not too bad but there can be issues as it connects directly to the computer and can only offer a single connection at a time.

At least all computers really have USB these days so most can use the USB card.

The PC card option was the original method really but now few machines offer a PC Card slot.
Make sure if you get one of these that you realize it requires a slot that your next computer may not offer.

Hope this makes some sense.
All three methods use the same Data plans and price structure depending on your carrier so those should be about the same.
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Old 07-02-2010, 12:15 AM   #19
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Think it is the USB. I'll try to remember tomorrow to ask Fred.

I don't want a phone. Just high speed connection when in Duluth. I have cheap cell phone and never use up the allowed minutes in a year. Don't care to talk on the phone!

The phone issue may change. My son changed his phone out and now has GPS and some neat way to post his walks with pictures. I think he has a Sprint connection.

Anyway Fred is lusting after a new toy, so we may join the rest of the world. Just got cell phone about a year ago. We each got the cheap Trac thing and it is more than enough for us.

Now if I could just figure out what to do while we are in Canada.

Oh, I think Consumer Reports had a write up about all this stuff recently. I should check the library and see how long ago they wrote stuff up. Technology probably changes faster than the publication each month.

Nancy
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Old 07-02-2010, 09:42 AM   #20
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This summer, I'll be travelling from Ottawa, Canada, to Michigan and Minnesota for 3 Habitat builds; then on to Albuquerque for the Balloon Fiesta, and back home. I do NOT want to use my Canadian Telus blackberry - roaming and long distance are way too expensive for data, and for phone.
So, I'm thinking of getting a Net-10 phone from walmart in U.S., which offers 300 min of calling anywhere, anytime, and the phone for $30.00. Evidently I can also get a "local" phone prefix (613 for me), which will allow my family to call me without paying long distance charges.
Will go to local libraries to check email if I need to; or use camp-ground wi-fi if its available.
Comments on this idea are very welcome.
Karen H



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Old 07-02-2010, 12:04 PM   #21
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We have used the AT&T air card for three years, it is our only internet connection - for home and travel use. It's not perfect, but I am happy with it.

At home we're in what I call a "black hole", local phone company will not provide internet service, too many trees for satellite. When traveling, the air card, often slow at home due to location, can vary from super-fast to just okay, depending on whether we are in a G3 area or not, and it is unpredictable, we have been in what seemed like remote areas and received very good/fast reception. Reception can be affected by load (how many folks on line) and weather.

The $60 a month is more than we'd like to pay, but it is what it is, and since it is our only option at home we just pay it. It meets our needs when traveling, the areas we can't get reception are areas that would be pretty inaccessible by most services, i.e. up in the mountains. The ease and convenience of simply plugging in a USB device and being on line is very nice. I do take the laptop into cafes or sit in library parking lots now and then and take advantage of the free wifi. There is a web site that lists free wifi all over the country:http://www.wififreespot.com

We have two cell phones, Mike's (his work phone) is AT&T and mine is a pay-as-you-go Tracphone, sort of our 'second' phone, I get double minute cards to keep cost down, and sometimes get reception where AT&T doesn't.

The down side of the air card is the ridiculous charges once you cross the border, it makes it essentially unusable. I wonder how they know!? I naively used it sitting in line at the border once and ran up a huge bill (then I read the fine print! )

Penney
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Old 07-02-2010, 07:14 PM   #22
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Penney,

Thanks for the good post. It answered some of our questions. Fred was all ready to use one in Canada!

We went and checked today.

The early termination fee went up to $325. It decreases each month of your contract.

$35 buys you 250 MG a month

$60 gets you 5 GB.

For the time being I will stick with coffee shops and libraries when traveling. Because we really want better service when we are in Duluth we will probably go this route sometime. Since this would not be our main service we can get by with 250 MG a month. Ah, but the fine print. It says if you go over the just charge you! That was not what we learned when we first inquired.

Karen,

Does the WalMart phone do your long distance to Canada? I haven't tried that with my Tracfone. Gee, I have 400 minutes that need to be used before August. Our Tracfone does not have roaming, it seems to work wherever there is a cell tower. We carry a prepaid phone card that we used for calling Norway when we traveled with friends. Before we got the Tracfone we used the calling card all the time when traveling. Much nicer to use the cell.

Nancy
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Old 07-02-2010, 07:20 PM   #23
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Karen,

Did you catch this thread? A Canadian talks about Virgin Mobile.

http://www.fiberglassrv.com/board/in...howtopic=40320

Nancy
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Old 07-02-2010, 07:23 PM   #24
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Just went to check out the coverage of the Virgin Mobile. The AT&T would work better for us.

Nancy
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Old 07-02-2010, 07:47 PM   #25
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Penney,

Thanks for the good post. It answered some of our questions. Fred was all ready to use one in Canada!

We went and checked today.

The early termination fee went up to $325. It decreases each month of your contract.

$35 buys you 250 MG a month

$60 gets you 5 GB.

For the time being I will stick with coffee shops and libraries when traveling. Because we really want better service when we are in Duluth we will probably go this route sometime. Since this would not be our main service we can get by with 250 MG a month. Ah, but the fine print. It says if you go over the just charge you! That was not what we learned when we first inquired.

Karen,

Does the WalMart phone do your long distance to Canada? I haven't tried that with my Tracfone. Gee, I have 400 minutes that need to be used before August. Our Tracfone does not have roaming, it seems to work wherever there is a cell tower. We carry a prepaid phone card that we used for calling Norway when we traveled with friends. Before we got the Tracfone we used the calling card all the time when traveling. Much nicer to use the cell.

Nancy
Nancy - I'm not sure about covering my calls to Canada. I sort of don't think so. But, if the family can call me; and I can text them; and I can phone ahead for camp reservations, that will be enough. When I go to the States to buy the phone, I'll post again.
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Old 07-03-2010, 03:48 AM   #26
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And, remember that (at least) here in the States, most of the McDonald's locations now have free Wi-Fi. And I think the Burger King is starting to respond by adding it too.
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Old 07-03-2010, 08:16 AM   #27
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Thanks for this important info!! I never need a reason to go to BK, as they're my favourite on the road burger. Now I have even more incentive.

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And, remember that (at least) here in the States, most of the McDonald's locations now have free Wi-Fi. And I think the Burger King is starting to respond by adding it too.
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Old 07-03-2010, 09:12 AM   #28
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I was just at Walmart and they have several pay as you go Broadband Cards.
No contracts at all.
Maybe worth a look?

Also on a little more crazy note....I have recently gotten a Magic Jack to use as a phone line when I am working on construction sites and they have no phone service but I need service.

I have not tried this yet with my MiFi device but if it works it would be another option to have just one wireless device to do both functions.
For $20.00 a year they give you a phone number in any area code you want and the call quality is amazingly good.
You get VoiceMail and forwarding too.

I really like it so far and if it will work with the MiFi it would be a bonus.

Ed
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