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Old 07-30-2009, 06:40 PM   #1
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As more people are traveling with laptops how do you connect? If wifi, do you use an antenna and if so what kind?

I have looked at them online and talked to salemen in stores. I would like to hear from RV people that have use them. Also what do you think about wifi?
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Old 07-30-2009, 07:01 PM   #2
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As more people are traveling with laptops how do you connect? If wifi, do you use an antenna and if so what kind?

I have looked at them online and talked to salemen in stores. I would like to hear from RV people that have use them. Also what do you think about wifi?
We travel with ours all the time but only use wifi if its available at the campgrounds, If the wifi doesn't work as many don't, I just don't get worked up about it. If the antenna's for wifi are as bad as the tv antenna's I want nothing to do with them. Many folk use their cell phones for power but I find I'm just as satisfied with waiting till I find a hot spot. I'm writing this sitting in my camper from a campground in Intercourse, Pa. and have as much power as I do at home and my laptop is old enough to vote
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Old 07-30-2009, 07:20 PM   #3
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This is the one we use, we can get just over a 1/4 mile with it on both laptops. But I had to add a ext. ant. plug to the laptop and we share the connection.

http://www.hawkingtech.com/products/produc...&ProdID=152

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Old 07-30-2009, 07:43 PM   #4
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Both AT&T and Verizon have internet service through air cards, which are essentially cell phones for your laptop. We use an AT&T air card both at home and on the road, it is our only internet service and very convenient. I've been known to go on line while my husband is driving to check email, look up some place we are going or trying to find, etc. Where ever a cell phone works the air card will work. The service maps on AT&T web site show service areas, but I have found it to be broader, been pleasantly surprised at some of the remote places I have been able to go on line. It is $60 a month, pricy if you are paying for a different service at home.

Another option: there is a great web site that shows free WiFi spots listed by state and communities, WiFi Hot Spots

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Old 07-30-2009, 08:27 PM   #5
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We have Verizon and tether our computer to our cell phone with the phone acting as a modem using my Broadband phone connection with an additional charge for tethering. It is faster than the wireless of our current campground. We have a Centro phone, but Verizon will handle others. They provide software but primarily for PCs. Since we use a Mac, we bought USBModem, as Verizon only has software for 1 phone that works with Macs.

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Old 07-30-2009, 08:41 PM   #6
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Yes we also use Alltel broadband (from Verizon) but speed is almost always faster with wifi. 3G broadband is low bandwith. With most RV parks or hotspots I can always get over 1.5mb.
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Old 07-30-2009, 08:44 PM   #7
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We travel with ours all the time but only use wifi if its available at the campgrounds, If the wifi doesn't work as many don't, I just don't get worked up about it. If the antenna's for wifi are as bad as the tv antenna's I want nothing to do with them. Many folk use their cell phones for power but I find I'm just as satisfied with waiting till I find a hot spot. I'm writing this sitting in my camper from a campground in Intercourse, Pa. and have as much power as I do at home and my laptop is old enough to vote

Hey Bill and others, things have improved over the last 20 years! We're traveling now in central valley California and I am pleasantly surprised how good the new digital TV signals are just picked up with our RV antenna. Of course we have a new LCD 22" LG TV with a digital tuner but hey, it's darn close to HD QUALITY, or perhaps it is, just with our trailer antenna! We can get about 7 or 8 channels as is.

This is being typed with a MAC at a wifi hotspot, fantastic signal...no charge...

My suggestion to anyone thinking about buying internet access through a card or mobile modem...forget it. There are too many good hotspots to choose from for free and loads of good information on where to find them.

As for the tv, we haven't been hooked up to a cable source for a week now and we have had great reception every night in different places.

Happy trails...
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Old 07-30-2009, 09:09 PM   #8
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Hi Pat,

Not sure exactly what your question is. Do you want to use your current laptop, or buy a new one.

I got tired of hauling Fred's heavy laptop into cafes and libraries when we travel (I only use free wifi spots) so bought myself an Aspire one D250-1042 10.1 in screen at WalMart. I really like my little toy. Doesn't have a disc drive but when we want that for something we get out Fred's larger laptop. Now I have mine and he has his.

We don't use any antenna/phone service, etc. If we can't find a coffee shop, eating place or library we just don't use the network.

Surprising how many places offer wifi to customers. Also surprising how many places still don't have it around. We didn't stumble on any in Bayfield this summer. The one I thought I knew about was gone.

Depends on what your wants are. We are happy to log on every couple of days to check our mail. Would be very nice to have expensive system where I could log on while on the road, but that won't happen.

Nancy
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Old 07-30-2009, 09:43 PM   #9
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Quote:
how do you connect? If wifi, do you use an antenna?
[b]Also what do you think about wifi?
We generally camp at KOA's - most of whom provide a secure wireless connection, that you have to get a log-on code from the receptionist at check-in. No additional antenna needed.

If you're risking logging onto an unsecure hotspot, keep your anti-virus and anti-spybot software up to date, and manually scan after each use!
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Old 07-30-2009, 09:47 PM   #10
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A friend of mine has a WIFI booster. He plugs in and sets it on the hood of his truck. He was getting a decent signal from a central location over 100 yards away with other buildings in the mix. I do not know the brand but it seems like an idea if you are in a campground with poor WIFI signals.

That said, we have been pretty lucky and able to receive signals most of the time with a couple of exceptions. I do not want the expense of the cell approach (although I do have the capability on my phone) so like some of the others, I search out free spots or campgrounds with WIFI service.

BTW, We do not bring a TV. I have the WINTV converter for my laptop. It works well with cable. I have had minimal luck getting a air signal but I have not tried it since we went all digital.

Dave
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Old 07-30-2009, 10:33 PM   #11
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We generally camp at KOA's - most of whom provide a secure wireless connection, that you have to get a log-on code from the receptionist at check-in. No additional antenna needed.

If you're risking logging onto an unsecure hotspot, keep your anti-virus and anti-spybot software up to date, and manually scan after each use!

We just bought a laptop to go with our egg and that is my question, what about viruses? Our son has a laptop that has a program that returns the computer to its original configuration whenever he shuts it down. Do we extend our home internet service to cover the LT?
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Old 07-31-2009, 06:39 AM   #12
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I read the ads for antennas. They told how bad the wifi signal was in camp grounds. Also some of the camping magazines told the same story. I live in rural America, cell phones signal is weak here. Dial-up is our only choice and it is slow. I just got a laptop this month. I thought I would ask people that travel like we do. I wonder if some of those powerful antennas they are trying to sell could damage the computer.

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Old 07-31-2009, 07:49 AM   #13
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Hi Pat, I doubt a booster antenna could damage your laptop, but an expert could chime in here.

As for poor signals at campgrounds, when you check in ask where the wireless access point is located and if your site is within 200 feet or so you should be ok, if you find you are still getting a spotty signal take your laptop closer to the source, maybe a bench outside the check in office or something like that.

If the campground is so sophisticated that it has a wifi cloud setup the signal should be good throughout the campground.

Wifi access is not as scarce as it was say a year or so ago. More and more retailers, coffee shops and even rest areas in some states offer free access.

1. If you are not using a MAC keep your virus protection up to date.
2. If it isn't necessary do not access your money admin sites (like banking) on an unsecured network.
3. Confirm with your camphost the name of the network you will be accessing and only use that network.
4. Be sure to check in with fiberglassrv whenever possible!

You can start here:

http://www.wififreespot.com/
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Old 07-31-2009, 08:04 AM   #14
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My cell phone works as a WI-FI modem with Verizon even on the Pine Ridge Reservation where we camp once a year. It only costs 15 dollars a month more than the Internet charge on my phone and permits me to run Internet almost wherever I am including riding in the van as the hubby is driving.

It is frankly faster than the wireless signal at the campground I am currently staying at. And I am getting charged an additional fee for this slow wireless!

It permitted me to post my grades at the last campground that did not have WI-FI at all.

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Old 07-31-2009, 09:26 AM   #15
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I make my living from installing and setting up WiFi for small business and I can tell you that most laptop you buy at a retail store are not set up for outdoor or RV park use. Unless you have them setup for that (they come setup for use in your home). If you want a good fast and strong signal you should go with a Ext. device with 370mw or more power. With my 1/2 watt card and Ext. Ant. I can get about 1 mile at 11mb. Most cards in laptops from retail stores have about 230mw (or less) of power and Business class laptops have up to 320mw or more. So if you want more power from your laptop wifi get a good ext card and I don't mean a $39 card from walmart.
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Old 07-31-2009, 09:41 AM   #16
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Most campgrounds that have wifi are open wifi's and not secure so we don't pay bills online here or go into any financial thingys on them. You can download free antivirus programs that actually work, we use AVG Anti-Virus Free and we've had it for 4 years with no problems at all.
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Old 07-31-2009, 10:41 AM   #17
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Hi Pat,

Do you know how to turn on the wifi on your new laptop so you can search for a signal?

Fred had to show me what to do on both of ours, they are both different.

Get out the manual if you don't know how to do this.

Take your laptop to a place that has free wifi and try it out. We have Caribou Coffee, library, several restaurants.

When we are in Duluth I much prefer to go have coffee or lunch and have free fast wifi over my dial up in Duluth. I try to time my visits to their non busy hours so I don't take up space while surfing the web.

I'll never spend money for a boost antena. I just remembered in Bayfield Fred could not get on at our campsite but did at Pat's. We will probably just walk to the stronger signal. We do not want to be married to the computer in a campground. When traveling we just check in for email every couple of days. Different needs for different people.

Nancy
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Old 07-31-2009, 11:12 AM   #18
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I am usually successful in connecting to campground and other wifi hotspots with the wifi receiver built into my Asus Eee netbook. However, if I am on the fringe of a campground and get a weak or no signal, then I plug in an external USB wifi adapter with an adjustable antenna. (Or move outside or nearer the source antenna.) The one I use (Airlink 101) appears to not be available anymore, but it is similar to this one: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16833130111

If I were you, I would get familiar with the operation of both the internal and any external receiver before leaving on your trip. I see Barnes&Noble now offers free WiFi, if you don't have wifi at your home.

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As more people are traveling with laptops how do you connect? If wifi, do you use an antenna and if so what kind?

I have looked at them online and talked to salemen in stores. I would like to hear from RV people that have use them. Also what do you think about wifi?
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Old 08-01-2009, 08:51 PM   #19
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I make my living from installing and setting up WiFi for small business and I can tell you that most laptop you buy at a retail store are not set up for outdoor or RV park use.

What!!!
Retail store!!! Where else would most people purchase a laptop??

Seems to me WiFi is WiFi. Whether you are at home, outdoors or camping.

I have had my laptop for 3 years now and it works perfectly fine in the Outdoors and RV parks. If the WiFi signal isn't strong enough I move closer to the source, but rarely have to.
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Old 08-01-2009, 10:51 PM   #20
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I've used this one for two years now with good success.
http://www.radiolabs.com/products/wireless/waverv2.php
I work on the road every July when we go out in the Scamp for a month.
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