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 > Internet Set Up for Full Timers Who Work on the Web

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TheCG

Kingwood

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Joined: 10/26/2011

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Posted: 02/27/12 08:08am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hello everyone,

My wife and I are getting ready to set out on a long term trip (1 year or more) and are needing information on the best set up for someone that will be in a rig for a while that makes their living on the web.

I am a web designer and she is a carrier broker for a trucking company so we both need good access for at least 3 or 4 hours a day.

It has been about 2 years since we did a long term trip and I feel sure things have improved since then with parks offering wifi and such. Just in case I am wrong, however, I would like as much information as possible on what set up we need to ensure we can make a living while on the road.

All ideas and recommendations are very much appreciated.

RRinNFla

Northeast Florida

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Joined: 07/11/2008

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Posted: 02/27/12 08:31am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

It depends on where you are going to be. If you are going into the boondocks, but still need to work, you probably need a sattelite connection like Hughes Net. If you will most likely be near good cell phone connections a 3G/4G hotspot from Verizon or ATT would be sufficient.

The advantage of building a solution around the hotspot is that when you can find it, free wi-fi would save you the data usage on your wireless plan.


Richard

2007 Keystone Cougar 291RLS
2008 Ford F250 V10 (Gas), EC, SB, 4X4


Sailbad

Bernardo, New Mexico or Quartzsite

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Posted: 02/27/12 09:06am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

RRinNFla wrote:

It depends on where you are going to be. If you are going into the boondocks, but still need to work, you probably need a sattelite connection like Hughes Net. If you will most likely be near good cell phone connections a 3G/4G hotspot from Verizon or ATT would be sufficient.

The advantage of building a solution around the hotspot is that when you can find it, free wi-fi would save you the data usage on your wireless plan.


I agree, being a fulltimer that spends a lot of time around small towns and out in the brush, If I had to have extended access I would go sattelite. Too many places here in the west have either 2G service or no service at all.


Dave C.
2005 Silverado 2500 CC
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2003 Wildcat 27RL
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Keep Your Powder Dry....This Ain't Gonna Be Fun


pianotuna

Regina, SK, Canada

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Posted: 02/27/12 08:31am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hi,

Millenicom has a 20 gig package with no contract that piggy backs on the Verizon network. It is the "best bang for the buck". They also have an offer on the Sprint side of the coin, so since you can probably write off these as a business expense I'd get both.

Add them to a cradlepoint router which will allow wifi as primary--and load balance them for better throughput.

Campground wifi may have improved--but the number of users is increasing dramatically. I'd not rely on it for "mission critical" (i.e. dollars in your pocket) connections.


Regards, Don
Full Time in a Kustom Koach Class C 28'5", 256 watts Unisolar, 875 amp hours in two battery banks 12 volt batteries, Magnum 3000 watt PSW inverter.

Matt_Colie

Southeast Michigan

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Posted: 02/27/12 10:23am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

This is what I wrote some time ago when I was explaining the options to a client. It isn't so old that anything has changed except the prices.

I have no trouble at all communicating even underway. But, first you have to decide how much it is worth to you.

If not very much is your answer, then you need to track the available free wifi. There is a lot available, not just MikeyD, Denny's, PizzaHunt, FJ, Pilot, but Many BK, all Panera and lots of others. If you are really interested in making this work, look up Alfa 036 on E-bay. These are Wifi adapters that are bags more capable than the one built into your laptop.

If you only need e-mail, stay with an old cell handset and find out how to use it as a DUN (Dial Up Network) access, but this requires that you have an account with an ISP that still has DUN capability.

If that does not appeal to you, and you have a data capable cell phone, they can usually be tethered to the laptop. Typical cost is 30$ a month, but it can be turned on and off as needed at the daily rate. This will get you 1X speed and pretty good coverage.

If you already own a smartphone, you can either use the hotspot app for 30+$/month or look up PDAnet or EasyTether that you buy once and use the smartphones data link for no additional cost. Will get you 3G service in a lot of of the country if you are with Verizon.

**Added
Verizon, and maybe others, have a 3/4G device available that creates a multi-user hotspot. Both the Hotspot app for a smartphone and the Verizon Mifi box will serve up to five separate clients.

If you really need a lot of capability, then go with one of the USB data cards. These aren't cheap, but where 4G is available, they are fast. There are people that have 4G available dropping their cable modem for this. It is as fast and cost competitive.
**Added
The data cards can also be plug into a USB input WAP device like those made by Cradlepoint. I'm not sure if this is any advantage over the Mifi box, the plan is the same cost (afak), but there may be flexibility and and speed issues that I am not aware of.

If you plan to be places that there is nothing, or very nearly so, then satellite may be you best answer. This is not simple to use or inexpensive to set up. It is fast and will have good availability as long as you can see the sky.

I stopped at the smartphone line, but have set up all of the last for others. I still run Wifi sometimes when I need the phone free and it is available.

Now all you have to decide is how much money can/want to spend for internet access.

Matt


Matt & Mary Colie
A sailor, his bride and their black dog going to see some dry places that have Geocaches in a coach made the year we married.


TheCG

Kingwood

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Posted: 02/27/12 09:32am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

pianotuna wrote:

Hi,

Millenicom has a 20 gig package with no contract that piggy backs on the Verizon network. It is the "best bang for the buck". They also have an offer on the Sprint side of the coin, so since you can probably write off these as a business expense I'd get both.

Add them to a cradlepoint router which will allow wifi as primary--and load balance them for better throughput.

Campground wifi may have improved--but the number of users is increasing dramatically. I'd not rely on it for "mission critical" (i.e. dollars in your pocket) connections.



This sounds like something that might work fine.

I see that they offer the cradlepoint routers on their site. Which one would be best for our situation? The prices vary greatly.

Obviously we need the fastest connection we can get and there will be 2 computers on the connection.

Thanks again for everyone's input. It will be hard to give up my cable 30 MB connection for sure.

pianotuna

Regina, SK, Canada

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Posted: 02/27/12 10:27am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hi,

Look for a router that does what you need. I.E. wifi *and* balanced connections. I'm not current on the Cradlepoint offerings at this time.

Call the 3G store and ask them, or surf to their site.

TheCG wrote:

This sounds like something that might work fine.

I see that they offer the cradlepoint routers on their site. Which one would be best for our situation? The prices vary greatly.


bobmacc

Ontario

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Posted: 02/27/12 01:25pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I recently purchased a Cradlepoint CTR35. I just plug my Virgin Mobile BB2Go USB stick into it and I have an access point/hotspot. I also use it at home as a repeater for my home router. The CRT35 fits in your shirt pocket and is powered by 12volts. If you choose to go this route, check the Cradlepoint web site for carrier USB modems that have been tested with their routers. The list is extensive and growing. Router was $70 and is their simplest unit but great in an RV.
Bob

TheCG

Kingwood

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Posted: 02/27/12 01:21pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

gotsmart wrote:

To the OP,

There's a good chance that between the two of you, you both could possibly exceed the capped data limit of a data plan (assuming you both used the same MiFi). With you being a web designer, I can see you easily burning through a 5GB data plan - just by yourself. If you're doing some heavy duty website work, your publishing uploads alone might put you over a 10GB data plan.

You need to have an idea of your data usage per billng cycle. If your currently in a house that has broadband or DSL internet, does the provider have metering software that you can download or show you near real-time data usage by logging into your account with them?

I assume that you would want something that can be expensed for work. Pick a wireless company and also call their small business accounts reps to see what kind of wireless data plan solutions they may have that might serve your needs and data usage better than an individual plan.



Millenicom has an unlimited plan for $69.99 a month. I called my cable internet provider and they say we average a little over 25GB per month right now. I can see that increasing some as my business grows but my wife's is pretty much where it will be so no more usage there.

Millenicom says on their unlimited that anything over 50 GB per month will be looked at by their "investigative team"...lol

My main concerns now are what kinds of speed we will get from this service and which router we need.

Any ideas?

gotsmart

Aberdeen, WA

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Joined: 02/20/2012

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Good Sam RV Club Member


Posted: 02/27/12 01:03pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

To the OP,

There's a good chance that between the two of you, you both could possibly exceed the capped data limit of a data plan (assuming you both used the same MiFi). With you being a web designer, I can see you easily burning through a 5GB data plan - just by yourself. If you're doing some heavy duty website work, your publishing uploads alone might put you over a 10GB data plan.

You need to have an idea of your data usage per billng cycle. If your currently in a house that has broadband or DSL internet, does the provider have metering software that you can download or show you near real-time data usage by logging into your account with them?

I assume that you would want something that can be expensed for work. Pick a wireless company and also call their small business accounts reps to see what kind of wireless data plan solutions they may have that might serve your needs and data usage better than an individual plan.


2005 Cruise America 28R (Four Winds 28R) on a 2004 Ford E450 SD 6.8L V10 4R100
2009 smart fortwo Passion with Roadmaster "Falcon 2" towbar & tail light kit - pictures

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