I am a medical transcriptionist, and trying to decide what to use for internet access while RVing. Does anyone else work from their RV on the internet, and if so what do you use? I download audio files, and then upload them plus upload data files. From what I understand satellite is very slow, not to mention extemely expensive to set up, and I'm not entirely sure of the download/upload speed of a MiFi or AirCard. I would appreciate any and all advice please.
The MiFi or AirCard access speed depends almost entirely on location, plus which carrier you choose and what service they offer where you are. For example, if you'll be in one of the areas offering 4G service, you'll find the speeds to be very good. In a 3G area (which is most of the places), the speeds can be good, or they can be slow. On my Verizon service, I generally get download speeds upwards of 500kbs, and usually more like 1mbs. Upload speeds are usually about 10% of download speeds.
Verizon generally has the best coverage area in the US, but what's important is where you intend to use it. Check their website for the current 3G and 4G coverage maps.
And if your dream is to be parked in the middle of nowhere, you may not get a Verizon signal, in which case Satellite will be your only option - and it can be slow. I do understand though, that as more and more folks are switching from satellite, the congestion is less and speeds are up. We put our satellite service on "standby" 2 years ago because Verizon was less expensive and almost always offered better service.
Hope that helps some . . .
Fulltiming since Apr 2007 in 2000 Rexhall Aerbus, towing 2012 Honda CRV. 44 of the lower 48 so far.
I'd recommend an air card.....you have a bit more control over it. Wi-Fi is OK, but what if a dozen other people all of a sudden decide to go on-line, you'll see your computer performance drop.
The fact that you are doing Medical Transcription would also have me thinking of the HIPA (?) Laws, and if private medical information should be running through a Wi-Fi system that you can't control.
This is your career, so I'd invest in the air card...you can probably deduct the costs from your taxes anyway.
Satellite may be a bit faster, but now that there is 4G, I don't know if it's worth it.....UNLESS, you are planning to do this work out in the boonies, and you won't get cell reception...which means no Aircard reception either. The satellite, you can theoretically, get anywhere (unless that signal is blocked by trees, etc.)
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Using cellular Mifi is going to be the most convenient, but has data limits. You say you'll be downloading and uploading files. Will 5gb or 10gb per month be enough data for your needs, including work and personal use? Verizon offers 10gb for $80/mo then $10/gb beyond that, so usage charges can skyrocket for heavy users.
Depending where you are staying, CG wifi may, or may not be an option. Performance varies widely from place to place.
We have a setup that uses a WifiRanger and a Verizon Mifi. The WifiRanger has the ability to connect either through the mifi or another available wifi connection, like at a CG. You can configure it to connect based on your preferences, or connect manually with it. It will also fail over to one connection should your main preference go offline or experience connectivity problems.
If you prefer, instead of the mifi, you can also plug an aircard directly into the WifiRanger and still have it select from either available wifi or the aircard.
This usually makes it easy for me to stay within my Verizon data cap. I can use whatever available wifi I find for less critical data and switch to the mifi when I need speed and a solid connection.
Verizon does offer the best coverage off the beaten path, but near metro areas or along the interstate highways system, most any of the major carriers will work well. If you are in a 4G service area, you'll marvel at how fast 4G is.
Paul & Sandra
New Bedford, MA
2003 Monaco Executive M43 DS2
In my previous life I worked for Dictaphone and Nuance, both times providing tech support for remote MTs. As others have stated, your mileage will vary depending on location if you go with air card or mifi. I would think you'd be OK in a 4G area but then you have to worry about hitting your data limits. I assume there will be other Internet usage besides your transcription.
I worked one summer at a KOA in NY state and one of the other workampers also did MT work at night. They were able to get cable internet at their site for the season.
If you're only transcribing for 1 company, ask what their minimum connection requirements are. That could make a huge difference if you have problems.
Joe and Dakota, the wacko cat
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