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Clay L

Palisade CO

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Posted: 11/17/11 09:25am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

TubaPete wrote:

You can get a wireless modem for Verizon and others at places like Walmart that you can then set up as a pay as you go plan. In the case of Verizon you can't do it at their store, they only will offer the full plan. But you can get pay as you go at Walmart. It is pricey but if you only use it for a few weeks a year like we do, it may work out.


Verizon offers prepaid data plans at their company stores. The Verizon resellers don't as far as I know.


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Matt_Colie

Southeast Michigan

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Posted: 11/17/11 09:37am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

loggenrock wrote:

Hi gang - we part-time in our rig - trips of 3 to 5 weeks at a time a couple times a year... I am looking for a cost-effective (read: cheap!) solution to internet on the road. Right now I depend on WiFi hotspots at campgrounds, McD's, etc. and my laptop - am wondering if there are any pay-as-you-go smart-type phones/hotspots/etc. We just have "dumb" cellphones - data rates are too high if I change plans/tether. Can I get a "disposable" cellphone at WalMart that would allow me to use it as a hotspot for the month-at-a-time trips we do? Any ideas appreciated! ST

Loggenrock,

You don't say who your carrier is for the phones you have. If it is Verizon, you are in luck. Almost any Verizon Data Capable handset can be tethered to a computer. So, do what I did for years.

Get a Data Capable handset that can be tied to Verizon.
Get the data cable for the above phone.
Change to that handset, and buy the data plan (this is temporary). (~30$us/mo).
When you at the Verizon store changing handsets, get the VZ Access disk.
When you get home connect the handset to your laptop and then load VZAccess make sure it connects to the laptop. Surf for a few minutes and download and send some e-mail. If it doesn't work now, you have time to call V for support.

Two days before departure call Verizon support and get the Data Plan enabled. While you are on the phone, connect the laptop of the web and get your e-mail just to confirm that it is working.

Verizon has the very best data coverage, but if you are planning to go places with less than terrific coverage, you might consider a cellphone repeater (booster). It is also good to be ready to use free WiFi as a fill. I only needed that for large files and a very few places that the data service wasn't very good.

Matt


When you get home, call Verizon again and turn it off.

I did this for years before I switched to a smartphone and EZ-tether only because I mu work required that I get e-mail on the fly.

Matt


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


Lorne&Lorraine

Ottawa, ON

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Posted: 11/17/11 10:52am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Fizz wrote:

Davydd wrote:

I have the VirginMobile Broadband2Go and am giving up on it. Coverage is horrendous. We drove 19,000 miles, 26 states over 100 days this year and used it but once. The rest of the time, SE Arizona, Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia, Florida and northern Minnesota mostly it was next to useless. If you are going to use a mobile hotspot, VerizonWireless is the number one way to go and AT&T second.

Check your planned and favorite destinations and coverage before choosing a mobile hotspot device and plan. Sprint (w/ VirginMobile) and T-Mobile might be OK where you live stationary but are not good RV solutions, IMO.


Must be something wrong with your setup. We criss-crossed the States from NE to SW twice and had coverage all the way to AZ as soon as we crossed the border.

Our Virgin Broadband2Go worked great all over Florida two years ago. But we were very disappointed with it last winter during our trip from the NE to SW. We would be well within the Virgin coverage areas with full signal strength bars and very often still only get dial-up data speeds. If it doesn't work any better this winter in Florida, we will be looking at an alternative. Others have reported the same experience. We really like the concept but it has to deliver in practice!

Broadband2Go


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CactusJohn

Scottsdale, AZ

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Posted: 11/17/11 01:28pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If you’re a part time RVer, Verizon’s Hotspot feature is worth considering. The Hotspot turns an iPhone and certain other smartphones into a portable wireless router that can share its internet connection with up to five other devices. I’ve found the service amazingly fast, and I’ve traveled all over the country and have always had service.

The Hotspot feature costs $20 per billing cycle, but you only pay a prorated amount for the days that you have the feature active. If you don’t turn it on at all during a billing cycle, it costs nothing. Also, you can turn it on and off as often as you want from the My Verizon app or web page.

There’s no activation fee and the time you’re connected doesn’t count against your regular plan’s minutes. You are restricted to 2GB of data per month (prorated to the number of days of use). That’s should be enough data unless you watch a lot of video. So far, I haven’t exceeded that amount. (You can monitor your Hotspot usage via the My Verizon app or web page.)

If you don’t have an iPhone, Verizon also has a Mobile Broadband Connect tethering feature, which uses a USB cord to connect your phone and laptop. It also has the prorated billing like the Hotspot feature. That’s what I used before I got an iPhone.


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TubaPete

Comstock Park, MI

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Posted: 11/17/11 06:07pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Clay L wrote:

TubaPete wrote:

You can get a wireless modem for Verizon and others at places like Walmart that you can then set up as a pay as you go plan. In the case of Verizon you can't do it at their store, they only will offer the full plan. But you can get pay as you go at Walmart. It is pricey but if you only use it for a few weeks a year like we do, it may work out.


Verizon offers prepaid data plans at their company stores. The Verizon resellers don't as far as I know.


OK, Maybe I got it turned around. What I actually did was buy the modem on ebay then call Verizon Customer Service.It took a little while and I had to get an account seperate from my cell phones but it got me internet access.


Tuba Pete

JimBollman

Lost State of Franklin

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Posted: 11/17/11 06:24pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have used a Verizon MiFi pay as you go for the last 1.5 years and it worked fine but having to pay for a week or a month when I need a few days or a week and half got to be expensive. Then you have the problem that sometimes you only need a small amount of data and other a bit more. Go a little over and it shuts down and you need to buy another week or months worth.

Just this week I bought a TrueConnect MiFi. $89 up front for MiFI and $5/month, you then pay 3.9 cents per MegByte. So now it will cost me $60/ year to have WiFi when ever I need it and I will pay less than if I used all the data that I was getting from Verizon each month or week (per MB) so I think in the long run I will have more use of the device since I would not activate the Verizon for a day or so of use and twice had to pay for another big chunk of date when we didn't need that much more.

The down side is it runs on the Sprint network that doesn't have as much coverage but it does cover most of the areas we go. If I know we will be in a Verizon only area for an extended time I still have the old MiFi that I can reactivate.

TrueConnect has a very good website that you can see exactly what you are spending and on which session so you can identify activities that are data hogs. You put $10 in an account and they add another $10 when you drop below $2 so you don't have a lot tied up. They say you can toggle the service on and off and even save the $5 but I haven't looked into that.

Jim...

loggenrock

New Hampshire

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Posted: 11/17/11 08:35pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hi all! Thanks for all the input so far! My current carrier is Verizon, but we don't have smart-type phones. We have Motorola Razrs - which work very well for us. The Sprint network has VERY limited coverage in northern New England, so I'd prefer to stay away from that. Are Razrs capable of tethering to my laptop (Both the phones and laptop have bluetooth - can they connect that way?)? Still wondering if I can get a pay-as-you-go smart-type phone that I could use just for that purpose? ST


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Posted: 11/17/11 10:30pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

loggenrock wrote:

Hi all! Thanks for all the input so far! My current carrier is Verizon, but we don't have smart-type phones. We have Motorola Razrs - which work very well for us. The Sprint network has VERY limited coverage in northern New England, so I'd prefer to stay away from that. Are Razrs capable of tethering to my laptop (Both the phones and laptop have bluetooth - can they connect that way?)? Still wondering if I can get a pay-as-you-go smart-type phone that I could use just for that purpose? ST


It has been awhile since I had Verizon as my carrier, but when I did I bought a cable for my phone that had a usb plug on the end that connected to my computer and with software that Verizon provided I was able to use the phone as a modem. It would dial into a number at Verizon and connect the internet to my computer. The package from Verizon was called the "Mobile Office Kit". I paid no monthly fees - just minutes used on the phone call to connect (connect on weekends of after 9pm and it was free). The connection was not fast but it could load webpages and it could get email. This is all before there were smartphones and Verizon may not do this anymore, but it was great. I suspect that this would still work. You could check with Verizon - ask someone over the age of 35 - as the kids behind the counter will have no idea what "dial up" is.


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traveling_tech

Montana

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Posted: 12/03/11 10:24pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

JimBollman wrote:

I have used a Verizon MiFi pay as you go for the last 1.5 years and it worked fine but having to pay for a week or a month when I need a few days or a week and half got to be expensive. Then you have the problem that sometimes you only need a small amount of data and other a bit more. Go a little over and it shuts down and you need to buy another week or months worth.

Just this week I bought a TrueConnect MiFi. $89 up front for MiFI and $5/month, you then pay 3.9 cents per MegByte. So now it will cost me $60/ year to have WiFi when ever I need it and I will pay less than if I used all the data that I was getting from Verizon each month or week (per MB) so I think in the long run I will have more use of the device since I would not activate the Verizon for a day or so of use and twice had to pay for another big chunk of date when we didn't need that much more.

The down side is it runs on the Sprint network that doesn't have as much coverage but it does cover most of the areas we go. If I know we will be in a Verizon only area for an extended time I still have the old MiFi that I can reactivate.

TrueConnect has a very good website that you can see exactly what you are spending and on which session so you can identify activities that are data hogs. You put $10 in an account and they add another $10 when you drop below $2 so you don't have a lot tied up. They say you can toggle the service on and off and even save the $5 but I haven't looked into that.

Jim...


Great, I have tried the same and have been trying something new that suits is perfectly. We use Datajack which has no contracts and has a cap per account per account of 5 GB per 30 days. The advantage of this is that are as follows: If we aren't RV'ing we don't have to be on a contract. When you reach 5 GB, you can have them stop your service, while starting the service on another USB modem. We have three of them and NEVER have a charge for using more than 5 GB/30 days.

The lowest rate is about $10/mo to a high of $49.95/mo. So if we want to use lots of data, we pay a low price for lots of data. When we aren't online via the Datajack USB modem we don't have to pay. To protect our credit card from identity theft, we use a prepaid VIA found at most chain drug stores at nominal cost over the face value. How do we get conenctivity? We can use a notebook PC or better yet we found two models of 3G USB hotspots at 1/2 price also on the net. Two of the discontinued models are very inexpensive and work well. They are the Cradlepoint CTR 350 and the Cradlepoint PHS 300. Both can be are found as "closeouts" and a Google search can show them as low as $29 each with a year warranty. The CTR 350 is a USB modem hotspot and also has an RJ 45 connector that makes your WAN (Wide Area 3G network) look just like the LAN connection on a router. A DHCP router is already built in. We like the close out prices and these are easy to use gadgets. The PHS 300 has its own Li-On battery inside and has no wired connections. It can handle up to 13 separate wireless devices such as notebook PC's (PC or Apple), smartphones, tablets or e-readers at the same time. We meet many people when we camp, because the SSID of our hotspot is on the side of my rig. Its sort of like the old CB channel 9, but instead people can use out mobile hotspot for free. We have a twitter account as well as email address, which are also announced. We hear about most good deals and other activities by just receiving twitter messages. Twitter is cheaper than SMS's and makes for lots of fun for my crew when I am driving. Feel free to ask me, and I will try to help answer any questions.

rabenfels

Colorado

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Posted: 12/08/11 12:02pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

travel tech: help me to understand, please. The "jack" folks have 3 different plans and one has to buy a modem from them. If you have 3 modems then you paid around $ 210.00 for them? The most expensive plan is for 5MG. How do you get below this number with the use of 3 modems? What plans do you have? And why do you need the other 2 routers? As you can tell I'm totally ignorant when it comes to this "stuff". Planning to travel a lot while still working. Can do my work as long as there is internet connection / mobile phone and am trying to find the best solution to combine pleasure with work while staying on a tight budget. Any help is most appreciated [emoticon]

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