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Author Topic: WiFi  (Read 4457 times)

Free Spirit

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WiFi
« on: August 03, 2016, 07:20:43 AM »
Is it safe to assume that pretty much all RV campgrounds, both public and private, offer free WiFi. Obviously, we wouldn't expect WiFi in primitive areas.

WiFi is important to us as it is our primary source of news and TV.
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OBX

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Re: WiFi
« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2016, 07:30:46 AM »
I would say no.  Wifi is not always offered and when it is advertised it still is not always working.  Public (state&federal campgrounds) may be virtually nonexistent.  My daughters will attest to this. 

Cell coverage can also be very limited in places and cellular based Internet connectivity even more limited.  We recently traveled to some high volume tourist destinations across the country and were surprised at the lack of connectivity.  I didn't mind but was surprised.  Finally, don't expect universal cell coverage if you are driving cross country, it is common to have no coverage or emergency 911 only. 
« Last Edit: August 03, 2016, 09:30:30 AM by OBX »

Moebius

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Re: WiFi
« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2016, 07:39:11 AM »
You should not count on the WiFi at campgrounds. For example, we stayed at a KOA this past weekend, checking in Friday around 1:00pm. I worked the rest of the afternoon and the WiFi was great, not super fast, but enough for me to do work effectively. Saturday came and the campground filled up. WiFi terrible. My AT&T cell data was faster with two signal dots on my iPhone, so I used that for the rest of the weekend.
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Dance Chick

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Re: WiFi
« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2016, 07:45:24 AM »
We are from FL and are on our way to Bar Harbor ME. We routed through Charlottesville VA, a state park in the Poconos, and then up the east coast once we got to CT. We are leaving MA today and will be in ME. I have been surprised at how good the WiFi has been this trip for the cgs that offer WiFi. The 2 state parks we stayed at didn't have it along with one cg in Rhode Island. In that case we used our Verizon hotspot. All of the other cgs have had very good to excellent WiFi. We've not found that to be true on other trips, but I did notice last summer that it seemed to be getting better, so wondered if the cgs were taking note and trying to upgrade. Prior to that, most, but not all, WiFi we had encountered was bad. As noted, not all cgs offer it either. I look for it and usually won't stay where it's not offered unless I have no other choice. Again, just because it's offered is no guarantee it works well.

I would say that if you absolutely need to depend on cg WiFi, then you're probably going to be disappointed. It's best to have your own back up to use.
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UTTransplant

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Re: WiFi
« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2016, 08:08:06 AM »
I have never found a public campground with wifi. Doesn't mean they aren't there, but I haven't ever been in one (and we prefer public campgrounds to private). Even in private campgrounds that advertise wifi, we very seldom get a good enough signal to be useful for anything more than slow email. We use the data on our phones for our internet access. For example, we got back from a 2 1/2 week trip through Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho. It was pretty much evenly divided between public and private parks. We had decent campground wifi 2 days, both at one specific private campground in Idaho. All the private parks advertised wifi, but they were essentially worthless due to speed and signal quality.
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Ernie n Tara

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Re: WiFi
« Reply #5 on: August 03, 2016, 08:12:35 AM »
Nothing approaching TV speeds is likely, not only with the park WiFi, but your own cellular if you get that will be too costly to use for much TV caliber video.

Ernie
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John From Detroit

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Re: WiFi
« Reply #6 on: August 03, 2016, 09:23:48 AM »
using Wi-Fi for TV takes a LOT of bandwidth, Few parks have enough for everyone to do that so please do not.

And no, most public campgrounds (State/Federal/County/City) do not offer Wi-Fi.. Bring your own bandwidth please (Cellular internet)  Most private parks I have visited DO offere wi-fi.. They just upgraded here.
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legrandnormand

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Re: WiFi
« Reply #7 on: August 03, 2016, 09:53:14 AM »
Is it safe to assume that pretty much all RV campgrounds, both public and private, offer free WiFi. Obviously, we wouldn't expect WiFi in primitive areas.

WiFi is important to us as it is our primary source of news and TV.


No wonder that campings are now charging for WI-FI since some people like you watch TV on it ! :(
WI-FI is to get your e-mails and to answer them and to read newspapers ... NOT TO WATCH TV>:(
Buy yourself a satellite dish if you want watch your tv programs !
« Last Edit: August 03, 2016, 09:56:17 AM by legrandnormand »
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scottydl

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Re: WiFi
« Reply #8 on: August 03, 2016, 11:00:29 AM »
Is it safe to assume that pretty much all RV campgrounds, both public and private, offer free WiFi. Obviously, we wouldn't expect WiFi in primitive areas.

Not really, especially not wifi that is reliable enough for streaming and likely not at public campgrounds.  They often cost less, and may not have the equipment and expertise to install/maintain wifi networks over a larger geographical area (compared to a smaller private campground/lot).

Improved campground wifi will probably become more common as customers demand/expect it, but it'll probably be a slow transition.

WI-FI is to get your e-mails and to answer them and to read newspapers ... NOT TO WATCH TV>:(

This is becoming less and less the case with today's advancing technology.  A large majority of TV programming now is aimed at the broadband/streaming internet market.  Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, and even YouTube are taking over the TV markets... not just old movies and video clips anymore.  In fact, Amazon Prime and occasional Netflix is all we have at home for TV now, plus the free over-the-air HD antenna networks (which often don't come in that well).  We haven't paid for heavily-commercialized satellite TV for many years.

Although we are used to "doing without" our online shows when camping, I can see how many folks accustomed to streaming TV (and new to RVing) may assume that it's a commonly-available service at campgrounds.
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legrandnormand

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Re: WiFi
« Reply #9 on: August 03, 2016, 01:56:38 PM »
Not really, especially not wifi that is reliable enough for streaming and likely not at public campgrounds.  They often cost less, and may not have the equipment and expertise to install/maintain wifi networks over a larger geographical area (compared to a smaller private campground/lot).

Improved campground wifi will probably become more common as customers demand/expect it, but it'll probably be a slow transition.

This is becoming less and less the case with today's advancing technology.  A large majority of TV programming now is aimed at the broadband/streaming internet market.  Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, and even YouTube are taking over the TV markets... not just old movies and video clips anymore.  In fact, Amazon Prime and occasional Netflix is all we have at home for TV now, plus the free over-the-air HD antenna networks (which often don't come in that well).  We haven't paid for heavily-commercialized satellite TV for many years.

Although we are used to "doing without" our online shows when camping, I can see how many folks accustomed to streaming TV (and new to RVing) may assume that it's a commonly-available service at campgrounds.
I also watch some Netflix and Youtube with my internet service that I pay for... but not on a free public WI-FI that is given to all of us.
« Last Edit: August 03, 2016, 01:58:32 PM by legrandnormand »
Normand
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DickHutchings

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Re: WiFi
« Reply #10 on: August 03, 2016, 03:43:35 PM »
I was at a CG recently that had fantastic wifi. We watched movies on HULU with zero buffering and everyone at the CG was doing it as well. So there are some campgrounds that get it and I can only hope that more will follow. I wouldn't mind paying extra for this quality wifi either.
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UTTransplant

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Re: WiFi
« Reply #11 on: August 03, 2016, 03:53:56 PM »
At home we watch TV over the Internet frequently. Much, much more flexible than satellite or cable television. I would love to have that flexibility while camping, but it will take a long time before the infrastructure supports it in campgrounds.
Pam and Kevin plus Minou and Lily (the cats) plus Lexi (the grand-dog)
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8Muddypaws

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Re: WiFi
« Reply #12 on: August 03, 2016, 04:25:27 PM »
Unfortunately streaming is a high priority packet and hogs all the available bandwidth more often than not. There are several ways to prevent this.  When I see it becomming a problem in a park I talk to the manager and offer to show them how to lock it down.  It's quite easy to do and takes 15-30 minutes.

Several parks we've been in have installed active monitoring and bandwidth limitation on a per device basis.  Use too much and you get slowed down or cut off.  Good system.

I download programs I wish to watch using bandwidth I pay for and store it on a wireless media device we take with us.  No buffering problems, no blips, works anywhere there's power.  Actually it works in places where there isn't power for about 5-6 hours.

This is one of them :  https://www.amazon.com/SanDisk-SDWS2-064G-E57-Connect-Wireless-Smartphones/dp/B00H4BBWGY/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1470259323&sr=8-5&keywords=wireless+flash+drive&refinements=p_89%3ASanDisk
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docj

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Re: WiFi
« Reply #13 on: August 03, 2016, 06:24:51 PM »
I was at a CG recently that had fantastic wifi. We watched movies on HULU with zero buffering and everyone at the CG was doing it as well. So there are some campgrounds that get it and I can only hope that more will follow. I wouldn't mind paying extra for this quality wifi either.

There are some CG owners who are technology-oriented and we, also, have encountered a few parks like this.  They aren't yet the majority, but I'm sure they will become more numerous as owners realize that high speed internet can be a discriminator for their parks.  Creating wifi systems with non-interfering channels (so users don't conflict with each other) can be done, it just costs a bit more.  As owners recognize the importance their customers give to good high speed wifi more of them will implement systems like this.   The internet is a lot more than reading email these days and those owners who don't recognize that will be left in the dust.
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Tom

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Re: WiFi
« Reply #14 on: August 03, 2016, 06:35:23 PM »
This is funny. When this forum was in its infancy, we petitioned campgrounds to provide an online option alternative to borrowing the fax line at the CG office. Some of us used connections to cell phones and acoustic couplers. Nowadays, folks want to stream video (for free).
« Last Edit: August 04, 2016, 07:39:04 AM by Tom »
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Moebius

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Re: WiFi
« Reply #15 on: August 03, 2016, 07:21:56 PM »
There are some CG owners who are technology-oriented and we, also, have encountered a few parks like this.  They aren't yet the majority, but I'm sure they will become more numerous as owners realize that high speed internet can be a discriminator for their parks.  Creating wifi systems with non-interfering channels (so users don't conflict with each other) can be done, it just costs a bit more.  As owners recognize the importance their customers give to good high speed wifi more of them will implement systems like this.   The internet is a lot more than reading email these days and those owners who don't recognize that will be left in the dust.

I have looked into some campgrounds that have you fill out a form and mail a check for reservation, no credit cards accepted...in 2016. To say they most likely cater to a certain clientele is an understatement. It's going to be a terrible shock to them when their demographic is one that is more tech savvy in the future.
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Tom and Margi

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Re: WiFi
« Reply #16 on: August 03, 2016, 07:30:16 PM »
Well, when we were young, we hiked twenty miles through snow to get a signal.  Sometimes we crawled across the desert to get a signal.  Time marches on.  You "youngsters" will eventually find yourselves either out of the technological loop or fighting to understand what future youngsters are talking about.  Wish I could be around to watch and listen.  ;D ;D ;D   

Moebius

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Re: WiFi
« Reply #17 on: August 03, 2016, 07:33:55 PM »
Well, when we were young, we hiked twenty miles through snow to get a signal.  Sometimes we crawled across the desert to get a signal.  Time marches on.  You "youngsters" will eventually find yourselves either out of the technological loop or fighting to understand what future youngsters are talking about.  Wish I could be around to watch and listen.  ;D ;D ;D

I have been writing code since I was 13, I doubt I will ever be out of the loop when it comes to technology. ;)
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docj

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Re: WiFi
« Reply #18 on: August 03, 2016, 07:51:32 PM »
  You "youngsters" will eventually find yourselves either out of the technological loop or fighting to understand what future youngsters are talking about. 

I'm no youngster, for sure, but I have no intention of using my advanced age as an excuse for not staying as close to the cutting edge of technology as I can.   
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HappyWanderer

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Re: WiFi
« Reply #19 on: August 03, 2016, 08:01:16 PM »
I have looked into some campgrounds that have you fill out a form and mail a check for reservation, no credit cards accepted...in 2016. To say they most likely cater to a certain clientele is an understatement. It's going to be a terrible shock to them when their demographic is one that is more tech savvy in the future.

Credit cards carry fees that are not insignificant to a Mom & Pop operation. I think they are very much aware of their demographics and choose not to pass those costs onto their clientele. Heck, a couple of my favorite restaurants don't take cards.
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Ken & Sheila

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Re: WiFi
« Reply #20 on: August 03, 2016, 08:11:57 PM »
I always hated the acoustic couplers. I remember one night I needed to transmit an excel file back to the office and check email. Sitting on the railing on a campground office front porch using a pay phone and an acoustic coupler while getting bitten by mosquitoes. Took several tries to get a good enough connection. I was so happy when I could buy a Nokia cell phone with two different cables to attach to a pcmcia modem card to get my emails and transmit files and even download the old RV Forum when it was on Compuserve. Not fast (good only for text), but relatively reliable and down in the comfort of my RV.

Now I complain when I don't have a good 4g signal.

I almost always use my cell phone Hotspot rather the Campground WIFI. Just easier and probably more secure. I occasionally try out a CGs WIFI but invariably they are very slow, particularly in the evenings.

ken
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HappyWanderer

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Re: WiFi
« Reply #21 on: August 03, 2016, 08:21:16 PM »
... I was so happy when I could buy a Nokia cell phone with two different cables to attach to a pcmcia modem card...

I remember doing this to check weather radar on my laptop, because the sky looked real nasty. I was King of the Campground afterwards!
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Larry N.

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Re: WiFi
« Reply #22 on: August 03, 2016, 08:48:33 PM »
I have been writing code since I was 13, I doubt I will ever be out of the loop when it comes to technology. ;)

A lot of us thought that at your age...
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8Muddypaws

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Re: WiFi
« Reply #23 on: August 03, 2016, 11:00:28 PM »
Bwahahahahahahaha.
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Tom

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Re: WiFi
« Reply #24 on: August 04, 2016, 05:51:37 PM »
Also in the early days of this forum, when I made numerous trips to distant countries, before the days of the WWW and when hotel phones were really unfriendly...

I'd first have to hack into the phone system, which usually meant removing the headboard of the bed to access a junction box buried in the wall. Sometimes, I'd just use pins pushed into the phone wires and attach alligator clips.

Next, I'd have to (legally) hack into a network and hop across networks until I reached my required destination. Then I could fire up my forum software and get online to access The RV Forum and deal with email. Usually, this was after a day of business, followed by a business dinner and, later, karaoake, and a couple of hours on a train to get back to my hotel.

By the time I was done online, it was time to shower and head out for another day. I sometimes wouldn't get to bed for two weeks, and had to catch power naps on trains or planes, all in the name of supporting The RV Forum  ;)

Oh BTW, I'd have to wring the sweat out of my business suit when I got back to the hotel.
 
« Last Edit: August 04, 2016, 06:01:20 PM by Tom »
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RVingGuy

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Re: WiFi
« Reply #25 on: August 04, 2016, 05:53:18 PM »
This is our experience but YMMV.

1. Most GGs either don't have "free" WiFi or if they do, it is slow and spotty
2. We have paid for WiFi while in a CG to the tune of $20 per week and it was good.
3. Often using our cell phone hot spots works great but our cell plan limits us to 12 Gb per month. Go over that and it gets expensive fast.
4. We have a WiFi amplifier and directional antenna. At one CG where we stayed for 2 days, we could find a non-password protected WiFi signal from a motel that was over a mile away. We were able to check our email but didn't try to stream things like video.
5. The amplifier and antenna also can increase the signal strength for a free CG WiFi that is so weak to be unusable to the point it can be used.
6. We have packed our computers to the local public library where the WiFi is free.
7. And of course, the world doesn't end if we don't have WiFi where we are.


Tom

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Re: WiFi
« Reply #26 on: August 04, 2016, 06:06:29 PM »
Quote
We have paid for WiFi while in a CG to the tune of $20 per week

Sounds like a good deal, assuming it was a good/fast connection.
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Sun2Retire

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Re: WiFi
« Reply #27 on: August 05, 2016, 11:14:47 AM »
Also in the early days of this forum, when I made numerous trips to distant countries, before the days of the WWW and when hotel phones were really unfriendly...

I'd first have to hack into the phone system, which usually meant removing the headboard of the bed to access a junction box buried in the wall. Sometimes, I'd just use pins pushed into the phone wires and attach alligator clips.

Next, I'd have to (legally) hack into a network and hop across networks until I reached my required destination. Then I could fire up my forum software and get online to access The RV Forum and deal with email. Usually, this was after a day of business, followed by a business dinner and, later, karaoake, and a couple of hours on a train to get back to my hotel.

By the time I was done online, it was time to shower and head out for another day. I sometimes wouldn't get to bed for two weeks, and had to catch power naps on trains or planes, all in the name of supporting The RV Forum  ;)

Wow Tom. I feel like I have not showered you with enough appreciation.

(And I impress myself when I finally get my home network to work again after upgrading to Win10  ::) )
Scott
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Tom

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Re: WiFi
« Reply #28 on: August 06, 2016, 08:11:45 AM »
Quote from: Sun2Retire
I feel like I have not showered you with enough appreciation.

LOL Scott, those were the fun days. My 'get online toolkit' from those days wouldn't make it through today's TSA security at the airport.
« Last Edit: August 06, 2016, 08:13:33 AM by Tom »
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John From Detroit

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Re: WiFi
« Reply #29 on: August 06, 2016, 05:16:48 PM »
Hey, where I am they just upgraded.. now my hardware has it's limits but here is my setup
Linksys WGA 54G Wireless Game Adapter feeding a BELKIN Router  (This way I take only one "Share" from the park)

I ran a speed test at oh dark 30 this morning. Wi-Fi park to Linksys WGA.  Cat-5 to Router, Wi-Fi to Android device running OOKLA Speed test 607 down 422 Up Ping 27mS (Speed are KB (Thousand bytes) per second)

He still has issues, but nothing worth going out of my way to talk to him over"(When they did the upgrade half the nodes became "Secure" and nobody knows the key.)
Nothing adds excitement like something that is none of your business
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johnaye

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Re: WiFi
« Reply #30 on: August 06, 2016, 07:51:47 PM »
Last year we covered 26 states in 90 days.  I always tried to go to a campground that had WiFi.  I quickly learned to ask if WiFi was at the campsites or only at the office.  Even if they claimed to have WiFi at the camp sites the speed often made it unusable.  I ended up using my phone a lot as a hot spot, but that means no streaming.  One thing to do is check reviews of the campground and see if WiFi is mentioned.  The thing all of us can do is when we review campgrounds comment on WiFi.
John and Becky
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legrandnormand

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Re: WiFi
« Reply #31 on: August 06, 2016, 08:54:55 PM »
Hey, where I am they just upgraded.. now my hardware has it's limits but here is my setup
Linksys WGA 54G Wireless Game Adapter feeding a BELKIN Router  (This way I take only one "Share" from the park)

I ran a speed test at oh dark 30 this morning. Wi-Fi park to Linksys WGA.  Cat-5 to Router, Wi-Fi to Android device running OOKLA Speed test 607 down 422 Up Ping 27mS (Speed are KB (Thousand bytes) per second)

He still has issues, but nothing worth going out of my way to talk to him over"(When they did the upgrade half the nodes became "Secure" and nobody knows the key.)


That is much slower then a cellular service or any MyFi card that I have used to connect.
« Last Edit: August 06, 2016, 08:56:51 PM by legrandnormand »
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John From Detroit

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Re: WiFi
« Reply #32 on: August 07, 2016, 06:57:42 AM »
I agree it is slower than 4Glte (Which I get outside the park) but for RV park Wi-Fi, it's fast.

And remember these are Wi-Fi speeds. if I go to the office and plug in it's much faster.
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Irover

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Re: WiFi
« Reply #33 on: August 09, 2016, 08:56:36 AM »
Well, when we were young, we hiked twenty miles through snow to get a signal.  Sometimes we crawled across the desert to get a signal.  Time marches on.  You "youngsters" will eventually find yourselves either out of the technological loop or fighting to understand what future youngsters are talking about.  Wish I could be around to watch and listen.  ;D ;D ;D

My Feelings Exactly! ;D ;D
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Right Wing Wacko

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Re: WiFi
« Reply #34 on: August 10, 2016, 02:43:03 PM »
I quite often camp where there is no WiFi and my Cellular connection is worthless.   


This is where Redbox comes in handy.  It doesn't get you news or email, but at least you can have some movies.

For about a buck/day each you can rent several DVD's or Blu-Rays, and take them with you.  No need to return them to the same kiosk you rented them from, any Redbox will do.   I've rented DVD's in Washington and returned them in Montana.  They don't care where you return them as long as you do.
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Free Spirit

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Re: WiFi
« Reply #35 on: April 03, 2017, 07:37:23 AM »

No wonder that campings are now charging for WI-FI since some people like you watch TV on it ! :(
WI-FI is to get your e-mails and to answer them and to read newspapers ... NOT TO WATCH TV>:(
Buy yourself a satellite dish if you want watch your tv programs !

I didn't mean to get your panties in a wad, but I guess 'people like me' have a habit of doing that.
If you dont want to pay extra for it, dont get it. Sounds simple enough.
Thanks for the hint about a satellite dish, I never would have thought of that on my own.
TonyB
Retired and full time living aboard our Denali 293RKS. We plan to start serious cruising around mid-Dec.of 2017
Don't know much about RV"s in general and are still learning. First lesson learned is that dealerships are not responsible for anything and warranties can be used for toilet paper

John From Detroit

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Re: WiFi
« Reply #36 on: April 03, 2017, 04:44:43 PM »
One campground I know of has over 700 sites, it's a "Youth Friendly" park, he has 3 max speed cable modems with assoicated hardware and they still can't meet the demand for streaming video.

Next step is to block those sites in hardware.. I expect it to happen.. Won't bother me one byte. (I only stream about 5 hours a month and I can go to town and use my own bandwidth for those).. but it is a problem.

In the early days they had just one line, and a linksys router, did not even change the SSID.. Well finally they changed the SSID but not the ADMIN password... So after a few days of converting users to STATIC IP and showing them how to switch back.. I upped the client count from 50 (Default) to 100.. .Still had to help folks, just not as many.. Was explaining to one young lady and I pulled the DHCP client list.. "Suzzie's I phone"   I'd not ask her name.. Suzzie... of course.
Nothing adds excitement like something that is none of your business
My Home is where I park it.

NY_Dutch

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Re: WiFi
« Reply #37 on: April 03, 2017, 05:30:03 PM »
We're currently at James Island County Park campground near Charleston, SC. We use our own Verizon and AT&T hotspots for streaming and all other Internet access, plus VOIP phone service, but I just tested the park provided free WiFi availabke at all 125 campsites and 10 cabins, and found it reasonably good compared to most other parks I've tested at 2.90Mbps down and 0.65Mbps up.

(http://www.speedtest.net/result/6187911907.png)
« Last Edit: April 03, 2017, 05:32:39 PM by NY_Dutch »
Dutch
2001 GBM Landau 34' Class A
F53 Chassis, Triton V10, TST TPMS
2011 Toyota RAV4 4WD/Remco pump
ReadyBrute Elite tow bar/Blue Ox base plate

Sultan1966

  • Posts: 3
Re: WiFi
« Reply #38 on: April 09, 2017, 08:38:19 PM »
We Never rely on "free" wifi here..as nothing is truely "free" :sidenote: if I was young I would have a "field day" with those using "free" wifi....all those open unsecured packets of data!!! For security I use VPN ($29yr) and Unlimited Verizon Mifi which we use to 100GB+ a month @ $180 a month and the data I pay for on our phones..nothing else.

BigLarry

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Re: WiFi
« Reply #39 on: April 09, 2017, 10:14:57 PM »
It is very rare to find an RV park with a wifi system that can be used to stream TV or YouTube video.  Even the best ones will have enough use to use up most of the bandwith during the evening hours.  Late at night and early in the morning is the only time that's possible.  We've had pretty good luck checking e-mail and looking at newspapers, which is our main use for the service.
Larry and Betty
Bryan, Texas
2017 GMC Sierra 2500HD 4x4 Diesel
2016 Cougar 28RLS

John From Detroit

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Re: WiFi
« Reply #40 on: April 10, 2017, 07:08:52 AM »
One of the joys of being here at the shop is an internet TV show called Ham Nation.. Since it's the shop and since at 9pm Eastern he's not using all that much bandwidth.. I've actually logged in as the show is being recorded.. Do that and there is an IRC you can log into with either another window or in my case a different comupter and you can "Chat" with other live viewers and one of the show hosts.
Nothing adds excitement like something that is none of your business
My Home is where I park it.

 

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