Best wifi/data providers

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RainCatcher

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Apr 1, 2012
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Seattle
We don't watch or want tv connection. We do watch streamed or downloaded movies and want good wifi service so we can get strong computer connections for e-mail and web searches. Does anyone have suggestions for the best providers and prices?
 

Ned

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You have a choice of several cellular providers that you can choose from based on their coverage maps and where you spend your travel time.  But all have caps on their data plans that you will run into if you are streaming or downloading movies.  For web browsing and email, it won't be a problem.  Pricing is comparable between providers for similar plans.  Arguably the best coverage is from Verizon, and they claim their entire network will be 4G by the end of 2013.  Verizon 4G speeds are much faster than the 3G networks and most of the other claimed 4G networks.

This past year we have found usable WiFi internet at about half of the campgrounds we've stayed at.  Again, those are suitable for email and web browsing but not for streaming video or large file downloads.  Those are often prohibited in the campgrounds terms of service.
 

COMer

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I've been looking at this too and would like a service that allows enough streaming to be able to watch a NetFlix movie most days.  Using their charts, it looks like 10G would be my useage and most plans top out at 5G.  It gets pretty expensive to go over so you would have to monitor the useage and skip streaming some days to stay under.  I haven't been in many campgrounds that had good enough service (fast enough and enough of it) to stream consistently.  Maybe there is a way but I haven't run across it yet.  We have unlimited high speed at home for $25 per month (Time Warner cable) and are spoiled.

If you are streaming from the Internet, you will also need a smart TV or a box.  There are several starting around $50 but they aren't all the same.  I got one from NetGear for $50 that streams 1080 and is wireless or wired.  The Roku ones don't do both of those things until you spend $100.  There are several others with the Western one looking good.  Or you can use a smart DVD player if you have one.   
 

SeilerBird

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St Cloud Florida USA
COMer said:
I've been looking at this too and would like a service that allows enough streaming to be able to watch a NetFlix movie most days.  Using their charts, it looks like 10G would be my useage and most plans top out at 5G.  It gets pretty expensive to go over so you would have to monitor the useage and skip streaming some days to stay under. 
Verizon's 4G data plan is $50 per month for 5 gigs, which is $10 a gig.. If you go over it is still $10 per gig in one gig chunks. So it is the same price.
 

Bob Buchanan

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Philadelphia, PA
My experience with heavy streaming movies or watching videos such as on YouTube -- 5g won't last very long. I got wrapped up in watching YouTube one nite - and got the Vz warning that I had just reached my half way point. I continued to watch good trumpet videos (such as jazz trumpet from Chris Botti backing up a K.D. Lang, Tony Bennett duet) - and soon got another message that I had just reached the next usage message.

BTW, if you would like to also watch that particular video check it out HERE. "Do" go full screen, have a good headset on or be behind a good sound system to relax and enjoy with someone you care a ton about. If I'm going to use up my gigs, this is one of my favorite ways of doing it.  :)
 

NY_Dutch

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Where our wheels take us!
Take a look at the plans offered by Millenicom. Their unlimited data 3G/4G and "BYOD" plans uses the Sprint network, and their 20GB 3G/4G hotspot and 3G only plans use the Verizon network. The 2GB Basic plan uses T-Mobile...
 

odie1234

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Dec 14, 2011
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354
We do watch streamed or downloaded movies and want good wifi service so we can get strong computer connections

We have devices from Sprint, Verizon, and ATT. Our experience traveling in the rv is that we have connection speed/reliability capable of downloading/streaming things like movies and Skype only about 15-25% of the time. We have capability for email/web surfing almost all the time. We find campground WiFi to be hit or miss, and many of the places we stay are severely limiting bandwidth usage, even to the point of throttling or evicting those who insist on streaming or similar activities. Good luck in your search.
 

Bobtop46

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Mar 11, 2011
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Bronson FL
Go verizon only and if you are serious about wanting to do this you will need to do this also.

http://www.rvforum.net/SMF_forum/index.php?topic=57296.msg541837#msg541837

I would also check out the WiFI antenna that Gary researched and is for sale from one of the sponsers of this forum:

http://www.rvledbulbs.com/category-s/52.htm

and possibly a WiFi Ranger.


 

99WinAdventurer37G

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Saginaw, TX (north fort worth area)
I've got NFL mobile on my Verizon phone with hotspot.  Sounded like a good idea to me,...until I used it while not on my at home wifi network.  It used almost 6 gigs to watch just one football game!  So about $60 per game, without a seat at the game.  Streaming gets real expensive, real fast.  Learn from my $700 phone bill.
 

Kim (skyking4ar2) Bertram

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MY EDIT: the OP was talking about WiFi and data providers in the same sentence. WiFi and MiFi are two different sources of data, but the rest of my post is probably still pertinent.

I don’t think it’s realistic to expect to stream Netflix or most other such media via wifi simply because most wifi is not tied to a T1 or better network. It is just too expensive for parks to deliver that bandwidth.

Even in a high end park that I winter in and that had half a T1 line, they could not handle the bandwidth degradation with just a few movie streamers. They we paying $800 a month just to deliver that and had a stroke about delivering a full line for $1700 a month. Bandwidth costs.

In most parks, they have already discovered they have to throttle users and cut them off when they catch them abusing the system. You are going to see that more and more unless they start factoring that kind of service into their camping rates.

Cellular networks are already taxed to the max and frankly, I think Netflix promoting their downstreaming over anything but a fiber optic or other high speed infrastructure is irresponsible marketing. They are creating a demand that cannot be met currently in the private sector by anything but the DSL or cable services, certainly no cell carriers.

Now if the desired effect is to drive up revenue for unwitting customers on the cell networks with overages, they have that going on in spades.

The huge demand on the cellular infrastructure from the explosion of smart phones and similar devices will continue to outstrip the carriers’ ability to deliver for some time. There will never be enough bandwidth for a demand that grows exponentially. It’s been that way almost since day one.

Cheap bandwidth is like cheap gas – those days are gone.
 

Ned

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A T1 is no longer a high speed connection.  It's only 1.544Mbps which is slower than DSL, most 3G and all 4G connections.  T1 is a 1980s technology and has been outstripped with today's cable, DSL, and even cellular options.  I'm surprised that anyone would still sell a T1 let alone buy one.
 
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