Internet Access

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New member
Jul 12, 2005
I am looking into purchasing an RV and wondering about internet access.  I have been doing some research and it looks to me that there are some camp sites that offer WiFi but it seems that the cover is not that good.  Is there a solution that will allow me to connect from anywhere not having to rely on WiFi access?
I'm not sure what's available in your part of the world, but folks here use a variety of ways to get online, including:

  • Cellular phone hooked to their PC.
  • Cellular air card plugged into the PCMCIA slot of their PC.
  • Satellite internet dish.

I'll let others jump in with some of the details.
To connect from most places, a cell phone or air card will work.  To connect from EVERYWHERE you would need a two way satellite system.  Give us some more detail on your needs and we can better narrow your options.
My wife got a jury notice and has to "appear" today so I drove.... As I type this I'm sitting in a parking structure on the north side of the old City-Couny building (Now called the Coleman A Young Municiple center) in downtown detroit.  Before plugging in the 9600 baud cell phone I decided to do a sight survey with the Netgear card... Perhaps 20 sites, most with 40% or better signal strength TWO had WEP the rest are open access... The one I'm connected to (strongest non wep) did not even have an intercept page where you agree to the terms, Most of them indicate "Guest" use or some such in the network name.
And I'm sitting outside the capitol of ND in Bismark while Lorna is touring the building.  Deployed the Datastorm and am catching up on my email and forum while waiting.  Ain't techonology grand?:)
I am looking into purchasing an RV and wondering about internet access.

Many RVers use their cell phones to connect to the internet or WIFI while in a rv park or at the Flying J. ?Wifi can be free or at a cost. ?Sometimes you can connect to somebody elses wifi. ?I DO NOT think it is right or appropriate to hook up to somebody's ?wifi system without permission.

We, as well as several others in the framily have two way satellite systems to connect to the internet where ever we go. ?When attending a Forum rally we share our internet connection via wifi with other framily members at the rally. ?At the last Moab rally I believe there were 9 or 10 satellite internet systems in the RV Forum group as well as the free wifi provided by the park.

I frequently talk to friends in Nova Scotia via VOIP Voice over Internet Phone using skype.

Cell phone s or air cards work well if the carrier you have has service in the area you are in. ?Verizon, Cingular, and Sprint have a wide coverage. ?Wifi is dependant on if a WIFI system is available in the area you happen to be and can either be free or at a cost per hour or day. Some RV parks provide wifi service for free while others charge for the service. ?Two way satellite is available anywhere as long as you have a clear view of the southern sky.

Verizon and some others have a great product that does broadband access with a PC card.  it does not hook to your cell phone, and it much much faster.  i have had one since Aug05 and use it all the time.  it is not cheap, 80 bucks a month, but i can expense mine so i dont worry.  I used it traveling across the country and it worked in most places , but a big section of 80 (midwest) i had no connection.  there were many other places where it worked and my cell did not, so I used a softphone (VOIP voice over IP) to make calls.  connection is up to 115k and the low end is 14.4k, not bad. 
Hello again,
can someone tell me who you have satellite internet service through?  What I'd like to have I would consider it portable satellite service.  I live out in the country in NE Iowa and nothing is available here like WiFi not even broadband and I just checked for availabality of a couple of Air Cards.......nothing for NE Iowa. so i'm stuck with dial up at home.  What I'd like to do is be able to load the Satellite into the old TT and take with us when we travel. otherwise use it here at home when we are stuck here.  Is this possible?  is there a service out there that would allow this?...... :D

Thanks in advance for your kind response.

John & Judy
A number of folks here use Direcway in one form or another. If you don't want a system that's permanently mounted in/on your RV, you can have a setup that mounts on a tripod while you're on the road and either on a tripod or a house mount when you get home. Ron here is an installer and will probably contact you privately with more details.
As Tom has related there are several in the Framily that have the direcway system in one form or another.  I have sent you a PM with more details.
Quote from Ron.
"Many RVers use their cell phones to connect to the internet or WIFI while in a rv park or at the Flying J.  Wifi can be free or at a cost.  Sometimes you can connect to somebody elses wifi.  I DO NOT think it is right or appropriate to hook up to somebody's  wifi system without permission."
End quote.

I am not offering justification, nor taking a position either way.  However, when a system is installed you are given the choice of letting outsiders use your system or not.  This includes privately owned systems.  Without getting into all the ways of protecting the computers on the system, most owners of WIFI systems are very aware that others could use their system.  I have a WIFI system for when I travel and I do not mind other RV owners using my system when I am connected. 
In todays WIFI environnment - I think that permission is implied if they do not block others out of their system.
In todays WIFI environnment - I think that permission is implied if they do not block others out of their system.

So you feel that if the Wifi is there it is appropriate for anybody to use it even without permission???  Along that line of thinking then since we have RV pads on our property that we let friends use, then any RVer that comes by should be able to use them with out permission.  Or since we have a power pedestal along side the MH and there is an extra 30 amp plug available on it then just anybody should be able to hook up with out permission.  Basically the same thing theft of services.

The person that set up the wifi pays for the internet service and in some cases can be limited on how much is downloaded.  Just because a person sets up a WIFI and maybe doesn't even have enough knowledge to know he should secure it doesn't make it OK for some joker to connect to it and use his bandwidth without permission any more than it would be OK for somebody to come by and park on our property because we have a couple RV pads there  or tap into somebodies  electrical without permission.  IMHO to do such a thing is the same as theft.  There has been a couple cases that I read about that the judge and jury felt the same.

While we do allow other framily members use our WIFI at rallies we do have it secured as best we can. I do not think it wise to open wifi to just anybody that comes along use a wifi system since you are opening yourself up to some real problems if some charactor conducts illegal activities over your connection.

I stand by my opinion that it is wrong to tap into somebodies WIFI without permission.  Just because it is there does not make it public domain.

samarai said:
....most owners of WIFI systems are very aware that others could use their system.

Bill, I understand you're not taking a position, but I don't know if your assumption above is necessarily correct. I also suspect that folks who log onto another person's network don't necessarily understand the risks involved. As an example, we had a situation at one of our rallies where someone's personal files were visible to one or more other rally members on the network. Fortunately, it was all among honest friends and a knowledgeable member alerted the individual and showed them how to hide their files.
Bill, on the contrary.  Most people that install a wireless access point just plug it in and it works.  The defaults are almost always for NO security as the manufacturers feel that most buyers won't understand how to set up security and they don't want the subsequent tech support calls.  I find that at least half of all wireless access points I can see at any one time are unsecured.  Right now, I can see 5 APs and 2 are unsecured.  Of the other 3, one is mine, and two are my neighbors and friends that I have discuessed security with.  I can access the configurations of both unsecured APs as the users haven't even bothered to change the default passwords.

Just because someone is ignorant doesn't give anyone the right to take advantage of them.  Better to educate them and perhaps save them from a bad situation that could arise from their ignorance.
samarai said:
I am not offering justification, nor taking a position either way.  However, when a system is installed you are given the choice of letting outsiders use your system or not.

I have two points to make her

1: you mean to say YOU were given such a choice,  There is a line of books out there, one of them I"m sure is called "Networking for dummies"  There are a lot of folks who don't really know what Wi-Fi stands for, but they know their computer uses it.  They don't have a choice as to using security or not... This is because they have not a clue as to how to set up even the simplist of security.. They can only run wide open

2: Others don't have the wide open option... My daughter for example has a wi-fi/router/modem from her DSL provider... It comes with password (passphrase) security buit in and in my case. I don't use any form of encryption, My "net" is open access... So long as 1: you have the right hardware address and 2: You can actually SEE the system...... Due to the construction ofmy house... You can't see the net if you are outside the building
(Well, perhaps if you choose to lie down in my driveway and get run over)

When I go full time with Directway... I'm not sure what I"m going to do security wise yet.... I do like wired
Again, I am not taking a position in the issue.  This is not a very efficient method of discussing a very complex issue.  You cannot equate physical security on property with this. 
Someone who installs an access point on their WIFI system in today's world has to know that they are providing access to the world.  If they do this and do not bother to change the settings (not knowing how is not an excuse legally) they are implying it is okay to use their system.  I am not saying it is right to use it.  I am not saying it is wrong.  I am not an attorney. 

I was in the computer business (LANs wired/wireless) for over 25 years.  I have never heard of a successful  suit against someone for using someone else's WIFI system.
Bottom line is IMHO it is absolutely unethical and poor behavior to use an other individuals system, property, or resources, including WIFI access without permission.

In my case I  do give framily members the information necessary to use my system and many others do do at RV Forum rallies.  In this case permission is granted.

I am not taking a position either way as well.?

But I do think I should make a comment that responsibility works both ways.?

Anyone setting up a wireless network has a responsibility to learn how to operate their security measures.? Not to do so is as irresponsible as tapping into a clueless person's network.? There are enough responsibility requirements to go to both sides of this discussion.? ? :D

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