Internet connection on the road - How important is it?

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stan4o

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May 4, 2022
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Canada
Hi folks, I just wonder how important is for you to have good reliable Internet connection when you travel.
I know about the option to use your phone as a hot spot... but it depends on the location, coverage of the signal etc.
I am kind of exited about the satellite fast speed by Starlink (Elon Musk) a little expensive though...
I cannot imagine a day without Internet.
What do you think?

thanks,
 

UTTransplant

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Cedar Falls, IA
I can manage without it, but I don’t like it. I wouldn’t stay long term at a place where I can’t do at least some access, though a night or two along the way is doable. We have been using two Mifi units (Verizon and AT&T), but we are ordering Starlink as soon as we get home. I really don’t want to stay 3-4 weeks in the desert again without something better than what we had.
 

stan4o

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Canada
I can manage without it, but I don’t like it. I wouldn’t stay long term at a place where I can’t do at least some access, though a night or two along the way is doable. We have been using two Mifi units (Verizon and AT&T), but we are ordering Starlink as soon as we get home. I really don’t want to stay 3-4 weeks in the desert again without something better than what we had.
Hmm Starlink might be the solution...
 

UTTransplant

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I just saw you are in Canada. Starlink is limited in how far north it goes, so make sure it works where you want to go. I know they are expanding the constellation, but it will take a while.
 

Lou Schneider

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Hmm Starlink might be the solution...

I can manage without it, but I don’t like it. I wouldn’t stay long term at a place where I can’t do at least some access, though a night or two along the way is doable. We have been using two Mifi units (Verizon and AT&T), but we are ordering Starlink as soon as we get home. I really don’t want to stay 3-4 weeks in the desert again without something better than what we had.
Starlink's achilles heal is since the satellites are in low earth orbit, each one only "sees" a limited area as they pass overhead. Not like geosynchronous satellites that can potentially cover about a third of the globe from a single ground station. Starlink has divided the US into cells based around their ground stations and they've limited the number of users in each one so a single cell doesn't get overloaded with too many users.

It will be interesting to see how Starlink performs when lots of RV users descend on lightly populated areas like Quartzsite this winter. I'm betting there will be lots of complaints about the service, just like there are when too many users flood the area around a cell tower.
 

stan4o

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May 4, 2022
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Canada
Hmm interesting... I hoped I can have connection when I go North to see the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis)
 

zulu

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Dec 13, 2011
Posts
218
We just spent 2 weeks without internet connectivity, we drove 15mins to town twice to check emails . We survived quite nicely thankyou 😊
OP said "I cannot imagine a day without Internet."

I don't want to rely on a trip into town for Internet access. After hours of driving, the last thing I want to do is schlepp to the local MacD's, Starbucks, whatever (assuming the town even has one).

We travel with an AT&T (Mobley) and a Verizon hotspot. One of them usually works. When we full timed, we also used a huge portable HughesNet satellite Internet dish. Starlink is much much better.


Internet connections are always available on the road.
Well, sure, views of the Pacific Ocean are always available too – depending on how far you're willing to travel.
 

HappyWanderer

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Apr 21, 2014
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2,937
Internet connections are always available on the road. McDonalds, public libraries and coffee shops just to name a few.
Nope. I drive through areas almost daily with no cell service or public WiFi access. Internet access is steadily improving, but is by no means universal.

Most state parks near me have no cell service, as well as some private campgrounds. Some campground WiFi is barely adequate for viewing emails, let alone doing anything productive.
 

NY_Dutch

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Nov 22, 2010
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Where our wheels take us!
Nope. I drive through areas almost daily with no cell service or public WiFi access. Internet access is steadily improving, but is by no means universal.

Most state parks near me have no cell service, as well as some private campgrounds. Some campground WiFi is barely adequate for viewing emails, let alone doing anything productive.
Which area is that?
 

Old_Crow

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Nov 20, 2016
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Tom's Place, California
Most state parks near me have no cell service, as well as some private campgrounds. Some campground WiFi is barely adequate for viewing emails, let alone doing anything productive.
I manage 14 campgrounds in California's eastern Sierra. Of those 14 campgrounds, only 2 of them have any cell service, and being Forest Service campgrounds there is no wifi at all.
 

jymbee

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Feb 20, 2018
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1,910
Location
Upstate NY
Hi folks, I just wonder how important is for you to have good reliable Internet connection when you travel.
I know about the option to use your phone as a hot spot... but it depends on the location, coverage of the signal etc.
I am kind of exited about the satellite fast speed by Starlink (Elon Musk) a little expensive though...
I cannot imagine a day without Internet.
What do you think?

thanks,
You might also want to a search here as there's been numerous posts with very detailed Starlink information, many from active RV users.

https://www.rvforum.net/search/572924/?q=starlink&o=relevance

Personally, Internet connectivity while traveling is critical for work related considerations.
 

JudyJB

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Jul 6, 2010
Posts
2,319
Because I was teaching online classes half-time for the first nine out of the ten years I have been on the road, I have two Verizon hotspots. With my phone, that is 3 lines at a cost of about $160 per month, but I do like my internet!
 

DonTom

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Joined
Apr 21, 2005
Posts
8,271
Location
Auburn, CA or Reno, NV
I just wonder how important is for you to have good reliable Internet connection when you travel.
Won't leave home without it--at least not by far.

And if I am out of cell range, I can still send and receive messages with my In-Reach to e-mail accounts and more. Also can be used to call a tow truck or for a life-or-death emergency.

People can die because they cannot communicate. Such as one of the RVers that were stuck at Silver Peak, NV a couple of months ago, that was a hot topic in this forum. They were out of cell range. It's very difficult to be out of satellite range.

-Don- Reno, NV
 

Isaac-1

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Dec 3, 2016
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SW Louisiana
Hmm interesting... I hoped I can have connection when I go North to see the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis)
You will need to wait about another year for Starlink to get coverage above about 57 degrees north (the current limit), they just started launching satellites into the polar orbital inclination in the last few weeks
 

Isaac-1

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Dec 3, 2016
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Location
SW Louisiana
My wife needs to have internet access available for work, she is the director of a local public agency, and as such never knows when something may come up at work that needs her attention while we are on vacation, though generally she can be away from it on the weekends, and maybe the occasional weekday if we are camping somewhere without good cell signal.
 

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