New to fulltiming. wondering about wireless internet

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mamanurse2002

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Mar 6, 2006
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Can someone help us out?? We will be full timers soon (at the earliest----April 24 and at the latest, June 1).? We want to have internet and have bought a laptop.? We will be moving out of our house---it sold----so we won't have a land line.? We do have mobile phones, and Direct TV satellite in the coach.? Is there a way for us to get wireless internet with either of those?? We went to a website and found that it is very expensive, so we thought we might be going about this in the wrong way.

Thanks for any help you can offer.
DW-Donna
DH-Dan


Our newest Grands!  Trey and Conrad, March 1, 2006
 

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Ned

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There are several methods of internet access on the road varying from free to expensive, and also from inconvenient to fulltime.  First, your DirecTV connection will not give you internet access at all.  Your cell phone can, but without knowing the carrier and your plan, we can't say what you can get and what it will cost.

You can look for WiFi hotspots and campgrounds that offer wireless internet, but there is no guarantee that you can find those where you will be travelling.

Satellite internet is available but it's not cheap compared to some of the other options.  It does have the advantage of being available anywhere your park as long as you can see the southern sky.

Give us some more details as to your internet requirements and what you have for cell phone service and we can narrow down your choices.
 

mamanurse2002

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our phones are verizon  I found this in the phone info----I hope it's what you were asking for :-\

S/W ver.
T60vzv06
PRL ver.
prl50183
ERI 50018
browser 4.1.27
 

Ned

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Any current Verizon phone is capable of accessing the internet, but there are different ways to do so depending on what you need.  I was referring to what kind of internet access you require, full time, email with occasional web browsing, file transfer, etc.  Those things will help in recommending an internet access service.
 

Sue/Al

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If your laptop is new then it's ready to go....WiFi is everywhere and more coming on everyday, best of all most places it's FREE or included in camping fee, we havn't paid for it yet, and get online right in our moho, never got knocked off it's fast and Great!
 

Ned

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If you can live with occasional internet access, then depending on WiFi may work, but if you require daily or continuous access, then you need something independent of your location.  This can be cellular or satellite, and not depend on access being available at every campground.
 

mamanurse2002

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Thanks for the info.  I will probably be wanting full time connection capability.  Our plan is to be stationary for about a year or so, then start moving around.  And if the laptop is already ready to go because of WIFI, I am HAPPY---and so will be DH!

MamaNurse
 

Ned

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WiFi won't necessarliy give you a full time connection as you will most likely be going to places that don't have any access points.  The only solutions for full time connection are satellite or cellular which works in most places, but not all.  The monthly cost for those is about the same but the satellite connection will work anywhere you can see the souther sky.
 

Smoky

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MamaNurse:

We started fulltiming last June and we were in the same predicament you find yourself in now.

IMO Verizon has the best cell phone coverage (most of the Interstates are covered by Verizon), but after living with that for awhile, we decided it just wasn't coverage enough.  We like to get off the beaten path, yet EVERYTHING for us depends upon Internet coverage.  We do our banking by Internet, pay our bills by Internet, stay in touch with loved ones by Internet, find out how to fix things by Internet, etc.  Internet is our fulltiming lifeline.

With the Verizon cell phone we were/are able to access the Internet for free at a decent speed if we stick to off peak time minutes.  But even that became inconvenient. 

We finally opted for Satellite (Direcway) at about $60 a month plus the initial cost of the dish and modem.  It seemed like a high cost to us at the time, but the ability to have Internet at our beck and call wherever we may sit in the United States, plus not having to stay up late at night or get up at 3 am in the morning has made the cost worth every penny to us.

I had mine installed by Ron Ruward who is a member of this forum and he does a great job and gives great training as well.
 

Sue/Al

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If your going to stay put for a year make sure the campground offers Free Wifi, why pay? plus we travel around and have no problem finding a campground en route with Free WiFi....what's the big deal? all these people talking you into paying for a set-up, must be Millionaires driving Prevost's? Kidding.....( most satellite set-ups are Expensive) us we're, Retired and don't pay for anything we can get easily for Free... Almost all KOA's have or offer WiFi and most with no additional charge. true you won't get it in State or Nat. Parks, but then we take the notebook  in the car, while sightseeing stop somewhere to receive or send e-mail, until we move on. almost any motel parking lot you can get online, some fast food joints, even some rest area's along highways...Just an observation, and we are not full timers, have a lovely home,with a desktop PC, laptop for travel, so guess the full timers want or need it all? everyday, with no searching?? however we found searching for Free WiFi very easy.
 

Tom

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Sue/Al,

Your free WiFi experience really fascinates me. Obviously, you have to work (look) for it, but it's great to hear that you're able to get online for free as much as you do. It sure would we nice if more campgrounds offered free WiFi, but most we've stayed at charge from $3 to $8/night for it and most of those don't work very well. My hat is off to  you and you are a good model for how to be online without paying.
 

Ron

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Hopefully anybody using FREE wifi connection is not doing so without permission.  IMHO it is just common courtesy to get permission before taping into somebodies bandwidth.  On the other hand personally I would consider it as a dishonest act for somebody to just use my or anybodies else's system and bandwidth which the owner pays for without permission.  What if the individual that has the internet connection has it because they require a lot of bandwidth and they pay for what they use or in the case of a lot of satellite systems their download capability is slowed down once they exceed a certain number of MB.  The owner knows what their limits are but some inconsiderate person comes in and starts using the owners connection without permission he may not become aware of this until his limits are exceeded.

Another thought without knowing the source or the person that has the open wireless  how would one know what the motives are for the wireless system being open.  Sounds like a certain amount of risk connecting a computer to someboy you have never met.

Several of us have internet satellite systems that we share during RV Forum rallies and like being able to do that.  We know everybody that has permission  and they know us. 
 

Ned

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Ron makes a good point that is usually overlooked.  When you connect to an open wireless network, you may be visible to anyone else on that network so hopefully you have taken the steps to secure YOUR computer from intrusions.
 

John From Detroit

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I will add my expierence here.  And a suggestion.

First, I suggest a good firewall,  Windows XP's internal is ok, but ZONE ALARM (The free version, not the pro) is better in my not so humble opinion.. I get a lot of flack for running Zone alarm behind routers... but that's the way I do it.  What don't I get... Well, MS-blaster for one thing, And a whole lot of other nasty stuff as well.

Now: I have used my laptop with my cell phone as a modem (you should use a proper data cable) and it worked fairly well... I don't have Vorizon, so it is slow.. (Vorizon can be slow or fast depending on where you are located, T-moble is slow or slower, though they are improving if the last test is any indication)  it works, but grass grows if you know what I mean.

Dial up, when I can get a phone line (on my recent trip that was ONE hour) is faster than T-mobile and may or may not be faster than Vorizion

Wi-Fi, some parks offer it free, some charge,  Some you can't really connect, some you can.  In addition many truck stops including Flying-J and Pilot offer it,  And sometimes a Flying J account works at a Pilot.  Flying J accounts cost money, about 20/month more or less depending on the size of the account you purchase.

Finally there is the Ron R solution  (Ron's Internet Sattalite) takes a bit of time to set it up if you have the manual job like I do, but I get true DSL speeds from the middle of noplace in particular,  So long as I can see the sky, I can type... Was using that connection earlier today, 800+ download (ADSL range) 400+ up,(ADSL can only wish for speeds like that)  A very nice connection... Without the rain I'd have broken a meg-a-bit per second
 

Lowell

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I have a laptop with a wireless capability.  I have used it on my travels many times.  I find that most motels have unsecured wireless capability and this is accessible from the parking lot or roadway.  I don't keep any confidential information on my laptop, period.  I do keep a flash drive with my confidential info on it but do not have it inserted into an SBU port when I am using the wireless connection.  I only check to see if I have any emergency e-mails, I don't web surf on their wireless network. While some may feel that this is taking unfair advantage of the motels, I don't feel that it does.  They have the capability to secure their wiresless routers if they wish to, and to provide the security code to their guests.  The fact that they leave their wireless routers unsecured, tells me that they do not have a concern about access.
 

Ron

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They have the capability to secure their wiresless routers if they wish to, and to provide the security code to their guests.  The fact that they leave their wireless routers unsecured, tells me that they do not have a concern about access.

Or they don't have a competent person managing their wireless system.  Still I still feel it is not a good thing to do using anothers persons bandwidth without permission.  If one is so sure they don't care then why not ask permission?

 

tpinck

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Ron - I have a wireless router in my house, I leave it unsecured by choice. I really don't care if others use it to access the internet. I do have all my computers secure with adequate firewalls and virus scan software that is kept up to date. I am sure that I am not the only one that feels this way. I sure don't want people calling or emailing me for permission.

If it is open --- use it--- if the owner did not want you to then they would secure the connection. Most businesses have computer people on staff or on call to do just that. Home owners that do not know how to secure their networks, usually have someone that does at a minimal cost.

I have serviced computer systems and networks for years and just retired from the business. Many time my clients both home owners and businesses have chosen to leave the connection unsecured, but have secured their networks behind firewalls where apporate.

Just my take on this after more than 20 years in the business.
 

Ned

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Also know that anything done over your internet connection is traceable to you, not your neighbor.  And such use of your internet connection may also be in violation of your terms of service and if your ISP discovers such use, may terminate your account.

There are just too many reasons for NOT leaving an open internet connection to make the risk too great.
 

Sue/Al

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Thanks Tom, but we don't work for anything....finding Free WiFi at our next stop is as easy as brushing our teeth in the morning.... feel sorry for the folks that aren't PC savvy, cell phone savvy enough,or even Atlas savvy, to know how or where to look. When we leave for a trip we know the general direction, set up our GPS, Al's drives, Sue finds one or more choices for a stop with Free WiFi.... gets on cell phone calls ahead,piece of cake!
 

Tom

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Sue/Al,

That obviously works well for you, although it wouldn't fit our travel style. Unless we're going to a fixed location such as a rally, we do little planning for our trips; We'll get up in the morning, stick a pin in the map and off we go. My wife does most of the driving and she wouldn't go along with routing via WiFi access.

I usually have two ways of getting online, which allows us to travel without being tied to free WiFi. In our case, it has little to do with being PC or cell phone savy; I've been getting online wherever I am in the world since the mid 80's, long before the term WiFi became a household term or before cell phones became popular.

Don't mean to detract from or criticiize what you're doing. As I said, it works for you, but just wouldn't work for us.
 

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