Trying Out a Verizon broadband/air card system. DataStorm system is Mucho money.

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Jackliz

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Howdy, Framily.
We are using a Verizon air card(PCMCIA card) with Verizon's Broadband/National Access network in order to get our email and log onto the Internet. We have a year's contract. So far, the download speeds are mediocre. Uploads are better. I use Netscape browser, version 7.2 and I am going to keep a log of download speeds. The dl speed is shown by Download Manager as the process is going on. Once the dl is finished, the speed info goes away. I am tring to figure out how to save that  information. I wonder if there is some utility software available that would do that.

We have researched the roof mounted, automatic satellite internet systems. The monthly service rates are comparable to the broadband network monthly service rates. BUT the upfront equipment cost of the roof mounted, automatic satellite internet systems are approximately 54 times as much money.

Regards,
Jack, Liz and Oreo the escape cat in hot, hot Fort worth, TX.

 

Tom

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Liz/Jack,

There are numerous online speed tests that you can use to check your speeds, such as www.testmy.net

he upfront equipment cost of the roof mounted, automatic satellite internet systems are approximately 54 times as much money.

Why not use a much less expensive non-automatic roof mount system or a tripod system?

BTW did you see my PM yesterday? (Click the very top line alongside your name/avatar).
 

Ned

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If you register at testmy.net and use their speed tests, they keep a log of your results or you can copy and paste them to a record on your own computer.  For consistency, it's best to use the same test procedure every time you test.

Yes, the Datastorm is expensive but for those of us that have to be online from anywhere, it's worth the price.  If you can live without internet when you're not in a cellular data service area, then the air card is sufficient.  There are also the tripod mount satellite systems that are about 1/4 the cost of a Datastorm (~$1500 vs. ~$6000) but are not as convenient to set up.
 

Marsha/CA

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Liz,

When Tim was still working we had a Verizon PCMCI card and used it all over in our travels.  It worked about 80% of the time.  A great deal of the time it was a slow connection and would get dropped a lot.  When Tim retired he wanted to spend the $$ to get the motosat datastorm automated system put on the coach.  I wasn't as thrilled about it because of the cost and drug my feet a bit. 

We had the automated system put on the motorhome in late March and I LOVE the thing.  I wouldn't be without it.  If we have a choice on whether to have a campsite that will let us have internet over tv reception, we take the internet site.

If you and Jack don't mind fussing with setup, the tripod method or non automated system would be a lot less costly.  I know my husband and he would hate to have to get up on the roof or set up a tripod to get a connection.  With the automated system, we just push a button and voila` we are sailing through cyberspace.  It's really helped up here in Canada.  Our cell phone are on roam and if we were using the Verizon PCMCI card it would costs quite a bit to use.  Now we use the internet to check on campgrounds and make reservations.  I just keep the phone handy for emergencies.

Marsha~
 

Ned

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Lorna felt much the same way when I decided to buy the Datastorm.  At first, when I told her the price, she thought it was very reasonable but she had the decimal point 2 places to the left :)  Now she too would rather have internet than TV.  We haven't had DirecTV since June 3 but have had internet nearly every day.  Right now, we can get internet but a mountain is between us and the DirecTV satellite and we don't care.

A big advantage of the Datastorm for the internet junkie is you can pull into a rest area or parking lot and get online in minutes whereas you wouldn't bother with a tripod for just an hour or two of access.  I've gone online while Lorna tours a capitol somewhere and never left my seat :)
 

Marsha/CA

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Ned, 

Even when we are home, we both are on the computer a lot, so for us, this Datastorm is great!!!  Now I (we) couldn't live without it. 

We got a "hitch in our get along" the other day.  On Monday, Tim turned on his computer and found that the hard drive was gone.  He had backed much of his data up on a "thumb" device, but had not done so in a couple of weeks.  He had work stuff he lost and a portion of our travel log and RV data.  We can reconstruct the information.  But the bad part is now we both are sharing my computer...<aaarrrggg>  I loved the fact that before, we had the wireless connection and a network. 

His computer has always been a bit "glitchy".  However now that he is using mine, he loves the speed and the larger screen.  I'm sure he'll get another computer; but we'll wait until we are home. 

Also, he's hinting he likes this fulltiming stuff.  I wondered when he planned this trip if he was testing the full timing idea out.  Today, he hired a fishing guide for the day.  We are at Lake of the Woods near Kenora Ontario.  This lake is known for great wall-eye, bass and some other kind of big fish I can't remember at the moment.  I stayed home with the dog.  Tomorrow we may rent a boat and go out for a couple of hours.  He's having a ball...Tim, that is...well, the dog is having a ball too.

Marsha~
 

Ned

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Marsha,

Oh, oh, I can see the handwriting on the wall.  For sale sign in front of the house :)

Now Tim understands why I stress the importance of regular backups.  I'll bet he's more religious with the new computer.
 

John From Detroit

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Easiest way to save your data is the manual method... Open NOTEPAD and simply type it in, also note the URL you are downloading from

Many times download speeds are not so much a reflection of your connection, as the computer you are downloading from.  and the path it's following.

Imagine this (A water system) you have a 1" pipe feeding your tank, However the guy who is pumping the water is pumping through fifty feet of quarter inch copper. 

Now you go to anoter site,  He's pumping via a fire hose.

I'll bet you download water faster via the 2nd site (16 times faster in this example)
 

Ned

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When the hard drive dies all the notepad files in the world aren't going to get your data back.  There is no substitute for backup on external media, preferably offsite.  With the ready availability of online backup services (like Mozy, free), everyone should at least keep such a backup of critical files like financial data.  Being on a server means you can restore your data from anywhere with an internet connection.  It can be fully automatted so even the laziest of us can have secure offsite backups.
 

woodartist

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Personally I wouldn't put any personal data on a webiste, although in a round about way your banking and such is. I religiously back up to external hard drives, thumb drives, etc. You can do a hyper trace which will record all the delays along the path.  Free: http://www.analogx.com...Hypertrace. There are other free programs out there that are fine also. Easy to verify what John said.
 

Ned

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The online backup services do use encryption to protect your data.  They're safer than many financial web sites that have had their unencrypted databases stolen.
 

Jackliz

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Howdy, Framily.

A big THANK YOU to all that responded to my post. Regarding a tripod mounted satellite internet system, Jack doesn't want the hassle of adjusting it, looking for the signal, etc. He said that is why we purchased a roof mounted sat tv antenna system so he wouldn't have that PITA. Plus we don't have room for the equipment in the basement or in the toad.

Of course Jack might look into becoming a certified installer. Heaven knows he has years of electronics experience.  ;D 

We'll just wait a bit and see.

Regards,
Liz
 

Alaskansnowbirds

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Ned said:
Now Tim understands why I stress the importance of regular backups.  I'll bet he's more religious with the new computer.

Ned,

Marsha didn't say how the hard drive failed. But if it will still spin up would SpinRite maybe recover some data?
 

Ned

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Spinrite is certainly worth a try if the drive will power up.
 

DougJ

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If the data have high value, ie, they can't be recreated or the cost of recreating is exorbitant, then sending the HUD to one of the professional data recovery businesses might be worth that expense.

Doug
 

Ron

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Liz,

Setting up a tripod system usually takes less than thirty minutes.  Now my set up is usually less than 5 minutes but all I have to do is raise the antenna and point it since the cable are already there.  There are a lot of folks out there that are using the tripod setup.  Would I like a automatic system, you bet, but I can't justify the additional cost of an automatic system. 
 
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