WiFi Options

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Bpd138

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Hello again,
I'm just wondering what people do for wifi while camping. We're on the Verizon network and were thinking of using one of our phones as a wifi hotspot but we were also considering buying a MiFi jetpack or similar device.
 

Isaac-1

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We use a grandfathered now discontinued AT&T unlimited plan on a Netgear hotspot most of the time, though my wife also sometimes brings a T-Mobile hotspot from her work. We have found locations where either one or the other or both don't get any signal, though in recent years that is getting less and less common.
 

Kirk

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To make the best recommendation, we need to know how much you use the Wifi, how critical is availability, and where do you expect to be when you need it? When we were fulltime we used satellite internet but today we just use a cell phone hot-spot as both our needs and our destinations have changed. If you plan to work from the road via the internet then your needs will be very different than the occasional user.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Functionally there is no difference in the wifi either way when you & the phone are present where needed, but the Mifi has its own phone number and of course is physically a separate package. That means you can leave the Mifi active in one place and carry your phone elsewhere. Whether that is a useful feature for you depends on your wants & needs. I liked the Mifi alternative because I could walk around the park or go to the grocery store with phone in my pocket while my wife used her tablet on wifi in the coach. I paid extra (the Mifi addition to my wireless plan) for that bit of convenience.
 

dktool

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I use one phone for the hotspot as you mentioned, verizon network.
Also use that at my off the path cabin.
 

Tom

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We've used a Jetpack for years. Dumped the rooftop satellite internet dish after repeated equipment failures. We're actually on the second Jetpack device after I accidentally broke the first one.

One trip, I inadvertently left the Jetpack at home; Called Verizon and activated/shared the Jetpack internet account/data on our two phones.

As has been said, coverage might be spotty in some areas, but that situation continues to improve. I carry an AT&T wifi device as a backup for the occasions that VZW is non-existent.
 

PaulBates

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Dearborn, MI
We use phone hotspots as you do. I'm att and DGF is Verizon. Between us, at least one has coverage, when there is coverage.
No harm in trying phone hotspot to see how it works, as there's no additional cost. Have a plan B if it consistently doesn't work well enough.
 

Ray-IN

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IMO it is less money when both have cell phones to use one as a hotspot with an unlimited plan. The other cell-phone is used for walking around.
That said, my pre-paid Verizon hotspot, which must be purchased, is $30/ month for 50gb. My pre-paid Verizon cell-phone is $40/month for unlimited talk N text + 5gb data.
So, this means you need to answer Kirk's question; how much do you use WiFi?
 

Tom

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IMO it is less money when both have cell phones to use one as a hotspot with an unlimited plan.
In our case, we merely share the same unlimited data plan across 3 devices (Jetpack and 2 phones), so no additional cost.
 

garyb1st

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Southern California
As Kirk says, it would be helpful to know how you intend to use it.

We have a MiFi with 30 gigs of data. I use it for trip planning while on the road. Therefore, lots of Google Maps and Campendium or related search engines. I can go through 30 gigs in 10 days. After that, I'll use my wife's phone hot spot. Honestly not much difference and my thinking is ditch the MiFi and get a second smart phone with unlimited data. We pay $30 a month for the MIFi, use it 3 or 4 months a year so it's pricy on that basis.
 

Tom

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In our case, we merely share the same unlimited data plan across 3 devices (Jetpack and 2 phones), so no additional cost.
Should have said "shared" instead of share. This month I deactivated Chris' phone with VZW when I bought her a new one and activated with another carrier. Plan to evaluate coverage on our next couple of trips, then decide if we'll switch it back to VZW.
 

Sweetsurrender

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Home is in Henderson, Nevada
We have used my phone as a hotspot, thru Consumer Cellular. It is fine for emails and some web browsing, but after a day I started getting messages that we were approaching XX GBs. Its technically an unlimited plan, so not sure what that was about. It worked, but we didnt attempt streaming, so can't comment on that yet.
We are looking into more powerful options, like Starlink.
 

Tom

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... after a day I started getting messages that we were approaching XX GBs. Its technically an unlimited plan, so not sure what that was about.
Some companies sell you an "unlimited" plan, but that just means there's no cap on the total amount of data. They throttle the speed back after some bandwidth has been used.
 

PaulBates

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Some companies sell you an "unlimited" plan, but that just means there's no cap on the total amount of data. They throttle the speed back after some bandwidth has been used.

When Verizon throttles our MiFi after we've used our 30 GB of data, service is extremely slow. In fact IMHO, not usable.

AT&T does as well, but I haven't hit it. I download movies at home or at gas / shopping stops over facility's WiFi.
 

DonTom

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When Verizon throttles our MiFi after we've used our 30 GB of data, service is extremely slow. In fact IMHO, not usable.
I have their unlimited plan which is 150GB before the slowdown. I have never seen the slowdown. Not even when I try my best to get there.

With a lot of use, and I mean things like downloading maps to a GPS. I have done overnight large downloads with it. Watch a lot of firestick TV, etc.

I find the unlimited plan to be worth the extra price. However, for most months I am wasting some money, because I only rarely use it that much. But I like the idea that I don't even have to be concerned about reaching the limit no matter what I do with it on any month.

-Don- Reno, NV
 

DonTom

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Some companies sell you an "unlimited" plan, but that just means there's no cap on the total amount of data. They throttle the speed back after some bandwidth has been used.
Yes, but it also means more data before the slowdown. A lot more. The more expensive plans slow down when a lot more data is used up.

-Don- Reno, NV
 
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