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Old 03-24-2009, 12:07 PM   #1
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Wireless internet for fulltimers

We've been fulltimers for 6 years now and I've made do with whatever internet I could get in any given place - sometimes none.
I want to get a wireless provider that will give me good coverage and good service.
Any suggestions?
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Old 03-24-2009, 12:34 PM   #2
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Three months ago I switched to Verizon Wireless and use their USB727 Plug in device. The coverage seems very good and the speed is super fast.

You should check their coverage maps.

I got mine through the 3GStore.com, they sometimes offer packages that results in free devices and a no activation fees.

Make sure you compare Verizon with ATT and Sprint services.
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Old 03-24-2009, 12:35 PM   #3
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I would look at coverage area wise. Possibly either verizon or at&t. Both seem to have the greater coverage.
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Old 03-24-2009, 12:39 PM   #4
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I have Verizon and I'm quite satisfied.
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Old 03-24-2009, 01:07 PM   #5
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My vote is also for Verizon using the mobile broadband connect feature where you can turn it off and on as needed.
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Old 03-24-2009, 01:30 PM   #6
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For the last year I've used a Verizon PC 5750 aircard that gives me REV A speed in 95% of the places I've been. This card is inserted into a Linksys Wireless WRT54G3 router that provides a wireless hotspot in the coach so the DW can use her laptop at the same time I use my desktop. The router can be encrypted to prevent unauthorized users so it's very secure. I have the Verizon data plan that offers 5GB of D/L per month for 60 bucks. The only place I had a weak and slow connection was in Lake Havasu City, AZ but all other places have been in the 1.5 to 2.0MB D/L speed. I might add most of our travels have been in the southwest, but from Montana to the southwest I had excellent D/L speeds. I purchased my aircard and router new off of ebay for about 40% of retail.
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Old 03-24-2009, 07:39 PM   #7
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YOu basically have two choices at this time and a 3rd one up and coming

1: 2-way Sattelite internet, Starts around 60/month plus the initial outlay (can be a lot)

2; Air-Card, Most plans also start at around 60/month

NOTE that both 1 and 2, usually have bandwith limits, you can only download so much a month or either 1: They "Throttle" you (Cut your speed down to slow dial up) or charge you overage fees. Note also that 2-way sat it takes 1/2 second for anything to happen, (Lag time earth to bird to earth to bird to earth)

3: Up and coming: Wi-Max. A new "Air Card" type service Sprint is pushing forward.

I'm not sure I want to support Sprint, I've dealt with 'em in the past and it's not been all that friendly. Though in fairness. that was partially my fault.

But Wi-Max is.. Shall we say, Interesting looking.


The only other option at this time is dial up and local provider wi-fi (Free park or fee park)
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Old 03-24-2009, 07:42 PM   #8
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Go for an aircard - I have one from nTelos and it is awesome.
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Old 03-24-2009, 08:21 PM   #9
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We've had the Verizon USB727 and CradlePoint router for a couple of years now. Before that we had Kyocera KFC650 AirCard and KR1 router. We haven't been without Internet in over three years. Tonight we are parked at Pedernales Falls State Park near Johnson City, TX. The cell phones don't work, but the AirCard router does. We also noticed a slower connection when parked at 3T's in Lake Havasu City, but it was still over 100kbs.
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Old 03-24-2009, 08:35 PM   #10
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wireless internet

I want to say thanks to all who are responding to my question.
All this input will help us make a decision soon.
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Old 03-24-2009, 09:01 PM   #11
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Up and coming: Wi-Max. A new "Air Card" type service Sprint is pushing forward.

It is my understanding that Wi-Max is a tower based system with about a 30 mile radius and unfortunately will not be available for some time. When it comes becomes available, it will pretty much put just about everything else out of business. The rumor about Wal-Mart having a tower on each store has been around for years as about 90% of the population lives within 30 miles of a Wal-Mart.
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Old 03-24-2009, 10:38 PM   #12
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WiMax is a 4G technology, Verizon hasn't decided on what way to go as a 4G implementation. It will be 100Mbs to 1Gbs. Here is some Verizon 4G info
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Old 03-24-2009, 11:00 PM   #13
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You must FIRST ask yourself - where will you be camping?????

AirCards and cell based internet is great BUT....
If you frequently camp where there is no cell phone service or where you only have analog cell coverage coverage, you will probably not have aircard coverage either - satellite will be your only option. What about Mexico and Canada use? Are you in the mountains a lot?? Check out the coverage maps for all the carriers and see what might work for you.

BTW: WiMax is years - if at all - away for any "nationwide" coverage and then it'll be implemented in big city suburbs long long long before anything smaller or even rural.
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Old 03-24-2009, 11:04 PM   #14
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I use the AT&T the Sierra 881 USB wireless adapter. It is small and easy to use. You decide if you want to use it, or use the camp WiFi. We traveled from Texas to Florida and back, then to New England and Back, taking different routes. I never had a problem connecting. In some cities 3G is available with more and more 3G becoming available. I have been satisfied with my upload and download speeds. We also made a trip from Texas to Las Vegas and back, stayed on major roadways, and never had connectivity problems.

The important thing is to look at the coverage map. You can Google search "wireless coverage," without the quotes, and see the different coverage maps. There appears to be less coverage in the Western Central states and some Western Coastal states. I think that is going to be the really mountanous areas.

I like the WiFi USB as I can use it on any computer that has a USB port.

When travelling, DW will fire it up and start looking for a CG when we get near where we want to stop. It can be a great tool.

AT&T users will like AT&T and Verizon users will like Verizon. They are both good and they both have their limitations. I had Verizon in the past but only for cell phone use and it was great.

If you can see a signal bar on our cell phone, you should be able to connect using WiFi.

Good luck.

Edited: p.s., They make signal boosters and external antennas for cell phones. the 881 has the capability of an external antenna. This would increase your capability to send and receive via wireless. I will most likely get the Wilson's trucker antenna and a booster some time in the future, just because I'm a gadget geek I guess.
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