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Old 11-30-2010, 10:59 AM   #1
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Long Range Wi-Fi

Wi DW & I are planning retirement as Full-Timers. Our problem is this: We are highly dependent on the internet, and I am having a devil of a time figuring out the best way to boost oour WiFi signal. we will be in the national forest & parks as well as in state parks. Sometimes boondocking in the boonies. Can anyone give me an educated direction to head in. We will have two computers on board and sorry to say we are spoiled by cable speeds.

Dick & Judy Mott in the "Liberty Belle"
'99 Ultimate Freedom -FL Chassis - Subaru Outback
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Old 11-30-2010, 11:57 AM   #2
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I bought one of these and made a collapsible mast that raises and lowers it and allows me to point it directly at the access points for best reception.

InnovativeDevice - 2.4ghz USB Yagi Antenna

They also make units that are connected to a local router, but you can easily bridge the connection wirelessly between two laptops using their own internal wifi cards plus this antenna.

You can read about how a fellow NATCOA member added his to his crank up winegard antenna.

Pigpen's Installation

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Old 11-30-2010, 12:19 PM   #3
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We full time and gave up on wifi found in parks. We've been using Verizon Air Card with an external trucker's antenna mounted on our crank up Bat Wing. Inside it connects to a Cradlepoint 350 wireless router.

This solution might not work out well for you if Verizon cell coverage is an issue where you camp.

Good Luck...

Rick, Nancy, Peanut & Lola our Westie Dogs & Bailey the Sheltie.

2007 Itasca Ellipse 40FD
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Old 11-30-2010, 12:46 PM   #4
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We have a Verizon Air Card, Cradlepoint 1000 Router and an amplified Wilson Antenna. We have internet service about 99% of the places we travel.
Wayne & Roberta and Maggie the Miracle Dog
08 Winnebago Destination 39W Gas UFO Workhorse Chassis
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Old 11-30-2010, 06:23 PM   #5
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We have a verizon aircard and boost it with an external antenna & ampflifier. It's kept us on-line in 99% of our cross-country travel and we do *alot* of state parks and national forest. You can read about our set-up and how we use it here: Boosting Your Internet In*the*Boonies | Wheeling It
12 paws, 40 feet and the open road
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Old 11-30-2010, 06:50 PM   #6
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I still work for a living and I have to maintain contact with my office, so I got a Verizon aircard and conected it to a cradlepoint router (made our coach into a wireless hotspot) and backed it all up with a Moto-Sat G74. now I've had internect service 100% of the time even while mobile. While this is not the cheapest solution, it was the only way I could make sure that I could have internet all of the time. We've had as many as 5 computers hung on the system at one time and had no problems.
Charles and Martha*2008 Monaco Signature
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Old 11-30-2010, 07:12 PM   #7
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We got a Verizon Motoral Driod X cell phone with wireless Wi fi tethering for up to 5 devices. No booster antena needed so far, the pest part is the Driod is my full service back pc and fits in my pocket
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Old 11-30-2010, 07:16 PM   #8
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Are you using a software app for tethering or do you pay Verizon extra to tether.
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Old 11-30-2010, 07:24 PM   #9
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We gave up on area WiFi a few years ago. I have a Verizon data card connected to a Cradlepoint MB1000. My SO had a data card from AT&T and had nothing but trouble with it and recently changed to a Verizon MiFi and loves it.
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Old 12-01-2010, 09:26 PM   #10
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I also use the Droid phone with a Wilson Amplifier and external antenna. I have had excellent results. It works fine when other phones show "no service".
I pay the $20 for the hot spot deal which is a rip off, but cheaper than a Blackberry.
Salina, Utah
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Old 12-04-2010, 04:28 PM   #11
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I have the Motorola Android which can be tethered to my laptop and I pay $29/month for unlimited internet service. It is Verizon of course and they have great coverage. If we are near a WiFi hotspot at a campground or otherwise, i use my Radio Wave and I have gotten reception up to 3/4 mile. It is powered by the laptop's USB port. The antena is omnidirecctional also which makes things much easier. See photo at link below.

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Old 12-04-2010, 09:11 PM   #12
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Several Ways Increases Your Chances

I work using the internet and many times really have to have it. I have had Verizon phones and have gone on the internet with Verizon for years. I think they have a good system. HOWEVER the folks who say they get internet with Verizon 99% of the time must be using a company with the same name as the one I am using but not the same company. I can drive ten minutes from my home and be outside Verizon's connection. And I live in east San Diego County home to over 2 million people. In the past year we have had many places we parked where Verizon service was poor or NA. In no way am I complaining about Verizon I think they are a good provider.

Over the last year I did find out several things about Verizon in my quest to get the best connection possible. 1. A Motorola Droid one has a very good antenna. I went to a Wilson dealer and we tested my phone with both the sling and the more expensive system. There was no improvement using the Wilson stuff. The sales person recommended I did not buy. 2. There are many! places where a Motorola Droid one will outperform a Verizon air card. So much so that we got rid of the air card and now tether the Droid with very good results.

We use park wifi frequently. Most of the time we have good results using park wifi. Sometimes that requires going into a lounge or game room area, but so what. That makes it an opportunity to meet people. We have not bothered with a wifi antenna, but may.

I also have a MotoSat F1 internet sat antenna. And that truly does work 100% of the time the dish can see the bird. My MotoSat came with my coach when I bought it used a little over a year ago. I don't think I would have bought a new one if I did not have it. $6,000 or more is a lot of dough. But you can get used ones and including install for less than 2,000. IMHO it is worth it. We have had very good results with the Sat system. We use MotoSat as the ISP. They are a very good company to work with. Very easy to talk to someone if you have problems. And once we got the sat up and working we have not had problems. Works every time. But slower than Verizon Droid with a good solid connection. We still like the Sat system. Push one button and within a short time my wife and I have a very good wifi system in our coach for both of us.
B Bob
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Old 12-04-2010, 10:12 PM   #13
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Don't count on WiFi. Get a Verizon MiFi. It is a little stand alone card that connects to Verizon and supplies a wireless connection to both laptops.
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Old 12-04-2010, 10:18 PM   #14
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I was hoping someone would chime in about the MIFI. After following this thread and considering Verizon's USB modem, Wilson external antenna, and cradlepoint router I am wondering if the MIFI would be an alternative solution.

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