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Old 01-23-2005, 09:04 AM   #1
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We haven't taken our lap top with us on previous outings but thinking of doing so this time. Can anyone talk to me about the pros and cons of WiFi?
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Old 01-23-2005, 09:04 AM   #2
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We haven't taken our lap top with us on previous outings but thinking of doing so this time. Can anyone talk to me about the pros and cons of WiFi?
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Old 01-23-2005, 10:13 AM   #3
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linway,

You will need a WiFi enabled laptop or a WiFi NIC card to put in the small slot on the side of your laptop. Once enabled, you can go to any "Hot Spot" and connect (Hot Spot locations can be found in places such as hotels, airports, coffee shops and of course a few campgrounds). For a charge, of course. Typical rates are $3.50/hr, $5.00/day, $25.00/week and $35.00/month. Not all campgrounds use the same company to supply connections so you may need to sign up and pay at different places, however; there is also some reciprocarion between providers who share connection costs.

Since that are not a lot of campgrounds yet connected, your ability to connect is limited. Every time I camp, I ask for a connection. This way I can show the campground I'm interested. If we all ask, we'll generate more interest and more campgrounds will provide this service.
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Old 01-24-2005, 05:57 AM   #4
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Bill:

I have an older P11 NEC laptop running Window 98 that goes back to my working life.

Will a simple PCMCIA card allow me to hook up at a WIFI hotspot? No Service Provider or other software needed? Totally green at this and at computers in general so any comments would be appreciated.

The campground we are heading to is putting in WIFI, if not to cover the entire campground, at least a router in the clubhouse, so would like to take advantage. Thanks in advance.
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Old 01-24-2005, 06:37 AM   #5
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Bob, make sure the PCMCIA card has the drivers for your version of Windows. The connection is independent of any you may already have and will normally come up on the campgrounds home page for you to log onto the system with username and password provided by the campground. If you have not already purchased the card take a look at one with an exteral antenna - provides a lot more range than a built in antenna
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Old 01-24-2005, 08:24 AM   #6
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Bob:

When I was looking for a wireless PCI adapter card for my desktop, the oldest Windows release any of them could be used with was Windows 98 SE (Second Edition). Of course, my machine was only Windows 98, so I had to upgrade it (to Windows XP) before I could install the card.

I would think it's going to be the same requirement for a PCMCIA wireless adapter too.

Good Luck.
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Old 01-24-2005, 11:33 AM   #7
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Thanks Guys!

The card I'm looking at comes with drivers and my Windows is the 98SE so I should be good.
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Old 01-25-2005, 05:45 AM   #8
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There are also wi-fi adapters that plug to USB ports, so consider that option as well. The USB models are more likley to include an external antenna, which can be very helpful in a campground. Wi-fi reception varies widely in a campground because the signal is low power and easily blocked by trees, hills, and adjacent RVs. Sometimes moving the antenna just a few feet from where you are sitting can make a world of difference.
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Old 01-25-2005, 05:53 AM   #9
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Since there are some newbies to wi-fi on this thread, let me point out that wi-fi itself is not an internet connection. It is Wireless Networking, which enables you to easily connect to another computer, which in turn (usually) provides an internet connection you can use. That connection may be fast (e.g. cable/DSL) or slow (dial-up) and may be shared by dozens of people or just a few. Sharing can dramatically affect the speed you get.

Since you are in a network, YOUR computer is now accessible to the others, so make sure you do not have file sharing enabled. A firewall would be a good thing too. If you have Windows XP, enable its built-in forewall; otherwise use Zonealalrm or similar product. It's not just the other campers who may be sharing the network - anyone within range of the wi-fi network may be able to get on, so mischief is possible.
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Old 01-25-2005, 11:02 AM   #10
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I use Wi-Fi at the Outdoor Resorts park where we own a lot in Indio, CA. First I used the card that I inserted into the slot in my labtop. It had trouble connecting. It was suggested that I get the USB adapter and like a previous posted indicated, you can move it and it finds a good, fast connection. If you are using it at home or at Starbucks, the card works fine. But in a park, I recommend purchasing the USB version. Best Buy has them for about $50 I believe.
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Old 01-25-2005, 03:53 PM   #11
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We bought a new laptop with the wifi built in. Now we are running a wireless network at home and will be ready to go wifi, if we wish, when we go fulltime. Our other choice is two way satellite at a price!

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Old 02-05-2005, 09:50 PM   #12
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One might consider a sony ericsson gc79 pc air card.{slides in pc slot on laptop}
It works in connection with t-mobile. Although there is a initial cost for the card ($199} and a monthly fee of $20, if you are a serious internet user, it would be justified. I have seen specials from different groups that offer the card at $50 and you commit to a 1 year obligation with them.Now I have seen the monthly cost of some of these offers however at $30.I have also seen the Pc card offered for free { after a rebate} with the same $30 month,one year commitment.Now if you are looking "LONG TERM"} I would suggest taking the hit for $199 and the $20 a month, because in the long run,it would be a better deal. The internet has a unlimited access use ! Although you can not use it everywhere, it has a very broad and growing area.{see t-mobile.com -coverage} Now the connection will not be the blazing fast variety but the card will also handle the "hot spots" at various places which do have the high speed internet capabilities.
Just another possibility to think about.
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Old 02-06-2005, 07:40 AM   #13
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> It works in connection with t-mobile. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

The only problem with this plan is that those of us to travel to remote locations will frequently not have access to T-mobile. In fact, it is quite common to have very poor to no cellular phone service at all.

One thing that has not been mentioned here is that many of those who have a dish for internet with a wireless network in the RV, or even most home users, do not have security enabled on their wireless router. That means that any owner of a wireless card equipped computer can use their internet service. I have a friend who has dropped his ISP because sitting in his home he can choose from three routers that come up from neighbors and that have no security set up. In the larger RV parks it is very common for a neighbor to have a dish for internet in or on his RV that operates via a wireless router with no security. At this moment there is one just across the street from me. I am not using it as I do have my own dish and my router does have security set. But if a neighbor happens to ask about it, I will usually give him the "key" that is required to access the net via my dish. That is very common. It really costs me nothing and I get free beer very frequently that way.

There are utilities out there that you can run on the PC to detect all wireless signals and to let you know if security is enabled, and the signal strength. The one I use is called "Net Stumbler" and it works very well.

So while there is a need for a network connection for access to the internet, frequently you can find one and often for free.
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Old 02-20-2005, 06:40 PM   #14
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Not said here and not to be overlooked but not all WIFI connections cost $$. I've parked many places where there was a connection that did'nt ask for a password and we just went ahead and did our business.

If transmitting secure personal info, make sure the site you're connected to displays the little "padlock" in the lower RH portion of your browser screen. Even if someone is "tapping" your transmissions, all they'll read is gibberish!!!
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