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> Do You Use Skype?, Access to the Internet while travelling in USA & CANADA
movannernz
post Jan 2 2012, 10:29 PM
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Happy New Year to you all, hope you have many wonderful RV trips in 2012!

I am wondering how I go about getting Internet access on our 64 day motorhome trip. I am thinking I might as well bring my own laptop with me which is not Wi-fi enabled, someone has told me I will need an adapter. I use Skype at home in NZ, not for phone calls only video calls up to now but they do look cheap call rates.
Would appreciate some help on this matter.
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pianotuna
post Jan 3 2012, 08:32 AM
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Hi,

Data usb modems are available. Unfortunately you will need two--one for Canada and one for USA.

Millenicom is the "best bang for the buck" in USA. 20 gigs for a no contract device is $60.00 plus the cost of the modem. Make sure to get the Verizon version.

Virgin Canada sells a prepaid usb modem which can be "reloaded" if need be. Skype video would cut into so called "data bucket" fairly quickly. Virgin "piggybacks" on the Bell system.


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joez
post Jan 3 2012, 09:41 AM
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DW uses Skype to talk with grandkids sometimes when we travel. Unfortunately, more often than not there is not enough bandwidth/speed available from any of the cell devices we have in many areas. We have 3G/4G data devices for ATT, Sprint, and Verizon and even with an external antenna and amplifier the signal is not strong enough for Skype. RV park WiFi is not often good for Skype either. If you happen to be in an area with a good strong cell connection or really good WiFi it works great. One other consideration. We have been in some (maybe 5 or 6 out of dozens) rv parks who have banned the use of Skype from their WiFi systems due to bandwidth limitations, I guess. Not sure how they would know but since we are kind of follow the rules folks we never tried to see.
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movannernz
post Jan 3 2012, 09:58 PM
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QUOTE(pianotuna @ Jan 4 2012, 03:32 AM) *

Hi,

Data usb modems are available. Unfortunately you will need two--one for Canada and one for USA.

Millenicom is the "best bang for the buck" in USA. 20 gigs for a no contract device is $60.00 plus the cost of the modem. Make sure to get the Verizon version.

Virgin Canada sells a prepaid usb modem which can be "reloaded" if need be. Skype video would cut into so called "data bucket" fairly quickly. Virgin "piggybacks" on the Bell system.


Hi pianotuna, the most important thing is checking my emails, I can do without
skype video calling but thought it might be good for booking rv parks in advance as the calls are so cheap. would I be better to buy a phone and sim instead for calls?
I think we have talked ourselves out of Canada, if the USA trip goes okay may do Canada the following year if monies allow!
Your comments are always useful, so thanks, Julie
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movannernz
post Jan 3 2012, 11:43 PM
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QUOTE(joez @ Jan 4 2012, 04:41 AM) *

DW uses Skype to talk with grandkids sometimes when we travel. Unfortunately, more often than not there is not enough bandwidth/speed available from any of the cell devices we have in many areas. We have 3G/4G data devices for ATT, Sprint, and Verizon and even with an external antenna and amplifier the signal is not strong enough for Skype. RV park WiFi is not often good for Skype either. If you happen to be in an area with a good strong cell connection or really good WiFi it works great. One other consideration. We have been in some (maybe 5 or 6 out of dozens) rv parks who have banned the use of Skype from their WiFi systems due to bandwidth limitations, I guess. Not sure how they would know but since we are kind of follow the rules folks we never tried to see.


Thank you Joez for the comments, I think I might look into the usb data modem that Pianotuna has suggested. Why does everything have to be so complicated. Do rv parks/campgrounds have a computer for guest use at a cost or perhaps I can access the Internet at libraries.
Many thanks, Julie
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imagardener
post Jan 4 2012, 08:49 AM
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QUOTE(movannernz @ Jan 4 2012, 12:43 AM) *

Thank you Joez for the comments, I think I might look into the usb data modem that Pianotuna has suggested. Why does everything have to be so complicated. Do rv parks/campgrounds have a computer for guest use at a cost or perhaps I can access the Internet at libraries.
Many thanks, Julie


We look for libraries which are usually listed on our navigation device. IOW you won't need an internet connection to find a library with internet connections :-) Also some McDonalds now have Wifi but probably not the small town ones. Libraries are our go-to spots and sometimes we just park in the lot and get a signal.

We also have the Virgin Mobile card which was useful at times but not full coverage out West. It worked best on interstates near populated areas.
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RLM
post Jan 4 2012, 11:13 AM
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You can purchase a Wireless N Adapter for your laptop that will allow it to receive wi-fi signals for getting onto the internet. Most are in the $25-30 range, but do your research on the distance that they will receive a signal.

As opposed to Skype, Google Voice offers free calls in the US and Canada.

IMHO I think MagicJack Plus is an excellent device for use at home and in the RV. It can be used with our without the computer connection, but you'll need a phone set to plug into it. Any cheap one will do. I've never had a bandwidth problem with it, but it's possible. The nice thing is that it comes with a free trial period so you can check that out.



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pdq
post Mar 17 2012, 10:14 AM
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we always use skype
have the app on our iphone
have a north american data plan
we are 'good to go' in can & us
pdq


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RFCN2
post Mar 19 2012, 10:31 PM
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Movannernz - I cannot believe your laptop does not have wifi. Starting about 10 years ago they are on about 100% of all laptops. If you laptop is older than 2002 you might consider upgrading it. I am sure you can find a USB plug in wifi adapter very cheap. If I still had one I would send it to you.

Once you get a computer that will work with wifi I would suggest you try to just use public and park wifi. Most airports, libraries, Starbucks, many McDonalds, and most commercial RV parks have free or nearly free wifi here in the States. You need a fairly fast connection to get Skype to work right. I have used Skype for years. You need a very fast connection to get Skype video phone to work.

You can get a wireless internet connection, but for just over two months public wifi should work for you. If it does not you can pop into a phone store or electronics store and get a wireless internet dongle.


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movannernz
post Mar 22 2012, 11:37 PM
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QUOTE(RFCN2 @ Mar 20 2012, 05:31 PM) *

Movannernz - I cannot believe your laptop does not have wifi. Starting about 10 years ago they are on about 100% of all laptops. If you laptop is older than 2002 you might consider upgrading it. I am sure you can find a USB plug in wifi adapter very cheap. If I still had one I would send it to you.

Once you get a computer that will work with wifi I would suggest you try to just use public and park wifi. Most airports, libraries, Starbucks, many McDonalds, and most commercial RV parks have free or nearly free wifi here in the States. You need a fairly fast connection to get Skype to work right. I have used Skype for years. You need a very fast connection to get Skype video phone to work.

You can get a wireless internet connection, but for just over two months public wifi should work for you. If it does not you can pop into a phone store or electronics store and get a wireless internet dongle.


Thanks, RFCN2, took my computer in to where I bought it and they said that it is wifi, so that is all good. Only 5 weeks on Monday before we leave home so getting really excited about out trip now. I hear fuel is still going up in price which is not such good news though. Thanks Julie
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