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kcmoedoe
Lindsay, what I am talking about is security can be compromised at many points during a WiFi session. The little lock means the site is a secure website that has very sophisticated data encryption to protect your information. It is virtually impossible for anyone to steal your information when you are using that website. That being said, it is only secure once your data reaches that point. Much like the vault at your bank may be theft-proof, but it can still be robbed if it is left open, Money can be stolen before it is put into the vault or stolen after it is taken out of the vault. WiFi theft most often occurs on the connections before your data reaches the secure website. The best example I can give is if your computer is connected to a secure website, but you are having someone else type in the information and you are relaying that information to them over a walkie talkie. Then there are a number of people that could steal your information. The Typist, anyone listening on the same walkie talkie frequency or someone just standing next to you listening or looking over your shoulder. In a WiFi setting, the router is that person typing in your information. If the router is corrupted, your data is in danger. The Wireless signals from wireless keyboards etc is the Walkie Talkie, it is usually not well encrypted and anyone close by can copy the keystokes with some simple software and radio receivers. Logging into an unknown persons WiFi because it is unsecured is the guy looking over your shoulder. You gave him an opportunity and he took it. All this being said, You really have much more to worry about than someone stealing your information. The odds are very much against it. Wireless keyboards have a very short range. Someone dishonest has to be very close by to intercept the signal. Also, they need to have some of your personal information to use any passwords or data they may have collected. A password is no good unless you have the account number it belongs to. Good businesses have highly secure WiFi systems. They are not overly expensive but they do require a bit more than just hanging a router off the back patio. Also, more sophisticated systems sometimes will require a bit more effort to log onto. I.E a password and a username. The best security is to not connect to any connection unless you are sure who the administrator or owner is. The odds are great that the campground you just gave your Credit Card number to when you registered is not going to steal your credit card information off of their wireless system. They already have it. This goes for any legitimate business, they have too much to lose. That unsecured network you found that you can connect to and save yourself a campground fee doesn't have anything to lose, so stay away.
Lindsay Richards
So does the average campground out there that we are using have a secure website? Somehow I think not. I have never seen the little lock on the task bar (if that means anything). I guess that the problem would be coming from my computer to the router via wireless. Most people I talk to in campgrounds using WiFi are doing their banking via that WiFi connection. Are you saying we are taking a chance and if so how much? Should I stop? I can tell you that this is a huge handy method for us to be able to pay these bill online. We have direct deposit and every bill is paid via WiFi. This allows us to be gone for 3 months with no problems.
kcmoedoe
You are much more likely to be robbed by a mugger than have your data stolen off of the Wifi. That being said, being careful is prudent. Just like looking over your shoulder on a dark street or wearing a seatbelt. Also remember, if you are a victim of Credit Card theft, your liability is limited to $50.00. A campground router will not show the lock logo because you are not connected to a website, but rather you are connected to an internet pipeline. I was just trying to point out that WiFi is more complicated than just having a router available for everyone's use. It is also more costly than some have implied, if they do it correctly. They will probably have a system independent of their business lines to protect their data. The campground has hundreds or thousands of CC numbers in their data bases and their liability if these are compromised runs into the 10s of thousands of dollars. I am just suggesting a little patience with the park if they try to recoup their costs or the system is a little slower or more complicated then we like.
Texasrvers
This is for kcmoedoe and Lindsay:

KC, I have really enjoyed your explanation of Wi-Fi security. It has made me think about some things, but even so I am not planning to greatly change how we do things. I feel we have taken about all the precautions that we can, and I am not afraid to use a cg's Wi-Fi. I even feel a little better about it after hearing all you have had to say.

I would also like to let Lindsay know about our method for paying bills. We use automatic debits (different companies have different names for it) for all our monthly bills. This means that the billing company drafts our bank directly on a particular day of each month. Therefore, we don't have to go on line to pay our bills. This way it doesn't matter where we are--home or away--the bills get paid on time. We actually set all this up before we started traveling because I never could remember to pay some bills on time. They all had different due dates, and I would just forget. We still get hard copies of everything so that we can monitor our payments, but so far we have had no problems. (knock on wood!)

This also means we do not need to worry as much about a cg's Wi-Fi security since we mostly use it for email and surfing. However, along those lines I do have a question for KC. If I am logged on to a Wi-Fi system and someone else logs on is it possible for that person to actually access my computer. I ask because I have heard it is possible, and I do keep certain files on my computer that I would not want someone else to get to. While I've heard it is possible I have also heard that it is highly unlikely as someone would have to have some really specialized computer skills to do so. I'd appreciate any information you can give me on this.
Lindsay Richards
We too use the automatic debit, but many don't do this. We have a debit card system with seperate number for my wife and I coming out of the same account. I use Quicken to keep track of things and it works quite well. I feel pretty safe about it now.
Texasrvers
Lindsay,
Your banking procedures--auto debit, two debit cards with different numbers and Quicken--sound very identical to us. It has worked well for us.
kcmoedoe
Texasrvers, It is technically possible for your computer to be accessed anytime it is connected to a network, be it a WiFi system, an Aircard, a wired system etc. For this to happen, the hacker would have to find a security breach in your firewalls, or you would need to have logged onto a corrupted website or have a corrupted modem on your connection. These type of attacks almost never occur randomly, since the attacker will give away his mode of attack and not accomplish much if he just penetrates the average joe's computer. The best hackers attack business and government computers, because thats where the good stuff is. When you communicate with a website, you give it "permission" to access certain areas of your computer. The same thing with any connection. It is also technically possible to download a "bot" which is a program that is hidden in another program or e-mail that would take control parts of your computer. There have actually been bots in the past that would actually activate your computer at certain time and transmit all your files to a thiefs computer. These are extremely rare to non existant today. The network security and your own computer security programs (MaAfee, Norton etc.) block literally all of these type of programs. There are always predators out there patrolling for weaknesses. That's why you should be vigilant in keeping your computer's security current, avoid opening suspect e-mails, accepting downloads from unknown websites and connecting your computer to unknown access points. If you follow these simple rules you will never have any security problems.
Texasrvers
kcmoedoe,
Thanks for the info. We already follow the precautions you mentioned at the end, so I feel relatively safe. Guess we'll just keep doing what we can and keep our fingers crossed for the rest.
DXSMac
Actually, after thinking again..... I would be willing to pay $1 a day for WiFi access, or even $2 a day, but NOT MORE THAN THAT. Also, I would pay it ONLY if I were paying the park. I don't want to pay a third party.

JJ
Lindsay Richards
Actually. my wife's credit card was stolen last Christmas, but I haven't turned it in yet as the theif is spending a lot's less than she had been spending.
DXSMac
QUOTE(Lindsay Richards @ Sep 6 2008, 09:53 AM) *

Actually. my wife's credit card was stolen last Christmas, but I haven't turned it in yet as the theif is spending a lot's less than she had been spending.

Well, you are only responsible for the first $50 (but most CC companies waive that $50), so turn it in!!!!

JJ
Lindsay Richards
QUOTE(DXSMac @ Sep 6 2008, 12:56 PM) *

Well, you are only responsible for the first $50 (but most CC companies waive that $50), so turn it in!!!!

JJ



I was trying to be funny there.
DXSMac
QUOTE(Lindsay Richards @ Sep 8 2008, 06:57 AM) *

I was trying to be funny there.


SORRY! I guess I was in a weird mood and didn't catch your humor.

JJ smile.gif
Doraville
I think that WiFi has become as important as power, water, and sewage. We have fresh water tanks, grey water tanks, and even batteries and generators. We can get by for short stays without any hook-ups, but no internet hook-up is a major inconvenience.

During a recent 8 week trip out west, my observation was that 99% of the private campgrounds offer free WiFi. Only about 10% had adequate equipment to provide a reliable signal at each site. The WiFi usually does work near the office, but this requires you to go hang around the office in your Winnie the Pooh pajamas.

I finally got fed up and bought a high gain directional antenna and amplifier. This requires extra set-up at each stop, but improved my ability to connect from my camper to about 80% of the time.

The best way to encourage the campgrounds to upgrade their equipment is to mention how good their WiFi service was (or wasn't) in your reviews on this site. I try to mention it on all my reviews.
westernrvparkowner
I own a medium sized RV park and include wifi access in my site fee. That being said, it is not free. My rates were adjusted to include my extra expenses. Some posters have suggested that "hanging a router in the window" will cover all a parks wifi needs. That is simply not true. Parks that take this approach are the parks that you can only connect near the office, or have a signal that comes and goes randomly. My equipment cost me several thousand dollars, not including installation and maintance. By far my biggest expense is the man hours spent on helping guests access the system. I am amazed how many people cannot operate their computers at all. I have had guests who did not understand you had to have a wireless card or modem for wifi to work. Customers have turned off the wireless modem on their machine and appeared at my door at 2 AM demanding I make the WiFi work. My equipment was recently had a security upgrade and is not compatible with Microsoft Vista unless the customer's computer has been upgraded with "Microsoft Service Pack 1" This upgrade has been out for over 6 months, but many people have not upgraded even though Microsoft considers it a "Critical Upgrade". I really don't believe I am responsible for a customer failing to keep their computers current. Also, many guests have not configured their computers to use wireless connections since all they have done is unplugged the computer from their home and lugged it onto the road. still other customers have set their security setting to allow only connection to their business LAN or have other custom security settings that prevent their system from connecting. We want our customers to be able to enjoy our wifi, but we are very leery about changing a customer's computer settings, there could be some large liability issues. Our park literally spends a minimum of an hour a day providing technical support for customer's computers. This takes us away from our work that can benefit all our guests and has us spend that time on a single guest. WiFi may be a necessity for today's RVers, but it is a NECESSARY EVIL to this campground owner.
DXSMac
QUOTE(Doraville @ Sep 16 2008, 05:03 AM) *


The best way to encourage the campgrounds to upgrade their equipment is to mention how good their WiFi service was (or wasn't) in your reviews on this site. I try to mention it on all my reviews.


Ok, but what can you do about park managers/owners who don't seem to be concerned about "open" access (the fact that people not staying in the park can access the signal, thus weighing it down and the park customers can't get in....)? The park I'm at now doesn't seem to care that non-park customers can access the signal. They can keep it free, yet lock, it down with a password.

JJ
bikemanb
I have no problem with a $1 per day fee, many campers don't use wifi, why should they subsidize my use? Wifi isn't "free", it is hiding in the site rates of those campgrounds that don't "charge" for it.

As mentioned a truly functional park wide wifi system is expensive to the park owner and then they have to deal with user connection issues.
DXSMac
QUOTE(bikemanb @ Sep 21 2008, 08:01 PM) *

I have no problem with a $1 per day fee, many campers don't use wifi, why should they subsidize my use? Wifi isn't "free", it is hiding in the site rates of those campgrounds that don't "charge" for it.

As mentioned a truly functional park wide wifi system is expensive to the park owner and then they have to deal with user connection issues.


I would be willing to pay up to $2 for wifi, or for an "instant" phone connection so I can use dial up if I have to. More than that, to me, is a ripoff.

I'm at an RV park now, have been gone since Sep 3, I'm going home tomorrow. I don't WANT to go home! I wanna keep RV'ing!!!! WAAAHHHH!!!!! But I suppose I had better go home so I can be available when teachers start bailing..... (I substitute teach...), it helps pay for my RV'ing habit.....

JJ
FosterImposters
QUOTE(westernrvparkowner @ Sep 16 2008, 10:28 AM) *

... Our park literally spends a minimum of an hour a day providing technical support for customer's computers.


Got a real eye-opener on this topic when helping a Northwest US Park Owner this summer as our first 'workcamping' experience. Personally use an 'aircard' to access the internet...therefore we forgo all the WiFi hassles at every stop in the road.

Was like trying to start a fire with sticks again...helping folks get their computers to work with WiFi. And the stories they shared...! Good grief.
Felt like I was a sales rep for Verizon Air-Card at the end of the day... rolleyes.gif
westernrvparkowner
QUOTE(FosterImposters @ Oct 2 2008, 12:19 PM) *

[i][/i]

Got a real eye-opener on this topic when helping a Northwest US Park Owner this summer as our first 'workcamping' experience. Personally use an 'aircard' to access the internet...therefore we forgo all the WiFi hassles at every stop in the road.

Was like trying to start a fire with sticks again...helping folks get their computers to work with WiFi. And the stories they shared...! Good grief.
Felt like I was a sales rep for Verizon Air-Card at the end of the day... rolleyes.gif



Thanks for the confirmation that I am not alone. Bet the campground left "computer technical support" off the job description when you hired on. Hope your work camping experience was rewarding and if it was, may all your future assignments be great.
Kirk
westernrvparkowner,

Thanks for posting your experience. As one who travels with satellite internet, I cold tell you about a few also since people now frequently recognize the dish and are quite bold about asking to use my signal, and some even demand to do so. Your point is well made and some time back I started a real firestorm on this thread by having the audacity to say that I see nothing wrong with passing the cost along to those who use it by charging a fee. I would think it quite reasonable to pass on a charge for assistance beyond the very basic service, say 10 minutes at most.

Our son is a computer professional and I assure you that technical support beyond the basics is very often charged for in other industries and there is no reason why you should not be allowed to do so as well. biggrin.gif
DXSMac
Kirk, asking to use YOUR satellite signal is just plain..... RUDE AND OBNOXIOUS. You are the one paying for it. I can't believe people have been bold to do that!

JJ
pianotuna
Hi JJ,

I might offer to pay for bandwidth--but I'd certainly never "demand" that it be shared.

I leave my wifi router in my stick house "open" so that anyone can use it--but none of my neighbors do the same. I don't understand that because I don't pay for bandwidth--just for the service, and none of them pay for bandwidth either.

Perhaps that may explain why folks think Kirk should be willing to "share". They may not be aware he has to pay for ever extra "byte" over his allotment.

QUOTE(DXSMac @ Oct 2 2008, 07:09 PM) *

Kirk, asking to use YOUR satellite signal is just plain..... RUDE AND OBNOXIOUS. You are the one paying for it. I can't believe people have been bold to do that!

JJ
Just Jack
[quote name='westernrvparkowner' date='Sep 16 2008, 10:28 AM' post='13217']
I own a medium sized RV park and include wifi access in my site fee. That being said, it is not free. My rates were adjusted to include my extra expenses. Some posters have suggested that "hanging a router in the window" will cover all a parks wifi needs. That is simply not true.
...........
Thank you for your further insight as a park owner.
I hadn't considered my time as a computer consultant when I set up the amount I charge for my wifi. At a $1 an hour my profit margin has increased to minus hundreds of dollars now.
Another issue that has just come up is bandwidth. With a satallite we do have limited badwidth and even though we charge for wifi, guests think it is unlimited. I don't know what they must be downloading, movies, music, porn??? But they can download gigs of material within a hour, which then shuts down the system for every one. How do I control that??

pianotuna
Hi Just Jack,

Welcome to the forum--it is very valuable to hear from the other side of the RV street!

>Another issue that has just come up is bandwidth. With a satallite we do have limited badwidth >and even though we charge for wifi, guests think it is unlimited. I don't know what they must be >downloading, movies, music, porn??? But they can download gigs of material within a hour, >which then shuts down the system for every one. How do I control that??

Limit your wifi connection to wireless B for starters. That will decrease the bandwidth that anyone can use by a factor of about five. I'm sure someone else with more technical expertize can suggest other ways to "control" abuse of the system.

In the mean time add a notice to your campground etiquette sheet that spells out the limitations of the system. Something like:

"Please be aware that our wifi system is a satellite feed with limited bandwidth. Help us provide wifi to every guest by not downloading large files or using streaming audio or video. After the daily satellite bandwidth limit is reached all of us are cut off from the internet."
taj4256
Clearly there is expense to the campground to provide this so they need to be paid--either directly by those using or by everyone through the camping fee. I think the direct charge approach is more equitable BUT--if they charge, the signal better be strong and dependable at all campsites. I have had too many experiences where the service was so undependable it wasn't worth "free" much less $x per day.

QUOTE(drmcleod @ Jul 18 2008, 04:18 PM) *

Should Campgrounds charge for Internet access?

I would like to get other opinions on this.

My opinion is no! I have two reasons for this.

First, as a consumer. Having free internet access is actually one of the things I look for in a campground. It's a 'perk' if you will. If I have the choice between two, somewhat comparable, c/g's then I will choose the one with free WiFi. Heck, I'll even choose the one with free WiFi over one that is slightly nicer with fee for service.

Second, as a business owner (of which I am one). It does not cost more to allow the whole campground access to your broadband service. The only additional expense is the addition of the hardware. In some cases this might be more expensive if additional antennas are required and installation requires an expert. Also, a higher than basic internet subscription is needed. However, if the c/g is going to charge for its WiFi service, then all of this has to be done anyway. Therefore, consider it a marketing expense to drive more people to your c/g. Why do you think that places like Panera Bread and even McDonald's are offering free WiFi? I know I choose to eat there when I need a place to surf while I eat. In my case, I want more people to come to my place of business, so I make my wireless service available to all. It costs me no more, but brings more people to me.

What do you think?

kcmoedoe
Hi Pianotuna, Just a couple of thoughts. I would enable my home wifi security ASAP. Leaving your router unsecured opens your system up to anyone who wants to traffic over it. Even if your computer is shut down or with you in the RV the modem is up and functioning. Now it won't happen, unless you win the unlucky lottery, but what if a neighbor or just someone transiting the area finds your system is open and proceeds to download a couple of hundred gigabytes of child porn or uses your system to plan the next terrorist attack. You could find yourself the subject of a pretty embarrassing and scary investigation from law enforcement. It is very easy for law enforcement to trace traffic back to a router. It would be very inconvenient to have your home, RV and all personal possessions searched for a computer you do not own. Put a password on the system and stop 99.9% of all problems. If your computer is connected and turned on, your problems could multiply. A good hacker could attack your system and possibly steal valuable information. The modem is a substantial firewall and you defeat some of the security by leaving it open anyone. Downgrading a modem to wireless B will work to balance out bandwidth, but it will slow performance for all the guests. Things will not download as fast, so guests will have to wait longer for things like photos and videos to download. Since files cannot download as fast on "B" overall traffic on the network my actually increase since guests would be unable to download wanted files as quickly and then get off the network. It is my experience that on big files, many people just start the download and then walk away. I really like your other suggestion of just asking the guests to monitor and limit their high bandwidth traffic. I just hope it is not like asking a leopard to change his spots.
pianotuna
Hi kcmoedoe,

Having had an "almost" son in law who is a Phd in internet security and seen him cut through both a hardware firewall and software one in less than five minutes I'll take my chances and leave my wifi connection open. I only wish everyone would do the same. Any decent hacker can "crack" the type of security features I could afford to pay for.

Better not go across the road at a cross walk when the light is green--a car might run through a red light and kill you.

I know of no one who has had a hacker "invade" their personal computer. I've had one computer virus since 1993 when I was first on the net. My freeware virus checker made short work of that infection.

As to the wireless B--yes that was the whole point. Slow down the system for everyone so that the Satellite will take longer to use up it's daily "allotment" of bandwidth. Those who are using it for huge files won't care because they will not be around "watching" and those that are doing things like email or searching for a review will see little difference. Wireless B will give more folks a fairer share of the bandwidth pie. I believe the range is better too.

QUOTE(kcmoedoe @ Oct 5 2008, 12:14 PM) *

Hi Pianotuna, Just a couple of thoughts. I would enable my home wifi security ASAP. Leaving your router unsecured opens your system up to anyone who wants to traffic over it. Even if your computer is shut down or with you in the RV the modem is up and functioning. Now it won't happen, unless you win the unlucky lottery, but what if a neighbor or just someone transiting the area finds your system is open and proceeds to download a couple of hundred gigabytes of child porn or uses your system to plan the next terrorist attack. You could find yourself the subject of a pretty embarrassing and scary investigation from law enforcement. It is very easy for law enforcement to trace traffic back to a router. It would be very inconvenient to have your home, RV and all personal possessions searched for a computer you do not own. Put a password on the system and stop 99.9% of all problems. If your computer is connected and turned on, your problems could multiply. A good hacker could attack your system and possibly steal valuable information. The modem is a substantial firewall and you defeat some of the security by leaving it open anyone. Downgrading a modem to wireless B will work to balance out bandwidth, but it will slow performance for all the guests. Things will not download as fast, so guests will have to wait longer for things like photos and videos to download. Since files cannot download as fast on "B" overall traffic on the network my actually increase since guests would be unable to download wanted files as quickly and then get off the network. It is my experience that on big files, many people just start the download and then walk away. I really like your other suggestion of just asking the guests to monitor and limit their high bandwidth traffic. I just hope it is not like asking a leopard to change his spots.

lbacon
We believe that wifi should be FREE. We also are doing something about it...

We use the Sprint Novatel S720 broadband card (EVDO) and a Linksys wrt54g3g-st wireless mobile router since we have 2 notebook PC's that need access the Internet. The Sprint service is $59.95 per month for all you do. There are no limits to bandwidth or any extra fees. The Sprint service has worked pretty much wherever we have been and at download speeds of up to 1.6mbps. We are currently in the Corpus Christie area and have a connection of 1.25mbps.

We also have a 2nd Linksys wrt54g wireless router that we have set up (connected by wire/cable to the the broadband router) with an external 6db gain antenna (attached to the RV ladder) and the Sveasoft Hotspot firmware (http://www.sveasoft.com). We provide all of our neighbors in the park with FREE wireless connections. If you are in a park and see a wireless connection listed as "rvpctronics.com", connect to it... it's us... and it's free.

Some of the parks that charge for it don't like our free site, but we really don't care.
Lindsay Richards
QUOTE
with an external 6db gain antenna (attached to the RV ladder)


How do you handle getting the cable from the external antenna into the coach. I run it through the window and put a little stick to prevent it from crimping the cord, but am not satisfied with this system. My antenna has a 20 foot cord and then I use an extension USB cable. The connection is not water proof. I have bee consider ring other possibilities but havenít come up with a good system yet. I am sold on having a good external antenna

QUOTE
If you are in a park and see a wireless connection listed as "rvpctronics.com", connect to it... it's us... and it's free.


You might consider using a name that it would be more condusive to having people know itís free. I laugh at some of the networks that have names like ďDonít even think about hooking on.Ē as an example. The reverse would sure work. I have hooked up to a network entitled ďFree Public WiFií.
Parkview
QUOTE(lbacon @ Oct 7 2008, 01:09 PM) *

We believe that wifi should be FREE. We also are doing something about it...

We use the Sprint Novatel S720 broadband card (EVDO) and a Linksys wrt54g3g-st wireless mobile router since we have 2 notebook PC's that need access the Internet. The Sprint service is $59.95 per month for all you do.


biggrin.gif

Hi again all:

I just can't quite wrap my arms around how the above $59.95/mo. is considered free, but a park offering wifi from DSL with a very strong signal and 24 hr. tech support for $21.00/mo. can be considered a ripoff.

For those of you that have read my previous postings on this subject, our rural phone coop has finally provided us with DSL service and I no longer have to rely on satellite for our inernet signal. Anyone out there need a couple of satellite dishes with internet modems?

Have a good day!

Doug
DXSMac
QUOTE(lbacon @ Oct 7 2008, 11:09 AM) *

We believe that wifi should be FREE. We also are doing something about it...

We use the Sprint Novatel S720 broadband card (EVDO) and a Linksys wrt54g3g-st wireless mobile router since we have 2 notebook PC's that need access the Internet. The Sprint service is $59.95 per month for all you do. There are no limits to bandwidth or any extra fees. The Sprint service has worked pretty much wherever we have been and at download speeds of up to 1.6mbps. We are currently in the Corpus Christie area and have a connection of 1.25mbps.

We also have a 2nd Linksys wrt54g wireless router that we have set up (connected by wire/cable to the the broadband router) with an external 6db gain antenna (attached to the RV ladder) and the Sveasoft Hotspot firmware (http://www.sveasoft.com). We provide all of our neighbors in the park with FREE wireless connections. If you are in a park and see a wireless connection listed as "rvpctronics.com", connect to it... it's us... and it's free.

Some of the parks that charge for it don't like our free site, but we really don't care.


Um, are you an RV'er or a park owner? Your post sounds like you are a park owner. I stayed at a park where they didn't have it "locked down" and they didn't care if someone sat in the restaurant parking lot next door and used it. Well, when you do this, then too many people get on and the customers can't use it. One park I stay at frequently found this out, and "locked down" their wireless with a password. It's free, but password and only customers of the park get the password. It was a significant improvement in their wireless when they did that!

JJ
pianotuna
Hi JJ,

They are just campers with an unlimited air card connected to a wifi router. Only their immediate neighbors would be able to connect. This will limit bandwidth--but sure would be better than no internet connection.
Spinsister1
Sprint does not offer an UNLIMITED Bandwidth product. I don't know of any ISP that does really. They offer ONE plan. Taken from Sprint website:

This plan includes Internet access on the largest national Mobile Broadband network. (based on covered sq. miles) 5 GB/mo. in total or 300 MB/mo. while off-network roaming. (1024 kb=1MB. 1024 MB=1 GB) International data roaming may incur additional charges. Sprint reserves the right to limit throughput speeds or amount of data transferred.


*It may just seem unlimited for them for they may not use 5GB per month with average use.

I'm still with the folks that say there is a cost to offer wireless internet to the campers/visitors of a park. Wether you outright charge for it or slip it into the lot fees is totally up to someone. But it does cost the owner alot more than you think.


QUOTE(pianotuna @ Oct 21 2008, 11:04 PM) *

There are no limits to bandwidth or any extra fees. The Sprint service has worked pretty much wherever we have been and at download speeds of up to 1.6mbps.

DXSMac
I think, for air cards, Sprint and Verizon are the top two choices (plus others mentioned....), but I hear more good things about Verizon. Haven't heard anything bad about Verizon air card yet.

JJ
KevinBurns
I'm not a park owner, but if I was I would consider it almost a necessity. I do carry a Sprint card for work, in case I can't get a wifi signal. I'm new to this and have only stayed at six parks so far. The wifi has varied a lot, from "resembles dialup" to wifi that was plenty fast to none at all. It is a perk that I notice, and I really don't mind if it adds a bit to the cost of my stay whether it's an add on to the price or buried in the price. Let's face it, the cost of the parks we stay in is a minor percentage compared to the costs of owning an RV.
Lindsay Richards
We are sitting right now in a very nice water front county park (Fort Desota park in St. Pete Beach, Florida) that doesn't have WiFi at the sites, but does have WiFi at the ranger station. My superduper antenna would not pick it up at the site, so I had to sit in the car with the inverter at the office. Having WiFi is almost a necissitty for me now.
Doug un Bermuda
I do not have access to the internet through Verizon or a similar which requires at least a years contract & needs you to have a SSN. Not being US citizens I am one of a growing number who own a RV in the US, spend less than 6 months a year traveling, & rely heavily on the internet to maintain contact with home & to plan our trips as we go. WIFI availability is often a deciding factor in choice of CG.These days WIFI is almost as expected, at no extra charge, as a phone & internet access is in a hotel.

I don't mind the price being buried in the base rate. Having it as an add on is an irritation. Finding out that WIFI does not work, usually with the excuse of "Oh, it just quit yesterday", is unacceptable.
pianotuna
Hi Spinsister1,

Sasktel does offer unlimited data on cell modems for $75.00 per month. Roaming is allowed in Canada. The catch is USA--where the fee becomes a whopping $3.00 per meg.

I just got my cell modem 50 hours ago. I'm using it as I drive for streaming audio--and for email and all my usual tasks. It does drop down to 1xrtt in most of Saskatchewan--but it is so far very reliable. (and yes I signed up for 3 years!)

I maintain that the cost of Wi-Fi in campgrounds is one of the lower costs to the owner--compared to many other items. They probably spend more on the pool (if they have one) than they do on Wi-Fi.

I posted earlier about this and listed various items. No park owner replied.

QUOTE(Spinsister1 @ Oct 22 2008, 11:05 AM) *

Sprint does not offer an UNLIMITED Bandwidth product. I don't know of any ISP that does really. They offer ONE plan. Taken from Sprint website:

This plan includes Internet access on the largest national Mobile Broadband network. (based on covered sq. miles) 5 GB/mo. in total or 300 MB/mo. while off-network roaming. (1024 kb=1MB. 1024 MB=1 GB) International data roaming may incur additional charges. Sprint reserves the right to limit throughput speeds or amount of data transferred.
*It may just seem unlimited for them for they may not use 5GB per month with average use.

I'm still with the folks that say there is a cost to offer wireless internet to the campers/visitors of a park. Wether you outright charge for it or slip it into the lot fees is totally up to someone. But it does cost the owner alot more than you think.

drmcleod
QUOTE(lbacon @ Oct 7 2008, 02:09 PM) *


We use the Sprint Novatel S720 broadband card (EVDO) and a Linksys wrt54g3g-st wireless mobile router since we have 2 notebook PC's that need access the Internet.


As posted earlier, I use the Verizon Network. I pay $45/mo for unlimited usage. The drawback for me is that the connection is software based which means I have to have an application loaded on my computer to connect. I can therefor, only use one computer per connection. Does anyone use Verizon and a wireless mobile router like the one mentioned in the above quote? That router is for Sprint only. Any suggestions would be great and I would DEFINITELY allow my fellow neighboring campers to access my connection. Wouldn't cost me any more.
pianotuna
Hi,

Look at cradlepoint routers:

http://www.cradlepoint.com/index.php

Good luck!

QUOTE(drmcleod @ Nov 24 2008, 12:46 PM) *

As posted earlier, I use the Verizon Network. I pay $45/mo for unlimited usage. The drawback for me is that the connection is software based which means I have to have an application loaded on my computer to connect. I can therefor, only use one computer per connection. Does anyone use Verizon and a wireless mobile router like the one mentioned in the above quote? That router is for Sprint only. Any suggestions would be great and I would DEFINITELY allow my fellow neighboring campers to access my connection. Wouldn't cost me any more.

westernrvparkowner
Just a minor note, if you use a wireless router in your coach, you may be broadcasting on the same frequency as the campground WiFi system and coaches near yours may be prevented by the interference from using the campground system. It is similar to a walkie talkie if there are several people on the same channel, it doesn't really work for anyone. Be aware there are only 12 channels available for wifi transmission, and only 3 are recommended for hotspot usage. It is very common to have multiple routers in the campground all transmitting on the same frequency. When this happens, we often find no one has acceptable service.
FosterImposters
Well, well...that explains a couple snafus we've seen. ohmy.gif
BootStrap
I have stayed at parks with free Wifi and horrible service. The one park I paid for, 3 bucks for a 24 hour period, had a very strong connection. I would prefer free, but if paying means you get an outstanding connection then I would pay a few bucks.
pianotuna
Hi Western,

Well why not change your campground wife to do Channel 1 and/or Channel 12. Most of your visitors will have defaulted to Channel 6.

QUOTE(westernrvparkowner @ Nov 26 2008, 03:17 PM) *

Just a minor note, if you use a wireless router in your coach, you may be broadcasting on the same frequency as the campground WiFi system and coaches near yours may be prevented by the interference from using the campground system. It is similar to a walkie talkie if there are several people on the same channel, it doesn't really work for anyone. Be aware there are only 12 channels available for wifi transmission, and only 3 are recommended for hotspot usage. It is very common to have multiple routers in the campground all transmitting on the same frequency. When this happens, we often find no one has acceptable service.

westernrvparkowner
QUOTE(pianotuna @ Nov 29 2008, 11:40 PM) *

Hi Western,

Well why not change your campground wife to do Channel 1 and/or Channel 12. Most of your visitors will have defaulted to Channel 6.


Actually, we run a site survey weekly and change to an unused channel. That doesn't prevent a coach from coming in a running a router broadcasting on the channel we just changed to. Changing a channel takes about 30 minutes, I have to reroute cabling from the router to a laptop, sign in, run a site survey, make any changes, confirm the changes, reboot the access point, reconnect everything, reboot the system etc. During this time, the system must be down. Almost without fail, someone will complain about the system being down while this is being done. I could get up at 3AM, but with my luck someone would still be on the system and lose some 10 gigabit movie download or I will mess up their Swiss Banking transactions or whatever. I did a site survey before responding to this post. I am closed for the season, There are 8 channels being used in my area without any RVs in the park. Some are over 2 miles away, but still are broadcasting a fairly strong signal into the park. I mention all this to re-iterate how much time WiFi takes up. Those thirty minutes a week over a 24 week season means I spend a day and a half just changing channels. It adds up.
pianotuna
Hi Western,

Why not run the site survey before hand using something like an Alfa 500? That would possibly obviate the need to change the channel. I don't understand why the cabling must be rerouted, for it is quite possible to log in wirelessly, but if it must be a wired connection leaving an ethernet cable connected at the router ready to plug into the laptop would change rerouting into a task of not more than a few seconds.

QUOTE(westernrvparkowner @ Nov 30 2008, 01:08 AM) *

Actually, we run a site survey weekly and change to an unused channel. That doesn't prevent a coach from coming in a running a router broadcasting on the channel we just changed to. Changing a channel takes about 30 minutes, I have to reroute cabling from the router to a laptop, sign in, run a site survey, make any changes, confirm the changes, reboot the access point, reconnect everything, reboot the system etc. During this time, the system must be down. Almost without fail, someone will complain about the system being down while this is being done. I could get up at 3AM, but with my luck someone would still be on the system and lose some 10 gigabit movie download or I will mess up their Swiss Banking transactions or whatever. I did a site survey before responding to this post. I am closed for the season, There are 8 channels being used in my area without any RVs in the park. Some are over 2 miles away, but still are broadcasting a fairly strong signal into the park. I mention all this to re-iterate how much time WiFi takes up. Those thirty minutes a week over a 24 week season means I spend a day and a half just changing channels. It adds up.

westernrvparkowner
QUOTE(pianotuna @ Nov 30 2008, 03:41 AM) *

Hi Western,

Why not run the site survey before hand using something like an Alfa 500? That would possibly obviate the need to change the channel. I don't understand why the cabling must be rerouted, for it is quite possible to log in wirelessly, but if it must be a wired connection leaving an ethernet cable connected at the router ready to plug into the laptop would change rerouting into a task of not more than a few seconds.


I am changing the channel on the Access Points. They must be accessed directly over the ethernet cable, not through the router and the router must be disconnected. Why I don't know, but then again, I didn't make the equipment. Truth be known, it is probably the same reason you shouldn't use your cell phone at a gas station. There is probably a theoretical reason, but I haven't seen that many exploded gas stations across the country. I don't have a remote site survey device. I use the Access point. Might be a good investment, never thought about it. Thanks
HappiestCamper
Buy about 10 cheap used laptops. Advertise that free wi-fi may be available, guaranteed wi-fi $10/month with $500 refundable deposit. Configure all the laptops the same, locked down so they automatically login and connect to wi-fi, and only have a browser available. If someone really needs the internet and can't connect their's, they rent one of yours - then you pray they forget to return them for the deposit wink.gif
Pinegrove1
Hello, we just installed satellite Wifi system in our park 2 summers ago. It is amazing how many people use it!. We don't charge extra for it, nor did we up our rates because of it. We are a very Natural R.V. Park, and we find that it is an incentive for people to stop and give us a try. We went for the top of the line, and our entire 8 acres receives the wireless signal, and we are heavily treed also. People are really impressed that they don't have to come up close to the building to receive the signal, but are able to stay in their R.V.
Before we bought this park, we used to camp alot too, so we know the expectations of our customers.
Martina, McLure B.C.
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