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montana
When we are on the road moving from place to place how do we get connected to the internet ? If we subscribe to a provider I'm a little confused as to how it will follow me around from place to place. Is there anyone who can help me out ? unsure.gif
Beastdriver
Montana:

It is quite simple, really. If you subscribe to one of the major ISP (internet service providers), you obtain the local dial up number, usually provided by the campground or on a list provided by the ISP, and you dial that number, either a local number or an 800 number, type in your password, and it connects you with the ISP just as if you were at home. We prefer, and use, the Datastorm/Motorsat system. This is a large dish atop our motorhome which connects us to our ISP no matter where we are, and allows us to use our computer right from the motorhome. If the campground offers a wi-fi system, you simply (with the proper equipment) dial into the wi-fi system (sometimes for a fee), type in your password, and access your ISP. Sounds confusing but, once you get the hang of it, it is quite easy to do. Hope this is helpful! biggrin.gif
Big Ben
You can also go on through some cell phones. We use Verizon with Mobile office hook up.With our package we have unlimited time after 9PM and week ends. This has worked very well for us for the last few years.
montana
Beastdriver & Big Ben

Yes it does sound a bit intimidating but I'm sure we'll get the hang of it. You guys (and gals)are a great source of information for us newbies.Keep it coming and I hope I can help you out someday.

Thanks again and keep posting biggrin.gif
Webmaster
Here are my experiences with internet on the road:

Always check with your local ISP to see if they offer nationwide local access before making a switch to a national provider. Many small ISP's use national providers for their dial-up and can give you local numbers anywhere.


Satellite Internet:

I personally have a motosat datastorm system. I purchased it from Don Ellis at Precise Satellite. www.precisesatellite.com Don's a FCC certified installer, and you can't install this one yourself since it includes a satellite transmitter.

Satellite internet is very expensive:
Initial system cost around $5000
Ongoing Service is $50/month if you pay for 2 years up-front ($1200), otherwise it's about $100/month.

Pros:

Two-Way, Pretty Fast, Internet anywhere the dish can see the southern sky. (when parked)
One-button operation - level your RV, push the search button, wait for satellite to lock-on, and you are online. (assuming a tree wasn't blocking the satellite).

Cons:

No internet when trees or other things block the southern sky.
Very, very slow uploads. I have great difficulty trying to upload photos over satellite internet.
Not good for internet games, too much latency.
Web browsing isn't as fast as dsl, each click has this sequence:
a. transmit request to satellite in space.
b. satellite sends request to wired internet back on earth
c. web server gets your request and send reply back to satellite in space
d. satellite in space sends responce back to you on earth.

So if you figure 1 second for each of those transmissions to/from space, that's 4 seconds from when you click a link on the web page until you see a new page. Once the new page gets there, it gets there pretty much instantly. The instantly part makes it much faster than dial-up.


Cell Phones for Internet

Cinguler - I have a cingular phone, and have used their GPRS service. It was way too slow for me, but it did work pretty good. I am in a rural area, so it may work better in metro areas. They do have a flat-rate plan of $19.95/month.

Sprint - I used a friends sprint phone for a long rv trip across the us and canada. It was very fast in some places, slow in other places. The worst part was the coverage, the sprint phone didn't have ANY signal and many places.

I don't have any experience with the other cell phones for internet.


WiFi Internet

If a park offers free WiFi I usually use it if I'm getting a good signal. The WiFi card I use is a LinkSys WPC54G. I bought my last one from a Radio Shack. It seems to get a better signal than other cards I've tried in the past. I have used this card in both PC's and Mac's. Mac's think it's an airport extreme card.

I'll sometimes pay for WiFi if:
...the price is right ($2.00 - $6.00) per day. I think $2.00/day is fair.
...trees block the satellite internet
...I need to upload photos and I'm sure the WiFi is DSL based and not satellite based.
John Blue
Montana,

We also use three systems to work email and internet. Like the webmaster said all work.

We use land line to dial up 888 number to AT&T or local numbers at 56 KB speed.

We use a cell phone card to dial up same numbers if we are in the woods. Down side is slow speed at 19.2 KB.

We use WiFi if park has service and price is right, we also use the Linksys WPC54G WiFi card. It works well if signal in park is good. WiFi is very fast.
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