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Question Of The Week

Internet Solutions for the Road

This week’s Question of the Week was, “How do you get internet from the road?”  Fifty-two readers responded with the devices, service providers, and experiences of obtaining internet on the road.

“I use a Verizon MiFi hot spot for $54 a month.  I am soon to drop the MiFi and utilize the hotspot on my Galaxy SIII smart phone. ” – Neil Womack, 2007 GMC 2500, 2004 Lance 915

“We too had the expensive Verizon hot spot for one cross-country trip, and this year upgraded to the mobile internet on my cell phone.  But we also use the Wi-Fi at campgrounds, when available, and look for public libraries to use their service too.

I agree with Gordon.  The Verizon hot spot seemed to work better, especially the USB version that I could put on an extension cord and stick in the camper window, but using my phone is sure fast and easy.  Public libraries, especially those in tourist areas, are very generous with their Wi-Fi; many don’t even require a library card.” – Toni Robertson, 2013 GMC Sierra 3500, 2012 Lance 1191

“We have used the free Wi-Fi available from most chain restaurants and fast food places.  This has been adequate for email and some web usage.  We used this with our cell phones, the Nexus 7 tablet I use for navigation, and other devices.

This past year we added an AT&T data plan using a Samsung Galaxy S3 as a Wi-Fi hotspot for other devices.  Since we usually like to boondock, this does not always work despite an RF amplifier and external antenna for the cellphone.  It does provide greater connectivity however.

MickeyD’s, reliably clean restrooms and Wi-Fi.  What more can you ask for?  Real food?  Now that’s expecting way too much!” – Bill B. Peters, 2013 Chevy Silverado, 2013 Four Wheel Campers Hawk

“We have a Verizon MiFi 4510L.  It’s $80 per month for 10GB and $10 per GB coverage.  We have also used available networks at campgrounds and businesses.  We have a BEAR Extender antenna which boosts the wireless signal for our laptop enabling us to get a much stronger signal when we aren’t using our MiFi device.  McDonalds has always been a reliable Wi-Fi location for us.” – Dave Neumann, 2010 Toyota Tundra 4×4, Adventurer 80GS

“We use Verizon cell service over the iPad, iPhones, and a Verizon hot spot for the computer.  When we used to pirate, it was at libraries, Barnes & Noble, Panera, and most anywhere we could pick up a signal. Verizon is remarkable for the coverage all over the country, even in very remote locations.” – Anne Brown, 2013 Ford F450, 2011 Chalet DS116RB

“I use an LG Spectrum as a hot spot.  The service is by Verizon.  My wife uses an iPhone 4 by Verizon.  I usually don’t use Wi-Fi although I know I should.  The hot spot was helpful last year when we had a blow out on I-25 near Albuquerque.” – Bill DeYoung, 2013 Ford F350, 2007 Okanagan 116ULT

“We take along a laptop and a Kindle that we can access our email and Facebook with.  We do not have mobile Wi-Fi.  We do not have smart phones.

When we are not parked by our children where we have access, we get it where we can find it.  We will also stop at a city library and spend an hour or so catching up with and sending emails to our children and siblings.  We cannot justify the expense of having mobile access even though I would like it sometimes.” – Allen Brummel, 2008 Dodge Ram 1500, 2008 Northstar TC650

“My service provider is AT&T for cell phone and Wi-Fi.  I travel with an Apple iPhone 5 and Apple Macbook Pro.  We also get Wi-Fi from Starbucks and miscellaneous hotels.” – Terry Hensley, 2006 Four Wheel Camper Kestrel

“I use a Samsung Tab2 7.0 for Wi-Fi.  The cost of internet is zero dollars at McDonalds, libraries, Subways, etc.

Most of my vacation and travel research is done before we ever leave home.  We have a Garmin GPS that I loaded with places and address in advance.  If you plan a little, you might not need live internet service while driving down the road.  A good GPS is relatively inexpensive.” – Thomas Bender, 2011 Ford F250, 2009 Sun Valley Apache Chief 8.65 WS

“I travel with my iPad which has built in Verizon 4G broadband.  This gives me an internet connection in most of the places I have traveled.  I also take my laptop and can use the iPad as a mobile hot spot.  It works great with the only two downsides being limited to how much data I can use (currently paying for 6 GB a month) and the cost which runs $10 a month for the iPad access plus $80 a month for the 6 GB of data and unlimited talk and text on my cell phone.” – Eldon Rhodes, 2008 Chevy 3500 HD, 2011 Lance 1050

“I use Verizon 4G.” – Jim Wright, 2002 Dodge 2500, 2007 Lance 981

“Argh… the life of a pirate!  I’m a light user of internet on the road; usually email and light browsing searching for campgrounds.  Generally it ends up being AT&T, and whatever is there and free.

Generally, I’ll use McDonalds along with lunch!  I’ve also used Lowe’s, Home Depot, Starbucks, Panera, etc.  The best Wi-Fi was at Devil’s Tower in Wyoming where I was able to pick up the signal in the National Park campground from the KOA next door.  I’ve never had good luck receiving Wi-Fi from private campgrounds even when I was staying in them.” – Mike McMahon, 2006 Ford F350, 1999 Lance 1030

“I have a jail broken iPhone 5 allowing me to tether with an app called MyWi and avoiding the tethering fee (which is BS).  I am paying roughly $85 a month for the phone service, unlimited data, and texting.

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