Internet Access

As a stand-by Internet connection, with another solution as the primary

If cable TV or land-line phone service is available in the RV park, then chances are you can also get cable or DSL Internet. Ask the RV park office who provides these services and call them directly to check for service availability.

Little or no extra cost in addition to your voice plan

During our travels we have noticed that some RV parks include WiFi in their literature as an amenity. What they may not specify is that you have to pay for this service in addition to your park fees.

While possible to browse the Internet, most people will not have the patience to wait for pages to load

Use of this web site constitutes acceptance of theTerms and Conditions of UseandPrivacy Statement.

limited emailing needs on a tight budget

Be in a WiFi hotspot, in range to receive and transmit reliably

Roof mounted units are completely automated, connect within a few minutes

Latency makes real-time applications impractical, such as Internet gaming

Wireless Fidelity (or WiFi, also known as 802.11b) is a technical term for the wireless network cards in laptop computers. Most new laptops come with this technology built-in and older models can be easily retrofitted by adding a WiFi card or device.

When you dont have the option of being out of the Internets reach no matter where you roam, then satellite Internet is for you. As you might expect, always having access to high-speed Internet costs a premium.

Data cables are not common options with cell phone users, so the sales person may not know what you need or may give you incorrect information. Ask plenty of questions to make sure you are getting the correct part.

Considerably higher cost than other options

Tripod mounted units require some skill and time to align

When you talk to the cable or phone company, be sure to ask the following:

Also be aware that carriers want to sell Internet service with the cable and may present it as something youmust have. For example, the Verizon Mobility Kit includes the data cable and software for signing up for their Internet service. The bundled Internet service is generally more expensive than the no-frills dialup services (see above). You may decide that you want the Internet service offered by your cell carrierjust be aware that in most cases you can use a less expensive solution.

ISPs thatrequiretheir own dialing software may not work.

As a primary Internet connection for those traveling in covered areas

A service-specific wireless internet card (

SSID and password to get on the WiFi network, if required by provider

Reception may be spotty inside a building, near the edge of the hotspot

IMPORTANT:Your ability to access the Internet via a cell phone depends onallof the following: phone model, cell service provider, and location.

For transferring large amounts of data (photos, etc.) at public hotspots, such as a library

The least expensive and slowest method of connecting a computer to the Internet is through your cell phone. This can be accomplished with phones and cell phone service that support data connections.

If you are reading this page on your computer, chances are you are accustomed to keeping in touch over the Internet. With so many new technologies on the market, you can take the Internet with you in theRVwith the right equipment.

Service available everywhere within the continental US, where the southern sky is unobstructed

Various local WiFi providers may be available at your destination for a fee. Common locations are airports, book stores, truck stops, coffee shops, etc. These places offer daily or extended fee structuresask for details at the establishment. Daily rates range between $3 and $7.

Have to be in a hotspot, which are not available in many RV parks

As you can imagine, keeping this web site current requires access to the Internet no matter where we go. We have spent a good bit of time researching various methods of getting online on the move, and on this page we share our findings with you.

We cover the following methods of connecting a computer to the Internet:

A laptop equipped with a WiFi network card or adapter

Internet Access

Many WiFi signals are not properly secured, increasing the chances of data eavesdropping. Financial transactions should be performedonlyon encrypted web pages.

Motorola Data Connectivity Kit allows the user to connect a wireless phone to a modem, enabling access to the internet, e-mail or fax. Just connect the cable to your laptop, desktop, or PDA…

Free or inexpensive access to the Internet

A laptop with an available PCMCIA or PC Card slot, or USB port, depending on the model

These units are intended for fixed locations. As such, the provider will tell you that every time the dish is moved, a licensed technician must re-align the dish and you will incur an installation charge. Currently the providers arenotenforcing this rule and users of tripod dishes have been able to freely move about the country without penalty.

Older one-way satellite technologies are still on the market, but we suggest you only consider the two-way solutions. With the one-way satellite, you also need a secondary up-link, such as a wired phone line, cell phone, or satellite phone.

Cell phone carriers and specialized companies offer wireless Internet services designed specifically for the laptop. Most services in this category are based on cellular technology or variations thereof. Connection speeds vary from very slow to DSL-like speeds.

Cellular plan that supports dialing up anISPfor data services

To find a data cable for your cell phone, go andsearchfor the following phrase:

As a primary Internet connection for those traveling in or near hotspots

It is not uncommon to make reservations at an RV park and be told that WiFi is available, only to find out later that the slot you are in is outside the range. When making reservations,ask if your specific slot is in range.

If access to the Internet is important, we suggest looking into a national WiFi provider such asBoingo Wireless. Many of the hotspots that can be subscribed to independently can also be accessed under a Boingo consolidated plan for a reasonable monthly fee.

Among the two-way satellite Internet solutions, there are two types:

In some competitive markets you may be able to get service without a long-term contract and without cancellation fees. However, these are the exceptions, so be sure to ask.

Provider may require long-term contract and penalize early cancellation

If the cable you found has a description similar to the one below, then chances are it is the correct item:

There is one obvious down-side to relying on wired Internet in a recreational vehicleit ties you down. But, if you are planning to stay put for a while, this solution may be ideal.

Data cable to connect cell phone to your computer (usually to USB or serial port)

To determine if this solution is practical for you, go to theBoingo search pageto find hotspots at your intended destinations.

Emails with large attachments (i.e. photos) may never download, blocking all other emails

Some providers call this serviceWireless Broadbandwith connection speeds of 128Kbps to more than 1Mbps. Pay close attention to the connection speed claims because many have very limited coverage, switching to a much lower speed outside that area. Be sure to review the coverage map before buying tomake sure service is available at your travel destinations.

A cell phone capable of acting as a modem when connected to your computer

Dialup Internet service provider (ISP) with access numbers local to your cell phone, such asEarthLink($22/mo) ($10/mo)

A note about tripod mounted two-way satellite

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WiFi is the technology that links your laptop to a provider using two-way radio signals, and the provider further connects you to the Internet. The actual speed at which you browse the Internet depends on the connection speed between your computer and the WiFi receiver, and between the WiFi receiver and the Internet.

WiFi has a very limited range, typically less than 1,500 feet in radius. An area within range of the WiFi signal is called ahotspot.

As a primary Internet connection for those with

Two-way satellites are available from various online and retail locations. You can have one installed in a permanent location and then purchase all necessary components to mount onto a tripod. Or, you can buy complete tripod units from one of these vendors:

We are pointing this out so that you can make an intelligent decision for yourself. Your risk is that the companies may start enforcing their pay when moved policy in the future.

Many hotels, libraries, and some RV parks provide free WiFi Internet service to their guests. Check with the office for details such as coverage, SSID, password, and if additional fees are required.

Slow upload speeds, similar to dialup connection (newer models improving on this)

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