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Tips for Staying Connected to the Internet

Smartphone

Most long-term travelers use their smartphone (called tethered) to access the Internet. There is a little phone app that makes tethering possible without incurring extra charges from the phone company. PDAnet is available for every type of smartphone. Pay a very low price once for this app and use forever.

For those of us that got in on the Unlimited Data phase of the early smartphones, tethering has worked out well. For the rest of you, set your phone to alert you when your data bucket is low.

VerizonWireless is the current phone company of choice for travelers, with AT&T right behind and closing. When in the 4G, or especially LTE zones, the speed is fast, similar to cable connections.

Smartphone Boosters

When traveling outside of metro areas, it may require a "booster" to get enough cell signal to surf the net. Cherie & Chris at Technomadia have put together a review:

www.rvmobileinternet.com/resources/mobile-cellular-boosters/

Wi-Fi Connection

Most RV parks make Wi-Fi available, at least in the office buildings. If the RV site is close enough to the transmitter, surfing from your rig is possible. Usually, though, it is too slow for anything more than receiving your eMail. It does eliminate driving around looking for a signal at Starbucks or the local library.

Glossary of Terms

Wireless: Cellphone companies use this term for their connection activities.

Wi-Fi: This term is used for local wireless connections. There must be a transmitter (usual on top of the RV office building) and, hopefully, a few repeaters around the park to get the signal to your rig. Sometimes, inside the RV park office, a computer is set up to control this activity. Normally a commercial company (like Tengo) comes into the park and sets up the transmitter and repeaters and charges the park a fee to maintain it. Other times, you are required to surf to an Internet address and sign in to get Internet access.

Mi-Fi: A portable broadband device that allows multiple users and mobile devices to share one 3G or 4G mobile broadband Internet connection. Some 3G/4G carriers sell Mi-Fis (or similar devices) with pay-as-you-go plans, while others require a monthly fee or annual contract..

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