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 > Best/easiest internet setup for working remote/full time

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way2roll

Wilmington NC

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Posted: 01/06/20 07:56am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Over the next year we are looking to go full time. We have a class A. I am in the preliminary stages of setting things up. Forgive me me if this has been covered in depth ( did a search and found lots of info) but I would like to corral my thoughts to one post. First, I work remote now, just in a sticks and bricks. I have worked on the road for small trips before with a hotspot. Worked ok but of course it wasn't full time. My internet demands aren't unusual so "normal" internet will suffice. We also plan on continuing to use our streaming devices for TV etc. My work provides a corporate account via ATT and I have truly unlimited internet - provided it's via an ATT supported device. But I think I need something a little more bullet proof than just a hot spot. Thinking boosters, repeaters etc. I don't want to address geography here, I know I will need to be in range of a decent signal when we camp. We are touring the US, but logistics to maintain connectivity are a condition of planning. But what I do need is to ensure I have a pretty easy setup, to provide reliable internet. I will say I am NOT tech saavy. I wouldn't know know gain on shibaba shaboola over signal strength of flim flam. I am handy, done some electrical, well versed at building and repairing things etc, I'm not dumb, it's just that electronics and IT are not my forte'. So an easy, reliable plug and play set up is preferred even if it means it will cost more. In short, what do you all use that's easy, and reliable to maintain connectivity while travelling - reliable enough to work (provided you put yourself in range of a signal)? FWIW, I've looked at weboost systems etc. Sorry for the ramble and duplicity as I know this has been covered in pieces before. I just need it spelled out. Thanks.


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Posted: 01/06/20 09:13am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You have tried successfully to use ATT for your needs, the only thing I would suggest would be a backup on another system. Having a personal line on Verizon service for occasions when ATT just doesn't have local service.
You will still have occasional areas that may pose a problem, but between the two systems you should have far fewer dead zones rather than keeping all your eggs in one basket.

And the addition of a "Weboost" type of unit will supposedly make those cases even fewer.
How far out of towns and off the interstates you wish to travel is likely the determining factor in how often you will need the additional tools, and only you know how remote you wish to live.

theoldwizard1

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Posted: 01/06/20 09:14am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Winegard/AT&T TOGO (aka ConnecT). Easy to install and configure. Can be used either as a "hot spot" (convert cell phone signal to local WiFi) OR a WiFi extender/repeater if you camping location has adequate bandwidth to the rest of the internet (personally I would not bother especially if work is paying for the data).
Connects (wirelessly) to multiple device in the coach. If your phone supports it, you can make calls through it also.

EDIT : This is also supported on Verizon, but you have to change the SIM card. Not real easy if mounted on the roof.

JKJavelin

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Posted: 01/06/20 09:31am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

theoldwizard1 wrote:

Winegard/AT&T TOGO (aka ConnecT). Easy to install and configure. Can be used either as a "hot spot" (convert cell phone signal to local WiFi) OR a WiFi extender/repeater if you camping location has adequate bandwidth to the rest of the internet (personally I would not bother especially if work is paying for the data).
Connects (wirelessly) to multiple device in the coach. If your phone supports it, you can make calls through it also.

EDIT : This is also supported on Verizon, but you have to change the SIM card. Not real easy if mounted on the roof.


I have the Winegard Connect2 with 4G and it works well. The biggest negative for me is if buying data from them it's expensive. Since your employer provides ATT, you can simply use an ATT sim card. One big positive is, if boondocking, it runs on only 12 volts.
JK


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Johno02

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Posted: 01/06/20 10:01am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I am on Verizon, because I have found better coverage in the areas we travel. I use an older hotspot box on verizon, or sometimes just use my cell phone as a hotspot. Advantage of the hotspot box is that I can take my cell phone with me, while DW used internet at the rig. However as the hotspot is on prepay monthly service, if we are just out for a short time, I just use cell phone rather than pay extra for the hotspot.


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way2roll

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Posted: 01/06/20 10:20am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

To clarify, my work does not pay for my internet, but we have a contract for a drastically reduced price. It's like $15/mo for truly unlimited data per device. So at 3 phones and a hotspot I would be looking at less than $100 - not bad.

I looked at ATT TOGO and read some mixed reviews. I am not afraid of bolting something to the roof but if there is already some foretasted obsolesce, I'd rather go another route.

Am I overthinking this? Is it truly as simple as a hotspot and possibly a booster like we-boost? We don't plan on going off the beaten path too much aside from some national parks. If we find there are places we want to go without good reception I plan on using up vacation time - I have a good bit of that.

I have read that redundancy with another carrier like VZ is a good idea. We had VZ before and I was impressed with the coverage. But my company has no contract with them so this is a cost consideration. Maybe a pay-as you go deal. I assume boosters like weboost can toggle between carriers.

I am sure I'll get more familiar with setting things up, using directional finders etc to maximize connections, but I'd rather figure out most of this now, so 1- I am not caught without a connection more than I can manage, and 2 so I am not wasting cash and re-engineering a setup several months in.

PNW_Steve

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Posted: 01/06/20 10:21am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I purchased an AT&T hot-spot and got setup on one of the iPad unlimited plan. When it works, it works great. Unfortunately coverage is hit and miss in places that we visit frequently. It is $35 a month for unlimited data that is supposed to be unthrottled. I have had it for about eight months and have flogged it pretty good while binge watching Netflix. No sign of throttling yet.

I recently switched my phones from AT&T to Verizon's Visible service. I have tethered it to a Wi-Fi router and have been very happy with it with one BIG exception. I fly in & out of Pasco Airport (PSC) and find that I really need my phone there. Unfortunately Verizon has no service there. That shocked me.

The Visible service costs $25-$40 a month. One phone is $40. If you have others join your "party" it goes down $5 for each person. We have two and room for two more. We are paying $35 each with all taxes and fees included. When we fill the two remaining spots we will all be paying $25 each.

Unlike "family" plans that we have tried before, each phone is billed separately. So, if Johnny joins my group and does not pay his bill, I am not liable and my service is unaffected.


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Dick_B

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Posted: 01/06/20 10:31am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Have you considered Hughesnet? Seems tailor made for your situation.
Just my $.03.


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TechWriter

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Posted: 01/06/20 10:36am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

way2roll wrote:

Over the next year we are looking to go full time . . .

(1) My internet demands aren't unusual so "normal" internet will suffice.
(2) We also plan on continuing to use our streaming devices for TV etc.
(3) My work provides a corporate account via ATT and I have truly unlimited internet - provided it's via an ATT supported device.
(4) But I think I need something a little more bullet proof than just a hot spot.
(5) We are touring the US, but logistics to maintain connectivity are a condition of planning.
(6) But what I do need is to ensure I have a pretty easy setup, to provide reliable internet.


Your "normal" Internet needs became much greater with (2) - streaming. To me, that means a reliable 5 Mbps connection. This can be an issue.

First, I've been a full timer for several years. Here is my Internet setup -- AT&T Mobley (unlimited), Verizon data plan (40 GB/mon), HughesNet Gen 5 satellite Internet. With these I was never without Internet last year. See my Campground Internet Report 2 (43 campgrounds).

With AT&T and Verizon coverage (+ campground WiFi), you should have "usable" Internet most of the time.

Though I've tried several, I typically don't rely on WiFi "boosters" because if you don't have a signal, then no amount of boosting will help. My HughesNet Gen 5 setup gets me out of those no signal situations because if you travel a lot, you'll find areas with very weak or no cell coverage.

I suggest you check out the Mobile Internet Resource Center.


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TechWriter

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Posted: 01/06/20 10:45am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

PNW_Steve wrote:


I recently switched my phones from AT&T to Verizon's Visible service.

I also purchased a Visible "hotspot", but did not switch over entirely because I've heard horror stories from people who had switched over both their voice and data to Visible.

I use Visible for data only. Though it's an "unlimited" data plan, Visible has a few gotchas . . . it's only 1 line, so you can't share it. Visible is capped at 5 Mbps. However, it's an ok standby plan.

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