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Data card as an Internet option

Dear FMCA Computer Geeks:

I am researching about RVing for one. What Internet is best? Thank you.

Susan Delville

Sue,

Good to hear from you. Research can be very rewarding. The answer is, "It depends."

I think the best Internet access for full-timers is a USB data card. Verizon has the best overall nationwide coverage. Many folks like the MiFi device for flexibility. It can be a Wi-Fi hotspot.
 
If you are a part-timer, you may prefer to tether a smart phone. I like the Droid family of phones. Data cards typically require a separate contract and cost $60/month. Data plans on smart phones are $30/month plus a tethering fee. Data gets more expensive in Canada. Make sure you have a compatible plan for international travel.

For more info about data cards, see our article Internet by data card for motorhomers.


Dear FMCA Computer Geeks:

We will be traveling this winter for several months. Some resorts do not have Wi-Fi. Do you have any suggestions regarding the purchase of wireless cards to use with my laptop? Some companies offer these but only under a contract.

Alvin Adams

Alvin,

There is no definite answer here. Much depends on where you will be traveling and how much you need connectivity. Several cellular wireless companies now have prepaid data plans. You will pay more for the data card up front and sometimes more for the service.

Tethering a smart phone might be a viable alternative. See this article: http://community.fmca.com/lofiversion/index.php/t133.html.
 
Coverage varies widely, so check the data maps provided by the service provider for the areas you will be traveling in. Virgin Mobile
www.virginmobileusa.com/mobile-broadband seems to have a good plan.
 
Read the fine print. Data plans are complicated and often confusing. Pricing is often related to your present carrier and voice plan. 

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