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Old 06-10-2008, 07:28 PM   #1
One Country Boy
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Default Wireless WWW connections while on the road ?

I know you guys are going to say, "What a dummy?" Or maybe even worse. But, I've got a question.

We're about to leave home and be out pulling the 5'er for several weeks. We are headed up to the Smokey Mountains. I usually try to stay at RV Parks with full hookups and wireless internet. That's not going to happen on this trip. Maybe full hookups, but wireless is going to be zilch. Are there known locations where a person can park with a laptop temporaily to handle e-mail, etc.. ? I've not had the laptop long and not familiar with such. I know of internet cafe's, but I doubt there will be any of those where we will be. Curious what you guys do to get a connection now and then ? Oh yes, I'll need my " ORR Fix" too or I may halucinate.

Thanks.
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Old 06-11-2008, 12:32 AM   #2
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McDonalds and Starbucks are everywhere, they do have wireless access - SSID: attwifi. I usually go through the drive thru, grab a cup, and sit in the parking lot and check email. If you have AT&T as your provider the connection is free with some of their DSL packages.

"AT&T Wi-Fi Basic service is FREE and already included if you subscribe to AT&T High Speed Internet, AT&T U-verseSM or AT&T FastAccess® DSL with a speed of 1.5 Mbps or higher. No ordering required! Simply use your AT&T high-speed Internet membership ID and password at any AT&T Wi-Fi Basic hot spot."
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Old 06-11-2008, 07:26 AM   #3
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There are thousands of places where you can park your laptop.. Some are free, Some are Fee, some are "hidden" (meaning not listed on J-wire) but most of them can be found at

http://www.jwire.com

So if you just visit that site, enter the zip code where you plan on parking your...... . Stuff, and feed it a radius, It will find Wi-Fi sites for you.

NOTE that I have found a few that J-Wire does not list in my travels.. For example.. The place I used to go for breakfast and still visit on occasion

In addition if you wish your cell phone. assuming the cell company has coverage, may be useable as a modem (mine does up to dial up speeds) and if you wish to spend the $$$ your cell provider can sell you an "Air Card" (usually around $200.00) that can hit DSL speeds.. Again, Depending on the coverage. Usually 40-60/month 2-yr contract

Finally if you really want to spend money.. There is a 2-way satellite system you can use... Hughes. Contact me and I'll get you to someone in your area who can sell you one,,, These systems run from around 1,000 to 6,000 installed. 60/month, 2-yr contract, suspendable for up to six months a year
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Old 06-11-2008, 08:04 AM   #4
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Most truck stops now have free wireless internet
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Old 06-11-2008, 08:13 AM   #5
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I would suggest you turn on your laptop when you get to within whatever you consider is a reasonable commute to find WiFi. That way you can locate services before you get to your camp site and decide if you want to drive that far to get it. Just keep an eye on the services available because if you are doing 60 MPH it does not take long to lose the signal.
I know many that have given up on WiFi due to it's very limited range or security.
I am going with an air card myself when we go full time (Verizon) but even that does not warranty that I will have service all the time. The good news is that if I do have to drive it should only be to where we can get cell phone signals.
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Old 06-11-2008, 02:03 PM   #6
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That Jwire.com is a handy web page, thanks for the link.

In California they are putting WiFi in a lot of the State Parks but you have to buy it or have a account with AT&T. I feel there is no place for a privite company to be doing business on Public land. If they want to provide it for free as a advertisement then fine but when they are making a profit on Public land using public utilities I think that is wrong.

I really would like to see how well the Cell phone cards work, would be nice if you could just rent them one for a week or 2. We have rented a house in Tahoe for the week between Christmas and just after New Years and the Wife put the money down before she asked if it had internet access, (what was she thinking?) Well it doesn't. It would be nice to be able to rent the card for that time period, guess I will have to use Jwire and find a local hot spot and drive there everyday to get my email.

I did camp next to a couple who had a satellite connection to the Internet that was connected to a wireless hub and they let us connect. It was very fast and all you need is a view to the south sky. The antenna was about the size of a Direct TV antenna with a much bigger feed horn. I think they said it was about $50 a month.
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Old 06-11-2008, 02:20 PM   #7
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If you know what Cities/Counties you are traveling through you might want to check their web pages and see if they offer free access at their parks. The parks where I live are free and are not listed anywhere I can find.

EDIT: I did find a site that looks useful, and they do list most of the free ones we have here in town, so it might be worth a look.

http://www.wififreespot.com/
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Old 06-11-2008, 10:48 PM   #8
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Gentlemen,

I appreciate the information and the links. Much of that was news to me. We head out in the morning and will be gone for several weeks if all goes as planned. I'll be on the forum when I find some wifi hotspots.

Will be on 3.950 MHz most mornings (FL Net) at 9am EDT and same freq. for North FL Phone Net at 7:30pm EDT. I try to do the So. Cars nets when not busy.

Thank you again, very much.
73,
Jim - WB4QBW
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Old 06-12-2008, 06:25 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Radio View Post
Most truck stops now have free wireless internet

When did that change.. Last time I was on the road most truck stops had FEE wireless (8 bucks a day or 20/month and each chain has it's own service so if you buy a month at Loves.. It's no good at the "J" or TA)
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