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View Full Version : What do you do for internet in RV parks?


NN5I
09-15-2014, 05:08 PM
Heighdy --

Internet (WiFi) access seems a chronic problem in RV parks, and to me it's the greatest drawback of full-time RVing.

I haven't stayed in a lot of RV parks, so my experience is limited; but internet access seems to vary from indifferent to wretched. Right now I'm in Bee's RV Resort in Clermont FL. Bee's is generally pretty pleasant, but WiFi is supplied by a jack-leg outfit called Nationwide Wireless for $28 a month, and is the world's worst, not worth 28 cents. Typical time to load a page, say on eBay or on ORR, is from five minutes to an hour. It took me over 20 minutes to get to the page on which I'm typing right now.

At RV Park of Portland (Oregon), which no longer exists, I had WiFi from an outfit called Tengo Internet, which I think supplies Internet access in many RV parks nationwide. It was adequate, but definitely not flash-bang. Its chief asset was that it worked, almost always, and was reasonably consistent. I wish I had it here.

I have heard talk of things like "Clear" and a few others. I know precisely nothing about these. Do some people get Internet access (for their desktop PCs) through a cell phone, somehow? How does that work? How well does it work?

Is there a workable way to get Internet in an RV wherever you happen to be, at sustainable cost? Surely someone knows of something. Speak!

Radio
09-15-2014, 09:21 PM
As I am not a full timer I have no objection to not having internet for a few days. In fact, it does me good. Makes time in my life, mind and marriage for other things. :kiss:

Sometimes I will take the laptop, other times just the Kindle. And I will go to the ranger station, GC office or sometimes the local library for the Wi-Fi. Then it's back to camp to enjoy a small bit of the world without Internet.

Which doesn't do you any good.

I understand some "smart phones" have an optional Wi-Fi hotspot that you can attach your PC to. How that works I have no clue. And I have heard of a PCI card or USB device that is essentially a cell phone for your computer.

Anybody know about these type devices? Can somebody help poor Carl out?

I Googled "mobile hotspot" and all sorts of solutions were there. Most were cellular.

electricflyer
09-15-2014, 10:06 PM
Clear is WIMAX. It is or rather was in the major market areas, they were partnered with Motorola and another major cellular manufacturer (can't remember who it was). My son was corporate training manager and site development manager for them. Clear was started by the guy up in Washington state that developed cellular systems as we know them and sold it to AT&T for about 5 billion. Initially you could buy a plug & play device at Best Buy for $35 and be on the air. Clear has since been sold to Sprint so it can be gotten from them. Initially they were $35/month but I think they are in the $50-$60 range now depending on the bandwidth. Clear stopped using their own tech service so my son bailed out of Clear and is now corporate training manager for Erickson who maintains nearly all of the non AT&T cell sites, that includes most of Verizon, T-Mobile. Sprint, Clear and others. He is by the way a ham, Advanced license. About the only decent internet is via smartphone which can be good or bad depending where you are located. Another choice is Verison Air, there are other cellular based internet vendors available also. Dish has satellite internet available but as I understand it can not be used mobile. My daughter and her husband used Verizon Air for a while because there was no cable where they lived in Tennessee. I think it was about $60 a month at that time and I have read about RVrs using it. I have thought about getting a wifi signal booster to give the laptop a little more range. The camp sites don't seem to want to pay for more bandwidth. They could make it better if they positioned wifi repeaters in the area but those cost a little money.
I am starting to play with Broadband-hamnet, which can not provide internet as we know it because it is Part 97 (restricted noncommerical internet), although it can be connected to the internet via the network. Anyway, I have a couple antennas I purchased on Ebay that have good gain and with the proper connection could possibly be used to increase the range. I have a 2.5ghz 20dbi gain omni antenna and a 2.5ghz 20dbi yagi antenna. They will have to be close coupled to be effective. I haven't been anywhere to give it a try to see if it will work yet.
A little off topic but check out www.broadband-hamnet.org It uses a Linksys router (certain models) and is flashed with ham band specific firmware. Short range because it is line of site 2.5ghz but because it is then Part 97 it could possibly go as far as 1500w power, would make no sense to do that though (if you can't hear them you can't work them). The neat thing about it is that it is a self seeking, self-healing network. It seems to be developing in the heavy concentrated ham areas. It is best used for emergency backup when everything else will fail. Because is has very low power consumption it could operate of of a UPS battery for several days. Works best in areas of flat terrain, Florida, Arizona, New Mexico, South Texas and such. Florida would be ideal for coverage, in fact cellular towers are detuned because of overlap problems.

wa8yxm
09-16-2014, 09:08 AM
There are 3 ways and I"ve used all 3.

IF you absolutely MUST have internet access as in your life (Professional or personal) depends then 2-way Satellite internet may be the answer.. There are still some companies that can deliver that, Expensive to set up and fairly expensive to run every month, there are all sorts of down sides (Low speed, limited bandwith, long lag times (Ping time) but it works... Winegard.Bill in the Affinity group forums can point you to a dealer yet I think.. he used to be one.

Cellular Internet (Via your Cell phone or a My-Fi device) covers nearly all the nation, howver you may need more than one account.. I have T-Moblie and used to use Virgin-Mobile (Sprint) I do not care for Verizon for other reasons, but Verizon has the best service.

Also fairly expensive epically if you need a lot of bandwidth, Though if you bundle it with your cell phone plan it can be as low as 10-25/month T-mobile has unlimited bandwith (Text and voice too) for under 100/month (one phone) but.. Only the first 5 to 6.5 Gig are "High speed".. and they do not have a whole lot of high speed coverage.

AT&T is making some rather grand claims just now but I have not tested

Verizon .... Well if you go over on your bandwidth.. HOLD ON TO YOUR BUDGET cause they Cha Ching ya.

Finally there is "Free Wi-Fi" within the park.. Often the park systems have limited range and bandwidth.. This was not so bad in the old days, and there are ways and devices you can use to greatly extend your range (I use one myslf) but with Neflix and the like and folks watching TV on their computers via INTERNET...... Well, the bandwidth gets eaten up very fast in many parks... Park owner here says as the weather improves and the park fills even here it will go by by.. We have 24 sites and multipe internet feeds.

Basically.. There are many companies (Of which Netflix and their competitors are major ones) Working hard to make the internet useless.

W5DOK
09-17-2014, 08:35 AM
OK. Here's what I use all over the US. Verizon Mi-Fi seems to work the best , with the best national coverage. AT&T sux. I also have a hot spot program for my cell phone. (also Verizon) that is very fast. We have coverage almost anywhere we go and some of that is really in the boonies. Any place that we have cell phone service, we have internet. The cell service is 4g and the mi-fi is 3g and 4g. My mi-fi is grandfathered, so I have unlimited data.
Doc

wa8yxm
09-17-2014, 02:43 PM
Where I am both Verizon and T-Mobile are weak (AT&T too) do not know about sprint/Virgin (I could check easily enough) but the T-mobile tower is only 3-4 miles didtant, Still no signal worth talking about.

Phone does Wi-Fi calling so I got my spam this AM.. And put it in my reject file.

wb5nfc
09-19-2014, 09:53 AM
I've not found a great way to solve this problem, but the Millenicom package works pretty well for us MOST of the time. 20 gigs of data per month isn't enough, so we supplement with our AT&T smartphone hotspots. I agree - mobile Internet is one of the greatest challenges of full-timing! We're still tracking down data-gobblers like automatic updates, iPhone "free" music, etc. I had hoped to have enough data remaining at the end of the billing period to watch a little streaming AppleTV, but so far that just hasn't been an option.

NN5I
09-19-2014, 02:47 PM
I've not found a great way to solve this problem, but the Millenicom package works pretty well for us MOST of the time. 20 gigs of data per month isn't enough ...

Interesting. Tell me more -- I've never heard of that.

I connect to WiFi through a Linksys WRT54GS router that's running DD-WRT firmware (configured as a repeater, with AutoAP usually active), and it records my daily usage and monthly totals, remembering them for a long time. Just now I reviewed the pretty monthly charts, and I very seldom reach 10GB total up+down. The last time I exceeded 20GB was July 2013 when I was installing XP on several machines and then running update. I never watch TV, and by golly ain't gonna watch any TV, although I look at YouTube on occasion.

So that might work for me. What sort of beast is it? What hardware, how much money, etc.? General tutorial and discourse solicited.

Dick Noble
09-20-2014, 07:01 PM
We are 1/2 time (about 6 mos) on the road and do a lot of personal business, including banking, on the internet. We use Verizon MiFi with an antenna. It is expensive -- $100 for 10 gigs/ mo. It is encrypted so I feel safe to use it and in 6 years have never had a problem. We have never found a place that we cannot get on but sometimes it is slow. Have even used it in Hawaii for internet and with the Ipad, as a GPS. I'm using it right now.

Mr. Ham
09-21-2014, 12:50 PM
I get my internet free off the neighbors - they live about 200' away..
I have a Lynksys antenna and a 15' extension cable that I bought off eBay.
If I had a laptop computer, I could just drive into town - McDonald's, Burger King, The Chinese restaurant, the other businesses all have free WiFi these days.
You see people sitting in their cars in the parking lot - harvesting the free Wifi and you see people driving around the neighborhoods looking for open routers to get free WiFi in a particular neighborhood.
There is even web sites that hackers runs that will have a map with locations where you can find free WiFi and or open routers.
If a hacker wants into your computer - you aren't going to stop them.
Most hackers today are located out of country.
China has a large population of hackers.
Surprisingly enough - most porn sites are secure.
The reason is because most Porn Sites are ran by hackers.
They don't need to see what is on your computer because they already know what is in your computer.

Target, Home Depot and other scares of hackers and people getting your credit card information isn't really a problem if you have no money or no credit. It is the same deal, most of those people does this just to show other people how smart they are.
When the hacker gets caught, they are usually given mild sentences and then hired by the companies that they hacked. Who better to inspect and repair your data warehouse then the person that hacked into it when you thought that it was secure. Some of these people ends up making hundreds of thousands of dollars a year as consultants.

NN5I
09-21-2014, 04:27 PM
I get my internet free off the neighbors - they live about 200' away.

Do you do this with their informed consent?

W5DOK
09-21-2014, 06:39 PM
Do you do this with their informed consent?
Probably be classified as theft of service without that consent. However, since this thread is about internet service in rv parks, it may be ok to use other folks internet in that rv park.

N3LYT
09-21-2014, 06:56 PM
Generally the hackers are in Russia and they don't care!

N3LYT
09-21-2014, 07:01 PM
Probably be classified as theft of service without that consent. However, since this thread is about internet service in rv parks, it may be ok to use other folks internet in that rv park.

We have internet service with repeaters in the park I work for but it is and expensive to to up grade so I would not expect much from camp ground wifi.

NN5I
09-21-2014, 10:20 PM
In many states it would be theft of services under state law, I think; but I also have an impression there's a federal criminal statute too, specifically for theft of Internet via WiFi.. But I'd have to ask a lawyer, to be certain of any of that.

I know that Florida has theft-of-services, because I once began finding a neighbor's trash (bagged) in my big Waste Management can. I got annoyed and called the sheriff, who sent a deputy. The deputy and I opened one of the bags and learned it was my next-door neighbor's trash, and he offered to arrest her for theft of services. I said no, I'll just talk to her. She apologized and explained that she was out of a job and hadn't paid her Waste Management bill. I let her use my trash bin for a month, she found another job, and all was well. Two years later her son was stealing tools from me, and I caught him. I could prove it, too, because I had (still have) a fancy engraving machine and my name and e-mail address are engraved on most of my tools. I was a little more vehement with the son than with the mother. Problem solved. Of course, he also knew I was a Judo instructor, head of my own dojo, and he thought I was a tougher dude than I ever really have been.

I imagine that Mr Ham has that consent, because, if he were stealing services, surely he wouldn't tell us here, even though we don't know his name or callsign because he won't tell us.

We're really OT here, but it's my thread.

W5DOK
09-22-2014, 01:50 PM
we don't know his name or callsign because he won't tell us.

Can't give what you ain't got.:D

Mr. Ham
09-23-2014, 10:01 AM
Do you do this with their informed consent?
Yes Mr. Internet cop.
They are my cousins and very old and they only have internet because my cousin works for the US Postal service, and knowing how to use computers is part of her job.

Mr. Ham
09-23-2014, 10:10 AM
Probably be classified as theft of service without that consent. However, since this thread is about internet service in rv parks, it may be ok to use other folks internet in that rv park.

Do a little research first - before you spout off.

The Federal Law pertaining to wireless devices is that you can receive anything that is put out over the air.

Most of the devices in use today, other than amateur radio says that you have to be willing to accept any interference that lawfully comes along and you must not cause any interference to lawful devices - such as amateur radio - since it is a licensed radio service.

At one time - cordless telephones were on a low VHF frequency - around 49 MHz, you could program a programmable scanner and listen to telephone conversations - legally.
The only thing that was illegal was calling up someone and telling them what you had heard on someone else's cordless phone...
It was not illegal however to say - hey, come here a minute, listen to this.

The Term Wardriving pertains to the act of driving around looking for open Wi-Fi service. To do it, all you have to do is set the computer to a static IP and ride around until you find a open router.

Using web services such as Wigle - you can find wireless internet that has been logged in your neighborhood.

If you went to school for Information Science Technology - you would learn that the most common passwords for a router is their name, 12345, myrouter, password... It's not hard to hack a router in an urban area...

http://www.wififreespot.com/

Mr. Ham
09-23-2014, 10:13 AM
Anytime you guys want to talk, I would be more than willing to meet you up on the Amateur Extra portion of the bands on 20 / 40 meters during the daytime.

I don't have my 160m off center fed dipole up yet, and my 80m off center fed dipole is still in the box from Field Days. Some neck problems prohibits me from taking down the 30' American tower and putting up the 40' Rohn 25G tower right now...

NN5I
09-23-2014, 01:26 PM
How can we meet you on HF if you keep your name and callsign secret?

Use of someone else's WiFi isn't passive. It involves not only receiving but also transmitting. Your computer specifically requests every page. It is not the same as eavesdropping, and clearly your defensive remarks don't apply.

Still, the legality of "piggybacking" seems undecided. There have been arrests: through Google I found many references, including the Florida arrest in 2005 of a Saint Pete man who parked outside his neighbor's house and used his open WiFi, but I find no mention of a conviction. Maybe he copped a plea. There have been arrests in other jurisdictions too.

Regardless of legality, it's dishonest and could harm the victim. Suppose, for example, the victim is near his monthly limit, and you run him past it, and his ISP bills him extra? Could happen. Suppose he's watching a movie, and saturating his connection, and you add traffic and muck up his streamed video? Not nice.

Since they're your cousins -- or he's your cousin -- or she is -- you mix singular and plural indiscriminately so it's hard to know -- but since you have permission you're likely in the clear, though the cousin(s) may be violating the contract with the ISP. Comcast, for instance, places a prohibition in every home-user contract. So do many other ISPs, but not all.

Of course, if you hack his router by guessing his password, you're clearly over a line of decency, and probably over a line of legality too. But I believe you, that you didn't do that.

What were your name and callsign again?

NN5I
10-10-2014, 04:20 PM
I just arrived at the MH with a new device. It's from Verizon and gives me WiFi through the cellphone network.

So far, so good. Right now I'm getting about 15 Mb/sec down, and about 7 MB/sec up. I think I'm gonna like this a lot.

Radio
10-10-2014, 07:42 PM
I just arrived at the MH with a new device. It's from Verizon and gives me WiFi through the cellphone network.

So far, so good. Right now I'm getting about 15 Mb/sec down, and about 7 MB/sec up. I think I'm gonna like this a lot.

Lower your bills by renting out bandwidth to your neighbors. :radio:

NN5I
10-10-2014, 09:27 PM
Actually I could do that. I connect through a router (WRT54GS) with non-factory firmware (DD-WRT), and I think it's capable of limiting bandwidth on its virtual interfaces. So I could have an unlimited WiFi for me, and constricted WiFi for friends and neighbors. But no; it's mine, all mine, hee hee hee!

W7JZE
10-11-2014, 11:44 AM
Actually I could do that. I connect through a router (WRT54GS) with non-factory firmware (DD-WRT), and I think it's capable of limiting bandwidth on its virtual interfaces. So I could have an unlimited WiFi for me, and constricted WiFi for friends and neighbors. But no; it's mine, all mine, hee hee hee!

Heh, heh, heh...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RKMNPQ35OUc
I get it. I really do!:bounce: