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TOPIC: Wireless Hotspot Experience

Wireless Hotspot Experience 2 years 3 months ago #14528

  • harrylouise
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We thought our experience with a not-so-good solution to obtain internet access at Twilight Dunes RV Park, MCAGCC Twentynine Palms, CA. is more appropriate as a forum topic verses a military RV park review. Let us start this topic by giving you a little background information. We have been coming to the 29 Palms area for several years and usually stay short-term at the Twilight Dunes RV Park. The Park does not provide Wi-Fi service. If you want Wi-Fi service you need to obtain it through commercial sources. During previous visits we did not have a problem because we had a smart phone with hotspot software that enabled the phone to act as a Wi-Fi router. In 2015 our two-year contract for cell phone service, which included the hotspot service, with Sprint ended. We reviewed our plan and decided that we could save a considerable amount of money by discontinuing the hotspot service. We are RV full-timers and travel throughout the country on a regular basis. The majority of the RV Parks that we use during our travels, military and civilian, have Wi-Fi access at no additional cost. We must admit that the response time is somewhat degraded but it meets our needs. In addition, we still had the smart phone with an unlimited data plan that allows us to access the internet.
Immediately after arriving at 29 Palms for a two-month stay we realized that we needed more than just the smart phone internet access. We determined that we should shop for a low-cost, no-contract, reliable internet access service. The most logical place for us to start this process was to visit the wireless sales kiosk in the Marine Corps Exchange. It was our thought that the folks at the kiosk would be the best source for knowledge of products, services and cell tower coverage on-base. We purchased an AT&T Unite Express Mobile Hotspot for use in our 5th wheel RV. The signal strength on the hotspot device inside the RV was constantly changing from 1 to 3 bars. If we were fortunate to be able to log on to the internet with either the Apple tablet or HP laptop we experienced no or extremely slow response time followed by eventual disconnection from the internet. We purchased the 5db external antenna and cable as a hopeful solution to improve signal strength and a stable internet connection. Unfortunately, we are disappointed that the addition of the external antenna did not improve our connectivity dilemma although the signal strength did spike occasionally to 4 and 5 bars. The mobile hotspot device and external antenna may not be the villains; but none the less, the products failed us, caused a lot of frustration, and will now RIP in our electronic junk box until we move on to a new location in two months.

Wireless Hotspot Experience 2 years 3 months ago #14531

  • LamSan
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Yikes that was quite a story and I will share how we cope with getting internet access. We live in what is almost a dead zone in Hernando Co. Florida and fortunately Verizon services us very well at home and on the road. We do not have a smart phone and have a flip top cell phone for emergencies when in the car or touring by foot. We have Verizon home phone service that travels in the motorhome with us and it gives us long distance all over the US with a charge of about $20.00 a month and a device gets attached to your phone so you have a strong signal at all times so we plug in the device and phone in the RV and that is our main phone number. For internet access we have a 4G jetpack and you can get numerous plans dependent on how much you use the internet and when at home in our almost dead zone I have no trouble getting on the internet. I do not like to use park Wi-Fi Service as it is not secure and with the stories you hear today about hacking and fishing and other things I do not want to encounter we are very satisfied and Verizon gives you a military discount also.

Wireless Hotspot Experience 2 years 3 months ago #14533

  • harrylouise
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Thanks LamSam for your intuitive response. Somehow our initial article ended-up in the website feedback category. We don’t know how it happened or if it is in the right category on the MCG website forum. Anyway, like you - we are residents of Florida and usually are on the road with our RV from early spring until late fall. We have been happy Sprint customers of many, many years. The Sprint packages we have had over the years provided us with voice, data and internet services. We may be in the midst of “buyer’s remorse” after dropping the Sprint hotspot internet access and making a small investment into the AT&T mobile hotspot device and service. We will be traveling throughout the Pacific Northwest again this year and hope that the AT&T service will improve at other locations. It is interesting to note that the Verizon JetPack 4G package was not offered to us as an option when we went shopping at the MCX for a hotspot solution to gain internet access. It is possible that the JetPack package is either an add-on to a Verizon account or a contract agreement. Again, thank you for your feedback and hopefully we are a little wiser the next time we go shopping for a low-cost, short-term, no contract internet access solution.

Wireless Hotspot Experience 2 years 3 months ago #14535

  • monkey44
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Genie and I each had one Sprint phone and then an additional Verizon Jet-pack for internet. We traveled all over the country from Florida - Cape Cod - Washington, down the coast, all over the west and back thru NM, Texas, etc, and home into Florida three times in the past five years, about 4-5 months per trip. And various more local trips in between.

We lost Sprint phone service often, especially in the western states, but almost never lost Verizon hotspot service in all that time - a few times maybe when we went into the back country, and didn't expect service there anyway, but sometimes got it when we least expected it.

We changed to Verizon phones, and kept the Hotspot - we use Hotspot on the road as well as at home. We have no in-house internet when we're home. The access to internet and phone has been nearly without a drop in service. Maybe we're lucky, but Sprint sucked, basically - and we'll stick with Verizon as long as this kind of service nationwide continues -- we pay $50 a month for Hotspot, and one basic phone at $30 and a smartphone at $50 inc web access.

I'd certainly never want to sound like a Verizon commercial, but just want to share our experience CC the entire USA numerous times with no issues ... I'm sitting at the house now, in rural Leesburg w/ four bars pretty consistently day or night.
Last Edit: by monkey44.

Wireless Hotspot Experience 2 years 3 months ago #14569

  • dubob
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monkey44 wrote: we pay $50 a month for Hotspot

What data speed do you get for that? My home service is $55/month at 10 Meg. Need that speed for Netflix. We also have Verizon phone service with 2 smart phones and one house phone with 1 MEG data plan for $98/month.
Bob Hicks, from Utah
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“Free men don't ask permission to bear arms.” ― Glen Aldrich
Last Edit: by dubob.

Wireless Hotspot Experience 2 years 3 months ago #14571

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We just upped to $80 a month for 10GB because we were running over our GB allowance of 5GB for $50. But we have no home WIFI service, and use it for all year, travel and home - two of us. We never use video or movie downloads, it takes too much data, but we have cable in the house, we watch a DVD occasionally on the road, but not often. We don't watch much TV when traveling.

I don't know what speed it is, Verizon Hotspot service. We only email, web search etc. It's more a convenience so we don't depend on CG wifi, which is often sporadic at best

Wireless Hotspot Experience 2 years 3 months ago #14572

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My home ISP has a data RATE of 10 MEG and the data CAPACITY is unlimited. What you are referring to is a data CAPACITY that you just increased to 10 MEG. We have a data CAPACITY on our phones of only 1 MEG and have never gone over that limit. But then we do most of our Internet communicating using our home computers, not our phones. It would appear that a phone wifi hotspot wouldn't work for us due to a CAPACITY cap.
Bob Hicks, from Utah
I’m 76 years young and going as hard as I can for as long as I can.
“Free men don't ask permission to bear arms.” ― Glen Aldrich
Last Edit: by dubob.

Wireless Hotspot Experience 2 years 3 months ago #14586

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Nope - we had a total of 5gb of data allowed to download / upload on our hotspot for $50 a month ... that is a data usage number, a measurement of bandwidth use not a speed cap number. We just upped to 10gb per month because we keep running over the 5gb - we have two PC on it, and no home based WIFI ...

MEGs per second is a completely different measurement.
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