What Do You Do For Internet While Traveling?

 

My family and I just returned last night from a road trip to the Wisconsin Dells area. Every time we make a road trip of any significant distance, I think I learn a few more things about traveling. As sort of an experiment, last weekend I bought a Virgin Mobile MiFi prepaid mobile wifi router to see how well that worked for us on the road. It was fairly simple to set up and easy enough to use while mobile. Since we traveled from the Minneapolis Saint Paul metro area to Wisconsin Dells WI, we certainly did not have 3G coverage for much (most) of the trip. It did allow my oldest son to do some web surfing on a netbook and my youngest son and wife used their iPod Touches.

Anyway, I am wondering what people here do for internet while mobile. I know there are certainly both extremes. Many people, probably even many here, may have a GPS, but want nothing to do with a cell phone, smartphone, computer, or anything like that. The other extreme, of course, is people that have broadband on their smartphone, broadband on their iPad, etc. Many of us are probably somewhere in between. I do find it handy to be able to access to internet while traveling away from home, particularly while gone overnight or longer. I have gotten by with free wifi access at hotels and/or restaurants and although it is not bad, it can also be very hit or miss.

Anyway, what are my fellow POI Factory members doing for accessing the web? Also, what do you hope to get during 2011 for additional access, if anything? Is an iPad on your Christmas list? Maybe a new laptop computer or Android tablet? Do your passengers watch Netflix via broadband while mobile?

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MiFi is a good option

Although, one from a National carrier might have given you better results than the Virgin Mobile one in your example... I believe Verizon would have given you 3G service in most of the area you traveled.

I presently have an iPhone - and can use that as a mobile hot-spot when wifi from trusted hotspots is not available, and will use that for a laptop &/or iPad when on the go.

By the time I'm eligible to upgrade my iPhone - there will have been a sea-change in wireless technology - 4G networks should be fully deployed, and who knows what will come for new devices - I may opt for a simpler phone and and whatever the 4G Mifi is at the time for laptop/iPad... who knows. Time will tell.

--
*Keith* MacBook Pro *wifi iPad(2012) w/BadElf GPS & iPhone6 + Navigon*

I Go Without

I will connect my laptop in the hotel at night. The rest of the day, while on the road, I don't need to be connected.

But that's just me.

--
Tampa, FL - Garmin nüvi 660 (Software Ver 4.90), 2021.20 CN NA NT maps | Magellan Meridian Gold

Ditto

Although I have a data plan on my phone, I don't bother with email generally during the day. I just do it the old fashioned way; I call!

--
nüvi 3790T | nüvi 775T | Those who make peaceful revolution impossible, will make violent revolution inevitable ~ JFK

Same as Gary A carry my

Same as Gary A carry my laptop with me.Thinking about getting a tablet though.Waiting to see the new Windows 7 tablet due out.

--
Charlie. Nuvi 265 WT and Nuvi 2597 LMT. Android Here WeGo - Offline Maps & GPS.

Work and personal are different

I just use my LG Ally for personal emails and a little surfing (mostly POI-factory) while on the road.

I don't want any of the connections for my work laptop as they would have me stopping at every other rest stop and where ever else all day and night to respond to work emails, work on our R&D sights, internet classes, etc. The people who sit on their buts all day long in an office have no idea how much it disturbs the day everytime you have to stop to respond to them. I would never get to any work sights ot back home.

--
Harley BOOM GTS, Zumo 665, (2) Nuvi 765Ts, 1450LMT, 1350LM & others | 2019 Harley Ultra Limited Shrine - Peace Officer Dark Blue

How's your MiFi speed, Jim?

How's your MiFi speed, Jim? Did you test the speed at all?

I do all the driving myself while my wife enjoys the commute in the passenger seat. Obviously I'd like to reach my destination in one piece so I wouldn't want to surf the web and drive at the same time. Wife gets motion sickness if she reads or looks at computer/phone display while the car is in motion. For that reason, hotels/motels WiFi works fine for us. In some cases where I can't connect to hotel WiFi or if they don't offer free WiFi, I just buy data connection on my t-mobile prepaid, $1.49 good for 24 hours. The phone is tethered to my notebook. I get roughly 1.2Mbps downstream. Not bad.

Watching videos over mobile broadband is less appealing due to data limitation. Some provider including Virgin Mobile USA throttle our bandwidth after hitting a certain MB or GB. Others charge more per MB or GB.

~

chewbacca wrote:

In some cases where I can't connect to hotel WiFi or if they don't offer free WiFi, I just buy data connection on my t-mobile prepaid, $1.49 good for 24 hours. The phone is tethered to my notebook. I get roughly 1.2Mbps downstream. Not bad.

A MiFi isn't going to do any better than the phone in the same locations... unless the Mifi is 4G, and 4G service is available, and your phone is only 3G smile

--
*Keith* MacBook Pro *wifi iPad(2012) w/BadElf GPS & iPhone6 + Navigon*

WiFi

I use the Verizon wifi card about the size of a credit card. Works great, Broadband Anyplace my phone works it works. Can connect up to 5 computers at one time.

--
Don't sweat the petty things and don't pet the sweaty things!

just like gary and charles

When on the road the laptop and wifi is just fine for me,

--
Jerry...Jacksonville,Fl Nüvi1450,Nuvi650,Nuvi 2495 and Mapsource.

Ditto here

adcusnret wrote:

When on the road the laptop and wifi is just fine for me,

This work good enough for my wife and I as well.

--
All the worlds indeed a stage and we are merely players. Rush

We also

We also use our laptops and wifi, and that's good for us.

I'm wondering if the "browser" function on the new Amazon Kindle would let you use 3G and/or WiFi while you traveled. It uses 3G, if available, and if it can't log into a WiFi network and it's free for most things but I haven't had a chance to experiment with it yet.

--
Nuvi 350, 760, 1695LM, 3790LMT, 2460LMT, 3597LMTHD, DriveLuxe 50LMTHD, DriveSmart 61, Garmin Backup Camera 40 and TomTom XXL540s.

Very simple.

I do without the Internet until I get back home.

--
Tight lines

My kindle does not have the

My kindle does not have the cell phone modem but I think it would be a slow way to get to the internet.

When I am traveling, I try connecting from the hotel or airport if that is where I am at via free WiFi. If that doesn't work (or there is a charge), I use my blackberry as a cell phone modem. It is slower, not good for video, but works fine. I have also done this from a car while somebody else drives. It is very helpful to not have hundreds of email waiting when I get back to the office. If I am driving, I just have to wait.

Jim

My Kindle connects 3G just about everywhere.

t923347 wrote:

We also use our laptops and wifi, and that's good for us.

I'm wondering if the "browser" function on the new Amazon Kindle would let you use 3G and/or WiFi while you traveled. It uses 3G, if available, and if it can't log into a WiFi network and it's free for most things but I haven't had a chance to experiment with it yet.

3G works if there is a local charge for WIFI on my Kindle. No usage charge unless I receive a file via email on 3G. The Kindle email is only available to transfer files and not regular email. Downloading free e-books from Amazon is free no matter what. Internet is free unless like I said there is a local charge for WIFI by the hotel or whatever.

--
Nuvi 2460LMT

I also use my laptop and

smile I also use my laptop and just connect to wifi at the hotel when needed.

~

Quote:

My kindle does not have the cell phone modem but I think it would be a slow way to get to the internet.

Typical 3G cellular data should perform similar to a 768k DSL connection. Not bad for email, web surfing that's not media intensive, or streaming audio. Video, not so much. And delivering text to a Kindle, it's plenty fast.

--
*Keith* MacBook Pro *wifi iPad(2012) w/BadElf GPS & iPhone6 + Navigon*

Motel connection mostly

This usually works for us and most motels especially Comfort Inns and Fairfields have adequate wireless. The place we stay in Door County, WI finally has wireless altho it's slow. I understand a problem in the WI Dells cause that area always has been last to be connected. Cell Phone service there used to be bad but is improving. I am a fan of Verizon's 3G 'cause I stay connected all the way across I-40 and along I-35 with my Droid X. If I remember correctly I think I had 3G in Door Co. last fall. I agree that email needs to be ignored while driving. It's amazing how cell service and internet connectivity has improved over the 12 years I've been retired. It'll be great when I'm due for a new phone in 1 1/2 years with Verizon's 4G.

--
NUVI 660, Late 2012 iMac, Macbook 2.1 Fall 2008, iPhone6 , Nuvi 3790, iPad2

EVO 4G

Jim1348 wrote:

My family and I just returned last night from a road trip to the Wisconsin Dells area. Every time we make a road trip of any significant distance, I think I learn a few more things about traveling. As sort of an experiment, last weekend I bought a Virgin Mobile MiFi prepaid mobile wifi router to see how well that worked for us on the road. It was fairly simple to set up and easy enough to use while mobile. Since we traveled from the Minneapolis Saint Paul metro area to Wisconsin Dells WI, we certainly did not have 3G coverage for much (most) of the trip. It did allow my oldest son to do some web surfing on a netbook and my youngest son and wife used their iPod Touches.

Anyway, I am wondering what people here do for internet while mobile. I know there are certainly both extremes. Many people, probably even many here, may have a GPS, but want nothing to do with a cell phone, smartphone, computer, or anything like that. The other extreme, of course, is people that have broadband on their smartphone, broadband on their iPad, etc. Many of us are probably somewhere in between. I do find it handy to be able to access to internet while traveling away from home, particularly while gone overnight or longer. I have gotten by with free wifi access at hotels and/or restaurants and although it is not bad, it can also be very hit or miss.

Anyway, what are my fellow POI Factory members doing for accessing the web? Also, what do you hope to get during 2011 for additional access, if anything? Is an iPad on your Christmas list? Maybe a new laptop computer or Android tablet? Do your passengers watch Netflix via broadband while mobile?

EVO 4G Smart phone. I even use it 90% of the time I need a GPS. I hardly use the NUVI.

--
"Ceterum autem censeo, Carthaginem esse delendam" “When governments fear the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny.”

Well connected?

Just wait until you see what is coming down the road! Oh wait, that is a semi.. in my lane!
There are enough distraction for drivers as it is Why would anyone want something else to take their minds off the road.. For that matter You may be an attentive driver without the distractions but just think about the scatter brained driver in the car next to you. Now I have to drive for two people, Me and the idiot next to me who is distracted by the Internet or cell phone..

OK, To answer your question I wait until I get to a Hotel, Starbucks or McDonald's to check my E-mail, Stocks, Twitter, Facebook or any other Internet based distractions.

So keep you eyes on the road and use the Internet when you aren't behind the wheel!

I use my laptop in the hotel

I use my laptop in the hotel and an Iphone until I get there except for navigation. For that I use Garmin Nuvi. I use the smart phone for of all things .. making phone calls. My kids think I'm quaint. I will also use it for texting (only if a call doesn't make sense)and some limited games and web surfing. I prefer the laptop for email and surfing as the keyboard and screen are easier to use. The smart phone is better in airports and in the car or while waiting on the wife to finish shopping.

A buddy of mine who is a

A buddy of mine who is a salesman and is on the road a lot. He uses his smart phone to get his email, but if there's a lot he has to download he usually pulls off the road and stops in the parking lot of a nearby hotel and sponges off their wifi.

I'm usually happy enough to just check email on my smart phone and I normally don't attempt to do much else. Occasionally though I will try to find a restaurant that offers free wifi so I can look up nearby things to do.

I use free

wifi from hotel.

--
John_nuvi_

Internet on the go?

Thank god for my BLACKBERRY, and my TOMTOM. They can talk with each other with BLUETOOTH... and keep that angry human from using bad words in front of the children when he takes a wrong turn.

My BLACKBERRY finds dinner, or fun places for the kids... tells TOMTOM and TOMTOM gets them there and keeps angry humans data time down to a minimum (when WIFI isn't available).

On long vacations (more than one day), my good 'ol trusty XP laptop comes along (WIFI again), to help with keeping the data plan charges from getting the angry human's dander up! smile

In the car I take my laptop>>>

on the motorcycle I take my iTouch with WiFi. I am hoping to get a netbook this year to use on the bike. It's not that I really care about not having internet while traveling but on the motorcycle, having made reservations for two weeks, in advance, it's nice to be able to get online and cancel hotels if weather alters plans.

--
"You can't get there from here"

Free wifi

There's so much free wifi now that I don't worry about it. Rest areas in many states have it, many library's have free wifi now, McDonalds went free, and even if you aren't staying at a motel you can still pull into their parking lot at a lot of them and get the wifi. As a rule I don't need it during the day, so I mostly use it in the motel when we stop for the day.

--
Anytime you have a 50-50 chance of getting something right, there's a 90% probability you'll get it wrong.

While traveling

Most times I don't bother but I got a net book so I check every couple of days.

--
The Home of BLUMARU HOUNDS

From 2007

Crash Gordon wrote:

A buddy of mine who is a salesman and is on the road a lot. He uses his smart phone to get his email, but if there's a lot he has to download he usually pulls off the road and stops in the parking lot of a nearby hotel and sponges off their wifi.

I'm usually happy enough to just check email on my smart phone and I normally don't attempt to do much else. Occasionally though I will try to find a restaurant that offers free wifi so I can look up nearby things to do.

Your comment brought to mind this story from 2007.

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2007/05/michigan-man...

Above article

This is what I have been telling people for years. Granted the law varies from state to state but I believe "The Department of Homeland Security" has a "blanket" law covering this also. There are some states that have amended/modified the law to state something along the lines that as long as the wifi is not secured in some way it is owner beware. Meaning that if the owner does not secure it then it is anyone is allowed to connect at will.

I used to keep mine open until others started to interfere with my downloading.

In general most "open" wifi are not meant to be used by the general public, though that is how the "users" of the service look at it.

Now in lines along the original poster. When I'm physically driving I do not look at the Blackberry until I'm stopped. Whether it's a traffic light or stop sign with nobody behind me. I will not answer the e-mail until I'm in a parking lot. Never-ever try to reply while driving. Had a program that would read the e-mails to me but then that could be a problem when having the occasional passenger and forgetting to turn this off. When I need a larger screen I'll tether the Mac to the Blackberry, speeds are not too bad either. I just need a better solution for the Ipad. Chose the one without 3G since I have 3G with the Blackberry. It's used for manuals at work so as connectivity is not as important as it is with the laptop.

Careful where you connect because there are people that are willing to prosecute for use of their wifi.

Twas Ever Thus

pprowe55 wrote:

...
There are enough distraction for drivers as it is Why would anyone want something else to take their minds off the road.. For that matter You may be an attentive driver without the distractions but just think about the scatter brained driver in the car next to you. Now I have to drive for two people, Me and the idiot next to me who is distracted by the Internet or cell phone.....

While not ancient I'm old enough to remember driving prior to the cell phone distraction.

Face it some folk believe they can do two or three things beside driving surprised
searching for the thing they dropped
swinging at the kids in the back
putting on makeup
reading books/newspaper/office memo

It has always been wise to drive for two - you and the distracted other guy, next/ahead/behind/not yet seen

3G - Virgin Mobile

We use a Virgin MObile 3G modem. Ont of the very nice things about Virgin Mobile is you pay as you go, or for this modem, pay on a per-month basis with no contracts.

Speed is adequate. Most of the time we're using it inside a theatre that doesn't provide wireless access (so we bring our own). My son has used it on the road (while a passenger) as well.

Another great piece of kit for this kind of thing is the Cradlepoint MBR900 Wi-Fi router. Plug your USB modem (such as the Virgin Mobile, or a newer 4G unit) into the Cradelpoint box and you've got a Wi-Fi network. The Cradlepoint does a great job at load balancing, so no one client can hog the entire bandwidth. This is another favourite when we're doing shows to provide net access to the staff and crew.

Oh, if you're doing your own thing on the road using "public" Wi-Fi connections, PLEASE use something such as HTTPS-Everywhere for Firefox, VPNs, or some kind of security. Or hold off doing those sensitive things until you've got a trusted connection.

--
Nuvi 2460, 680, DATUM Tymserve 2100, Trimble Thunderbolt, Ham radio, Macintosh, Linux, Windows

tethering

I use tethered modem from my ATT blackberry to my netbook or laptop where there is no wifi.
Otherwise I use use the free wifi from airport or hotels.

BS

TheProf wrote:
Crash Gordon wrote:

A buddy of mine who is a salesman and is on the road a lot. He uses his smart phone to get his email, but if there's a lot he has to download he usually pulls off the road and stops in the parking lot of a nearby hotel and sponges off their wifi.

I'm usually happy enough to just check email on my smart phone and I normally don't attempt to do much else. Occasionally though I will try to find a restaurant that offers free wifi so I can look up nearby things to do.

Your comment brought to mind this story from 2007.

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2007/05/michigan-man-arrested-for-using-cafes-free-wifi-from-his-car.ars

In my opinion laws like that are a bunch of BS. if you have wifi and don't want people to use it password protect it, otherwise if you leave it open you should know people are going to use it. I have mine setup so a user has to enter a passcode to get on it.

--
Anytime you have a 50-50 chance of getting something right, there's a 90% probability you'll get it wrong.

I use a dongle

I use a USB broadband dongle via Sprint.

--
RKF (Bethesda, MD) Garmin Nuvi 660, 360 & Street Pilot

I don't use anything

When I'm on vacation, I try to forgot every day stuff. Therefore, I don't access the internet at all when on vacation. I have my cellphone which is there for emergencies or if someone back home needs to get in touch with me. Other than that, I want to be totally disconnected from the world so that I can relax and enjoy the beauty of God's earth.

--
It is impossible to rightly govern a nation without God and the Bible. ----George Washington

WiFi

I use the hotel at night and rarely a restaurant (or other WiFi) during the day. With a phone for emergencies and a GPS that's all I need.

--
Tom

Not Addicted to Facebook or Email

When I'm on the road (rarely nowadays) I don't connect to the Internet, except at the motel in the evening, or at the home I'm visiting. I don't text mail. I don't have a Faceboook account, much to the dismay of my kids, no Twitter, and no email that I get is important enough to view while on the road. Usually don't even have my cell phone on. Guess I'm just an old fogey, behind the times--and surely I'm just as happy.

--
Tuckahoe Mike - Nuvi 3490LMT, Nuvi 260W, iPhone X, Mazda MX-5 Nav

What Do You Do For Internet While Traveling?

Go without.

I carry a netbook with me

but for the past 6 months have been using my iPad to do anything with the internet.

What Do You Do For Internet While Traveling?

kellym8 wrote:

Go without.

I like this respones laugh out loud

--
johnm405 660 & MSS&T

What Do You Do For Internet While Traveling?

Why is it needed?

Public Library

I just drop in to a library to collect email.

Many times it's free, or just a small charge. I've never been refused because of not living in the area.

Ron

Smartphone

My BlackBerry is an indispensable tool while traveling.

Wi-Fi hotspots and my 295W

Wi-Fi hotspots and my 295W while on the road. After arrival, laptop works the best for me.

--
nüvi 680, 265t, 295W, iFinder H2o

Verizon

Timantide wrote:

I use the Verizon wifi card about the size of a credit card. Works great, Broadband Anyplace my phone works it works. Can connect up to 5 computers at one time.

Like Timantide, I have the same. My wife and I travel almost full time and as long as we are in a Verizon area, my laptop connects. The only problem I see with any of the broadbands is there is a limit to how much you can download (5-10GB a month). This becomes an issue when new maps come out, etc. If you go over, it costs more money.

--
Larry - Nuvi 680, Nuvi 1690, Nuvi 2797LMT

Sidejacking

Bravo to anyone connecting to the internet through a private, encrypted hotspot connection (such as a mifi or cell phone). For anyone relying on public wifi, however, bewarned that it is incredibly easy for a hacker to snoop on you while you are connected. It's called Sidejacking, and very easy for anyone to do, including you!

While avoiding public wifi is not always an option, make sure you always logout of any system you enter, be it Facebook, Yahoo, etc.

geocaching

jjen wrote:

Why is it needed?

--
Anytime you have a 50-50 chance of getting something right, there's a 90% probability you'll get it wrong.

at and t

i have an aircard for at$T AS A TRUCK DRIVER IT HAS WORK ALL OVER THE COUNTRY FOR ME........I ALSO USE WIFI WHEN ITS IN THE AREA

Thanks for mentioning Virgin pay-as-you-use option

I travel extensively and sometimes need a connection for a few days up to a few months. Paying for usage only when I need it makes sense.

1) laptop with free wifi

1) laptop with free wifi (where available)
2) iphone
3) Virgin mifi(bought at walmart) with $20.00 data card bought at Walmart.
4) desktop at hotel lobby

Internet while traveling

I used to travel blissfully out of touch with everyone & wouldn't even check my answering machine at home (back in the days before the internet & cell phones). Then on one trip a dear family friend passed away. I drove on without knowing her funeral was being held just a few miles away, blissfully unaware of this event, until I got home & found the news on my answering machine, which had been patiently waiting 3 days to deliver it. Years later I was camping in the same area. Another family friend had passed away, but that time I called home from the campground just before I was to hit the road, learned about the funeral & so changed my plans at the last minute to attend. Then there was 9/11. That morning I was just about to pull out of my driveway for a long road trip through the NYC area, when I turned on the TV and saw planes crashing into the World Trade Center. Needless to say I postponed the trip. I don't watch much TV but since 9/11 I do turn it on every morning to look for any banner headlines. I use satellite radio to check on news even in the remotest areas of the USA, where there is no reception of regular broadcasts.
Currently I travel with the cheapest possible Tracfone and my laptop, with its WiFi and built in GPS / mapping capability. SMS messages received cost me nothing, and will work in parts of the country where voice calls won't work. I have my online banking services send me notices of credits & debits as I travel. I think that's useful to catch any unwanted banking activity.
I once tried Virgin Mobile's wireless broadband USB dongle for $75, the service stunk so bad I wasn't even able to complete signing on for the service. Virgin Mobile was the worst ISP I have ever dealt with, hands down. The dongle went back to Walmart for a full refund the same day.
McDonald's & Starbucks both now offer free access to the AT&T WiFi network, and they tend to be found easily along major highways. My POI lists are helpful to locate those places. For marginal WiFi reception situations I have an external WiFi USB adapter and a 15 foot long USB powered extension cable to my laptop. I have used it in a campground at Zion National Park to pick up a motel's WiFi signal from the adjacent town. It was so pleasant to sit out at my campsite in the dark & read up on the attractions & history of Zion Park during a time of the day when there wasn't much else to do. The adapter's antenna was up 8 feet on top of my camper shell. No other position would work there.
I was once questioned by local police in northern Michigan after dark when I was parked outside a UPS store using their AT&T WiFi (they have it no more). I told him I was using a service I had paid for (true at the time). That was as far as our encounter went.
I have read many stories about the insecurity of free open WiFi networks like those at McD & Starbucks. I subscribe to a virtual private network service, which secures those connections. It was important to me because I do online banking while I travel. Eavesdropping is possible but useless unless the hacker can decrypt a session. I have not heard of anyone succeeding in this. Unfortunately some public open WiFi networks at libraries & places like Wendy's block connections to VPNs.

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