Back in 2009 (has it really been that long?!) we covered how we stay connected on the road. Technology moves fast so we have to constantly upgrade our equipment if we’re going to stay on the edge of mobile internet. This is how we currently (as of June 11th 2011) get our internet fix.
When I heard about the HTC Evo 4g I knew it would do exactly what I needed. I paid $400 for the phone and I pay $124.91 per month but I get everything. Including a $10.00 mysterious “premium data” fee that is required to operate this phone and the Mobile Hot Spot for $29.99. Frankly, I feel that if I pay for the Hot Spot I shouldn’t have to pay for the premium data on my phone – I’m getting charged twice for one connection – but that’s just my opinion…what do I know?
The main reasons I liked this phone was the 4g (where available) and the sprint hot spot. Again, I pay an extra $29.99 for the Sprint Hotspot option, but this allows me to connect two devices to my phone wirelessly and share the 4g (where available . Some people use a hack that lets them share the phone’s internet connection with their computer via USB, but I don’t think it’s as reliable as it used to be (I think Sprint figured out what people were doing).
I’m currently using 3g and while not as fast as my old sticks n’ bricks 15Mbps cable connection, it gets the job done at 1.5Mb-2Mb a second (those are upload speeds by the way). Sprint claims an “unlimited” wireless connection, but I don’t believe them. According to “the intarnetz” I get full speed access until I reach a 5 gig limit and then they taper off my speed to “dial up” speeds. I have yet to pass the “5 gig limit” and not suffered speeds so I don’t know how true this really is.
We’re all about redundancy so rather than both go with Sprint, Duncan pulled a switcheroo and went with Verizon instead. He bought an iPhone 4 for $200 and the plan costs him $125 every month. This plan includes a $30 tethering fee so he can share his internet connection as well. His plan is limited while tethered, which means he can transfer up to 2 Gigs of data while tethered to his computer.
So that’s how we do everything we need online. We don’t stream movies (although we could if absolutely needed), we basically just check email, surf the web and look for jobs to keep us on the road. I’m glad technology has finally come around and is actually affordable. I should mention that the only reason all this is “affordable” is because we quit smoking a couple months ago! We gave up one vice and replaced it with another! We’re also not paying for a home phone or cable TV, so although it seems like a lot per month, we’re actually saving money compared to our old sticks n bricks lifestyle. How fast is your mobile internet? Go to SpeedTest.net to check it out!
How do you guys feel about cell phone signal antennas? The signal to our campground right now is AWESOME but I’m sure once we get on the road we won’t be so lucky. Do you use an amplifier? Was it worth the money?