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Old 10-03-2021, 01:21 PM   #1
Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Dec 2020
Location: Las Vegas, NV
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Year: 1995
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DT466 / MD3060
Internet on the Road - What is your setup?

Skoolie Fam!
After juggling a few of the threads here, trying to wrap my mind around our internet setup in the bus, I thought I'd reach out to you beautiful people once more to compile some knowledge into one thread in hopes of a "go-to" on easy internet for skoolie life

After looking at all of the options and equipment, I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed even for someone who is usually pretty tech-savvy; Hot Spots, Routers, Boosters, JetPacks, 4G, 5G, and SO many different cell plans now - I think I've got myself tied in a knot and all the tech for this is so expensive I would love to avoid any redundant or needless purchases

To get right to it: What is your internet setup, in most basic terms? What cell provider / data provider are you using, and how is it working out for you?


Here's my plan for us, just to get out on the road - can you poke any holes in it, or lend some advice?
  1. One phone line with T-Mobile (we currently have unlimited data on our TMobile lines, $75/mo each line),
  2. get a new phone line with Verizon w/ unlimited data ($80/mo + phone cost),
  3. then use a router to send the signal out to our devices? I'm hearing Netgear Nighthawk M1, but maybe we can get away with something less robust / costly?

We just need basic internet access for email, sending files, streaming music and movies - nothing encrypted or super advanced.

Thank you all for taking the time to help us newbs get out on the road! I owe you all a drink and some dinner

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Old 10-03-2021, 01:30 PM   #2
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Hey BG, we've been using a cellular hotspot/modem from The RV IT Guy ( https://www.thervitguy.com/ ) and we're very happy with it...happy enough that I wrote a review post on it. It seems to be truly unlimited, as it's the primary internet for our bus home and our AirBnB house. They are using the Sprint network and, perhaps, I could have gone straight to Sprint? But I like that they're a small business and their staff seem to all be living nomadic lives. And you can talk to someone promptly.

The unit has a wifi router built in, but it also has ethernet ports and we have another wifi router and an extender plugged into those to reach a camp spot a hundred yards out yonder.
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Old 10-03-2021, 02:06 PM   #3
Skoolie
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rossvtaylor View Post
Hey BG, we've been using a cellular hotspot/modem from The RV IT Guy ( https://www.thervitguy.com/ ) and we're very happy with it...happy enough that I wrote a review post on it. It seems to be truly unlimited, as it's the primary internet for our bus home and our AirBnB house. They are using the Sprint network and, perhaps, I could have gone straight to Sprint? But I like that they're a small business and their staff seem to all be living nomadic lives. And you can talk to someone promptly.

The unit has a wifi router built in, but it also has ethernet ports and we have another wifi router and an extender plugged into those to reach a camp spot a hundred yards out yonder.
Thanks Ross! I did see your post on the RV IT Guy service - I am looking over their site right now actually, really intriguing. I assume they still face the same limitations a regular cell provider does - distance from cell towers - but their price for 'truely unlimited' internet sounds great, opposed to throttled speeds from big carriers. Also a fan of supporting small companies like this

I'm thinking about changing my TMobile line over to Verizon or something like Visible (still researching), my wife will keep her TMobile line, and we can add something like this RV IT Guy connection to keep us covered if we start to find ourselves running through cell data too fast.
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Old 10-03-2021, 04:51 PM   #4
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We used a WeBoost OTR truck cell booster to boost our Verizon Jetpack. We almost always had a usable data connection on the road. We were always able to stream Netflix or Hulu or whatever. Of course, we'd use Campendium to find our boondocking sites and the reviews usually stated if there was a Verizon signal. Other times we'd scout with the truck and find campsites that had a data connection. You could probably get away with using a cell phone instead of the Jetpack...we sometimes went that way. The Jetpack was like $65/mo and "unlimited" but throttled after we reached the data cap. They almost never throttled it in reality, I think they do that if its a busy tower. Our phones are Visible and Total Wireless, which use the Verizon network. Visible is "unlimited" too but we haven't tested whether they throttle it or not. Total wireless allowed us to buy more data, which we did a few times.
I think you could get by without a router if you use the hotspot feature on a phone, or use a Jetpack. You'll probably want a Weboost or something similar though, and get a telescoping window-washing pole or something to raise it...not usually necessary, but nice to have in a pinch.
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