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Old 01-12-2013, 10:33 AM   #1
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Internet connection on the road

We're going on a trip from TN to Utah in May of this year and would like to have internet connection for our laptop. I just located something interesting called "WiFi Ranger" that might work. Anyone have experience with this product. If so will I need any additional equipment to make it work?
We plan on going through AR, Kansas, CO and then to Utah. We have already ordered and received a "Mountain Directory West". Looks like a fun trip. Lots of planning to do.

Don
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Old 01-12-2013, 11:32 AM   #2
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I use MiFi from Verizon. Mine is 3G but there are several 4G options too.
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Old 01-12-2013, 12:46 PM   #3
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The WIFI RANGER apparently is device for keeping you online through WiFi or supported USB Aircards. This will only work when you are already in range of someone's WIFI HotSpot or you can sign up with Verizon or some other carrier and use their AIR CARD Internet plan. You can plug their USB AIRCARD into this device and it will create a WIFI HOTSPOT for you.

If you are NOT in range of someones WIFI HOT SPOT or not subscribed to a CELL PHONE COMPANY Internet wireless AIRCARD account this unit will not work for you.

I too use the VERIZON MIFI Internet Account which is a stand-alone unit that accesses the INTERNET all across the country and becomes a short distant HOTSPOT device that will connect to five of your WIFI enabled devices. Verizon is well documented as being the best service provider across the US for coverage outside the Interstates and towns.

You will need to sign up for a data account using this unit. I use the Verizon 3G MIFI 2200 that is a 3GB dataplan which is not offered anymore I think. They have a newer 4G MIFI unit that is a 5GB dataplan for $50 a month I think it is.

I use my big DELL M90 laptop, wife uses her 11-inch HP latop, and all of our tablets etc work just fine just about anywhere we go in the US.. I use my MIFI unit in a WILSON SLEEK Cradle DOCK Station which has an outside antenna connection which works like gangbusters for us. No more weak WIFI hookups at the various camp grounds across the country...

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Old 01-12-2013, 02:25 PM   #4
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I have a EnGenius EOC 5611P with a 8dBi antenna that I have connected to my rear ladder. The initial set up of the 5611P takes a little time, thought and a little networking knowledge, but after that you just select the AP (Campground Wi-Fi). The WiFiRanger sounds like a nice product and should the 5611P stop working, I will look into the Wi-Fi Ranger 600Mw. Sounds like a good product to me. I get up to 1 to 1.5 miles on flat land. We were at a campground that wanted $14 a week for Wi-Fi connection, so I set my antenna up and was able to pick up the FREE Wi-Fi from another campground that was about 3/4 of a mile down the road. Worked fine! I noticed the WiFiRanger comes with a 3dBi antenna and it may allow for an 8 or 15dBi antenna upgrade, for a little greater distance. I am looking at the 8dBi antenna to see how much more distance I can get out of this unit. We are heading to CO late this spring. Hoping to do a lot of dry-camping.
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Old 01-12-2013, 03:28 PM   #5
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WILCUT - Just keep in mind you are depending on picking up someone's free uncovered WIFI. This may or may not work where you really need it to. If it works you have a free access to the internet. If it doesn't work and you can't pick someone's free WIFI like McDonalds or Truck Stops etc then you are dead in the water... Those times I tried this it always seem to not be available when I needed it the most hehe... I always got alot of hotels along the trip route but they were all covered and not free for me to use unless I had the assigned password...

Also another concern I had was that all of these type public places is the worse yet for getting virus's and identify thief etc etc etc... Wasn't worth it for me....

If you want a reliable way to connect to the internet then you will need to subscribe to an internet provider...
If my internet use was just keeping n touch with the family no big deal but I also have to keep tabs on all my bills online and make sure all gets paid when due... That's a little more private for me to be using a hotspot from the local mall or McDonaolds...

Just making sure you know all of this.... I'm all for the PLAN-Bs but they also have to reliable and safe hehe...

Just me yaking....

Roy Ken
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Old 01-12-2013, 04:14 PM   #6
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Roy,
You are absolutely correct, if there isn't any free Wi-Fi available, I am dead in the water. I encountered that one time during a one night stop. I depend on the free Wi-Fi because if I use the various plans from the phone companies, I would be paying $500 a month due to the real-time stock quote software I use. Yes, there is ALWAYS a chance of someone hacking your system. I use my unit in Client/Router mode so I can set the 5611 to only allow access to the AP once it is selected. Since it is not set up as an AP the SSID is not displayed. Of course, there may be someone that has a sniffer that will find it, but should not be able to access it. If there is enough bandwidth, I use VPN back to my home PC, which encrypts everything coming/leaving my camper laptops/tablets. Most of the time I can access the Wi-Fi that is in the front office for everyone to use and in some cases they have that unit set up with a little more bandwidth. Works well for me, but it is definitely not for everyone. That Wi-Fi Ranger sounds like it should do the trick for all types of access.
Don
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Old 01-12-2013, 04:25 PM   #7
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Roy, perfect timing on the post for us...we're heading to the US from Canada in a couple of weeks and were wondering about a secure mobile hotspot, we will surely look up the the MIFI from Verizon. Where can these be purchased?

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Old 01-12-2013, 06:38 PM   #8
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I got my MIFI from the local Verizon cell store. We use the 4G, 5 gig plan. They will almost give you the unit for $50 or so and a 2 yr contract. We pay $50 a month for it and do not have internet at home. Use it all the time, anywhere.
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Old 01-13-2013, 03:10 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wilcut View Post
We're going on a trip from TN to Utah in May of this year and would like to have internet connection for our laptop. I just located something interesting called "WiFi Ranger" that might work. Anyone have experience with this product. If so will I need any additional equipment to make it work?
We plan on going through AR, Kansas, CO and then to Utah. We have already ordered and received a "Mountain Directory West". Looks like a fun trip. Lots of planning to do.

Don
You might want to look into Millenicom.com. They resell Verizon on the MiFi side and it is no contract with 20GB/Mo. usage. In addition if you decide to get a WiFi Ranger be sure that the USB aircard will work with it. When I had a Sprint aircard they assured me that it would work with the model that I had but they could never get it to operate with the aircard. They refunded my money and told me to keep the unit. They were a new company at the time and probably have overcame a lot of their growing pains. The Ranger died about two months after they refunded my money.
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Old 01-13-2013, 05:43 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geman1 View Post
Roy, perfect timing on the post for us...we're heading to the US from Canada in a couple of weeks and were wondering about a secure mobile hotspot, we will surely look up the the MIFI from Verizon. Where can these be purchased?
I purchased my MIFI on ebay. I did not have to get into a 2 year contract, just a month to month. I no longer use the MIFI, now I have a smart phone and use it as my hotspot. I bought the MIFI a few years ago. Kept watching ebay and paid under $30 for it. No problems with the unit.
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