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  1. Default Internet on the Road!

    I've heard there is some new technology (new to me at least) out there that allows you to get internet access wherever your cell phone gets service. I know it involves some hardware and probably a monthly access fee of some sort, but I'm very interested in whatever experience or info anyone has about this stuff.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Wherever the journey takes me...


    This is simply a mobile-broadband deal.

    You buy a PCMCIA card for a laptop from your cell phone provider, and then sign up for the mobile broadband service. Monthly rates will depend on speed and your amount of usuage, but they're typically $50+ per month, and the hardware is usually pretty pricey, too.

    I know that Sprint, Verizon and Cingular offer such services, I'm not sure about the others.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Wherever the journey takes me...


    There are other options, too.

    TA Travel Centers and Flying-J truck stops have WiFi hotspots which you can purchase access to. A 24 hour subscription is about $5, and a montly subscription is about $20 for either.

  4. Default

    WEll, my mom's husband just started work with a company called clearwire. I'm wondering if this is a suitable idea.

    Check it out (someone) and let me know what you think.
    Last edited by AZBuck; 10-23-2006 at 09:27 PM. Reason: Unless you're vouching for the service, we prefer that you not give commercial links. Thanks for the input though.

  5. Default Several options around

    I looked at this out of curiosity a while ago. There are several options

    First of all, there's a low level internet access available through the 4th generation cell phones out there. Basically you can send and receive email through your phone, where the data signal just goes out like a modem signal from your cell phone. Just for grins I checked a couple of the phone companies, and you can link into your AOL, Yahoo! Mail Plus, EarthLink, Comcast, and just about any POP3 or IMAP4 e-mail server. Cost of this is your basic cell service, plus $30-50 per month, plus potentially per kilobyte charges. Check with your cell company to see what's available. The problem with this is the time it takes to type in a message using a phone keyboard.

    Secondly, there's the Blackberry-type internet, now available through a variety of smart-phones. It's a veyr similar system to the one I listed above but the phones are more easily set up to send and receive messages (with small keyboards) and some phones have simple versions of things like Internet Explorer. Basically the same cost per month, but the phones are a bit more expensive since they are also designed to synch with a laptop or desk top computer and give you access to your calendar, spreadsheets, contacts lists etc. This is the start of fusing a PDA with a cell phone I think.

    There's a variation on this where you can hook your computer up through your cell phone, essentially using your cell phone as a wireless dial-up modem. Typically this requires some cords and perhaps a modem, and you pay both time and per kilobyte on most plans.

    Next step up is a high speed service availble in most metropolitan areas in the US -- it requires a special add in USB "modem" or PCMIA card but is very high speed -- up to 1.5 MB per second. It isn't super cheap -- around $60-80 per month for access. plus the cost the card (up to $150-200 or so). But its sort of like mobile DSL in the cities.

    Next after that is just get a wireless LAN card for your laptop and use a number of hotspots around. Depending upon your service and where you might find hot spots you can sometimes get a nationwide monthly wireless internet access for a reasponable price -- down to around $20 per month -- that works at thousands of places, such as every Starbucks around.

    And last but not least, there are a variety of places around that have free or very low cost high-speed wired "plug in" access. These include a surprizingly large number of libraries, computer cafes, coffee houses, universities, and hotels. For around $5 a day I've gotten multi-megabit/ second plug in access in hotels, conference centers and airports (the most expensive....) Heck the local county courthouse here has a network through the entire building that is $6.95 for unlimited 24 hour usage.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Western/Central Massachusetts

    Default Net

    I've found that, unless I'm way out in the middle of nowhere, that most cities will have multiple options to gain an internet connection. Of course, being in application development, I generally don't use the computer much when I'm on the road - vacation, after all!

    The real issue, though, is security, something to be concerned with both on wired and wireless connections. I would imagine at this early point that the cellular PCMCIA devices would be as secure as a cellphone connection. The free-type wireless generally have very little security - ie no encryption - so I would be more cautious about the type of data I send using those.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default It is one of many rolling out now

    Quote Originally Posted by sincitychains View Post
    WEll, my mom's husband just started work with a company called clearwire. I'm wondering if this is a suitable idea.
    The underlying technology used by Clearwire is very good and if your roadtrip was going to be soley in an area supported by Clearwire, it might be a good choice. As the 4G (so-called fourth generation broadband connecitivity services) roll-out you will see more and more services being marketed under a variety of different company names and brands. For someone like myself, who must secure high-speed Web access every single day in anyplace, North America, such services are of less interest. Like Moderator Mass Tim and Larrison have mentioned, it is becoming much easier to find reasonable access to broadband service throughout much of the United States. You can spend a lot of time and money, messing around and finding true wireless connectivity. I made such a lifestyle a "mission" in the mid-1990's and coined the term Dashboarding as a way of defining such a lifestyle. These days, I simply don't have the time. I use whatever source is readily available -- in most places that is Wi-Fi and here is a good overview of what you need to know about connecting to Wi-Fi systems. Wi-Fi is notoriously not secure -- so I am careful about the locations of my passwords and other encrypted data.


  8. #8
    RoadTripper Brad Guest

    Default Encryption


    I take it you're talking about Terminal-to-Tranceiver encryption. As far as I know, a SSL secure website should secure most of the data even on a wireless connection from being read by a third party, but not neccisarily EVERYTHING over being passed wirelessly. I could, of course, be completely mistaken.

    Either way, I probably wouldn't be doing online banking on most public wireless networks. Thats why we have ATM's (besides getting cash, I mean.).


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