Reliable Internet Access

How can I keep my computer job that requires Internet access while full time RVing?

My husband and I will be selling our home and "gulp" going full timing! My question is that I currently have a part-time job at home where I do medical survey transcription. I'd like to continue to do this on the road to supplement our income, but I have no idea how to obtain a reliable and consistent internet connection. I'm a newbie and have no idea what type of laptop, etc. that I would need to have. I need to be online at least 4 to 5 hours a day!

Thanks to all for any information you could give me!

Comments for Reliable Internet Access

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Our Internet Experience

We are two computer geeks who have been on the road for over two years now. The internet access varies widely from park to park, and even from site to site within a park. As does the cost...

I've gone ahead and signed up with Verizon and have had reasonably reliable service most places we've been. But there have been some places where we've gotten no service at all. One example was northern Michigan.

Since we weren't working then, no problem... But if you are counting on it, obviously you need to do more research.

WiFi and Data Aircards

Most any newer laptop computer should be WiFi and mobile broadband capable. You may have the function capacity built in or you may need to use a physical card or USB device. What I mean is that the hardware may already be internally installed on your computer or you may need to purchase a small thing that you slide into one of your computer slots.

To have reliable and consistent Internet access, you'll need to do some planning. You'll also need to have a "Plan B." I don't know of any one mobile Internet connection that will work all the time from everywhere.

I use a combination of a mobile broadband with a data air card and WiFi.

I think the Verizon plan mentioned in the previous comment refers to mobile broadband. Mine is with ACS (Alaska Communications System). Unless you have it built in, you'd need to get the data aircard device. Mine is slightly bigger than a credit card and fits into a PC slot. The newer ones fit USB port. You pay a monthly service fee (mine is $30 for unlimited use). Whether or not you have to buy the device or if you get it free depends on your service provider and contract. It works from cellular phone signals, so theoretically, anywhere you have a decent cell signal, you should have Internet access. I love mine – I stick the card in the slot, turn on my laptop, and I am online with no wires, regardless of whether I am at my desk, sitting outside at a picnic table, or riding along down the highway.

WiFi is my backup plan, when I'm in an area without the necessary cell signal. The WiFi card is about the same size as the data aircard. Again, there are no wires. The problem with WiFi is that you have to find and be in a hotspot. The good news is that these are getting to be pretty common. Some are free for RVers to use, a service provided by the campground, a coffee shop, or some other business, and sometimes by a library, school, or community. Other places charge by time, from minutes to months.

Another option is a satellite dish. Those that are permanently mounted on your RV roof and automatically tune are supposed to be great, though expensive. There's also one that you manually set-up each time you use it, and some RVers find it meets their needs, but yikes, I can't imagine having to go through all of that each time I change locations.

Internet Access

I too work form home on the internet and have been out "full timing" for about 6 months now.

I agree that you need to have a Plan "B" and mine has been a couple of things. Thankfully where we are staying in the Hill Country of Texas we have free wifi access at the RV park.

When the internet is not available, I have gone to the local library and used my laptop there and many of the newer rest areas in TX now have free wifi access also.

There are always the truck stops. Many of them have free wifi access too.

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