OT Maybe? Cellular Modems & Service

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I'm looking for a cell modem/service for a laptop to be used when traveling. It would be nice to be able to shut off the service when not using it without huge penalties. Anyone here using such a beast. Thanks.
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On 10/11/2011 8:28 AM, Art Todesco wrote:

Virgin Mobile's Broadband2Go. You'll have to buy the laptop dongle from them, and then buy your access in blocks. It's a pay-as-you-go plan, so you can buy it only when you want to use it.
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I think the first place to start is to determine where you're going to use it and need the service. In many cases, if the coverage is good or even available at all in the area can be the critical issue.
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On 10/11/2011 9:38 AM, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

That's an excellent point, one I hadn't thought of. Thanks for bringing it up. There are other pay-as-you-go providers who offer this service, so the OP ought to do a little google-fu and figure out what provider is most likely going to meet his needs.
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On 10/11/2011 9:43 AM, Hell Toupee wrote:

Except that would be the worst choice for a lot of areas since it only uses Sprints network. Sprint is a little better than tmobile but not spectacular. And in some areas say where I live they only deployed 3G on a few core cells and everything else is still 1X speed.
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Art Todesco wrote:

Think wireless modem & Starbucks.
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On 10/11/2011 12:01 PM, HeyBub wrote:

Why would you need a wireless modem if you were in a Starbucks?
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George wrote:

I don't know. I've only been in a Starbucks twice in my life. They don't serve Folger's instant coffee.
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On 10/11/2011 10:44 PM, HeyBub wrote:

information so why change?
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George wrote:

My twice-in-a-lifetime trips to Starbucks is accurate. Perhaps you have an example of a less-than-accurate post. If not, I'll assume you're just being a pest.
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On 10/12/2011 3:27 PM, HeyBub wrote:

accurate information that I may have missed?
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George wrote:

How about all of them?
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On 10/11/2011 9:28 AM, Art Todesco wrote:

Most hotels and airports give free service. You would not want to do important stuff like banking on them for security reasons of course.
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Actually there is no need to worry! Online banking websites encrypt the data from your browser to the banks server.
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All the major carriers offer some sort of pay-as-you-go data plan.
The only problem is, the data blocks you buy are "use it or lose it." You have X days to use the data block, depending on the size you purchased.
With pay-as-you-go cell phones you buy the minutes and they're good, period. You can buy 60 minutes of airtime, use the phone for 5 minutes, come back a year later, and the 55 minutes are still there.
If there was a data plan like that, I'd be all over it.
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On Tue, 11 Oct 2011 13:30:48 -0700 (PDT), snipped-for-privacy@rochester.rr.com wrote:

It costs them money to carry you as a customer, so what you want isn't likely. However, PagePlus is close. They require that you purchase minutes every three months but all minutes roll over. They're on the Verizon network, so the coverage is good, too. I'm four years into my two year contract on Verizon. I may switch to PagePlus. It would save me money almost every month.
http://www.pagepluscellular.com /
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On Tue, 11 Oct 2011 17:23:53 -0500, " snipped-for-privacy@att.bizzzzzzzzzzzz"

Sorry, I wasn't following the thread. The PP deal above is for voice.
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On 10/11/2011 4:30 PM, snipped-for-privacy@rochester.rr.com wrote:

The cell operators are really competitive on minutes but they know data is their future.
It seems a few days of pay as you go will buy a month of service.
I used to have an aircard and a smartphone. I turned the aircard off when I got the my latest smartphone. I almost never use the notebook anymore because I can do almost everything on the smartphone. If I do I can tether from the smartphone and the smartphone data plan is 50% of the aircard dataplan.
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You should discuss this with your cell-phone provider.
You may be thinking of an "air card". Your cell-phone provider can supply those. I've had one for years (currently a USB Sierra Wireless Compass 597). I "connect" and "disconnect" as desired.
Plans obviously vary by provider, but with my plan there is a $60/mo basic charge, then it's by megabyte after that. Work pays for it, so I have no idea what my monthly bill is. I do know that once I "disconnect", the MB charges stop.
I need wireless access anywhere, and am often in areas with no Starbucks- style "free" wireless, so my air-card is essential to my work.
If it is possible for you to be in range of the very many Starbucks-style free wireless access-points available these days, it would probably be advisable to just use those and not pay extra for an air-card.
Here's a tip: Go around with your laptop, anywhere you wish, and periodically refresh the wireless-network list. You may be very surprised to find quite a lot of wireless networks that will allow you to connect to them, some of them completely unsecured.
--
Tegger

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On 10/11/2011 9:28 AM, Art Todesco wrote:

Thanks for all the discussion. It led me to search out a few possibilities. One would be to replace my present Verizon dumb-phone with a new dumb-phone capable of tethering in the 3G world. Verizon will allow you, in this case, to turn on and off the data plan whenever you like, with a reasonable rate. As the phone which I now have (Verizon), is piece of junk, this should be pretty painless. Verizon has been bugging me to "upgrade" my phone for the past year. I'm sure that Verizon really wants me to get a smart phone, however, with a computer available pretty much all day negates any need to pay for a data plan for the entire year.
The second possibility would be the Virgin Broadband pay-as-you-go plan, as was mentioned. It too, allows you to active whenever you want within a 12 month window. If you don't add data, which usually expires in a month, for 1 year, they do drop you. You do have to buy a modem for about $80. Virgin uses Sprint towers which have very good coverage along the Interstates, but if you go slightly perpendicular, you'll be without service. I used to have Sprint voice and it seemed very good until we drove from the Interstate to an RV park about 1/2 mile away. Here the service was very spotty.
Both of these are 3G and, according to their web sites, should give between 700k to 1.4 meg downloads. Not too bad for reading emails and going to a few sites, while traveling in the RV. Of course, most RV parks offer wi-fi ... most of them free. The Verizon coverage seems to be much better. I'm sure there are other options from other companies.
Thanks again for all the discussion and info.
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