Connecting to the Internet on the Road: 3 ways

One of my soapboxes for RVers is that, if you really need the Internet, you better have multiple ways to connect.  You can’t rely on any one way because it may not be available. 

We proved that while parked in my Dad’s driveway.  Our normal way of connecting to the Internet is with our Datastorm Satellite Dish.  His driveway looks wide open, we don’t even consider that trees will be blocking our connection to the satellite.

Wide open Driveway

But, no.  If you follow the line of sight where the dish is aiming, there are these trees in the neighbors yard.  Wimpy as they look to me, they are enough to block our connection.

Trees in the line of sight

Ok, on to plan B.  My Dad has a nice, fast cable connection to the Internet for his computer in the house.  Jim just hooks up a router and, voila, we have Wi-Fi out in the driveway.  Nice.

Wireless Router

One night there was a nasty thunderstorm.  I’ve never seen such a dramatic lightning display.  The power never actually went out, but it dimmed enough to cause problems with electronics and the cable connection to the Internet was down.  At 7am I got a call from a client that had an emergency password problem with a website I made for them.  I *needed* to log in and change that password *now*.  Oh no, I have no Internet connection.  It probably was just a problem with the cable modem that needed to be reset after that storm, but that was in the house, and I didn’t want to disturb them this early.

Plan C: plug in my Verizon cell phone using the USB cable that came with the Mobile Office Kit.  Open the software and click ‘Connect’.  Aaahhhhhhh, I’m online again.  I’m so glad I have this backup option – but – I can just hear the dollars clicking away because the plan we have uses our minutes when we’re connected to the Internet.  It would be so easy to go over.  It’s better than paying a specific monthly amount just for Internet connection since we go for months without using it at all. 

Verizon Mobile Office Kit

There are more ways to connect, but those are my 3.  What are yours?

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