Friday, March 11, 2011

RV Mobile Connection Conflicts

Dear Dr. R.V. Shrink:
My wife and I are finding we rely more and more on our computer internet connection while traveling. We use it for directions, campground reservations, fuel prices, weather forecasting, hiking info, banking, emailing and the list goes on. The problem recently is we both want to be on at the same time. She says I look over her shoulder like a hawk waiting to snag a field mouse. I think we should have set hours that each of us claim as our time to surf the net. She says that is too restrictive. What would you suggest? I’m tired of feeling guilty about using this great resource when she also wants to be on line. Thanks in Advance.
--Webel Rouser in Washington State

Dear Webel:
How much is it worth for you to solve your problem? All you need is a wireless router to plug your Air Card into and you and your wife can both be on at the same time if you have two devices that will access the internet. I get many questions about computer sharing so let me give you some examples of what others do to solve the problem. If you only have one laptop you will need a second device. You might consider a smaller notebook, used laptop, IPAD, IPOD, IPHONE or any number of choices available. If you have a cell phone service provider, they will be offering a data package. With Verizon, for example, you pay about $60/mo. for 5G of data. They also offer a WiFi device for sharing the connection. If you already have an air card you can buy a wireless router that the card plugs into from companies like Cradlepoint. Remember, when you are both on at the same time you will be eating up data at twice the rate. I don’t want you to solve one argument just to create another over your next cellular bill. Another frustration RVer’s experience is weak connections. You can solve some of that with a product like Wilson Electronic signal booster kits. They do help. All this technology costs money, but it will pay for itself quickly if you find cheaper camping, fuel and better directions. It’s all part of fine tuning your RV travel lifestyle. Many changes are just over the horizon and a computer and internet connection are becoming more important every year. So stop fighting over the computer and work together at beefing up your online capabilities.
The only problem with all this easy access connectivity is your relatives always know where to find you.
--Keep Smilin’, Dr. R.V. Shrink


Anonymous said...

Cradlepoint router. Place aircard into the router, set up security. Have 2 laptops.

As Doc mentioned, Verizon is $60 for 5 gig. Or get service from Millenicom. $60 for 20 gig, same exact Verizon service and Verizon cell phone towers.

Rog said...

My wife and I had a similar problem. I offered her every day between midnight and 6 am and for some reason she felt this was not fair!!!!

We ended up with two lap-tops. A little more expensive but she does not look over my shoulder any more.


Fred said...

Verizon also now has a $35 data plan for 3 gigabytes.

Captain Johnny said...

We had the same problem. I bought my wife her own laptop and that ended any conflict. We utilize available WiFi at the RV locations we stay at.

Anonymous said...

You can also set up “internet sharing” available in all versions of windows. You connect using your normal method to the Internet on one computer and then share that connection with a second computer. The best way to physically connect the two computers is with an old fashioned computer cable but one they call a “crossover” type.

Anonymous said...

Simple solution ... whoever is NOT driving uses the computer.

Anonymous said...

You might also consider a newer smartphone which allows itself to be a hub and you can use it to connect to the internet for more than one computer. It might be easier than an aircard and router and also cheaper.

armande said...

We currently use 4 devices : 2 laptops, one notebook and one iPhone and we were tired on relying on various connexions, more or less dependable. So we now use Virgin Mobile MiFi 2200 -- which allows 5 connexions at the same time and provides illimited data for 40$ a month / a contract that can be "suspended" anytime and reinstalled later on.

RVThereYet said...

You definitely need a second laptop. If you both enjoy surfing the web, there is no better alternative. It seems more a necessity than an option.

My husband and I both use laptops fairly constantly. I can't imagine our having to share a single one at this point. Of course, that is an expense but there are so many pretty affordable options available.

Save your sanity and spring for another computer.

We use the Verizon Mifi 200 which connects, I believe, up to five devices. So, between our two computers and two cell phones with internet access, we are good to go!

The only problem now will be determining who gets to claim ownership of the new laptop!