On-the-road connectivity is an issue

I've been largely pleased with using my iPad to create a Verizon wireless WiFi hotspot for on-the-road Internet. Until this past weekend, that is,  when I basically went off-the-grid in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

While I have had 3G connectivity in the tiny town of Grand Marais, it seems to go in and out as the cell tower is stressed by a heavy load from smartphone toting tourists up here for the Fourth of July holiday. Same with the WiFi network in the Woodland Park campground where I' m staying. All 150 spaces are occupied and at any given time, a lot of people are online, thus degrading the whole system.

I understand  that most any other time, there wouldn't be so much wireless traffic. It's just this week over the holiday.

But the off the grid issues have me rethinking whether I need something more reliable. Anyone have any experience with satellite Internet?

Im going to need solid, reliable connectivity to file reports from far afield and when the normal 3G and 4g signals are not there, what is my alternative?

 




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  • Do It Green Canada

    I’ve given a bit of thought to the issue myself since where the planned DIG camp is going to be on Manitoulin island, wifi will be a bit low there as well.
    Satellite internet would do the trick, but be prepared to pay fairly heavy for a package that doesn’t require a landline for upload. I’ll be trying a few ideas out when I’m at the lot this coming weekend.

  • Gail

    I live in the Michigan UP/Wisconsin far north. WI-FI is generally ONLY available within a close distance to towns, and not all towns. Otherwise, forget any type of internet wi-fi. Same goes for cell phone coverage! Can’t have a hot-spot unless you have cell phone reception. The only thing I can think of is to use satellite if you really want coverage in all locations… I know, it is not a great solution. But I too struggle with having a better alternative.

  • Not familiar with the area you’re speaking of, Mike, but there’s always my standby, McDonald’s. Staples is also good. Not at your campsite, but if you need to send out a blog post, pick up email or whatnot, it’s good.

  • Do It Green Canada

    I’ve started a thread for this on our site since I’ll be doing this for our DIG camp once a location has been finalized for it. I plan to turn it into a guide once it’s completed since even with all my searching I’ve been unable to find any definitive guide for doing this correctly. If you want I could pass the link on to you here.

  • i am fulltiming in a Roadtrek for the past two years, and satellite internet is the way to go. Hughesnet won’t support mobile users, but there’s a thriving online community that will help you out (www.datastormusers.com). i also have a datacard, and use the 5 gigs/month on that most months. the card is great for checking destinations while en route and anytime we are along major highway corridors, but the dish goes up once we settle. the dish comes into its own once you get out in the boondocks – big sur, chaco canyon, and silverton, co are three of the places we stayed where we had the only internet within a hundred miles. you know you’re well connected when the park ranger wants to use your internet 😉