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what's the best way to access the internet on the road?


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Showing 1-11 of 11 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Dec 31, 2012 11:52:24 AM PST
i have a gps, a pre-paid cell phone, and wireless laptop but would like a small tablet with internet capability to provide me internet access when wi-fi is unavailable. cost is the primary concern, but i'd like as much compatability as possible. what's the best solution currently available?

Posted on Jan 1, 2013 10:31:33 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 1, 2013 10:43:38 AM PST
I would buy an older model Apple iPad. You can get one off of any Internet store or any store, pretty much, for a fairly good price. They are a little larger than the other tablets, but are well worth the extra size. You can get one several low cost, wonderful GPS applications, & get rid of the GPS you currently have. You can get music, videos, view your pictures, stream Internet radio on Pandora, or many other applications, many of them free. To gain Internet away from a wireless signal, you have to pay through AT&T or Verizon, depending on the model, for as low as $25 a month. I think it is the best tablet out there, as of yet.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 1, 2013 9:56:04 PM PST
Chimonsho says:
When you're at a full stop, not driving!

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 2, 2013 7:58:29 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 2, 2013 7:59:40 PM PST
Marz Barz says:
There is a talk show on the radio about a financial good guy named Clark Howard. He helps people with all sorts of problems and in the past I've heard him speak of cheap mobile internet options. I just cruised the website and found this:

http://www.clarkhoward.com/news/clark-howard/technology/free-4g-mobile-broadband-offering-net-zero/nLXkf/

It's not much data but it IS affordable. I'd recommend calling in or just perusing the site more.

Hope this helps!

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 2, 2013 10:57:00 PM PST
I always ride shotgun so thats not a problem, but thanks for the great advice Chimonsho!

Posted on Jan 3, 2013 4:43:24 PM PST
CAG says:
One consideration is the amount of data that you plan allows and what it is that you are going to be streaming and for how long without Wifi. GPS data is probably not going to break you but streaming music such as IHeartRadio or Pandora over a long trip may far exceed your plan and at $20 a gig or more for over limit use you may find a phone bill that you will not like much. I "tether" my IPad 3 with my Iphone 4s when traveling but on a recent trip I failed to watch my plan usage and it cost me an extra $20. Not a big deal but had I not caught it I could have run up a big bill before I realized it.

Posted on Jan 4, 2013 1:45:02 PM PST
Since my pre-paid cell phone meets my needs, I require a data plan for my the tablet. Are there any available that do not require a monthly payment - you would only pay when you used them?

Posted on Jan 11, 2013 6:29:18 PM PST
It seems like Verizon Wireless prepaid internet service might work for you. You pay upfront for the amount of data and then you don't owe any more until you add more to your account. There doesn't seem to be a catch, but I'd recommend you double check the fine print.

On their website http://www.verizonwireless.com/b2c/prepay/processPrePayRequest.do?type=pptablet it states:

Connect to the Internet from virtually anywhere.
With our Prepaid Tablet plans, you can watch videos on YouTube, surf the web, play action-packed games or check emails. Just pay upfront for your monthly data allowance with no commitment or annual contract.

Prepaid Monthly Plans for Tablets
Monthly Access Fee

$20 1GB
$30 2GB
$50 5GB
$80 10GB
No activation or reconnection fees and no overage charges!

Posted on Jan 12, 2013 5:41:31 PM PST
Phoenix5ire says:
I am not a customer of any of these options but there are some available pay-as-you-go options in the market:

http://www.truconnect.com/blog/pay-as-you-go-internet-fair-and-honest/
http://www.walmart.com/browse/no-contract-phones-plans/instant-prepaid-minutes-data/3944_542371_1072335_1081104
http://prepaid-phones.t-mobile.com/pay-by-the-day-cell-phone-plans

Good luck.

Posted on Jan 30, 2013 1:36:07 PM PST
Go to McDonalds!!!LOL

Posted on Mar 24, 2013 4:02:27 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 26, 2013 1:25:29 PM PDT
lost_gecko says:
The following is not a good solution, but has helped in a pinch, during a past trip.
Borrow usage of a PC at some libraries (free), or at a Kinkos (pricey).
I realize this is old news to most booklovers.

Many public libraries have PC's, with internet access, which public can use, for say 30 minutes (it varies). They often have waiting lists; but we've had luck with dropping by during the middle of a weekday -- a time when others at work or in school classes.

This is less likely to work if visiting an area where the government is bankrupt. Also unlikely in small villages.

The library PC's may have a reservation system that require a local library card (which travelers don't have), but you may get a librarian to override that for you, if you avoid busy times.

More limitations and caveats:
Libraries typically have filtering and blocking of some web sites, out of concern for kids, etc. In addition, they might also block online auction sites and movie sites, etc. I've heard a librarian comment that they had issues with some fanatics addicted to online auction sites (e.g. e bay), and that it was difficult to pry them away from PC, even when time limit expired.

Of course, the librarians want the PC's to be available for students doing online research, and for unemployed doing online job applications. Some libraries permit use of email sites and some do not.

The solutions suggested by others are surely better than this, but remember the library and Kinkos if facing an unexpected hardware breakdown.
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Discussion in:  Car Electronics forum
Participants:  9
Total posts:  11
Initial post:  Dec 31, 2012
Latest post:  Mar 24, 2013

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