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o/T Laptop on the road-Need advice

Discussion in 'Uncategorized Threads' started by almost unemployed, May 6, 2008.

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  1. almost unemployed

    almost unemployed TS Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2006
    Messages:
    131
    High gas prices or not, the kids are young only once. This summer is see the USA in the Chevrolet. Need advice for laptop on the road. Will use to check email, Mapquest, reservations, usual internet stuff. How does a person connect while traveling? Is that a whole separate account or somehow linked to home? Also need specific equipment recommendations. Good, bad. Anything you have to offer is welcome.
     
  2. Jollytrapshooter

    Jollytrapshooter Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2006
    Messages:
    881
    One way to connect while traveling would be to buy a wireless internet subscription, it works like a cell phone does and I believe is offered by Verizon wireless and a couple of other large companies, but I think it's a bit spendy to have. The second (and cheaper) option would be rest stops, rest stops in some states have free wireless internet that anyone can connect to, only thing is you wouldn't be able to connect to the internet while going down the road, you would have to stop at a rest stop if you wanted to connect. Some one else can probably give more information on the wireless internet subscription, I personally don't have any experience on it, just read about it. Hope this helps, Josh.
     
  3. dfrank7262

    dfrank7262 TS Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    32
    Hi! I travel for my job, and I have a PC card through AT&T. Works great. Connection speed is slower than my cable modem at home, but much faster than old dial-up. Of course, it also depends on location. If I'm in a big city (Houston) as opposed to a smaller city (Tyler) the connection can be faster; but not always.

    Most of the big cell phone companies now offer PC cards. The standard rate has been about $49/month. A new company has been advertising in OKC (Cricket) who will offer a PC card for $35/month. All of them are unlimited usage.

    I'm not sure how you're planning to travel, but most chain hotels now offer some type of WiFi. Many RV parks are also offering WiFi in some configuration. Many are free, some you have to pay a small fee to use. A lot of restaurants are now offering WiFi as well. If you opt not to do the PC card, it's really not that hard to stay connected. You will just have to work a tiny bit harder.

    Good luck and have fun on your vacation!

    Dana
     
  4. hoggy

    hoggy TS Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2006
    Messages:
    1,261
    How about public libraries? I think most have computers with internet service. You just have to find them in any town you happen to be in. I belong to comcast and can get my email (even though I use another email progarm) by connecting to comcast anywhere I happen to be by finding any connected computer. Your normal provider may have something similar.
     
  5. Texas Ton

    Texas Ton TS Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    417
    Libraries can be the pits, I've only found two recently that started charging to use it, I hope it isn't a coming thing.

    I had run over to a city only 80 miles away, didn't take the laptop and was waiting for an appointment and needed to check some reports. So I just ran down to a Library and was going to hop in and out, wrong. Of course, they usually just want to make sure you're from out of town, sign a note and check in, usual limit is an hour.

    Not this time, they gave me a choice of either buying a permanent or one time card to the citys Libraries. Permanent was $25 and temp was $7.50. I said "WHAT"?? Told the gal thanks and she then said, "go down to the light and turn right, 3 blocks down is a bar with computers you can use".

    Though not that expensive, just after the first of the year I drove to far back side of a little town to eventually find the Library, they charged for usage too.

    That's another thing, finding a Library can be a little daunting at times, if you're staying in this town it isn't so bad.

    As was said, several restaurants/bars have Wifi now, I think alot of the Burger Kings do---which I've used several times. They have great coffee too, fresh every cup.

    I haven't figured out how to use it yet, but I've picked up a service called "USAirways in several cities. I haven't been able to hook up yet-----reminds me, I need to do that soon.

    I'm not sure how common it is, or uncommon, but ours doesn't have any way to charge the battery from 12 volts. So I bought an inverter from Sams club auctions, 500w, for $9. Works like a champ.

    Understand some states have laws against the driver being able to see the screen, but having a laptop for the Wife to watch movies while traveling, or play games, sure made the trip alot easier. "ARE WE THERE YET"?
     
  6. bobdog

    bobdog Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    774
    If you plan to stay at hotels, just use their connections and get your email and news in the evenings unless you have a compelling reason to be connected all the time or you're camping and won't be using hotels. Almost all ISP's provide for webmail. Just ask how to ocnnect at the front desk when you check in.
     
  7. hoggy

    hoggy TS Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2006
    Messages:
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    Who would of guessed. Guess the libraries now days want to make a profit too.
     
  8. thewolf

    thewolf TS Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2006
    Messages:
    120
    Most hotels have internet service. Also most starbucks/Ihops/waffle houses have free access. Just open your laptop, search for network and go. If you get in a bind Kinko's chares .20 per minute. The employees will help you, (sometimes begrudgingly)
     
  9. Steven R. Scheib

    Steven R. Scheib TS Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    139
    I have used a broadband card since they first came out 5 or 6 years ago. I currently used the Sierra Wireless Air Card 595U. It is cable or DLS speed. The tech name is EVDO. It's fast and quick. I travel in my RV using it for my business 6 months out of the year. I pay $59.00 unlimited usage per month. Sure, the price is high, but the convenience while traveling is hassle free. WiFi is too infrequent for my use and while in rural areas of the USA, WiFi is nowhere to been seen. The Air Cards are offered by Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint in the model I use. It is the quickest and fastest currently on the market. Hope this helps. Steve
     
  10. Texas Ton

    Texas Ton TS Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    417
    Libraries can be the pits, I've only found two recently that started charging to use it, I hope it isn't a coming thing.

    I had run over to a city only 80 miles away, didn't take the laptop and was waiting for an appointment and needed to check some reports. So I just ran down to a Library and was going to hop in and out, wrong. Of course, they usually just want to make sure you're from out of town, sign a note and check in, usual limit is an hour.

    Not this time, they gave me a choice of either buying a permanent or one time card to the citys Libraries. Permanent was $25 and temp was $7.50. I said "WHAT"?? Told the gal thanks and she then said, "go down to the light and turn right, 3 blocks down is a bar with computers you can use".

    Though not that expensive, just after the first of the year I drove to far back side of a little town to eventually find the Library, they charged for usage too.

    That's another thing, finding a Library can be a little daunting at times, if you're staying in this town it isn't so bad.

    As was said, several restaurants/bars have Wifi now, I think alot of the Burger Kings do---which I've used several times. They have great coffee too, fresh every cup.

    I haven't figured out how to use it yet, but I've picked up a service called "USAirways in several cities. I haven't been able to hook up yet-----reminds me, I need to do that soon.

    I'm not sure how common it is, or uncommon, but ours doesn't have any way to charge the battery from 12 volts. So I bought an inverter from Sams club auctions, 500w, for $9. Works like a champ.

    Understand some states have laws against the driver being able to see the screen, but having a laptop for the Wife to watch movies while traveling, or play games, sure made the trip alot easier. "ARE WE THERE YET"?
     
  11. bobdog

    bobdog Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    774
    If you plan to stay at hotels, just use their connections and get your email and news in the evenings unless you have a compelling reason to be connected all the time or you're camping and won't be using hotels. Almost all ISP's provide for webmail. Just ask how to ocnnect at the front desk when you check in.
     
  12. hoggy

    hoggy TS Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2006
    Messages:
    1,261
    Who would of guessed. Guess the libraries now days want to make a profit too.
     
  13. thewolf

    thewolf TS Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2006
    Messages:
    120
    Most hotels have internet service. Also most starbucks/Ihops/waffle houses have free access. Just open your laptop, search for network and go. If you get in a bind Kinko's chares .20 per minute. The employees will help you, (sometimes begrudgingly)
     
  14. Steven R. Scheib

    Steven R. Scheib TS Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    139
    I have used a broadband card since they first came out 5 or 6 years ago. I currently used the Sierra Wireless Air Card 595U. It is cable or DLS speed. The tech name is EVDO. It's fast and quick. I travel in my RV using it for my business 6 months out of the year. I pay $59.00 unlimited usage per month. Sure, the price is high, but the convenience while traveling is hassle free. WiFi is too infrequent for my use and while in rural areas of the USA, WiFi is nowhere to been seen. The Air Cards are offered by Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint in the model I use. It is the quickest and fastest currently on the market. Hope this helps. Steve
     
  15. Lead Man

    Lead Man TS Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    Messages:
    524
    If you want ease of use get Verizon it has the best coverage for me.

    If using wifi and hot spots be sure and never have any personal info on the computer. One of the best places to get an ID theft is an internet cafe. I'm not that good at computers but a friend of mine demonstrated how easy it was to hack in that environment. Just my opinion

    Tony
     
  16. tom berry

    tom berry Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    760
    Location:
    Winterset, IA
    P3AT,

    Panera used to have a content filter on their access. Was in there once and was blocked from connecting to ts.com. Don't know if they still do or not.

    Tom
     
  17. Mr Newbius©

    Mr Newbius© TS Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2008
    Messages:
    1,463
    Almost all new laptops now come with a wireless connection dohickey built rite into it so all you needs to do is search for an open network and BAM you got internet.

    You will be surprised the amount of places that now have free wifi connections for there customers. Heck you can pull into parking lots and open your laptop while sitting in the car and even get a network connection in allot of places or slowly cruise threw residential neighborhood looking for an idiot who has forgotten to enable a firewall on his wireless home network and BAM ya got internet service as well.

    Regarding the lappytop get what you want and spend what you want. You will be surprised at the the features you can get for $500 in a lap top now days.
     
  18. Mr Newbius©

    Mr Newbius© TS Member

    Joined:
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    1,463
    To prevent what Tony is talking about ... use a firewall to protect yourself as best you can just like you should be using at home.
     
  19. Lead Man

    Lead Man TS Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    Messages:
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    Encryption works better than a firewall, a firewall will help but is no where near secure. I have a decent firewall on my laptop and he was in in like 30 seconds.

    Just an opinion

    Tony
     
  20. buckwheat

    buckwheat TS Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    156
    I have good luck with Verizon. You might also want to invest in Microsoft Steets and Trips. It gives you GPS and has a lot of information regarding hotels, restraunts, points of interest ect.
     
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