3G or Satellite??

Discussion in 'Web Connections' started by dazzer, Mar 25, 2008.

  1. dazzer

    dazzer Read Only Funster

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    Just wondering about people using laptops in the m/h. With the onset of 3G mobile phones and broadband speed connections via mobile phones does anyone on here use the (very expensive and not overly reliable, or so im lead to believe) satellite based internet access system anymore or has it died a death??

    Over on the darkside they used to rattle on about it for hours but i never really got the point (except the costs made my eyes water!!:Rofl1:) when mobile phones seem to do the job just as well.

    Is the mobile phone network abroad as good as the UKs or is it the far flung m/hs that use the satellite based system to be sure of access to the internet wherever they are in the world??
     
  2. TJ-RV

    TJ-RV Deleted User

    I usually have several ways to get online, including satellite and cellular air card, however, I'm in the USA.

    With the satellite deal, they assign you to a specific satellite which has a defined footprint, so it's not worldwide per se. With my assigned satellite, I start to lose signal when I go too far north in the USA or get close to the Mexican border. One big advantage is that we can be boondocking (wild camping) well away from any mobile phone towers and still be online. One disadvantage is that you need a clear view of the satellite, so shady campgrounds with tall trees don't work.

    The satellite setup comes in several flavours; same dish and receiver, just a different way of mounting the dish. I started with the dish mounted on a tripod but, in addition to being a pain to set up, the large dish took up storage space. I subsequently graduated to a roof mounted dish, although it still involves manual pointing at the satellite. I haven't been able to justify the cost of a fully automated system, although second hand systems are coming on the market for approx half the cost of a new system.

    If someone tells you that satellite is on its way out, don't believe them. Take a look at the third photos - taken from the roof of our coach at one of our rallies. I count 9 satellite internet dishes, excluding ours which is not in the photo.

    The air card is with T-mobile and is probably my most ubiquitous connection. The card just pops into a slot in my notebook. I use it on the coach and on our boat. It's worked across the USA, in Canada and Mexico, while we were on a cruise ship, and also at my son's house in sunny South Wales. My wife does most of the driving and I navigate, so I'm able to be online as she drives down the highway.

    WiFi is another option, if a campground provides the service. Some provide it free and others charge an arm and a leg for it. One thing we do as a group is that some of us with sat dishes allow others to connect to us via a wireless router.

    Before all this, I used to tether a cell (mobile) phone to a laptop and know numerous folks who still do this. Before the days of cellular I used to use an accoustic coupler, like a pair of ear muffs that fit over a phone in a call box. I also used to travel the world with a kit of tools that wouldn't make it through today's airport security, so I could get online in some remote country that had phones hard wired into a junction box hidden inside a wall.
     

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  3. keith

    keith Funster

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    Here you go Dazzer.... Look Here:Eeek: more eye watering stuff :Rofl1: :Rofl1:
     
  4. olley

    olley Funster

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    Hi Dazzer it depends on your usage, for us we need some internet access for the business when abroad, and use either the datacard in the lappy or internet cafes/hotspots/site, using a datacard can be very expensive, over £5 per meg downloaded, so that's a last resort.

    3G is not widely available abroad mainly just in big towns, and its not always convenient to find a cafe/hotspot, I have been looking at the Alden system, still dear to buy but at only £400 per year unlimited download seems good value.

    So if my plans for semi-retirement come to fruition next year I reckon I will get one, might be even cheaper then.:BigGrin:

    Olley
     
  5. Lampie

    Lampie Read Only Funster

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    I use a data card on Vodaphone 25/month and on the whole happy with it. When abroad it has a fixed cost of a tenner for 24 Hrs so I only use it every now and again but in UK it's been fine even on the move.

    Regards

    lampie
     
  6. johnsandywhite

    johnsandywhite Read Only Funster

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    :Cool: I stated some years ago that I thought that the sellers of 3G had got it wrong. The new High Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA) is the way of the future. Broadband on the move. Wherever you are. Whenever you want. That is the way forwards. Satellite is TOO expensive. IMH&HO. :Wink:
     
  7. TJ-RV

    TJ-RV Deleted User

    HSDPA is still cellular of course John, and requires you to be within radio distance of a tower. I've run the gamut of solutions in different parts of the world over the years, from 300 baud (where you could read the data scrolling across your screen one word at a time) to the 16Mb/s cable we currently have at home. I haven't found a single solution that works in all situations.

    We live half a mile from the nearest cell tower, and I can't get a signal on my cell phone; They have the antennae on that tower focused up and down the highway.

    When we were back in sunny South Wales a couple of years ago, staying at my son's house, his DSL didn't work worth a damn. I popped in my T-mobile air card (aka data card), no signal. A couple of days later I wandered out into the garden with the laptop and was immediately online. I'd forgotten that the walls of my son's house are 28" thick and made of stone.
     
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  8. johnsandywhite

    johnsandywhite Read Only Funster

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    :Rofl1: I must admit Tom. There were lot's of times while in the USA that we had NO signal on our mobiles. I know HSDPA is Mobile technology. That's why I suggested all those years ago that it would be the ideal solution for Mobile Internet. Provided of course you CAN get a signal.
    Up until we went to the USA, we had always used a basic Mobile phone coupled to the laptop for communication over the Internet. Wifi opened up my eyes to what the future could be, but using Mobile infrastructure instead.
    I was inviolved (in British Coal) during the middle 80's with Computer communications over the British Coal internal phone lines. It used to take 20 to 30 minutes to download a short sentence using the then new Pace modem. :Rofl1:
     
  9. moandick

    moandick Read Only Funster

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    I know it is slightly off topic but I remember in the very early eighties using a BBC B computer whilst writing the Yacht Club Year Book - and having to store every single A4 page onto a hand held 'tape' recorder for storage. I would hit the 'record' button - wander off to make and drink a cup of coffee and by the time I got back it might just have finished recording one A4 page of text - the old 32K machine. I then went on to set up a local area network of ten computers at the School of Military Survey where we had a RAM of as much as 2 gig - to be shared by all ten workstations! Nowadays my mobile phone has more computing power than most of my previous computers - sorry, age showing through now!

    I am just so very lucky to be in Cornwall on a 3 dongle within range of an HSPDA signal and get 3meg download speed - fabulous for a mobile connection but too slow for me to win the weekly quiz! (Thats my excuse anyway)
     
  10. TJ-RV

    TJ-RV Deleted User

    Aye times have changed and technology has come a long way. Having been in the semiconductor (aka silicon chip) business for many years, and having counted numerous telecom companies among the customer base, it's been nothing short of mind boggling to see the changes.

    My first "laptop" weighed 16 lbs and was lugged around the world on a trolley. I used to put my briefcase in the computer bag, not the other way around. The term "mobile computing" used to have a tag line "with a struggle".
     
  11. olley

    olley Funster

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    hi that jogged my memory, just been and had a look in a cupboard and there sits my old Amstrad portable, unused for 10-12 years. Now that was with its batteries a genuine luggable. :Rofl1:

    Olley
     
  12. TJ-RV

    TJ-RV Deleted User

    LOL Olley, I still have an old luggable here too. It isn't good for much nowadays besides gathering dust, but I'm a magpie (aka pack rat here in the US), and have a tough time parting with anything, especially an old friend.

    The first "computer" I was involved with, albeit peripherally, took up a large room and required a room full of programmers. That monster had less computing power than many of today's hand held calculators.

    Also on site back then, although not something I was involved with, was a computer run by vacuum tubes. The boys working on it used to say they had to change vacuum tubes every couple of hours.
     
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