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Old 04-01-2010, 11:49   #1
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Why Not an Aircard?

So for a 3-4 month cruise East coast Florida and the Carolinas.... why wouldnt an aircard plugged into my laptop work for internet communications? Supposedly Verizon is $60 per month for 4 KB, no contract . The aircard costs about $100. Is this enough Kb? why wouldnt this work?
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Old 04-01-2010, 11:53   #2
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4KB is not a lot.. seriously.

I had one through AT&T for work that worked nice enough and had unlimited (more or less) for $60ish/month. Much cheaper (and faster) than tethering, especially when we had a misunderstanding with AT&T and I had a $4500 bill for one month.
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Old 04-01-2010, 12:08   #3
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I tried an ATT card a while ago, but there was virtually no coverage along the coast. Before Altell was bought by Verizon I used to use my phone as a modem and was able to get 256K. Not terribly fast but usable. Alltell only charged you for minutes and had great coverage along the coast. Verizon cut off that service immediately after the takeover. Verizon has the same coverage, but charges you by the byte. My understanding is that you get 5 Gigabytes per month for $59.95. I once had Sprint as well but their coverage was pretty spotty. If you get off shore far enough you loose coverage with any of them. It seems that data is more sensitive than voice. I have not tried it with a cell repeater on top of the mast but that would probably help with the distance issue.
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Old 04-01-2010, 12:16   #4
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I tried an ATT card a while ago, but there was virtually no coverage along the coast.....
Must have been quite some time ago... We used ours in 2007/2008 and only lost signal in some of the more remote sections in GA. I used Wi-Fi when we had it, but can not ever recall not getting a signal when I would have expected one.
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Old 04-01-2010, 12:18   #5
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Verizon's been working well for me.
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Old 04-01-2010, 12:27   #6
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Verizon, unlimited, $69/month. Typical download around 1 m. Slows down some during heavy cell traffic times (commuter hours). I got good reception using just the aircard with the dinky antenna extended, usually up to 4 or 5 miles off shore, from the FL Keys all the way to NYC. Only a few areas without good service. If you're doing that route, it really is the best way to go for cost vs connection quality.

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Old 04-01-2010, 12:28   #7
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So for a 3-4 month cruise East coast Florida and the Carolinas.... why wouldnt an aircard plugged into my laptop work for internet communications? Supposedly Verizon is $60 per month for 4 KB, no contract . The aircard costs about $100. Is this enough Kb? why wouldnt this work?
Perhaps you misquoted when you said 4KB, that is a really small amount of data. Even 1Gb is a stretch for a month.

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Old 04-01-2010, 13:01   #8
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I just made the trip south using Verizon and a USB plug in for the laptop. The cheapo plan is 250 MB/month, about $45/month if I remember. That was plenty for daily emails, downloading weather maps and some limited web surfing. Unlimited plan was another $15-20/month.

Had good coverage even with the no antennae, USB adapter but the days we went offshore I did lose connection if more that 5-6 miles off, but also lost cell phone coverage at about the same distance. The speed did start dropping as we got further from shore.

Did hit one or two spots in north part of NC where we lost coverage for a short distance. Due to the shallow spots in the ICW we went outside Charleston to south GA so no experience on coverage there.

All in all I was very happy with the results.

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Old 04-01-2010, 13:08   #9
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I can't speak to current overall coverage from AT&T, but I have had several AT&T cell phone users complain they had no coverage at my marina in Whortonville NC, even for voice just in the past few months. My experience experience with AT&T was in 2006 and I'm sure they've improved coverage since.
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Old 04-01-2010, 14:40   #10
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Yea....misquoted.... I think she said 4 or 5 gig's
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Old 04-01-2010, 14:47   #11
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The verizon is 5 GB and I just finished a trip from NE FL to Keys and back, including offshore and never lost coverae or saw any real slow down in download times. Highly recommend it.
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Old 04-01-2010, 14:49   #12
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Thanks everyone.... sounds like the V card will work for us... Now if my old laptop is up to the job this wont cost too much!!
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