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Old 17-04-2020, 01:33   #46
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Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Chesapeake Bay
Boat: HR 40
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Re: Please Help: Internet / Cellular / Data / Wifi

Originally Posted by rchildress View Post
Cellular with something like a Huawei model B315s-22.
This device and others like it (often lumped into a label like 'JetPack' from one of the first) are just for data. You can make and receive phone calls using WiFi calling.

An important characteristic to look for is the ability to support an external antenna. I have a Huawei e397 mobile key (a USB data stick) with an external port in my road kit that has been very nice.

The biggest issue with any device in this genre is that sometimes you need to activate the SIM from an actual phone. There is some software that is supposed to give you a direct phone interface to the device but I have not found it to be very robust. Swapping SIMs around is harder than it might seem with three different sizes of SIMs. I found some adapters a couple of years ago and now just get a nanoSIM that fits in my iPhone and use an adapter to put the same SIM into the standard slot of my data stick.

Originally Posted by jerrypeters View Post
Heard that. Not experienced any problem over 6 months with no domestic use. Know of others using it for longer with no problems. YMMV
Google has roaming agreements all over the world for Google Fi. They're smart people and writing good software is a core competence. They watch revenue and expenses careful right down to the individual account. The terms of service are baked into their accounting software. If you don't use your phone much (voice or data) you can fly under the radar for quite a while. If you're a heavy user your account gets flag and the software starts looking for violations of the terms of service, like not enough time in the US. The software knows where you are and have been because its paying the bills. If your account is costing more than its generating you get the shut-off notice.

Originally Posted by CarlF View Post
In the US, Verizon and ATT beat everyone in non-urban areas.
Carrier selection is an entirely different matter. In the US, Verizon has a very small and decreasing margin of coverage over AT&T. When you have a signal AT&T is generally faster in my experience. Both have dead spots. T-Mobile is a distant third and Sprint behind them. It will be a long time before the T-Mobile/Sprint merger has any real impact.

Overseas, for performance, you can't beat AT&T. Best roaming agreements of the bunch. Verizon has pretty good performance in tourist hubs like Nassau, not as good out in the Family Islands. Fallback is poor when there is no LTE. T-Mobile has a great marketing story but real world performance does not live up to the hype.

For cost, AT&T will simply work from your arrival until you get a local pre-paid SIM.

Originally Posted by Tspringer View Post
NEED: We live aboard full time and will be cruising the US East Coast and Bahamas over the next year with ventures into the Caribbean later as well. I am not retired or rich. I run a small online marketing business and must have good voice and internet connections to work 2-4 hours most days.
None of us asked you important questions. Apologies. What does "good" mean to you? Voice is pretty easy: when you dial it rings, when someone dials you it rings, when connected the voices in both directions are clear, limited instances of "let me call you right back and we'll try again." Anything else for voice?

Data is harder. Documents are easy. Website access can be a wide range depending on the sites, how many images, how much work went into optimization, etc. What are you sending back and forth with colleagues and customers? There is a big difference between a document with a proposal or a script and complex high resolution galley proofs for glossy magazine advertisements. You can chew through some data. Importantly the time delay can add up. About the best you can do is adjust your behavior so files get sent and received outside your work window so you have material to work on/with that you send at the end of work, or while you are doing something else locally.
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