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Old 30-01-2015, 19:43   #1
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What ISP would you recommend?

I have a dilemma. For several years I have been using a big name wireless service, which, up until three or four months ago was merely expensive, but has recently become obscenely so. Being a liveaboard, except for recently (as I am overhauling the boat and the shell is uninhabitable by my standards), I have had to accept that cellphone access, plus the access for two computers to the internet, is a costly enterprise, about $300 per month (about 15 gigs of data, at the most).

Not to name names, but this Voracious Zealot of capitalism played a pretty fancy trick on me that ended up costing me a frightening amount of money. It all started with those sweet little words of the salesman of the Vindictive Zenith of Wireless communications, "Let's see if we can save you some money.....".

At the end of the opportunity to save money, I had purchased a new product, which I will call the Velociraptor Zitpuck, a really cool wi-fi unit, about the size of an Altoids can. "You can hook up 15 items to this baby and really get great reception and transmission, and get rid of all those USB sticks we sold you in the last couple years". Wow! Being the prodigiously erudite early adopter of new tech that I fancy myself, I signed the new contract. The Valiant Zogwort salesman then showed me that I was using too little data the last couple months to justify paying for 15 gigs of data, and saved me some more money by reducing my contract to 10 gigs of data per month. Whoo Wee! I am such a brilliant and miserly person that really knows how to make some money.

Things were going great, for a week or so, when suddenly I started receiving notices from Variegated Zebra that my data usage had suddenly reached its maximum. I went to the salesperson and asked WTF is happening? Oh, you are just using a lot of data, slow down on the Netflix and the porn channels and everything will be dandy. I asked, "What downloads are we talking about here? I'm working on my boat too much to have time for Pamela Anderson and Bruce Willis. "Well, then you've got someone who's tapping into your account and sending little robot spam into the universe". I asked how this could be, given that this began shortly after signing the new contract. No clear resolution was forthcoming. The notices of my increasing usage started coming more regularly, with the warning that each gig of data was going to cost me $15. I begged them to help with the data overage, but they merely told me it was not their problem. Oh Sugar, I'm Frogged!

Eventually, several gigs later, I learned from someone that I could be getting dinged by Voluptuous Zelda because the Velociraptor Zitpuck converted incoming and outgoing cell phone traffic into data, plus using other little tricks to shoot the gigs to the moon. The only remedy, it turned out, was to shut off the Velociraptor Zitpuck at the end of each computer access of the internet, and to only use it for the one computer, not the cell phones. I then went online to the Vastly Zippered Wi-Fi forum to discover that many, many, many others were complaining of the same overcharges by this corporate piranha. I changed my behavior and suddenly my data charges returned to their historical levels. The Vainglorious Zanzibarian network demanded a boat buck (you know what that is...) to pay my overcharges, which is what I did, being a meek and mild individual. But, now I want to exercise my right of free choice for an alternative to communication and internet access.

So, does anyone have a suggestion of where I can go from here? That doesn't include finding a lawyer. I'm trying to get offshore ASAP, and class action lawsuits only benefit the lawyers in the expensive suits (and the VIPs that sack the underling who didn't get the bonus). I just want cell phone access and internet access for two computers while in port.
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Old 30-01-2015, 21:42   #2
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Re: What ISP would you recommend?

Straight Talk

Looking for another pretty place to work on the boat.
Working on spending my children's inheritance.
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Old 31-01-2015, 16:05   #3
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Re: What ISP would you recommend?

I think the word that results in so much excessive expense is "Contract". While I'm in port,- and many different ports, I'm using my "Vulgaris simplex" wifi antennae to connect to free wifi routers or those at marinas where I am located. The "Vulgaris simplex" antennae are easily purchased for a one time cost of less than $100.

Ok, I will admit that I do have a cell phone contract that cost me $29/month, but this is separate from all my internet interactions.

I will confess that I am a member of the older generation that remains comfortable cruising about without phone or internet communications available. I actually walk down the street with empty pockets,- no phone at all! My children think I'm a total wild man!

Of course, my example is not relevant to those who maintain their professional commitments online! ......but then, I have no professional commitments!
Take care and joy, Aythya crew
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Old 01-02-2015, 09:22   #4
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Re: What ISP would you recommend?

I would never, ever use AT&T again.
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Old 01-02-2015, 09:49   #5
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Re: What ISP would you recommend?

WiFi internet connection is far less costly than cellular. Most marinas in the PNW have free WiFi, and it may be available where you are too. If you do have to pay for it, it will reduce your costs. You do need a long range EnGenius or other device to reach some distant signals.
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