Satellite for internet only use - Ford Transit USA Forum
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-11-2017, 11:26:PM Thread Starter
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Satellite for internet only use

I'm starting to look at how I'm going to stay connected on the road, especially in the mountains or anywhere away from a decent mobile phone signal. I have zero interest in television or radio, I just need good internet connection for work. As one might expect, practically everything I can find so far is focused on how many TV channels I could be watching while internet/data appears to be a very low priority bolt on extra.

I like to be frugal and use pay as you go type options, but I have no idea if anything like that even exists for satellite data usage.

Does anyone have any suggestions or experience in satellite internet connection, or any other way to be online in remote areas that I may be unaware of?
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-12-2017, 12:34:AM
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Up at the lake a small firm (Shorewaves) finally came to our rescue after ten years with a microwave beacon style point to point system by Ubiquity. They find high areas on cliffs or points and cover a couple of miles down the shore. The only alternative I know of is Hughsnet. One neighbor had it and it was a pretty large dish and not that reliable. There is a latency factor for your keyboard to send up the url. Who is offering internet that has satellite tv?

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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-12-2017, 06:27:AM
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hughsnet is the only one that i know of, and from what i am told it is very expensive with the mobile satellite tracking antenna (about $5,000)
perhaps a cellphone range extender and an unlimited data plan like was recently discussed here would be a better option.

Cellphone signal booster / repeater

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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-12-2017, 06:54:AM
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it looks like Wikipedia may have been the best place to search!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satellite_Internet_access
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-12-2017, 09:50:PM
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Not sure if there is coverage over the dirt......

http://www.globalmarinenet.com/satel...e-and-pricing/


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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-12-2017, 10:03:PM
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Any thing other than mainstream media distribution is either going to be slow or expensive. All the communications birds are at 25000 miles up and have limited bandwidth because they're all pretty old.

There are a few HF internet providers around but it's spotty at best.

The best option is to do some hot spot mapping and try to plan your travels around it if you have to work.

Verizon still seems to be king of coverage. AT&T is not nearly as reliable off the beaten track but there are times when it is available and Verizon is not. I used to carry two smart phones and use whichever one had the best signal.

One of the remote areas I used to play and work at had Verizon but if the campground was full, the tower would become saturated and work was over.

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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-12-2017, 10:17:PM
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When I had Verizon, I could get a signal in places tht other people swore were dead zones. I don't know why they couldn't get a signal, it might be roaming on Verizon towers, but they should also get a signal. Anyway, you need 4G to do much data work.

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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-12-2017, 11:02:PM
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At this point prepaid smartphones with mobile hotspot are the best option. Like others suggested two carriers (or 3) is the best way to try and ensure you have signal. I personally have T-mobile and Verizon and there are plenty of times when VZW has 0 signal and T-mobile does and vice versa.

The latency of HughesNet makes it unusable for certain tasks (VPN, gaming, video calls, VoIP, etc.). Due to this I generally tend to not recommend it.

Depending upon how remote you're going there is the possibility of utilizing a high-gain directional antenna to try and pull free WiFi. Some of the better antennas high-gain directional, or parabolic can get signal 10-20 miles away.

Example:
http://www.mcmelectronics.com/produc...Gq_xoCdfTw_wcB

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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-13-2017, 12:44:AM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone for your comments and suggestions. I'm going to read over all the supplied links.

Keweenawbee - During my recent searching I saw one provider show data as an add on option to TV, but unfortunately I didn't make a note of who it was. I'll let you know if I come across it again.

Somewhat related, I've been using Gmaps on my iPhone while offline and found it worked brilliantly for navigation. I haven't worked out though how or why it works when my cellular and wifi are switched off. Does anyone happen to know if an iPad without cellular would work the same or is the whole point of it working because there is a cellular chip in the iPhone which there isn't in an iPad, unless I bought the iPad with cellular capability?

My main objective is to use an iPad mounted up where the interior rear view mirror would be instead of using a factory dashboard navigation screen or an aftermarket system. A friend in the UK uses an iPad up there, although I know he is online and using the hotspot from his iPhone.

I may as well throw in one more question here in case anyone knows the answer for sure. The Ford dealer told me that the factory backup camera uses standard video signal via an RCA jack. Is that right? If it does I'll want to tie that along with 3 or 4 exterior view cameras into an onboard recorder. I'm then thinking how I can get the stream out via cellular. A couple of years ago I was using AWS (Amazon) to host a server and then streaming over T-Mobile but live video soon became very expensive and I downgraded the system to only track the vehicle and allow video to be switched on/off to spot check.

Prior to reading the links you all supplied, I have a feeling a couple of mobile phones or at least different carrier sims is going to be the way forward.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-13-2017, 12:50:AM
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Ian, check out my thread I started a while back on mobile HD video systems. Maybe you've already seen it. I found (later in recent posts) an excellent solution using the iPad for both cameras and GPS navigation by the Swiss manufacturer Axis. I have one of the cameras on the way to me now.

HD mobile camera systems

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