Internet And WiFi On The Road

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RedGator's Comment
member avatar

I'm currently in the market for a laptop and am wondering how every does wifi on the truck? Who do you use and how much internet time do you get? Cost?

ButtonUp's Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!

Verizon does offer the best coverage. Usually you can get the hotspot free with a 2-yr contract, then you're looking at about 80 bucks a month after taxes, fees, etc. Depending on the promotions you will get 2 or 4 gigs included before you have to pay extra for going over, usually 10 bucks per gig over.

If you have verizon service and a hotspot capable phone then adding the $30 a month will let you use it as a hotspot. I think this gives you 4 gigs a month before overage charges. This will run about $120 a month or so with a two year agreement.

AT&T is ok, but if you are an OTR driver you're going to find yourself in a lot of places that aren't covered with GSM. CDMA service IE Sprint, Verizon, Metro, is going to give you the best coverage if you go through montana, wyoming, nebraska, etc.

I have found SPRINT to be a good choice. In some ways I consider it better than Verizon because when I had them you always had service as they let you roam on any network. I am not as familiar with their plans and pricing on hotspots, but they still offer unlimited data on cellphones if I am not mistaken. There are free android apps to let you connect your phone to your laptop for tethering data if you can still find them. They want you to pay for tethering but if you can find these apps they are a workaround. I have been out of the wireless business for almost a year so not sure.

You can always use your points at truckstops to get wifi, but that's not a option when you aren't near one. Also, I tend to treat my points as cash and not free money, so I consider them part of my food budget, etc. But I can always get wifi at a truckstop this way.

I use an unlocked GSM phone that basically uses TMobile home area. It absolutely stinks for OTR, but since I am dedicated now it has worked great. Only $40 a month unlimited everything, but when I was OTR running the states I mentioned above I had no service...

Like I said I have been out of the wireless business for a while so please correct me if I am wrong. One thing I know for sure, if I was OTR again I would get a Verizon Hotspot or Sprint service, but Sprint ticked me off so probably Verizon. But, they're costly. But all truck drivers are rich, right? What's a couple hundred bucks a month for internet?

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.
EngineeringMother's Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!

I use Virgin Mobile, too. I bought a Samsung Galaxy 2 phone that runs Android for $275 but I have NO contract. VM uses Sprint towers. For $60/mo I have unlimited calls, texts, internet & data at 3G & 4G speeds. I have wi-fi enabled on my phone and use it as a mobile hot spot. I can connect up to five devices to it. Works great! I'll never go back to a contract again. I can use my phone to stream movies from my Netflix & Amazon accounts to my Kindle Fire. Or I can watch them on my laptop. I also check out e audio books from the library to the Kindle or phone, connect to the stereo with adapter cable and listen while driving. Since it's electronic media there's nothing to return when the loan is up. Win/win!

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

The best way to go is through the cell towers. Verizon has the best coverage overall, AT&T isn't too far behind. And this isn't my opinion, this comes from industry reports I read all the time.

Most people will either buy some sort of a USB antennae to connect to the cell towers or use their phone as a wifi hotspot. I know you said you're not a power-user so a lot of this may sound greek, but if you get your laptop from like Best Buy or take the laptop to a Verizon or AT&T store they can get you all setup.

I'm sure others will let you know what setup they're using so you can get a pretty good idea. But going through Verizon or AT&T is going to be your best bet. There are other companies out there that offer plans also, but most of them are simply reselling Verizon or AT&T services.

It's really pretty simple to setup but you'll likely want some help and guidance from Best Buy, AT&T, Verizon, or someone who deals with that stuff regularly.

Hockey_Dreamer's Comment
member avatar

I use a Verizon jetpack which is a mobile hotspot. It sure work like a champ. Many truck stops have their own wifi connections but you got to pay to use them $4.99 for 24hrs or $1.99 for 1hr. They also have two other options for 1 months and 1 year which are more pricey. About a laptop, any will do.

RedGator's Comment
member avatar

I use a Verizon jetpack which is a mobile hotspot. It sure work like a champ. Many truck stops have their own wifi connections but you got to pay to use them $4.99 for 24hrs or $1.99 for 1hr. They also have two other options for 1 months and 1 year which are more pricey. About a laptop, any will do.

How much do you pay for Verizon and what do you get?

Hockey_Dreamer's Comment
member avatar

I have it combined. Phone line and the jetpack. I only add about $30 dollars more to my bill. You can go to any verizon store and ask. I don't want to give you any specifics because I don't know what carrier you have or all that info. If you're with verizon you can surely add it to your account and bill them both together and you might even pay less than having it both separate.

Troubador222's Comment
member avatar

I had this question, and I believe it was Steve in here told me about some Verizon apps, on the droid phone, that work as well as the Verizon service, but are free. I am completing my first week on the road, and so far, I have yet to break the laptop out in the truck, but I am with a team company, so we keep moving a lot. I also have my Nook Tablet though, and I have been using that with my phone as a wifi hotspot to spend a little time on line. The phone wifi works great!

RedGator's Comment
member avatar

I had this question, and I believe it was Steve in here told me about some Verizon apps, on the droid phone, that work as well as the Verizon service, but are free. I am completing my first week on the road, and so far, I have yet to break the laptop out in the truck, but I am with a team company, so we keep moving a lot. I also have my Nook Tablet though, and I have been using that with my phone as a wifi hotspot to spend a little time on line. The phone wifi works great!

Free is always.awesome;) What are the names of the apps?

ButtonUp's Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!

Verizon does offer the best coverage. Usually you can get the hotspot free with a 2-yr contract, then you're looking at about 80 bucks a month after taxes, fees, etc. Depending on the promotions you will get 2 or 4 gigs included before you have to pay extra for going over, usually 10 bucks per gig over.

If you have verizon service and a hotspot capable phone then adding the $30 a month will let you use it as a hotspot. I think this gives you 4 gigs a month before overage charges. This will run about $120 a month or so with a two year agreement.

AT&T is ok, but if you are an OTR driver you're going to find yourself in a lot of places that aren't covered with GSM. CDMA service IE Sprint, Verizon, Metro, is going to give you the best coverage if you go through montana, wyoming, nebraska, etc.

I have found SPRINT to be a good choice. In some ways I consider it better than Verizon because when I had them you always had service as they let you roam on any network. I am not as familiar with their plans and pricing on hotspots, but they still offer unlimited data on cellphones if I am not mistaken. There are free android apps to let you connect your phone to your laptop for tethering data if you can still find them. They want you to pay for tethering but if you can find these apps they are a workaround. I have been out of the wireless business for almost a year so not sure.

You can always use your points at truckstops to get wifi, but that's not a option when you aren't near one. Also, I tend to treat my points as cash and not free money, so I consider them part of my food budget, etc. But I can always get wifi at a truckstop this way.

I use an unlocked GSM phone that basically uses TMobile home area. It absolutely stinks for OTR, but since I am dedicated now it has worked great. Only $40 a month unlimited everything, but when I was OTR running the states I mentioned above I had no service...

Like I said I have been out of the wireless business for a while so please correct me if I am wrong. One thing I know for sure, if I was OTR again I would get a Verizon Hotspot or Sprint service, but Sprint ticked me off so probably Verizon. But, they're costly. But all truck drivers are rich, right? What's a couple hundred bucks a month for internet?

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.
Troubador222's Comment
member avatar

The app I am using is simply titled "portable wifi hot spot" Found it in the free app store. When I was staying in the motel at school, I found it was a faster connection than the motel wifi.

RedGator's Comment
member avatar

I have Sprint and am finding that lately they just plain suck all across the board, was thinking of switching but I've been a customer for 11 years so idk....................Has anyone heard of Clear? They have unlimited for 35 a month?

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