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Old 12-02-2012, 11:34 AM   #16
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What do you NEED a Cell Phone for Anyway. How about SPENDING Times With your family & Stay OFF the Phone!
Come spend time with my family, and see if you don't need a distraction. 5 minutes into a "conversation" with uncle Leroy, and you'll be itching for a get away.
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Old 12-02-2012, 12:17 PM   #17
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We will be spending lots of time with family, but there's always the down-time after we're back in the room, getting ready for bed. Most of the people in my immediate family use the internet as a way of relaxing, even if it's just reading FB for half an hour before lights out.
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Old 12-02-2012, 12:55 PM   #18
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Wow family reunion. Must be a big family to meet in an hotel. It sounds a little bit like in the movies. I'm not much into family so this concept is foreign to me.
Is this a casual meeting or is it more formal ?
Sorry, just being curious

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It's a family reunion and we don't have a choice in our hotel.
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Old 12-02-2012, 12:58 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by BeccaPrice View Post
In a little bit, my family and I will be traveling. Most hotels in the US charge $9.99 per day per device for connectivity - with four of us with laptops, that gets expensive really fast.

is there a pre-paid mobile gizmo that we could get that would allow the four of us to connect rather than connecting through the hotel? I'd only need it for about a week.

we all have Android smart phones, but I understand that connecting through a smartphone app would drain the phone battery incredibly. Could we plug in the phone and use the mobile wifi app that way? if so, any particular recommendations for specific apps?

Thanks.
I'm assuming you normally live in Canada?
I use Roam Mobility when I travel to the US several times a year. You buy your SIM card from them before leaving Canada, buy your unlimited talk/text US and Canada plan ($3 per day) and your data (largest plan, 5 gb is $99.95), pop the SIM into an unlocked Android phone and you can use your phone as a hotspot PLUS avoid roaming and long distance charges. We were 3 women using it for a week on my last trip and and it's very affordable. The SIM doesn't expire as long as you use it at least 1 day a year. If everyone uses the "communal" phone to call and connect and share the cost, it's downright cheap. And yes, you can use the phone while it's powering up, both for call/texting and data.
http://www.roammobility.com

Ps: they also offer a hotspot device for $129.95 which allows you to tether up to 5 devices simultaneously if you choose to go that route. No contracts for anything either. 4G speeds for data in many areas.
www.roammobility.com/liberty-hotspot

Last edited by Cdesja5; 12-02-2012 at 01:18 PM.
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Old 12-02-2012, 01:21 PM   #20
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Not that big of a family, just the four kids and our immediate families, two kids each for 3 of us. It's my dad's 90th birthday, though, so we're all gathering. Mom and Dad live in a very small house, so the rest of us need to stay in a hotel.

It's all being pretty casual. I don't think anything specific is planned for the days, although I might take my lot to the local zoo one of the days. My kids are fond of my sister's kids, but I don't think they've ever met my brother's kids. We none of us live in the same state, and my family is the furthest away, not even being on the same side of the Mississippi river (everyone else has moved west; I stayed in Michigan.)
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Old 12-02-2012, 01:54 PM   #21
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The Virgin Mobile MiFi 2200 is $70 off right now ($29.99) at their online store here. There's a coverage map on that website too.
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Old 12-02-2012, 03:34 PM   #22
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I just remembered a new service called FreedomPop which is in beta right now.

Quote:
  • Free Data - guaranteed 500MB FREE every month
  • Fast Speeds - internet at 4G speeds (10x faster than 3G)
  • No Gimmicks - no data caps or throttling speeds
  • Take It With You - use at home, the office, or wherever you go
  • No Contracts - cancel anytime without fees or commitment
You'll have to check to see if it is available in your area [and the one you're traveling to]. The devices range from $49 to $99 and the rates are 500MB free per month with their device, 2GB for $18 per month with their device and 4GB per month for $29 with their device... all with no contract. I think it's U.S. only.
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Old 12-02-2012, 03:42 PM   #23
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there are also any number of different websites that will tell you where free wifi hotspots nearby are. usually, if there's an independent coffee shop, it'll have free wifi. some starbucks have free wifi, i learned recently. i'm not sure if that's city by city, or if it's just on the choice of the management (I found it for free when i was travelling in chicago).
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Old 12-02-2012, 04:04 PM   #24
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Charge? 9.95 for the WiFi ? Even McDonalds gave that practice up .

So share (Literally) the 'registered' laptop .
Bridge the Wifi to the LAN port and BYO wired switch+cables (or a Wifi router) to serve the others. (Shared Network connection, like they used to do when people used dialup in a house with more than 1 computer)

It will take some fiddling and assigning a Static IP to the LAN Port and WAN side of the router.
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Old 12-02-2012, 04:12 PM   #25
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Or you could just install Instabridge and get automatic Wi-Fi connection.
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Old 12-02-2012, 05:41 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BeccaPrice View Post
In a little bit, my family and I will be traveling. Most hotels in the US charge $9.99 per day per device for connectivity - with four of us with laptops, that gets expensive really fast.

is there a pre-paid mobile gizmo that we could get that would allow the four of us to connect rather than connecting through the hotel? I'd only need it for about a week.

we all have Android smart phones, but I understand that connecting through a smartphone app would drain the phone battery incredibly. Could we plug in the phone and use the mobile wifi app that way? if so, any particular recommendations for specific apps?

Thanks.
Becca here's a link for TEP:

http://www.tepwireless.com/

They're a mobile hotspot company that many people I know have successfully used in numerous countries.

See what you think.
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Old 12-03-2012, 09:58 AM   #27
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What do you NEED a Cell Phone for Anyway. How about SPENDING Times With your family & Stay OFF the Phone!
Good point. You are spending top dollar for family time. Use it.

I haven't observed this charge for WiFi in your rooms in the motels I stay in.

I guess I stay in cheap motels that don't charge for WiFi. WAIT, what is wrong with that sentence. ?? The cheap motels don't charge but the expensive ones do??

Anyway, your device will allow you to connect to the WiFi of your choice. You just need to determine which one is free if there is a free one nearby say down in the lounge or snack/ice/drink room.
I have an app that allows me to use my device as a signal meter and you can walk around your room and find the best spot to get a particular signal.
WiFi Analyzer is good.
WiFi Analytics is also good.
So maybe you only need to identify the signal down in the lounge.

Also sometimes you can pick up a signal through the window or wall from a restaurant nearby, a MacDonalds, or Pizza Hut, or even maybe a dinky motel like the ones I stay in, a Days In or Comfort Inn.

Now if you want to stream movies the cheaper setups might not have enough bandwidth for a lot of people. But email or headlines is not problem.
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Old 12-03-2012, 10:14 AM   #28
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I love my family, and we're very close (well, except to my brother, who can be a jerk sometimes), but I also need space away from them. We're more introverts than extroverts in my family (although we tend to marry extroverts, so go figure), and need down time after being social. spending a little time checking email and favorite blogs before going to bed is one way.

Not that I need to justify how my family chooses to spend time.
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Old 12-03-2012, 10:35 AM   #29
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I really have to question the claim that "Most hotels in the US charge $9.99 per day per device for connectivity." I've stayed in a number of hotels in the western US since wifi became popular, and have always had free in-room wifi. Then again, I've never stayed in a hotel that charges separately for parking, breakfast, or toilet paper, either.
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Old 12-03-2012, 10:36 AM   #30
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Check out Ting.com They don't require a contract, you only pay for what you use. I have my cellphone service through them and I'm very happy. They sell a mobile hotspot that should do the job for you. If you use it only on special occasions, you only need to pay for the data you use.
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