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Old 05-19-2015, 06:20 PM   #1
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Skype via Verizon Hotspot

I'm out of my league when it comes to getting internet data when traveling, could use some help.

My wife would like to keep in touch with the grandkids while we travel out west for a few months a year. We used Skype last fall a couple times from a commercial campground in WY that had wifi, worked fine but commercial CG's are few and far between for us. State and Federal CG's do not normally have or have very limited wifi. Thinking of Verizons Prepaid Hotspot service as we only need it while traveling. They tell me I can enable/disable it via the web with no charges when disabled.
Jetpack MHS800L
Prepaid 3Gb per month
WeBoost (Wilson Sleek) 4G Booster
BoatAnt or some such antenna for the trailer

Our cell phone provider (Puppy Wireless) has no provision to turn the phone into a hotspot,

A few questions.
Has anyone had success with something like Skype or some other video call app over a hotpot? Think it'd work in places like AZ, CO and Utah federal and state parks? Seems most places we stop have roughly 1 bar on the smart phones.

Would 3Gb per month be enough for video calls or should I go with the 10Gb plan? Other then Skype maybe once a week, if possible, all I do is read these forums.

See any problems for this setup for basic internet?
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Old 05-19-2015, 06:38 PM   #2
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I've used Skype while I was in CA where I was forced to use my Verizon plan.

I've switched to FaceTime which is Apple.

Skype uses a ton on GB so go with 10. Skype video tends to freeze or a have a bad connection.

Just make sure when you get to a place with wifi to turn your plan off!
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Old 05-19-2015, 08:02 PM   #3
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We had a Verizon mi-fi hot spot last year in the Southern US. Overall we were disappointed with it. Not when we were miles and miles from nowhere but when there was lots of civilization around and we still had minimal results. At one point we actually left Bryce Canyon, drove up to Panguinch specifically to ask about the Verizon signal. Guy in Radio Shack said, "go over there where the picnic tables are in the park and you should get it" He was right.

As far as Skype goes, we've used free wi-fi in other countries also. We do find it's better not to use the video option.

Just received my weboost Drive 4G-S today, formally Wilson. Hope it does better pulling in marginal signals than the mi-fi unit did.

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Old 05-19-2015, 08:36 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Ron in BC View Post
We had a Verizon mi-fi hot spot last year in the Southern US. Overall we were disappointed with it. Not when we were miles and miles from nowhere but when there was lots of civilization around and we still had minimal results. At one point we actually left Bryce Canyon, drove up to Panguinch specifically to ask about the Verizon signal. Guy in Radio Shack said, "go over there where the picnic tables are in the park and you should get it" He was right.

As far as Skype goes, we've used free wi-fi in other countries also. We do find it's better not to use the video option.

Just received my weboost Drive 4G-S today, formally Wilson. Hope it does better pulling in marginal signals than the mi-fi unit did.

Ron
On our trip to Chilliwack with the Wilson Sleek we were able to get 4g internet most places using my Verizon Droid Maxx in hot spot mode.
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Old 05-19-2015, 08:50 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron in BC View Post
We had a Verizon mi-fi hot spot last year in the Southern US. Overall we were disappointed with it. Not when we were miles and miles from nowhere but when there was lots of civilization around and we still had minimal results. At one point we actually left Bryce Canyon, drove up to Panguinch specifically to ask about the Verizon signal. Guy in Radio Shack said, "go over there where the picnic tables are in the park and you should get it" He was right.

As far as Skype goes, we've used free wi-fi in other countries also. We do find it's better not to use the video option.

Just received my weboost Drive 4G-S today, formally Wilson. Hope it does better pulling in marginal signals than the mi-fi unit did.

Ron
Try a Sleek cradle connected to a Trucker 4G antenna. We got excellent signal almost everywhere on my Verizon MiFi using the cradle. Bryce is an issue for everyone -- very little or no signal there. Kodachrome Basin was even worse. It's just a dead spot.
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Old 05-19-2015, 08:57 PM   #6
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Do you move the sleek to the truck when traveling for cell phone use?
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Old 05-19-2015, 09:11 PM   #7
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Do you move the sleek to the truck when traveling for cell phone use?
My sleek is hard wired inside an overhead cabinet in the trailer, because I use it to boost the hotspot -- although it could also boost the phone. If I wanted a similar boost in the tow vehicle, I'd need another one. Having said that, we found that generally if we had enough of a signal for internet access using the MiFi/cradle, there was enough signal on the phones to make calls.
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Old 05-19-2015, 09:29 PM   #8
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Do you move the sleek to the truck when traveling for cell phone use?
We used the Sleek during the day in the truck. Used the little magnetic antenna that came with it. Have the trucker antenna mounted in the trailer for use in the evening. The advantage of using the cell as a hot spot is you have long range on voice too. The truck puts it on Bluetooth speakerphone.
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