I just finished going through The Mobile Internet Handbook - 2014 US RVers Edition by Chris Dunphy & Cherie Ve Ard of Technomadia, friends and valuable contributors to the RV-Dreams Forum.
This 186-page comprehensive guide is now available in electronic form for an incredibly reasonable price of $9.99.
"The book covers cellular data, public WiFi, satellite, ham, cable/DSL, enhancing signals, installation, managing bandwidth, traveling to Canada & Mexico, entertainment options, cellular phone plans and most importantly – setting your expectations for what life on the road with mobile internet is like.
In this handbook, we help you assess your internet needs, set your expectations to realistic, explain your options and overview the challenges of mobile connectivity.
The book is written for the non-technical internet surfer to the high-tech geek – we strive to balance using every day language and examples to explain complex topics, while keeping things technically accurate.
All so you can best assemble a solution that is balanced between your desires and your budget.
Our goal is to make this stuff comprehensible so you can enjoy a thrivable life on the road with a minimal of technical frustrations, and still able to afford the fuel that propels your adventures!"
At our educational rallies, we have a one-hour seminar called "Internet On The Road". The first time I presented it, it was in what I call a "long version" and, by the time I was finished, I saw a lot of furrowed brows and blank stares that all seemed to convey they same thing: "HUH??"
Even as our Rally attendees seem be younger and more technologically savvy, the difference between internet use in a house, apartment, condo, or business in a static locale versus internet use in a mobile environment traveling to the ends of North America is something challenging for even the most technical minds.
After that first internet seminar presentation, I scaled things back to the "short version". Fortunately, that helped. However, when all is said and done, I still get the impression that everyone just wants the answer to one question"
"What service and equipment is the best for me to get internet in my RV that has the fastest speed, the most consistent connection anywhere in the U.S., and at the cheapest price?"
Well, it's just more complicated than that. There is no "one size fits all" answer to that question. Internet use varies, internet budgets vary, parking and traveling habits vary, and even though you may eventually figure out the best possible combination of services and equipment for you, you will still be frustrated from time to time.
I love the chapter in the book called "Rule #1 - Reset Your Expectations!" If you are used to fast speeds with consistent connection and unlimited data in your fixed-location home or business, get ready for varying speeds with inconsistent connections and data caps at higher prices. This is the first thing we cover in our seminar, and one of the early chapters in "The Mobile Internet Handbook".
The other challenge in trying to explain mobile internet is that technology changes so quickly, it's very hard to keep up. This is why we've never created pages with discussions and recommendations on RV-Dreams.com - we like to keep our information up-to-date and relevant, and this area just takes way too much time for us to stay on top of it and change it every few months. Thank goodness for Chris & Cherie and for our friend Jack Mayer, who has a "guest author" chapter in the Handbook. :)
"The Mobile Internet Handbook" has something for all levels of understanding. No doubt, if you are completely clueless about technology, you may have to read some of the chapters over and over again before the information "clicks". But if you are going to delve into the world of mobile internet and you are a "heavy user", the better you understand the challenges, the better decisions you can make.
Some of the chapters are for the super geeks that want to know how everything works and that have a real grasp of technology. I'm more of a super geek sidekick - I know just enough to comprehend up to a point and then some of the technical stuff starts sounding like Charlie Brown's teacher "Wah, wah, wah, wah, wah, wha wa".
"The Mobile Internet Handbook" confirms everything that I have researched on my own and provides additional information on options and products that I knew nothing about.
If you are just starting, or on the verge of starting your full-timing adventure, just BUY THE BOOK!! It's $10 bucks that absolutely could save you countless hours of research time and hundreds of dollars. Wrong choices in this realm get very expensive.
Once you have the knowledge, you can make better decisions. But, if you're still confused, Chris & Cherie have a couple more options for you.
They offer a Private Mobile Internet Advising Service to help select what they call your mobile internet "arsenal" based on your unique needs/desires, travel style, and budget. I'm telling you, that paid service is a bargain.
And for those of you that are like us and hyper-ventilate without internet for whatever reason, they have a premium membership group called Mobile Internet Aficianados.
There are several benefits to membership in this group, but by far the most valuable part for us is receiving current information and updated reviews on changing technology and products that may enhance our mobile internet experience. Our ability to live on the road and generate income is highly tied to internet access and speed without giving up travel to the remote, beautiful places we love. Getting timely, expert analysis of this ever-changing landscape is worth every penny of the membership.
So, there you have it my friends. If you are in the process of doing your homework in this area, just BUY THE BOOK!
Thanks Chris, Cherie, and Jack for all the time and effort to put this together. At all our future "Internet On The Road" seminars, we can now end the session with "For more details, we urge you to buy The Mobile Internet Handbook".