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Thread: Need techie help

  1. #1
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Need techie help

    Ugh we have no connectivity at our weekend house because

    1) DH’s smart phone will not work there, the locals tell us thst only
    AT.T cell service works there and he has a different provider

    2) we have no wifi. No cable. No landline. No dish.

    Having lived that way for 6 months we are ready to upgrade to a connected life.

    So, we signed up for 2 smart phones and at.t service. The smart phones were “free” ( the usual bullshit promotion) and yadda yadda, so that is done. We will test phones in a few days to make sure servicevworks.

    So now, I need wifi at this house. We do not know which, cable or dish? We do not want a landline.DH would like more than the two dim channels on the tv that comes in. We think a good antannae on the roof will do that, neighbor confirms it worked for him.

    Is this a situation where a Hotspot would be a good idea? All I want now is internet, I do not want a landline. I did test out a Hotspot by using one from mynpublic libraruy. The service was ok for streaming. Not fast, and it stopped a few times, but— it would be ok for a while anyway.

    could someone please elaborate on Hotspot service? I dont really understand it. it is not from cellular towers, right?
    Last edited by iris lilies; 9-13-18 at 1:03am.

  2. #2
    Senior Member razz's Avatar
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    IL, I am no techie as you know.

    I chose to go with a landline 'dry loop' and have unlimited digital phone service, unlimited Canada-wide long distance (modest elsewhere packages) , wifi, internet and using my Apple TV box, which I bought separately, have TV should I ever choose to switch it on. I got all this through my local private internet provider. It is ample for me at $70/mth total inc tax. The US price may be much cheaper.

    My cell phone is a minimum plan for $20/mth with unlimited text and free local calls on evenings and weekends but a minimal cost otherwise.
    I have read about hotspots but am clueless about it so will watch to see what others have to say.
    Gandhi: Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony .

  3. #3
    Senior Member SteveinMN's Avatar
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    If you don't want wired Internet access from either the cable company or the telephone company, your choices will be dish/satellite (same thing) or cellular. Both are far more expensive per gigabyte and slower than wired service, but if that's what you have to have...

    For what it's worth, we have Internet access through Comcast/Xfinity -- and that's all we have from them. No phone service; no TV (antenna on the roof; technically we still have their converter box because Internet is cheaper when bundled with even "Limited Basic" TV service than it is without the box, but it's not connected). We bought our own modem and router so we are not further beholden to The Evil One.

    Hotspot is simply a technology that delivers the Internet access within your home. It takes the signal from the satellite or the cell tower and just acts as a (Wi-Fi) router for your devices.

    If you want to stream Netflix or use a Roku set-top box (or smart TV) or are heavy Internet users, satellite and cellular may not be adequate, especially at peak usage times like rush hour and prime-time, particularly if the two of you want to do different things on the Internet.

    Like satellite TV, satellite Internet signals can be affected by things like weather and tree coverage and satellite is not what anyone would consider a fast connection. Cellular services offer faster Internet access -- but only to a point (the number of gigabytes you pay for). After that, they either throttle your access back to something usable for text-based sites like this and email and maybe even a music streaming service like Pandora or cut you off entirely (depends on your plan).

    I would say to decide what you want the access for and go for the service that offers what you want. Using a hotspot from your cell provider that does what you want for only 2-1/2 weeks every month may just be frustrating and a waste of time and money. Going with satellite that bogs down as soon as you both log on is little better. It will be harder to find an Internet-access-only plan from the local cable company; it may be near impossible to get one from the local phone company (because phone company). But poke around their Web sites or call customer service and tell them just what you want and press them for what you want.
    If Americans expended even a fraction of the energy on civic engagement that we spend on consumer ideology, our democracy would be much healthier. Can you imagine people camping out to vote? -- Charles Roberts, Amherst, Mass., Nov. 25, 2006

  4. #4
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Thank you Steve. Ok, hotspot is out. I dont know exactly when it IS useful except perhaps on vacation? But not for us, then.

    Back to cable or landline based service, I guess. We will probably get cable.

  5. #5
    Senior Member SteveinMN's Avatar
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    Hotspots are good for impromptu setups -- vacation, business travel (instead of that pokey Ethernet port they offer or their own overloaded Wi-Fi), etc. Some people get by with one in their house but they're not using it heavily so it's usable for them.
    If Americans expended even a fraction of the energy on civic engagement that we spend on consumer ideology, our democracy would be much healthier. Can you imagine people camping out to vote? -- Charles Roberts, Amherst, Mass., Nov. 25, 2006

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