Wireless Internet Services mostly in Colorado

Old Dec 11th, 2006, 01:08 PM
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Wireless Internet Services mostly in Colorado

.. but working also in Florida.

Can anyone suggest a wireless internet service that works well in the area of Denver/Aspen?

My family is traveling for the holidays, and their flight lands in Denver in the late afternoon. From Denver, they are driving to Aspen, and my SIL is concerned about driving this late, possibly with snow, and wants to remain connected for whatever emergy they might have on the road.

OTOH, after a few days in Aspen, they are flying to Florida where my daughter and the kids will be staying for a month, while my SIL will fly back to Brazil after a couple of days there.

As he wants to get in touch with the family through laptop using a wireless internet service while they are in Miami, we need a recommendation for this kind of service that works well in the Colorado region, as well as in Florida.

Thanks in advance for your help.

Regards,

Ceci

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Old Dec 11th, 2006, 01:16 PM
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Sorry for the misspell.. I mean emergency, not emergy.

Thanks again,

Ceci
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Old Dec 11th, 2006, 01:58 PM
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There are two kinds of wireless service: cellular wireless and WiFi (aka Hotspot). The Cellular Wireless works wherever you get cell coverage; WiFi works only a certain distance from the HotSpot. Services like T-Mobile Hotspot (not to be confused with T-Mobile's cell phone service) are widely available whereever there are Starbucks and Borders Books plus in many airports. But you'll find more and more free WiFi hotspots all over the place now, at hotels and coffee shops. But you must physically be AT or near the place to use it.

The fastest cellular wireless service is EV-DO offered by Verizon and perhaps Sprint also. It's not as fast as many WiFi connections (which can vary greatly in speed, depending on what it is attached to) but does work everywhere and is still fast enough to be considered "Broadband" (fast enough for most people). I saw a guy streaming a baseball game on his laptop with EV-DO once while sitting next to him on a train, and it seemed plenty fast to me. You may need a PC Card add-on for EV-DO but some cell phones, if you have a Verizon phone, have EV-DO built in so you can just attach the phone to your laptop with a cable or with bluetooth.

I think EV-DO through Verizon is about $80 per month. Probably depends on whether you have Verizon service or not and what kind of plan you have.

You can get slower cellular wireless services for cheaper, but they tend to be about as slow as dial-up: OK for emergencies but not pleasant to use with today's internet content. I use T-Mobile's Total Internet package for $30/month (I'm also a T-Mobile cell phone customer). I use my Motorola phone to put my laptop on the internet. When I'm near a Starbucks, I use the HotSpot as part of the package and it's very fast. When I'm not near a a T-Mobile hotspot, I can still get my laptop on the net via my cell phone but speed is very slow about as fast as dial-up. The other cell phone companies offer similar "slow internet" options and it helps greatly if like mine your cell phone already has a cell modem built into it - not all of them do.
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Old Dec 11th, 2006, 02:41 PM
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Andrew, thank you very much!

Your answer is was everything we needed to know. I'll forward it to my son in law.

Best regards,

Ceci
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Old Dec 11th, 2006, 02:45 PM
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Well, if your SIL really wants uninterrupted connection, he's not going to get it. There are plenty of dead spots between Denver and Aspen. As another poster mentioned, look into Verizon's service and see if it is available Denver to Aspen. Don't bother with Sprint because their coverage is even worse (I have Sprint cell phone service).
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Old Dec 11th, 2006, 02:52 PM
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Thanks, GBbabe!

Best regards,

Ceci
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Old Dec 11th, 2006, 03:26 PM
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You are conflating two separate things: Basic internet service with WiFi. Services like the $80-per-month cell pone services aren't necesary for your SIL's trip, they just need regular WiFi which is available free or at a nominal charge in thousands of places.

For your SIL to "stay connected" while on the road, regular cell phone service is their best bet. On-the-road internet service would be via a cell phone connection anyway. Beyond that, you are looking at sophisticated GPS tracking systems and satellites, not regular internet.

For Florida, they can just find places with WiFI and make sure that their laptop has a WiFi card; most hotels will provide it, often for free, as well as coffehouses and snack places; my favorite is the Panera restaurant chain, which provides free WiFi.

Having traveled all over the country for weeks at a time using these services I assure you they'll be sufficient without getting technically fancier!
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