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Old 12-24-2020, 11:25 PM   #1
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What is the best Mexico WiFi Setup & Cell Phone Service?

I plan to visit Rocky Point, Mexico for 2 months in 2021 and I need cell phone and WiFi coverage.

What do you recommend?

Note: The Reef RV Park has WiFi and I will use that as my primary WiFi connection for free, but their signal is not reliable. So I would like to have my own 4G/5G-Cell phone backup WiFi data plan.

What do you recommend?

I hear Cricket has a plan that works in the USA and Mexico without the need to make plan adjustments or pay extra for "over the border coverage." So this sounds attractive. ...But can anyone tell me how good or how bad Cricket cell phone coverage is in Mexico vs. using another a US-Carrier? ...Who's better than Cricket when traveling to Mexico?

Alternatively, I think I can go to a Puerto Penasco cell phone store and sign-up with a Mexican Cell phone and data rate plan, but I have never done this. So if you know what I need to do when I arrive, I'm all ears!

Gracias!

Here's a question: Do I need to have a physical address in Mexico to get a Mexican cell phone plan?
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Old 04-03-2021, 02:35 PM   #2
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This is the direction I am heading:

* I dumped my Verizon cell phone service in the USA at $35/mo and started using www.Ting.com for $10/mo + $5/GB of data. So my bill is only $12/mo to $17mo and I'm getting the same cell phone service reliability I use to get from Verizon and getting data on my cell phone is not a big deal since I use my computer at home for all my internet work.

==> All you need to do is order a Ting Sim Card and sign up.

* Then I ordered this Toushi brand 4G-LTE-Nano Router for my RV travels. This thig uses GSM cell phone towers from T-Mobile and AT&T and Mobile PCS to connect to the internet ... and it works with "Ting" too!

==> And now that 4G-LTE & 3G cell phone service is practically available everywhere, I have every reason to believe this Toushi 4G-LTE Nano Router, you can buy on Amazon for $110, will take care of my internet data needs on the road in the USA; and I hope it will also work in Mexico. (TBD)

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

==> So is the antenna gain any better than my Verizon "Jet Pack." ...Probably not! (TBD) ...But going with Ting means much cheaper data rates when I'm traveling vs. using my Verizon Jet Pack.

==> Why not just put the Ting Sim Card in the Verizon Jet Pack? Good question. ...but it won't work. The Verizon Jet Pack has an IMEI # that does not work with Ting.

==> However, what I don't know is if I can get a Mexican sim card that will work with my Verizon Jet Pack? (TBD) And if I can, I will return the Toushi, since the real purpose is to obtain unlimited Mexican 4G-LTE service with unlimited data in Mexico; and since I don't think it matters how strong the cell phone signals are when I'm in Puerto Penasco than that's not a factor I am concerned about at this time. Albeit, the better the antenna gain the faster the data rate; and sometimes it makes the difference if you can connect or not!

WHAT ABOUT MEXICO?

I know I do NOT want to pay USA-roaming rates using the Ting sim card, or any USA carrier's service, because that is expensive. Albeit, okay for emergency use.

==> So my plan is to stop at a Mexican cell phone store and buy their sim card to use in my Toushi Nano Router. Will that work in Mexico? IDK, but it should according the the Amazon comments.

==> If it does work in Mexico, with a Mexican cell phone carrier, this should give me unlimited cell phone data service in my AT&T-GSM Cell Phone and when I put the sim card in my Toushi Nano Router, I think I should be able to unlimited internet data for ~$30/month. (TBD)

==> This means that once you set up your cell phone account to your sim card, and get a cell phone number, you can use that sim card in any compatible, unlocked cell phone or in this case a 4G-LTE Nano Router.

==> If you are wondering why I don't just use my cell phone as a "hot spot" when I want to connect my computer to the internet, you can, but my cell phone gets hot and the battery life goes down quick. So I like the idea of having a Nano-Router or Jet Pack Hot Spot if I'm using my computer.

==> Alternatively, all of you who just want to use a Tablet to retrieve your emails or do some light internet work, that may be an option for you too, since some Tablets (maybe Chromebook too, IDK) will accept a cell phone sim card. (TBD)

Note: I get the impression there is more GSM cell phone service (T-Mobile or AT&T type) in Mexico vs. CDMA (Verizon type), but we shall see.

After I travel to Mexico in May I will report back as to what I will find, but if any know what is a better way to get internet data over 4G/3G in Mexico, please tell us how you did it!
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Old 04-03-2021, 07:04 PM   #3
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Data is expensive on Ting.

Mexico usage is even more expensive.
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Old 04-03-2021, 09:07 PM   #4
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Sorry. I guess I didn't explain myself very well. Keep in mind the focus of this thread is how to get WiFi in Mexico, and I'm not talking about paying "roaming charges" by keeping your USA plan when you cross over the boarder.

The goal is to find the right cell phone or in this case the right 4G-LTE-Nano Router to bring with you when you cross the boarder so you can go to a GSM Mexican Cell phone carrier, buy their "unlimited data plan" for hopefully just $30 for unlimited cell phone and unlimited data... and then just slip their Mexican sim card into your 4G-LTE-Nano Router... so you can connect your computer when you are camping in your RV.

==> Why am I looking for a GSM Mexican carrier? Answer: You can't buy a CDMA 4G-LTE-Nano Router on Amazon at this time. So I went with Toushi.

==> When you connect with this Toushi 4G-LTE device, I think the cell phone tower will look at it as just another cell phone device, and will not differentiate if it is a hot spot or not.

==> And when you connect to a cell phone tower at 4G-LTE speeds my hope is that the data download will clock-in at 50MB/s or more. (TBD)

==> And because this Toushi device is Router, I can also connect my computer to the internet (via cell phone 4G-LTE) and my printer and my Alexa and my WiFi Camera -- which are all connected to the router.

==> Why go to this much trouble? ...Because, this way I will have more a reliable and faster internet service, than I would otherwise be able to get on a shared WiFi signal in the campground (in the USA or Mexico) and it travels with me. Just turn it on and everything is working, automatically.

==> First you need to have the right hardware or cell phone, and then you need to find the cheapest unlimited 4G-LTE data plan you can.

...And when I am in Mexico, when want to make a phone call I will use the phone in my computer; or I can just pull the Mexican SIM card out of the Nano Router and put it into my AT&T GSM phone.

WHEN IN MEXICO THESE ARE STILL MY UNANSWERED QUESTIONS:

1) What cell phone service works best in Mexico?

==> For the most part this means GSM vs. CDMA. And of the two I picked GSM since I believe it is used in more places and at lower cost. (TBD)

2) What hardware do I need to bring with me?

==> In my case, I don't want to use my phone as a "hot spot." Instead I would prefer to use a GSM based 4G-LTE-Nano Router when I am on my computer.

...And so far the only hardware I know you can buy on Amazon, that will work on Mexican cell phone bands, are being branded/sold by Toushi and a few others.

...Further, this Nano Router uses GSM towers from T-Mobil & AT&T in the USA, but I don't know if it will work with a Mexican GSM cell phone carrier and of course with Mexican cell phone towers (bands) in Mexico. In theory it should work. TBD.

3) Once I get to Mexico I will buy a Mexican 4G-LTE (3G) cell phone plan and sim card with "unlimited data." ...only instead of putting the Mexican sim card in a cell phone I plan to put it in the Toushi 4G-LTE-Nano Router, and I bet it will work. (TBD)

* This is interesting: In the USA you can buy the hardware on Amazon, but the "unlimited" data plans are still expensive or they play games with data download speeds and you can't operate on the road like you can at home on using a cable modem and WiFi to your computer, but that is changing soon too.

* In Mexico you can buy cheap "unlimited" cell phones and cheap "unlimited" data plans, but I doubt you buy a 4G-LTE-Nano Router for cheap or at all... if you can even find one for sale. (TBD)

* So now that I have the hardware when I cross the boarder, the goal when I get there to find a GSM or CDMA Mexican cell phone carrier that offers cheap unlimited
hot spot data. But will I find one? TBD. I will let you know.

My Toushi works on GSM in the USA, but as a back-up I also have a Verizon "Jet Pack" that works on CDMA. So if I find a cheap "hot spot plan" that works with my Verizon "Jet Pack" then I plan to return the Toushi to Amazon. It all depends on what is available in Mexico and I will not know that until I get there.

BACK IN THE USA

==> For cell phone use in the USA where the only data download I need is to check my emails and the occasional google search, I went with Ting, because it works with my older CDMA type cell phone and at $10/month + $5/gig of data, who can beat that?

==> On the road, Ting charges $5/1GB of data so this not the best plan when you don't have WiFi at home.

==> Sounds like H2O Wireless offers the cheapest "unlimited data plan" for $45/mo, but they may make you use the $54/month unlimited plan if you want a hot spot from your phone.

==> I think it's also important to find out if H2O will throttle back your data rate to a slow crawl after you reach a certain amount of data download. Do they?

==> But the good news is that you it looks like H2O has their sim cards for sale at a number of stores near you, so that's convenient. (See picture below.)

==> If anyone uses H2O, please let us know how you like it for unlimited hotspot data on the road, and is it easy to connect your computer to your cell phone hot spot? ...And how fast is the 4G-LTE speed?

Creative Part: I know you track this subject, so how much are you paying for data in the USA and what 4G-LTE carrier are you using?

...And do need your WeeBoost thingymagiggy anymore to get decent cell phone reception?

I'm guessing the days of needing a high gain antenna are almost behind us, but may still be of some benefit when you are off grid; and now I mean way off grid, because everywhere I traveled to last summer I got pretty good cell phone coverage. What I didn't get was cheap cell phone data, and those days ahead.

As for these Nano Routers, they have been around, but you have know what they are and where to buy them.

Next year there will be a lot more options, but this year, all I found was the Toushi 4G-LTE-Nano Router for $110, and at that price I decided to give it try and take it with me to Mexico!
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Old 04-03-2021, 09:51 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imnprsd View Post
Creative Part: I know you track this subject, so how much are you paying for data in the USA and what 4G-LTE carrier are you using?

...And do need your WeeBoost thingymagiggy anymore to get decent cell phone reception?
What I have cannot be purchased for love nor money as the plans I have are unobtainium. I have an ATT plan for $23 a month and a Verizon plan for $39 a month. Both are totally and completely unlimited in every way and when I travel for 5 to 6 weeks I'll use about 300gbs of data. I can do it all on either carrier or on both carriers. It doesn't matter as there are no limits.

The Weboost comes in handy in the US about 20% of the time where we travel.

I have zero idea how anything works in Mexico. I only posted those charts because you mentioned something about seeing if the Ting service would work there when you got there.

I have been told that the way to operate outside the US is to buy data on SIM cards. But I have no idea of the speeds, the service, the carriers or the cost.

Living in South Texas we all used to go to Mexico a couple of times a year and it was great fun. After the cartels no one I know goes to Mexico any more. They all come here - and buy condos and cars, and Rolex watches with huge piles of cash.
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Old 04-03-2021, 10:24 PM   #6
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CreativePart: Yes... I seem to remember you have a grandfathered plan, and over the years have helped me and a number of people figure out how to use their WiFi on the road in the USA. So thank you for that.

If this H20 Wireless "unlimited" data plan is real, then it's just another sign of the times, and good news for RVers in general.

Sounds like you have soured on going to Mexico; and I can understand that. I use to fly airplanes into the Baja back in the 80's and 90's and have fond memories of fishing for Dorado. ...Then came family and kids, I did not find myself going back across the boarder until just last summer in my RV. (Hesitant mind you, but very glad I went.)

And while I have looked at the idea of driving deeper into Mexico there is no way I would do that, and no good reason to chance it. And what a shame too.

Last summer, I did enjoy Puerto Penasco and The Reef At Rocky Point; and what a place to get all kinds of RV detail work and body and fender work, all in one place, and all at a great price, and great quality too! The way they treated me, and the quality of the work they performed, really puts the shame on a number of RV repair facilities I have also worked with in the USA.

This summer, I really don't have much work to do on my RV, but I'm going back to Rocky Point for the love of camping on the beach... in Mexico to some extent... in dry air... and not that salty humid stuff you get in Port Aransas on the beach that will rust everything in one week, to say nothing of what salt air does to a generator!

...But I do like to spend at least 3 days camping on the beaches of Port-A, which I just love too! ...Sand at your feet and all that stuff. This is one of my favorite things to do and I'm going there again in 3 weeks, but now that I have discovered dry air on the water's edge of The Reef at Rocky Point and Playa Del Oro, I just may stop going to Port-A all together. TBD.

I wonder which is safer these days: Camping on the beach in Port-A or traveling to Rocky Point? Funny how that works based on who's in charge!
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Old 04-04-2021, 07:45 AM   #7
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Of course the H2O Unlimited Plan is limited. They pretty much all are these days:

Quote:
For the H2O Wireless $50 Monthly Unlimited Plan, customers will receive 24 GB of LTE data per line in a monthly cycle; after 24 GB LTE data is used, customers will receive unlimited data at up to 128 kbps until expiration. For the H2O Wireless $60 Monthly Unlimited Plan, customers will receive 30 GB of LTE data per line in a monthly cycle; after 30 GB LTE data is used, customers will receive unlimited data at up to 128 kbps until expiration. "Unlimited" does not mean unreasonable commercial/monitoring/abusive use;
But if you don’t steam TV that should not be a problem.
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Old 04-13-2021, 01:19 PM   #8
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UPDATE: I'm in New Orleans and have tested out this Toshi Cell Phone Router, my Verizon Jet Pack, and a T-mobile Hot Spot device.

Here's what I discovered:

* The Toushi Cell phone router is 4G-LTE and with my signal strength (medium) I can get 20MB down and 20MB up. This is connecting to T-Mobile's cell phone towers in New Orleans, where my signal is not great. So when I move to a better zone I will test my down and upload speeds again.

* The Toushi Cell Phone Router is just like my other Hot Spot Devices from Verizon-Jet-Pack and T-mobile, but it has ports for network cables. This is nice if you want to connect to a printer, but since printers have WiFi it's not a huge plus. However, direct printer connections do save setup time and don't require much debugging.

Note: There are 4 antennas on the Toushi Cell Phone Router. Two are for talking to the cell phone towers and 2 are for connecting the Toushi to your computer. (I think.) And when you see 6 antenna I think this is for "carrier aggregation" which is a fancy term for saying the device can connect to multiple cell phone towers at once to combine data download speeds for better performance, but I doubt you need this unless you are streaming videos. (Maybe someone like CreativePart who knows more about this stuff can tell you more. I just want to have cheep, fast, reliable, WiFi... and when I go to Mexico I need to have a device that also picks up the Mexican cell phone tower bands. TBD... and I will get back to you on that.)

* On the subject of antenna gain: The Toushi Router has 4 antennas and has better antenna gain vs. my T-Mobile Hot Spot Device which could not connect, but the Toushi did. So that's a huge plus! I.e., the problem with Verizon and T-Mobile devices are that they don't have great antenna gain and there is no port to add an external antenna.

The $109 Toushi may have antennas, but they do not screw in. So if you look for one of these things you might try to find a model that will allow you to add an antenna for even better gain. (If anyone has done this please share your setup with us.)

https://www.amazon.com/TUOSHI-Unlock...8342971&sr=8-3

SIM CARDS

* Basically you just need to have pre-ordered a GSM sim card (AT&T or T-Mobile type) or a CDMA cim card (Verizon type) to work in your hot spot device.

We then to think of these by brand names, but as it turns out Verizon and AT&T have some cell phones that are either access GSM and CDMA bands...and the newer, more expensive cell phones can do both (I think).

* I plan to pick-up an H2O sim card and use it in the USA if they do offer unlimited data plans for $55 or less.

* And when I travel to Mexico I will see if their sim cards work in one of my mobile devices and how much they cost. TBD.

For now, all I can say is that the Toushi Cell Phone Router is just another Hot Spot, with a better antenna. And that may make the difference of being able to connect or not in a weak cell phone area... like I am in right now, next to the French Quarter of New Orleans, where you would think they would have stronger cell phone coverage, but they don't.

Also, I have been to NOLA before and I always had trouble connected tot he internet with my Verizon-Jet-Pack or T-Mobil hot spot, but now I can use this Toushi Cell Phone Router, because it has better antenna gain. So that tells me this thing is preferred over the other two.

Note: I have this collection of hot spot devices, because over the last 5 years some carriers had better or different cell phone coverage vs other carriers. So you need both Verizon and T-Mobile or AT&T. And everyone had expensive data plans compared to today's options. So now it's not so much about coverage as it it about cost.

And in Mexico it's about making sure the device you use can pickup the cell phone tower bands. So we shall see which of my Hot Spot Devices works best. But in all cases, a stronger signal often means faster WiFi speeds, and antenna gain plays an import part. So Toushi gets a "thumbs up" from me at this point.

* One last point, I also have COX Cable Hot Spot and Spectrum Hot Spot signal access by virtue of being a cable subscriber at home. So to get totally free WiFi... I use an Adapter like this one that I plug into my computer's USB port and it works better than these Cell Phone Hot Spot Devices and has faster download and upload speeds. I highly recommend you get one of these things for just $20 too:

https://www.amazon.com/Wireless-USB-...8341153&sr=8-2

...or this one if you want better quality and slightly faster download speed, but basically the same thing...

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0895N285F...7-ddc52e061034

The picture below is my Asus which works great, but it's more expensive and these cheaper devices do the same thing.

...Once installed you just click on your WiFi icon in the lower right corner of your screen and select "Adapter 2" to use it. Also, I use this at home in a remote bedroom that is far away from my router and it doubles the WiFi speed by improving the antenna gain and using it's own compression algorithms. (I think. I just know it works and I can pick up WiFi from a Lowe's or Home Depot parking lot too on my computer for extra flexibility. So you definitely need on of these when you travel.)
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Old 06-05-2021, 05:46 PM   #9
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I went to Mexico and bought a TelCel GSM Sim Card - And it worked in my Toushi 4G-LTE

As I have been going thru the learning curve, this is how I look at this solving the cell phone and internet connection problem on the road. (And I'm not talking about streaming video this year.)

1) Forget about using your cell phone as a hot spot. Just keep paying your $20 or less per month subscription fee, and keep your current cell phone separate from your hot spot service plan options, which I will tell you more about below.

2) Buy a 4G-LTE (cell phone) Router that uses T-Mobile or ATT sim card. Why? These carriers broadcast over GSM. Verizon uses CDMA technology and I think they are falling behind.

* Keep this in mind: A 4G-LTE Cell Phone Router means you need a sim card (from a phone service carrier) and that means you will be paying for a separate data plan.

3a) I went with Ting.com for Verizon CDMA cell phone service on my every day cell phone, because Verizon still has the most extensive 3G cell phone service... and I pay $10/month + $5/1GB of data. So my monthly cell phone bill is about $17 after taxes.

3b) I also when with Ting.com for their T-mobile GSM cell phone service (and sim card) in my new Toushi 4G-LTE-Cell Phone Router...and I pay $25/month for 5GB of data and I only use it as a hotspot service even though I could put this sim card in an AT&T phone and I would be able to make cell phone calls. (Which I will probably never do since I use TextNow.Com as an internet VOIP phone and What's App for making calls when I have internet service.) So when I am On The Road (OTR) I pay about $27/month more to have 4G-LTE WiFi (internet) service.

4) When you get to Mexico, go to any Telcel or Oxxo convenience store and buy a sim card and pay your monthly service. Plug in the sim card and start enjoying your data.

===
Alternatively, if your RV park offers free WiFi in Mexico then you will want to buy a $20 WiFi Adapter; which is really just a high gain antenna for use with your PC.

And with this little device it will increase your PC antenna gain by 3-4x so you can stream anything you want for free! ...If you can get a signal? (USA or Mexico)

In the USA, I still use this Tiger WiFi Adapter to connect to a Spectrum or Cox hot spots in the city I am visiting too.

* I have Spectrum cable service at home in Hawaii, and my mother has a Cox Cable account in California.

So I use her username and password when I'm in COX service areas like New Orleans; and I use my Spectrum account username and password to get free data all day and all night where Spectrum provides hot spot service.

...Now if I only knew someone with Infinity cable service so I can use their account to get free WiFi on the road!

So I highly recommend you get one of these WiFi Adapters for your travels. And you may use it in your home if you are having connection problems in a far away room.

TIGER AC1300 WiFi Adapter ($20) On Amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/Adapter-Wirel...tronics&sr=1-9

OTHER COMMENTS

A cell phone can be your best safety net when traveling on the road.

And with 4G-LTE now available everywhere, you probably will find you now have cell phone coverage in the same campground or out of the way spot you visited last year.

4 years ago we only cared about getting our cell phones to work in "the weeds." Now we want both our cell phone to work and our internet to work too... and the kids want to stream videos. (Tell them no... we're going on a hike tomorrow and tonight you need your sleep.)

3 years ago I bought T-mobile's hot spot because it was cheaper for data

2 years ago I bought Verizon's Jet Pack Hot Spot, because Verizon lowered their data prices, and Verizon had better 3G/4G coverage.

However, there were also places in the USA where T-mobile would work and Verizon would not and the same goes for AT&T. So it was good to have both types of devices.

Now these hot spot devices just sit in my drawer since the Toushi 4G-LTE Cell Phone Router I bought for $109, which is just a hot spot device too, but it has better antenna gain vs. the Verizon Jet Pack or T-mobile hot spot device.

WHY DID IT WORK IN MEXICO

When you buy Verizon or T-Mobile or AT&T hot spot, they have contracts and agreements in the USA and with the Mexican cell phone companies to NOT sell their services for hot spot use; and most hot spot devices from these carriers will not work with other sim cards from 3rd party carriers; and they will not work in Mexico unless you pay a premium to these cell phone carriers.

On the other hand, this Toushi 4G-LTE Cell Phone Router will accept a Ting (GSM) Sim Card for use in the USA and a TelCel Sim Card for use in Mexico with a Mexican cell phone plan. (I know this for certain, because I tested this out myself last month!)

So this Toushi 4G-LTE Router looks like a cell phone device (like Samsung, AT&T, Nokia, etc.) and they have no agreements with T-Mobile or AT&T or Telcel to exclude this device.

So if you have a sim card that works with the Toushi IMEI number you can receive both cell phone and WiFi data in the USA and Mexico, because the Toushi Device looks like a cell phone and not a hot spot when it connects.

* You can also go to Telcel and buy one of their off the self hot spots for $125 and setup a hot spot account for $25/mo. However, when you return to the USA your TelCel hot spot will not work.

* This Toushi 4G-LTE Cell Phone Router works in both the USA and Mexico.
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