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Old 02-22-2021, 10:04 AM   #1
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WiFi Question

I have a question regarding WiFi and iPad. We recently upgraded our Verizon service to include unlimited data. During a recent week-end camping, (no WiFi, but 2 bars Verizon signal) I attempted to connect my iPhone (hotspot) to my WiFi iPad. Unsuccessful.

Obviously technology challenged, but my understanding was that I could do that, since I did in the past, with a WiFi signal. I would like to understand before I visit the local Verizon store and attempt to resist the sales pitch.
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Old 02-22-2021, 10:44 AM   #2
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I'm not sure we have enough info about what you did.

Did you activate the "hotspot" service in your iphone before attempting to use it as a hotspot.

What do you mean "no wifi"? Do you mean your iphone had cellular data only? If that's what you mean, that shouldn't be a problem. But if you mean you had wifi turned off on your iphone then, no, that wouldn't work. When using your phone as a hotspot you must have wifi turned on on both the phone and the ipad and you must have activated hotspot data services in your phone's settings.

My wife's Verizon iphone has a "Personal Hotspot" option in Settings. It has an off and an on slider. Once you select this you have a few other settings to make. I've attached a screen shot below. You must have "allow others to join" turned on because your ipad is an "others". And you can change the wifi password to something easier to enter. You also have the choice to maximize compatibility and this will simplify connecting your ipad.

PS. You are aware I hope that "unlimited" Verizon service is not really unlimited. Right? You have 22gigs of 4g service per month and 10 to 15gigs (depending on plan) of hotspot 4g per month. After you reach the limit on these "unlimited" plans the data slows to unusable dial-up speeds.
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Old 02-22-2021, 08:53 PM   #3
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WiFi and hot spot

As an update and clarification to the iPhone tether to iPad using Verizon service, here is the story: At the beginning, my wife used an iPhone with 5Gb data plan. Never exceeded the plan limits. Later, I purchased an iPhone and was advised that because of our minimal data usage, we could share the data. So, I ended up with 2 Gb, and wife had 2Gb. Don’t ask what happened to the other Gb. <G>

During summer travels, we would on occasion exceed the data limits and purchase additional – expensive. I inquired at the local Verizon store, and was sold a “no limit” data plan. While camping at a State Park without WiFi, I attempted to set up a personal hotspot, but was unable to. The Verizon store told me that I had signed up for the “Starter No Limit Plan” that did not allow for hot spots, but for $10 additionally per month, per device I could tether my iPad to my phone! Needless to say, I declined since the only feature the iPad gives me is a larger viewing screen. (We do little to none streaming.)

Called Verizon and explained the situation, and after a lengthy discussion, I was offered a 10Gb plan with “Safety Mode”. It was explained to me that if we exceeded 10Gb at any time, we would automatically go into safety mode without any additional fees. The only difference, I was told, is that the tower would in some cases throttle the data. As a matter of fact, the monthly fee was a few dollars less than the initial fee. Hard to believe.
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Old 02-23-2021, 08:45 AM   #4
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A couple of things to know about Verizon and their stores.

Streaming TV on your device can use 1 - 1.5 gigs of data per hour. So, if on a cell phone you don’t ever really do much streaming on that tiny screen you won’t regularly top out your data plan. If you hotspot to a tablet you’ll likely watch more tv on that larger screen and you can easily reach 10 gigs in a weekend.

The stores and their staff are really set up for phone sales and they either don’t want to understand an RVers streaming need, or more likely are encouraged to dissuade users from using hotspots for streaming due to the large amount of bandwidth it takes up.

You sound like you don’t plan on using your account for a lot of TV streaming so you may do fine with 10 gigs of on phone data. Just be aware of the limitations of dealing with Verizon and their store personnel.

Many of us use cellular data plans for all of our TV watching - on the RV’s TVs - and use hundreds of gigs of data in a month.
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Old 02-27-2021, 08:57 PM   #5
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Your information was very helpful but we are still lost. Just purchased our first RV. In the showroom the tec found 60 channels using the “air” connection. When we got home everything was “no service”. But right now that is not my issue. We purchased and had installed the winegard gateway . So I assume that is what takes a sims card that will power our laptop And stream TV. I am getting concerned, after reading your post, what I should purchase. My husband and I both have separate Verizon accounts. We stream and are on our iPads . What would you suggest .
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Old 02-28-2021, 04:43 AM   #6
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Some background on my situation. A few years ago I purchased a Class A with a satellite dish on top. I was so excited. A year later and lots of money, and a horrible experience with AT&T/DirectTV. I punted that plan.

I got a MiFi from Verizon, and couldn't be happier. I plug in my Roku on my TV's from home, join the wireless network, and off I go. Simply Awesome.

I have streamed for a weekend, I have streamed for a week. I'm sure I've reached my data cap, but can still stream.

The cellular carriers (Verizon, ATT etc) all data cap.

Now there are some gotchas.

1..You need a good cellular signal for your hotspot to work.
2..Having a MiFi you can connect several devices instead of using your phone as a hotspot, and you get better performance from a MiFi.
3..Depending on how much money you want to spend will dictate the wireless experience you will have. You can spend $300 on a Verizon MiFi, or you can spend up to $1500 on a High performing router.

The routers in this link will have a better performance as they have better antenna's which is key in all what we are talking about.

https://www.google.com/search?q=crad...w=1553&bih=857

Using cellular to stream, you must be mindful on your time watching TV. Watch TV, shut it off, don't let it mindless be on while your not paying attention to it.

And again, if your out in the Wild Wild West with no cellular service, you well, will just be out of luck. If your near a cell tower with a strong cellular service, your streaming will rock.

https://www.verizon.com/coverage-map/
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Old 03-03-2021, 05:52 PM   #7
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Slightly off topic, but I was a Verizon customer for 25+ years, and finally got fed up with the constantly changing plans, always rising prices, unwanted changes to my plan, etc. Finally pulled the plug this year & went with Total Wireless. So far, so good, but haven't had a chance to try the hot spot yet. Looks good on paper. 5Gb shared plan (2 phones) for $35/mo, and runs on the Verizon network.
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Old 03-03-2021, 07:18 PM   #8
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Getting wireless Internet on the road can be very challenging. First - learn that there is a big difference between signal strength and Internet connectivity. We have been in many situations where we registered only 1 or 2 bars of signal strength - but yet had OK internet connectivity. But many more times where we showed 4-5 bars of signal strength - had absolutely ZERO internet.

We have a Verizon unlimited data Hotspot, as well as 2 Verizon phones, each of which can be turned on as a Hotspot. To make things more confusing there have been times where the Hotspot showed 4-5 bars, but we could not get any internet thru it. Yet then if we then activated the Hotspot on one of the phones - we could get internet . ????????
Same carrier, same signal, same cell tower - but different levels of connectivity. ??

Before setting off as full timers 3 years ago we did purchase a Weboost signal booster. Have found that it helps greatly in some areas (has a separate antenna on the roof) yet in others does not - in spite of boosting the number of signal strength bars but not necessarily improving internet connectivity.

It is all very confusing. We did join RV Mobile Internet Resource Center. Bought their book, and while Chris & Cherie there try to be extremely helpful, it is still very confusing because of how the carriers obviously control what you can access. With the huge growth in internet streaming of movies and Youtube the amount of data the wireless systems are trying to transmit these days is huge, and can often bog them down, especially if a lot of users try to access one cell tower.

But suggest you access www.RVMobileInternet.com and see if they can help you further.
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Old 03-03-2021, 07:41 PM   #9
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Unlimited is a lie

Quote:
Originally Posted by PapaRed View Post
As an update and clarification to the iPhone tether to iPad using Verizon service, here is the story: At the beginning, my wife used an iPhone with 5Gb data plan. Never exceeded the plan limits. Later, I purchased an iPhone and was advised that because of our minimal data usage, we could share the data. So, I ended up with 2 Gb, and wife had 2Gb. Don’t ask what happened to the other Gb. <G>

During summer travels, we would on occasion exceed the data limits and purchase additional – expensive. I inquired at the local Verizon store, and was sold a “no limit” data plan. While camping at a State Park without WiFi, I attempted to set up a personal hotspot, but was unable to. The Verizon store told me that I had signed up for the “Starter No Limit Plan” that did not allow for hot spots, but for $10 additionally per month, per device I could tether my iPad to my phone! Needless to say, I declined since the only feature the iPad gives me is a larger viewing screen. (We do little to none streaming.)

Called Verizon and explained the situation, and after a lengthy discussion, I was offered a 10Gb plan with “Safety Mode”. It was explained to me that if we exceeded 10Gb at any time, we would automatically go into safety mode without any additional fees. The only difference, I was told, is that the tower would in some cases throttle the data. As a matter of fact, the monthly fee was a few dollars less than the initial fee. Hard to believe.

I personally cannot stand doing business with Verizon. I recommend you dump them, if you can. T-Mobile gives truly excellent customer service, and I've been with them for 17 years because of that!



Here's the thing - when they "throttle" your data, what that actually means is that you have NO data for the rest of that month. They claim it's at "dial-up speed" but good luck doing anything but texting or email!


If you need a TRUE unlimited plan, go to nomadinternet.com. My plan uses the AT&T network, so I get great signal and coverage. It costs about $150/month, but you get a hotspot router with ACTUALLY unlimited data that never gets throttled. "Unlimited Internet" is one of the biggest LIES on the web, and all the major carriers do it.



T-Mobile has a "Magenta Plus" plan that gives you something like 22GB a month, and you can use your phone as a hotspot if you want. I don't know the current price, but T-Mobile will treat you like royalty when you call customer service. Their retail stores suck, but that seems true for all the carriers. Best do things online or on the phone.
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Old 03-03-2021, 07:43 PM   #10
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Should work , but with two bars maybe slow!
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Old Yesterday, 06:50 AM   #11
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PapaRed - get online access to your account and you can control the "unlimited" plan(s). Some do not allow hotspot or tethering, upgrade the plan to a higher level. Note, you will not get "unlimited" hotspot data, there is always a limit where they cut you back to "barely usable". It's an expensive service, for sure. We recently went through that and ended up using an old iPhone6 as a hotspot on Visible service (they use Verizon towers, "most of the time"). Kept our Verizon plans for our phones and use the Visible hotspot for data - shared to our phones and laptops as WiFi. Visible touts unlimited data (regulated to 5gb/s) which works pretty darned well for most streaming apps, TV streaming, etc. If you get in a Visible Party Pay it's $25/month. We have done very well with it for the last 3 months, where we are.
Know that there are always a lot of variables that affect any cellular service.
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Old Yesterday, 08:14 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moseyinn View Post
Your information was very helpful but we are still lost. I am getting concerned, after reading your post, what I should purchase. What would you suggest .
I wish it were easy and that I could tell you simply what to do.

There is no easy in this topic. It takes a good technical understanding of complex and changing options.

You have been sold only one part of the solution - the Winegard Gateway - it’s not the best but is a workable option. Now, you’ll need to educate yourself about the cellular data part of the topic and then match that knowledge with your needs.

As another member mentioned I’m a member of www.rvmobileinternet.com. It is a paid membership and they provide all the info you need. However it’s pretty technical and I get the impression you folks are not very tech savvy.

There are relatively simple answers but most would require large monthly cellular charges. (Like the user above that has a simple answer but it’s $150/mo.)

So, what this will ultimately boil down to is determining what you need.

1. Are you wanting to stream TV or just surf the web on tablets?
2. Do you need internet access for a few days, a week, two or more weeks or months at a time?
3. how much per month do you want to spend for internet on the road?
4. How technically illiterate are you?

If you answer the above four questions I’ll do my best to steer you at least in the right direction.
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