Looking for a computer buff who may be able to answer me some questions. Can I work a laptop in a r.v with a satelite dish? Can I work a lap top thru a mobile phone? I Will be getting a long way from civilisation and will need to be able to have computer access of some description. I am a complete newcomer to computers and will appreciate any help I can get.Regards Big Bilko. :cool:


Senior Member
Re: computers

Yes to both, with satellite you need a router between your system and the computer, with the mobile phone or card system you just put the card into the side of your laptop and your in good shape if................ you have connection to your service which ever one you choose to go with.
RE: computers

Both options are viable, but each has limitations. Satellite can be costly and is generally not very fast and because of increased signal delay some applications perform poorly. However, the coverage is generally superior to cell phone. If you are that removed from civilization, it may also be likely that you don't get good cell coverage and satellite will be your only option.

The cell option is the easiest to try out ... you can go into a local cell phone store (Verizon, AT&T, etc.) and tell them what you are doing. They'll set you up with a card which goes into your laptop ... I would look at models that allow you to attach an optional higher power antenna to improve your reception. Discuss with them the area(s) you will be going to ... the speed of your connection varies drastically depending upon the availability and type of network in a given area by a given provider.

If possible see if you can take a unit to your intended destination as a trial before committing.

Re: computers

big bilko.

Are you interested in service in the US or in Australia? Also, as the above posts have mentioned you can use either cellular-based systems or satellite-based systems. As noted, the cellular-based service is less expensive initially and the monthly service is also less expensive. You can expect to get from dial-up speed to 1.5Mbps/700kbps speed with an aircard. All of this is determined by the local cellular infrastructure. In populated areas, or along interstates you can expect EVDO Rev0 or RevA speeds. In remote areas, if you can get signal at all, then you will likely get 1xRTT (read dial-up) speed.

You did say in your post that "I Will be getting a long way from civilisation and will need to be able to have computer access of some description". This lends itself more to satellite-based service than cellular-based service. With satellite, as long as you can see the Southern sky (for US customers, Northern Sky for Australian users) you can have high-speed internet. The lowest cost services will cost about $60 per month and will deliver approximately 750kbps/120kbps speeds. Different services are available that offer more performance. For arount $150 per month, you can count on getting 1Mbps/150kbps speeds. As noted, there is a delay inherant in satellite service that makes it not work so well for VPN's and such. Some will work, but as a general rule using a VPN will slow your satellite service down to dial-up speeds. Equipment costs vary from $1,200 for a manual tripod mount to $4,800 for an automatic mount.

For most people, a cellular-based service is more practical, but for those that expect to be in areas with cellular service, satellite is the only way to guarantee service anywhere.


Senior Member
Re: computers

Yes the satellite system is pricey but I have few if any problems with it and the wife and I both run off it at the same time. Only slow is when a lot of people on net at the same time which was normal even when we had dsl on the home front.
Re: computers

Thank you all for your imput on my problems. It seems the way to go is to fit a good quality satellite dish and use a cellphone if a problem exists in some areas. we will be travelling in outback Australia and dont want to be isolated too much. I really appreciate the feedback from the forum and thank you all once again Regards Trevor Big Bilko Down under :clown: :cool: :)
Re: computers

Sorry to jump in here so late ...

I still sell photography to editors on occassion and while Sat's do a fair quick download, they genrally seemed to be slow with an upload of a large file sized image so were not a good choice for me even if I had wanted to spend the extra $$$. I went with a Verizon card and have had no issues this last year on he road.
Re: computers

Thanks for your imput, I have a sat dish ordered for t.v and have since purchased a laptop with a card system which gives me both options.will be road testing them both shortly and will update my results on the forum. I am a bit of a computer dummy as it took me half an hour to find where to insert the cd into the laptop. but its in and working and we will see how well after I escape to the outback. regards Big Bilko/Kaye and Harley the attack jack russell in our 34ft Coachmen Mirada :cool: :laugh: :blush: :clown:


Senior Member
Re: computers

But here is the million dollar question. Will you have cell towers in the outback of Australia? I would think not but if you do great. If not than satellite is the only answer.
Re: computers

When we float the Cameo "White Whale" to Ausie Land we'll worry 'bout them towers mate. Till then we'll waltz Matilda around the billiebong and trek the puter to a high place if absolutely necessary.

BTW, my son had his HS graduation picture holding a Red Roo Joey ... it's all good!

Re: computers

Thanks for your interest. I will have to wait and see what reception we get when we are travelling. seems to work very well in our local area though. would like to be able to keep in touch while we are away which could be for 1 month or until we drive of the edge of oz.will pop another didgeredoo on the billabong for you all. regards Big Bilko :bleh: :clown: :dead: :disapprove: :evil: :sleepy: :shy: :question: :kiss: :)


Senior Member
Re: computers

You won't be able to get satalite internet with a 'TV' dish. That will require a different dish and a different service provider.
Re: computers

Booked in to have the sat dish in 2 weeks time so still have to do a lot of testing when that happens. Seems phone reception is reasonable in most areas of australia and unless we are way outback we should be ok. Hopefully we will have contact in 1 form or another. will give a progress report in a few weeks time . Regards Trevor. Big bilko .Will toss a couple of prawns on the corrobboree fo you. :bleh: :clown: :kiss: :shy: :sleepy: :evil: :dead: :approve: :blackeye: :blush: :angry: :laugh: :cool: ;)
RE: computers

in case this serves anyone using the aircards thru their cell phone provider for net access
i was going to go with an aircard but wanted to try one first, and the local T-mobile shop told me about using my cell phone itself with a cable to the laptop for access to the net

basically, the cable & software were $40, and my monthly unlimited access svc to the net is $20 monthly, where they wanted $150 for the aircard and as it was a separate phone line or number, monthly service was $50

the newer phones out do not need the software so all you need is a USB to mini-usb cable and you're good to go (newer phones have the software already installed)

the sweet part is while i'm on the net i can still receive and make calls - my net svc is temporarily suspended while the voice call is active, and internet speed isn't as fast as dsl, but definitely light years above dialup service

and for $20 per month definitely a "bang for the buck" deal
RE: computers

What service are you using that allows this type of connection? I have some experience with cellular internet and have never heard of such a cheap internet service plan.
RE: computers

RvRover - it's basically a standard T-Mobile internet access plan
as my phone is three years old, Motorola KRZR, when i got the plan, i had to buy a $39 "data access" kit - wasn't described on their website very well, in fact it wasn't clear what it actually was - but it is or was basically a cable to go from my laptop's USB port to the motorola phone's port which is a mini-usb port, plus the software CD

now i'm told all the new phones, as of last year have the software pre-installed on them, so all you need is the cable which is a radio shack or computer supply item - maybe a $6 cable

the $20 a month plan may have been slightly cheap because i have the 3000 minute per month plan, but i don't think so

i found out about the kit + plan by calling in, and was inquiring about "trying" the aircard for 30 days - the T-mobile sales rep informed me i could go that way, but cost was $149 for the aircard and $49 a month for the plan and the only benefit over what i got was that with the aircard i'd have a separate phone line (or sim card) for the aircard. I simply clip the phone's holster to the upper right hand corner of the laptop's screen

with the cell connected thru the laptop, like i said, if a call comes in, it displays the caller id on the phone while it rings - if i choose not to answer, it goes straight to voice mail. If i answer, the web connection goes on hold, so i can't surf and talk at same time. and as it's unlimited service, time on the web does not count against my 3000 minute plan.

total time to connect to the web when i first connect the phone is maybe 1 minute to 1.5 minutes open the program, select "connect", wait while it dials, and i'm good to go

but one other plus - the cell phone recharges off the laptop connection as it's drawing 5v from the USB port

now, even at home, i browse the web from the couch while watching the boob tube so the phone charges - even if i don't go on the web, it will recharge the phone as long as the computer is turned on, so it saves me from carrying a phone charger when i hit the road for conventions or meets with customers

speed is somewhere between DSL service and dialup service - i'm on it as i type this, and best way to give a reference, when i clikked on the link to open this thread it took 2 seconds, maybe 2.5 at tops

all the carriers offer it, but would prefer you buy an aircard with a dedicated cellphone line

call your carrier and ask their sales rep - and push them a bit as they will want to sell you the air card