[kwlug-disc] ISP recommendations for sailing
Andrew Kohlsmith (Mailing List Account)
aklists at mixdown.ca
Sun Jun 14 22:11:33 EDT 2009
On May 29, 2009 08:58:31 am Insurance Squared Inc. wrote:
> The US has had for a number of years decent cell modems you can buy
> that plug right into your laptop as a PCMCIA card. If you can get cell
> coverage, you can pretty much get internet access in the US. I think
> we're starting to see this kind of stuff in Canada now as well. In any
> event, I believe most of the larger US cell providers would have some
> type of coverage available throughout the US just by buying a cell modem
> and a subscription.
Rogers currently has their red "Internet stick" for sale; you could put a U.S.
carrier SIM in it if you unlocked it (see below). I haven't had a good look at
one yet, but I am pretty sure there is no antenna jack on it.
Before their red stick was released, I picked up the Novatel Wireless X950D;
it's an expresscard HSDPA (7.2Mbit/sec) cell modem (it is actually USB), but
they CAN be unlocked, and also have a regular everyday antenna port. I have
personally hooked up a nice 9dBi antenna on mine, and have also purchased, but
not yet used, a 3W quad-band cellular amplifier. With a nice directional Yagi
and that amp I bet you could hit a coastline cell tower from quite a ways out
to sea. :-)
I love that Novatel modem, you just plug it in, run pppd (or use umtsmon, an
open-source cell "dialer" program) and you're off to the races.
In the odd case that anyone else has this particular card (and maybe also the
red Internet stick, I have not tried it personally) -- Adam at GSM PhoneSource
(gsmphonesource.com) is the guy who took a chance and gave me a "possible"
unlock code for the X950D. Nobody I found through the web could guarantee they
could unlock this device, and while he couldn't either, he gave me a code to
try. It worked and I happily paid him the $25 that he asked for if successful.
I am not affiliated with him in any way shape or form, and I doubt he even
remembers speaking with me, but I'd recommend using his unlocking service for
all of your unlocking needs; he's a straight shooter and I am happy to
recommend people like him. There are too many creeps and thieves online, and
I'm always nervous to shell out money for something intangible.
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