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Road Trip! How to keep the whole family connected to the Internet

It’s summer road trip time! What a great way to connect with the family and share fantastic memories. However, on especially long road trips, it can be nice to give the kids something to do, and the adults a way to get a little work done if needed. It can also come in handy to hop on the internet, which usually has better directions than Aunt Millie. It’s also nice to be able to do some research on where to go and what to do on the road, rather than wasting an hour once you get to your destination. So how can you connect to the internet while traveling down the interstate at 75mph?

Equipment Needs

If it is just one or two travelers, then all you will need is a standard USB card from Verizon (Free USB760) or Sprint (Free U301) that you can plug into any laptop. Verizon generally has the most rural 3G coverage, but Sprint is a good choice too. Just check the coverage maps first to make sure which one covers you the best.

Sprint 3G/4G  u301

If you have a whole gaggle of kids, or all the inlaws packed into the family minivan or RV your needs will be different. For this I suggest a Sprint Overdrive or a Verizon MiFi 2200 which both create a “mobile hotspot”. This allows up to 5 WiFi connections at once, so Johnny can use his iPod Touch, Jill can play with her PSP, the wife can make sure you are not lost with GPS with the iPad, and Aunt Millie can finally learn what Google is on the netbook. And yes Aunt Millie, it works just as well going 75mph as it does in the parking lot, assuming you have a good signal.

Verizon MiFi 2200

Verizon MiFi 2200

One side note… if Sprint’s coverage works for you, go with the Overdrive, since that also is a 4G device, meaning it will be 10x faster in certain areas and also be unlimited in those same areas. The 4G coverage is rather limited right now, but is growing quickly, so it is smart to get a device that is future capable. Also when deciding which way to go, think about your future needs outside of this particular road trip as well. Which way will work the best for business trips? Do you need an Internet connection for the home or office? Either way, get out there and explore our great country! Where are you going and how are you connecting to the Internet? Leave your responses below.

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