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  1. Thread Author  Thread Author    #1  

    Default questions and how-to on WI-FI for truck stops and restaurants

    Hi there,

    Hubby is talking about getting a tablet for his big truck. Wants to be able to connect with his sisters via Facebook, perhaps texting and email while out on the road. Some of the truck stops he frequents offer WI-FI (for a price of course) but I don't know if they're just open connections, if you need a password or the level of security they offer. The only WI-FI I've ever set up is my home WI-FI. I'm concerned about using open WI-FI for obvious security reasons. I'm thinking of giving him my Nexus 7 for this.

    I think how it works is you go into the truck stop and pay for say an hour of WI-FI and they may then give you a password but I don't know for sure. One truck stop he frequents offers Internet though:

    Wandering WiFi | HotSpot Overview

    We have VZW Share Everything with 4G shareable data. I've set my VZW app on my Galaxy S3 phone to monitor usage and notify me when I hit usage of 3G so I should get notified of getting close to the limit w/o going over. I'm the only one currently who uses any data and I have never even broken a 1G limit, I'm always well under. So we do have some data available for him w/o added cost there. I think there's a setting that I can initiate to shut down WI-FI automatically at a certain level in case he should get to a set level while I'm sleeping or something that I'd not get the notification.

    Since we already have a shared data plan is it possible to just use our data plan rather than pay the truck stop service? If so, what would he need to do this?

    He has just a basic flip phone and we do not plan to upgrade him to a smartphone so if a smartphone is required to connect the Nexus to, this whole thing is totally out of the question.

    Thanks!
  2. #2  
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    Default Re: questions and how-to on WI-FI for truck stops and restaurants

    Quote Originally Posted by ShaggyKids View Post
    Hi there,

    Hubby is talking about getting a tablet for his big truck. Wants to be able to connect with his sisters via Facebook, perhaps texting and email while out on the road. Some of the truck stops he frequents offer WI-FI (for a price of course) but I don't know if they're just open connections, if you need a password or the level of security they offer. The only WI-FI I've ever set up is my home WI-FI. I'm concerned about using open WI-FI for obvious security reasons. I'm thinking of giving him my Nexus 7 for this.

    I think how it works is you go into the truck stop and pay for say an hour of WI-FI and they may then give you a password but I don't know for sure. One truck stop he frequents offers Internet though:

    Wandering WiFi | HotSpot Overview

    We have VZW Share Everything with 4G shareable data. I've set my VZW app on my Galaxy S3 phone to monitor usage and notify me when I hit usage of 3G so I should get notified of getting close to the limit w/o going over. I'm the only one currently who uses any data and I have never even broken a 1G limit, I'm always well under. So we do have some data available for him w/o added cost there. I think there's a setting that I can initiate to shut down WI-FI automatically at a certain level in case he should get to a set level while I'm sleeping or something that I'd not get the notification.

    Since we already have a shared data plan is it possible to just use our data plan rather than pay the truck stop service? If so, what would he need to do this?

    He has just a basic flip phone and we do not plan to upgrade him to a smartphone so if a smartphone is required to connect the Nexus to, this whole thing is totally out of the question.

    Thanks!
    I'm not sure of a way to tether with a flip phone; the options for tethering are basically a smartphone, tablet or computer with 3G/4G connection or a portable hotspot device. Verizon calls those MiFi I believe. It basically uses 3G/4G and gives you a wifi connection. With that option it would be difficult to monitor/control data usage.

    As for the truck stops, most of them you set up an account and sign into it (that's how it works at Pilots, Flying J's and Road Rangers). They typically have tiered plans, by the hour, day, month, etc. I believe in that case you're signing up for all their locations, but I never actually did it because I just used 4G. I'm not sure how TA's, etc. work. Some rest areas have wifi as well.

    Please let us know what you find out!
    ShaggyKids likes this.
  3. Thread Author  Thread Author    #3  

    Default Re: questions and how-to on WI-FI for truck stops and restaurants

    His favorite truck stops are Pilot's and TA's he pretty much stays away from rest stops. Do you know if Pilot and TA connections are secured in any way?

    Why would it be difficult to monitor data use on a MIFI?
  4. #4  
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    Default Re: questions and how-to on WI-FI for truck stops and restaurants

    Quote Originally Posted by ShaggyKids View Post
    His favorite truck stops are Pilot's and TA's he pretty much stays away from rest stops. Do you know if Pilot and TA connections are secured in any way?
    I'm not sure if they're secured or not, sorry. Best bet would be to call one and ask them how it works. Pilot is handled by Wandering WiFi and TA's info is here: TravelCenters of America LLC | The one stop for all your travel needs. | Truck Drivers - Interstate Speedzone WiFi .
    ShaggyKids likes this.
  5. #5  

    Default Re: questions and how-to on WI-FI for truck stops and restaurants

    Quote Originally Posted by ShaggyKids View Post
    His favorite truck stops are Pilot's and TA's he pretty much stays away from rest stops. Do you know if Pilot and TA connections are secured in any way?

    Why would it be difficult to monitor data use on a MIFI?
    Wifi is never secure unless data is encrypted when transmitted and then only if the encryption is changed from one time to the next. The home wife is not secure as you call it unless you encrypt the data both directions. You only secure the connection so others can't use it. Your data transmitted is at your own risk when over the airwaves. Your best bet for security would be a tablet equipped with 3G/4G which will cost you more but you will have a somewhat secure connection but don't forget what the US Government is doing with the monitoring of phone calls and these tablet and hot spots wireless phone companies sell are just given a 10 digit phone number so when it is used and what it does will be given to your government for sure.
    ShaggyKids and rseifer like this.
  6. #6  

    Default Re: questions and how-to on WI-FI for truck stops and restaurants

    Since you do not want a smartphone for your husband your options are to (1) get a mifi device (I think it is $20 per month) or (2) a tablet that does Verizon connectivity and add the tablet ($10 per month). Either one would work and share data from your plan.

    I am not sure why you would not want him to have a smartphone. You are already paying $30 per month for his line. For $10 more a month he could have a smartphone from that could share the data and act as a mobile Hotspot. It will be cheaper than him having a dumb phone and adding a mifi device ($40 for smartphone / $50 for dumb phone and mifi combo). Just a thought.

    Sent from my Xoom using Tapatalk 2
    ShaggyKids likes this.
  7. Thread Author  Thread Author    #7  

    Default Re: questions and how-to on WI-FI for truck stops and restaurants

    Quote Originally Posted by DolphinDroid View Post
    Since you do not want a smartphone for your husband your options are to (1) get a mifi device (I think it is $20 per month) or (2) a tablet that does Verizon connectivity and add the tablet ($10 per month). Either one would work and share data from your plan.
    He doesn't want or need a smartphone. Something that small to use like a tablet or a phone would drive him insane, he wont even touch my S3. He's quite tech-UNsavvy with a frustration level in the negative column. The tablet has some size to it, easier for him to handle. Now I understand the "add a device" thing for adding a tablet to our VZW account, that's for explaining that. I didn't have to do that with my Nexus 7 because have my phone and my home WI-FI. Couldn't understand why anyone would pay to add a tablet to their account when they didn't need to. Now I know why.
  8. #8  

    Default Re: questions and how-to on WI-FI for truck stops and restaurants

    Adding a tablet would be the best option, imo. Only $10 more per month and less hassle than dealing with wifi, especially because he doesn't have a smartphone

    Sent from my BN NookHD+ using Tapatalk 4 Beta
    ShaggyKids likes this.
  9. #9  

    Default Re: questions and how-to on WI-FI for truck stops and restaurants

    Quote Originally Posted by dpham00 View Post
    Adding a tablet would be the best option, imo. Only $10 more per month and less hassle than dealing with wifi, especially because he doesn't have a smartphone

    Sent from my BN NookHD+ using Tapatalk 4 Beta
    Not to mention that trying to use wifi at the truck stop would be much more expensive, the speed is dismal and the connection drops regularly. At least that was my experience 4 years ago before my first smart phone.
    ShaggyKids likes this.
  10. Thread Author  Thread Author    #10  

    Default Re: questions and how-to on WI-FI for truck stops and restaurants

    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck73080 View Post
    Not to mention that trying to use wifi at the truck stop would be much more expensive, the speed is dismal and the connection drops regularly. At least that was my experience 4 years ago before my first smart phone.
    Well, your information is quite right on. I just checked at a trucker's forum and they're all saying truckstop wi-fi is lousy

    I don't think I can add my Nexus 7 to VZW as it's straight WI-FI. We already pay $160mo for our VZW bill which is why I'm not liking another $10 a month. I also have no clue how far our 4G plan would "go" if he's also using it. I don't use much data at all, don't even break 1/2 a gig in any month since I got it which is a substantial time frame but adding a tablet for him might blow that up quickly WI-FI at the truckstops seemed dirt cheap + he could use his points to pay for it rather than pay as he goes etc but since it doesn't work well there's no point in going that route.
  11. #11  
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    Default Re: questions and how-to on WI-FI for truck stops and restaurants

    Quote Originally Posted by ShaggyKids View Post
    Well, your information is quite right on. I just checked at a trucker's forum and they're all saying truckstop wi-fi is lousy

    I don't think I can add my Nexus 7 to VZW as it's straight WI-FI. We already pay $160mo for our VZW bill which is why I'm not liking another $10 a month. I also have no clue how far our 4G plan would "go" if he's also using it. I don't use much data at all, don't even break 1/2 a gig in any month since I got it which is a substantial time frame but adding a tablet for him might blow that up quickly WI-FI at the truckstops seemed dirt cheap + he could use his points to pay for it rather than pay as he goes etc but since it doesn't work well there's no point in going that route.
    Limited data can go really fast, depending on what you're doing. I went through easily 2-4 GB a week just between streaming music and watching youtube and hbo go videos, and those last two were pretty minimal.
  12. #12  

    Default Re: questions and how-to on WI-FI for truck stops and restaurants

    Quote Originally Posted by NothingIsTrue View Post
    Limited data can go really fast, depending on what you're doing. I went through easily 2-4 GB a week just between streaming music and watching youtube and hbo go videos, and those last two were pretty minimal.
    Amazon instant video hd uses about a gig an hour.

    Sent from my Verizon Samsung Galaxy Note II
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  13. #13  

    Default Re: questions and how-to on WI-FI for truck stops and restaurants

    Quote Originally Posted by NothingIsTrue View Post
    Limited data can go really fast, depending on what you're doing. I went through easily 2-4 GB a week just between streaming music and watching youtube and hbo go videos, and those last two were pretty minimal.
    That should not be an issue in this case. The OP said her husband just needs it for texting, email, and Facebook. I agree that streaming is what kills data, especially video. I do a lot of Internet, email, social media, and some streaming music and stay well under my 2 GB cap. I rarely stream video away from wifi, even when I had unlimited data.

    Sent from my second brain.. Okay it is the only one working.
  14. #14  

    Default Re: questions and how-to on WI-FI for truck stops and restaurants

    I agree. Anything other than streaming or downloading, and 3.5gb is a lot unless you are a very very heavy user, which it does not seem like her husband is.

    Sent from my BN NookHD+ using Tapatalk 4 Beta
    DolphinDroid likes this.
  15. #15  

    Default Re: questions and how-to on WI-FI for truck stops and restaurants

    Quote Originally Posted by ShaggyKids View Post
    Well, your information is quite right on. I just checked at a trucker's forum and they're all saying truckstop wi-fi is lousy

    I don't think I can add my Nexus 7 to VZW as it's straight WI-FI. We already pay $160mo for our VZW bill which is why I'm not liking another $10 a month. I also have no clue how far our 4G plan would "go" if he's also using it. I don't use much data at all, don't even break 1/2 a gig in any month since I got it which is a substantial time frame but adding a tablet for him might blow that up quickly WI-FI at the truckstops seemed dirt cheap + he could use his points to pay for it rather than pay as he goes etc but since it doesn't work well there's no point in going that route.
    You are certainly paying for the convenience, but I think for a truck driver, it may be worth it. Of course, you know your needs better, but to me, $10 to check your email anywhere is worth it.

    If you decide not to get it, I would suggest that you downgrade to the 1gb tier and save $20 more a month. At the end of the day, it is about convenience and what sacrifices you are willing to make. You can have 5 lines on Verizon and pay $20 a piece if you are willing to sacrifice data and limit peak usage, if money is tight.

    Sent from my BN NookHD+ using Tapatalk 4 Beta
  16. #16  

    Default Re: questions and how-to on WI-FI for truck stops and restaurants

    Mifi is 20.00 a month. I have it. I don't have home internet. I use it for my laptop and my wifi tablet. For 40.00 a month he can have a smartphone and ditch the flip phone. He can do everything from a smartphone. Internet would be shared on your data. He can use wifi on it too. I am careful when using public wifi. I don't do anything that requires credit card etc. Public wifi is used at your own risk.
    I suggest getting a smartphone. Its 10.00 more a month. Am sure the flip costs 30.00 a month. Do the math!
    Can get the phone on subsidized pricing

    sent from my amazing Note2
  17. #17  

    Default Re: questions and how-to on WI-FI for truck stops and restaurants

    I'm using a Truckers Tablet TT2 which also doubles as a truckers GPS. I've been using it for the past month and it's way better than the Garmin 760 dezl and since its a 3G double sim card unlocked tablet I can go on FB, Netflix and whatever else I wanna do online.
    PLUS it also comes with a package of trucker apps us drivers use for work such as DAT, Big Road E-Log book software, 4RoadService.com Breakdown Directory, Office Suite for Android, Traffic Cam and IP Cam Viewer, DAT Load Boards.
    I can Skype my wife & kid or use its bluetooth with my Road Warrior headset
  18. #18  

    Default Re: questions and how-to on WI-FI for truck stops and restaurants

    opps almost forgot, my wifi connection with Pilot and TA using it has been pretty good with the exceptions of movies
  19. #19  

    Default Re: questions and how-to on WI-FI for truck stops and restaurants

    Nothing like resurrecting a year old thread:-)

    sent from my Nos M7 DNA
  20. #20  

    Default Re: questions and how-to on WI-FI for truck stops and restaurants

    Quote Originally Posted by jec11718 View Post
    Nothing like resurrecting a year old thread:-)
    Twice!

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