Approaching Your Mobile Internet Solution - From Simple to Complex
There is no one-size-fits-most solution to mobile internet for RVers, boaters, and nomads.
We feel the best strategy is to understand YOUR needs and have a fundamental understanding of the challenges of mobile internet and the options available.
This allows you to build the most ideal mobile internet setup for you - and to be better prepared to evaluate any new options that may come along.
At the Mobile Internet Resource Center, we do our best to explain the pros and cons of different mobile internet components and how those pieces come together.
You'll be better prepared for the challenges of mobile connectivity if you're willing to approach the topic with a mindset to learn.
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Why We Do Not Offer Default Packages
We often get asked why we don't just recommend a few default packages of solutions - such as a 'full-timers', 'part-timers', 'working on the road', 'entertainment' or 'boondockers' setup - or even why we don't package devices and plans and then sell them to you ourselves.
And heck, when Chris & Cherie (our founders) launched this resource center back in 2014, they really thought it could be simplified that much.
But after conducting over 150 private advising sessions and helping thousands in our forums & groups, we've realized it's rare for two solutions to be the same. In fact, each member of the MIRC team has their own unique set-up!
There are just too many variables!
- There are a lot of options and approaches when it comes to mobile internet. A LOT.
- Plans change frequently. A recommended plan from last month may not be available today.
- Equipment choices are also constantly changing as technology advances.
- Specific travel styles vary a lot - from traveling in remote areas, urban camping, international travels, amount of time on the road, frequent moves to seasonal stays.
- Specific needs vary a lot - from working online with a schedule, flexible work schedules, streaming entertainment, gaming, or just needing some basic web surfing & e-mail.
- Comfort and knowledge of technology vary greatly.
- An individual's existing plans and current equipment vary greatly.
- An individual's budget is a huge factor.
When you combine all of these variables...well, there are just a heck of a lot of variables to contend with. Each variable affects what makes a solution ideal or not.
Assess Your Needs
Regardless of whether you think you will need to begin with a basic set-up, or go more complex, you will first need to investigate your own specific needs. We've got a guide, The Guide to Assessing Your Personal Mobile Internet Needs Guide, to help you do that:
There are multiple different ways to go about building your setup, and as you gain comfort with the technology and options, and home in on your individual needs, there is always the option to fine-tune or grow your arsenal.
Remember: Not everyone needs a complex set-up. Many nomadic dwellers can thrive with a simple arsenal.
Take a breath. Go slow. Don't rush into a purchase before you thoroughly understand how that component works as part of your setup.
Education is Key
While technology - and specifically mobile internet technology - can feel like an overwhelming topic to dive into, if it's part of your daily life (or is going to be), then it is essential to have a grasp of the components that provide you with the ability to connect and utilize the internet while on the move.
If you don't understand the reasons why you've chosen a piece of tech, or how that component functions - you are putting yourself at risk of a mobile internet meltdown, which can come when you need internet the most.
As nomads, we often find ourselves in remote or novel places. Finding trustworthy assistance, especially when you are dealing with an internet outage, is not always an easy, or possible task.
It'll often be up to you to troubleshoot the issue and come up with a solution.
Know what you have, know how to use it, and know when it's time to use each piece of your mobile internet collection.
Education also allows you to make better choices for your own needs - saving you time, money, and frustration in the long run.
Understanding how different components work allows you to rule in or out a new or 'in vogue' product or plan, before purchasing it.
Education allows you to shift the components of your set-up as your needs warrant or as new tech comes onto the scene without major compatibility issues or heaps of frustration.
That's our focus here at the Mobile Internet Resource Center. We share guides, the Gear Center, a classroom, a book, and some interactive guidance too. We offer resources ranging from free basic content to more advanced content in our member-supported areas.
Avoid Copying Other Setups
We live in a social media world where sharing is commonplace. Many RVing and boating bloggers and YouTubers are asked what they use for their mobile internet setup, so they create content around this topic.
And many are happy to share in online forums and groups.
Sharing is awesome and sparks many ideas. We encourage it.
But we also advise caution when evaluating setups built by others.
Watching a video or reading a blog about another nomad's mobile internet arsenal is a good way to get a feel for how the components might come together.
And asking in groups and forums is a great way to get feedback from others, but it can also overwhelm and cause confusion.
Set-ups built by others should not be the rubric for what to purchase for yourself. Here's why:
- Mobile internet options change frequently. Within even a month or two, it's highly likely that an existing mobile internet setup contains components that are outdated or no longer even available.
- Others have different needs than you have - making someone's set-up perfect for them, but not necessarily for you.
- Mobile internet is rarely a core topic for others. They may not be aware of other solutions or compromises they made in their setup (such as selecting already obsolete gear, plans that are now retired, or options that may not be completely legit).
- Some content creators are incentivized to sell you on their solution through sponsorships or affiliate relationships. They may have also selected gear based on what was made available for free to them.
As nomads, we have different lifestyles, travel styles, work needs, entertainment needs, nomadic vessels, comfort levels with technology, and monetary resources.
The combination of these things makes the likelihood that copy-n-pasting someone else's setup as your own solution will have less than optimal results.
With that in mind, we do keep a listing of blog posts & videos compiled by others sharing their setups that we encourage you to browse which is accessible from the link that follows:
Member Exclusive Content In This Guide
Has this guide been helpful so far?
Well.. there's a lot more below available to our members. As well as dozens of other guides like this, videos, classrooms, forums, webinars and more. All specifically created for helping keep RVers, cruisers and nomads online.
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Check out the Topics Covered in the Member Section:
Throwing Money at the Problem
Spending more money doesn't necessarily mean better internet access.
Start Simple, or Start Complex?
There are two approaches to assembling your setup - starting simple and building it as you go, or diving right in to try to build your ideal setup before you launch. There are pros and cons to each.
A lot of factors can sway your ultimate solution, and the options are changing all the time. This section addresses the mindset of staying open and flexible so you can start smart and keep flexible into the future.
From simple to complex, this section includes dozens of illustrated sample setups to give you some ideas on the ways you can assemble a mobile internet arsenal.
Explore the Resource Center
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Internet for RVers & Cruisers Facebook Group
We cross post news articles and guides, and can help point you in the right direction to our content here on the resource center.
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Become a Member
The MIA is our premium membership - designed for those who consider mobile internet an important part of their lifestyle.
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