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We are Canadian snowbirds that normally spend 6 months in the south, split between Mexico and southern US. This year will be a different scenario. We are going on a 9-10 month trip so looking for something that will work for our needs with the most economical investment. 4 months of the trip is in Canada, the rest in the US.
Currently I have a HughesNet dish that I am plan on decommissioning as it will not work for this trip – not enough time in each spot to make it worth the trouble of setting it up. I primarily had it for use in Mexico as where we winter there is no cell or internet service.
I do not like to be committed to a contract so only have a basic phone in Canada since I don't have free replacement phones now that my contract is fulfilled it is month to month so tethering or such won't work. I use Net10 while in the US, so again no fancy phone.
I would like to have an internet stick (or something similar) to use while in Canada, and one I can use in the US. I have looked at an International plan and it is pricey. Because I am not in either country the full year I don't want a contract. I have looked at Verizon and can put it on hold, but for 3 months at a time and a cost of $15 each time I do that.
I am thinking some kind of pay-as-you-go would work best and am looking for suggestions on companies to research or possibly there is something better out there. I don't think my use would be heavy as I expect many of the parks will have wifi available so just need it when on the road or wifi is not available.
August 5, 2010
I am also a Canadian Snowbird and I have an Internet stick in Canada and a Verizon cell phone in the US that I can tether as a mobile hot spot. To my knowledge, there is not a device that you can use in both countries. If I use my Verizon in Canada, it is $3 per Mb. If I use my Telus stick in the US, it is the same and as of June 1, it is apparently going up to $5. I have enquired of both, and they do not have friendly data plans for travel in other countries.
I'm afraid I cannot find any good solution for US/CAN/MEX cellular data. Anything reasonably priced (?!) involves a contract. Pay as You Go for data is just too expensive. Cellular carriers are unwilling to cross borders without charging high roaming charges. We have the same issue going into Canada or Mexico.
You can buy a USB cellular modem and purchase data plans without a contract. Still pretty expensive.
I workcamp part of the year in an RV park. We have many Canadian guests who spend a good part of the winter here and I find many are paying twice for Internet access. Sometimes, they will put a device on “vacation” but that extends their contract.
Some use the WiFi provided free from the park. It is not intended for streaming media. Others will have AT&T come out and hook up a DSL line at the site. That is what we have done the past 3 years here.
But this is not feasible if you are on the move.
I hope and expect change to occur, but not very soon.
Anybody out there with a solution?
Helping Travelers to Plan, Preserve, and Share their Travels
As OP of this topic I thought I would let you know where my research has taken me in case this works for anyone else. I checked with most of the major cell/internet providers and most do not offer a Canada/US plan. However Rogers does and this is probably what I will go with.
Just a little info in case this would work for others. Contact them if you need more info and to confirm.
I did say I didn't want a contract but in this case I think it is the best scenario. If you cancel your contract before the end the equipment you got for free or little money it is prorated so you only pay the remainder of the value plus approx $12.50. (ie – if the equipment is worth $200 on a 2 yr contract at the end of one year the most you would pay is $100 +$12.50 penalty).
Just having Canada is $10 cheaper and you can bounce back between International and Canada with no penalty.
500 mb $35/45
1 gb $50/60
2 gb $85/95 and so on
You start out at the lowest level every month and get billed accordingly. Not sure if the 500 mb will be enough but I think with supplementing with available park wifi I am hoping it will be. Roaming is on AT&T in the US.
Hope this helps.