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Internet access while traveling and the best device

by Ellen
(Wyebridge ON)

Hi Marianne
Do you have any recommendations regarding how best to access the internet and type of device.
We have Iphones which are great in Canada but are not prepared to pay for roaming charges while in the US.

We are thinking of purchasing a tablet to use when ever WIFI is available and to download your ebooks into.

Does this seem reasonable/doable? any other advice welcome.
Ellen

Comments for Internet access while traveling and the best device

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Sep 22, 2015
Internet and phone for Canadians in USA
by: Marianne

We have tried our various options over our trips. None of them are particularly geared toward Canadians.

On this year's trip we purchased a Consumer Cellular sim card (sold at some Sears stores in the USA) for my unlocked android phone.

https://www.consumercellular.com/

They run on the AT&T network. Verizon actually gets better coverage in many western states. We chose this, however, after much research as the best affordable option for us.

The cost of the sim card is minor and refunded from your first month's Consumer Cellular service. No contract is required. We chose their $50 per month plan for unlimited talk and text plus 3 gig data. There are less expensive options that may work for you.

Then for $10.00 (one time purchase) we downloaded a product called Easy Tether.
http://www.mobile-stream.com/easytether/android.html

This let us use the data on the laptop (via the usb cable or bluetooth) so in a sense the phone became a hot spot. Most other cellular plans won't let you create a hotspot without paying extra per month but Consumer Cellular don't offer it themselves so there was no problem. Calls to Canada were additional cost but at a very reasonable rate.

The biggest hassle was getting it set up. Only USA billing address and a credit card at that address can be used. We got around that by using a friend's address and buying one of those preloaded credit cards they sell at Walmart, then registered that card to the US address so we could use it to activate the Consumer Cellular sim card. Once activated, we were able to chance the billing to charge it to our Canadian address credit card without a problem.

On two previous trips we had purchased Verizon's usb stick (around $150.00) for the laptop and then bought prepaid cards for it. The monthly data cost was the same but didn't give us a US based phone - just Internet and only 1 gig of data. Once again, we had to register it at a US address but the Best Buy Store where we bought it offered we could use their store address.

Walmart stores in USA sell a cheap prepaid cell phone that many Canadians use while down there. But that didn't solve our need for data.

Not sure if these solutions would work with an iPhone or not.

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