PDA

View Full Version : Virgin Mobile Broadband To Go ...... anyone ever use it at a Disney Resort?


jgraney106
04-27-2011, 02:29 PM
I just bought a Virgin Mobile Broadband To Go, hoping it will be usable at Pop Century when we go in August.:surfweb: I have not opened the package yet, and was wondering if anyone out there has used one at the Disney Resorts.
How was the connection? Was it easy to use? Do I purchase Top Up cards like I would for a pre-paid cell phone? Can it be used on a plane?:confused3
Sorry for all the lame questions, but as I said it is unopened and if I can't use it at Disney I am not going to keep it.thanks for your help!:worship:

tobikaye
04-27-2011, 04:13 PM
I bought this last year for when I was staying in the cabins @ FW. I had used it sporadically for a few months before with varying connection speeds. While I was at FW, the connection speed was good for quick emails, but if I went to a site that had a lot of data/pictures, then it was quite slow. I bought my time directly from the web site, but I think you can actually by top up cards from the stores.

I did not find it extremely easy to use, but it was not that hard either, just problematic at times. This could have been me making an user error though. I'm not certain about using it on the plane, but coverage on I-75 from Ohio to Florida had quite a few zones where the connection was no the best.

pb-n-j
04-27-2011, 04:42 PM
We bought one of these last year and found it to be spotty if you get a weak signal. These run off a Sprint cell signal so if you live in or near a 3G area it works pretty good but if you are on the edge of a Sprint zone, it can be kind of a pain.

With all that said DW and DS just went to Disneyworld the first week of April and took it with them. DS has an IPod and wanted to use it for "Lines" while they were there. What really surprised us was his ability to Facetime from his IPod back to me here in Michigan while he was walking through the parks. The picture was fine, about like Skype on my IPad. He enjoyed it more just to kinda "rub it in" "Hey dad look where I am" kinda thing. (I had classes and couldn't go):sad2:

They stayed at VWL and they said they only had trouble a couple times while indoors, but never when outdoors. We have not used it on an airplane so can't help there.

luvthemouse71
04-27-2011, 04:49 PM
I used the Virgin Mobile MiFi last year- used it with my ipad. Worked fine at the Poly.

jgraney106
04-27-2011, 06:12 PM
(I am the OP) So would you say it was worth keeping to use on the trip? I hoped it would be ,considering the cost of the Disney connection and the fact that we are going to a relative the week before, and they do not have an internet connection in their home.

I forgot to ask........can the connection be secured?

pb-n-j
04-27-2011, 09:17 PM
(I am the OP) So would you say it was worth keeping to use on the trip? I hoped it would be ,considering the cost of the Disney connection and the fact that we are going to a relative the week before, and they do not have an internet connection in their home.

I forgot to ask........can the connection be secured?


Is this the Virgin Mobile 2200 MIFI or the Wireless to go USB Thumbdrive that you have? In my last post I meant to say we had the MIFI.

If this is what you have then yes it has WEP, WPA, and WPA2 security capabilities. As far as you keeping it, obviously that's going to be up to you and how much you think you'll use it. We don't use ours allot but because it is a pay as you go unit, it does come in handy when we do want to use it.

jgraney106
04-27-2011, 09:58 PM
The box says " Ovation MC760" and that it is 3G sprint network. Guess it must be the USB thumbdrive. I should have mentioned that. IT's all kind of new to me, so I must say I'm not super knowledgeable about the whole thing.:confused3 I do appreciate any and all input I will get from this posting!

Sue M
04-27-2011, 11:32 PM
We bought one of these last year and found it to be spotty if you get a weak signal. These run off a Sprint cell signal so if you live in or near a 3G area it works pretty good but if you are on the edge of a Sprint zone, it can be kind of a pain.

With all that said DW and DS just went to Disneyworld the first week of April and took it with them. DS has an IPod and wanted to use it for "Lines" while they were there. What really surprised us was his ability to Facetime from his IPod back to me here in Michigan while he was walking through the parks. The picture was fine, about like Skype on my IPad. He enjoyed it more just to kinda "rub it in" "Hey dad look where I am" kinda thing. (I had classes and couldn't go):sad2:

They stayed at VWL and they said they only had trouble a couple times while indoors, but never when outdoors. We have not used it on an airplane so can't help there.

Sorry if these are stupid questions- I've never used one, but I'm from Canada, and our cell phone Data roaming plans are VERY expensive for the iPhone :sad2:
You mention your DS hooked it up to his iPod, how? Is there an adapter? As there isn't a USB slot on my iPhone. I wonder if I had this attached to my iPhone (somehow)if I'd still have to pay data roaming? It would be nice to be able to use my Lines App there! And Skype home.
How much are they?

jgraney106
04-28-2011, 08:09 AM
Here is a link to the virgin mobile site. I have the thumbdrive, but I got mine on Ebay and only paid around $55 for it.

http://www.virginmobileusa.com/mobile-broadband/

pb-n-j
04-28-2011, 08:37 AM
Sorry if these are stupid questions- I've never used one, but I'm from Canada, and our cell phone Data roaming plans are VERY expensive for the iPhone :sad2:
You mention your DS hooked it up to his iPod, how? Is there an adapter? As there isn't a USB slot on my iPhone. I wonder if I had this attached to my iPhone (somehow)if I'd still have to pay data roaming? It would be nice to be able to use my Lines App there! And Skype home.
How much are they?

No such thing as a stupid question if you don't know the answer.

We have the MIFI 2200. It is basically a portable wireless hotspot. If you have a wireless router at home you have either your phone lline, cable TV line or satellite hooked to it in some manner to then produce a wireless signal from your router out to your wireless devices in your home. The MIFI is a like this only no incoming wires. It gets its incoming signal from a Sprint cell signal, then produces a wireless signal from the MIFI. Now this particular model only has a range of about 50 or 60 feet, that's why its called a personal portable wireless device. However it works just like the router in your house and any wireless device will work off of it as long as your are within the 50-60 ft range of it. It is also secure so the only way someone can use your MIFI signal is if you give them your passord.

My DS had it in his pocket walking around the parks and had the wireless signal with no issues.

Check out the link provided in the earlier post for specifics but this is just a quick overview of how it works compared to one you may have at home.

We got ours at Walmart last year, at that time it was around $120. Then because its a pay as you go, (like a pre pay cell phone), you aren't tied into monthly charges when you don't need it.

The thumbdive version is for your laptop where you can have wireless internet on the go for your laptop. It works the same way as the MIFI but is for your laptop computer. The MIFI will do this also plus any other wireless device. Ie: IPod, IPad, laptop, printer, etc.....

Hope this helps, sorry for rambling on and on.

jgraney106
04-28-2011, 09:19 AM
Thank you for all the good info PB-N-J. You weren't rambling! All us novice folks really appreciate any info we can get about this subject. It's too expensive to pay the cost of internet that Disney charges, and with one of these devices it would pay for itself after one trip possibly! Thanks again!:worship:

BazzaS
05-08-2011, 11:10 PM
Hi, my first post here, so please be kind!.

I'm at Disney at the moment, and am able to comment on some of topics you have raised. I'm a bit of a "geek", and "can't be without Internet", so I've some experience with broadband over "mobile"/cellular, including Virgin's MC760 (Virgin USA, that is), as well as it's limitations and some of the ways to work around those.

Shortest answer: the MC760 on virgin works in at least one room (mine!) in Bay Lake Towers, and if that (MC760) is what you already have, and want to use on a Windows based desktop/laptop/netbook, it will do fine.

Medium length answer: As above, with: if you haven't yet bought your MC760, or can change it, and want to use VirginUSA's mobile broadband, you might want to change the MC760 for Virgin's mi-fi device, if you want to have use of any of a) more than one device at a time, b) a device that doesn't have a USB port (such as an iPad), or c) a Mac.
(Possible disadvantage for the Virgin mi-fi ; it is 'locked' to Virgin).

Long answer, if you have made it this far. I have an MC760 on Virgin (USA) I bought 2+ years ago on visiting the USA. One of it's disadvantages is it can only be used on one device at a time, and it wasn't very 'fast', and can't be used directly with an iPad so I didn't use it on 2 previous trips, electing to use a combination of a GSM cellular phone as a 'wi-fi' hotspot, and a portable travel router in the hotel room (converting the room's wired broadband into wi-fi). This trip the previous cell phone plan I'd used was no longer available, and I needed Internet pretty much from the moment we landed in the USA, even if it was on just my Windows laptop, so I looked again at the MC760 ; advantage : it could be reactivated even after over 2 years (and from outside the USA!).

This would save me having to buy a new device, but didn't overcome the limitations above. However, I didn't want to buy the Virgin mi-fi, which would overcome those limitations, as it is 'locked' to Virgin, and there is a way to get around the MC760's limitations.

On a previous trip I'd used a travel router, but it was only compatible with an old security standard (WEP only, for the geeks), so I'd found a new travel router with better (WPA2) security. This router also has a USB socket, allowing for cellular modems, leading to : could I use this with the MC760? - yes, or at least ; in theory yes, as from the hardware compatibility list, they are compatible. The newer router I am using is a Zoom 4506, by the way.

Wired Internet is $10 per 24 hours at Disney (on-property) hotels. However, it is free for DVC (Disney Vacation Club) guests, provided they are staying on their DVC points. The travel router converts this wired broadband into WPA2 secured wi-fi. I can then also use the Zoom travel router while "out and about", using the MC760 to provide the data connection only while away from the wired connection (the wired connection is way faster!).

As the Zoom isn't locked to any network, I can use it with the MC760 in the USA, and a Huwaei mobile broadband dongle (via a different cellular provider) in the U.K.

The Zoom is powered by an internal battery, which has spares cheaply available, so I have a 'backup" battery as a spare, too.

The MC760 has now had it's limitations circumvented, and I've avoided some of the limitations of Virgin's mi-fi, too, so it might be worth considering if you already have the Virgin MC760.

Initially, I couldn't get the Virgin MC760 to work with my Zoom 4506 (in fact it was searching for the 'fix' that lead me to this thread). The solution: if you need to manually configure the MC760, the "number dialled" by it is "#777". I hope you find this information useful.

jgraney106
05-08-2011, 11:37 PM
I am the OP. Thank you BazzaS! You are a wealth of information. You have been very informative! I am sure your post will help many other people in the future with this topic:). Thanks again.:thumbsup2

BazzaS
05-09-2011, 04:54 AM
You are welcome :). Thanks for your thanks....

Looking at the Virgin site, retail prices are $150 for the MiFi2200, and $80 for the MC760. Googling the Zoom 4506 finds it retails at $60, so the MC760/Zoom combo is $10 cheaper than the MiFi 2200.

The single MiFi 2200 would be more "neat and tidy" and more resilient for travel than the MC760/Zoom combo (when not in use I'd have the Zoom and MC760 separate, so the modem isn't sticking out from the Zoom box, to limit the chance of damage), but the combo has the added bonuses I've mentioned of the changeable battery (compatible with the NP-120 camera battery), for the Zoom box, and the ability to use other USB-stick modems for other cellular providers \ other countries, as well as the option of an in-car charger, giving extra flexibility to the combo.

The MiFi 2200 has the advantage of no configuration needed, but now that I have the "#777" info for the MC760, it wasn't hard to configure the combo (similarly, once you know the dialling number and APN for GSM USB stick modems, they aren't hard to configure). Again, I hope this info helps people decide what their best options are.

BazzaS
05-15-2011, 02:18 PM
Update:

Speeds of 100-200 Kb/s using the MC760 direct into laptop or via the Zoom 4506 wirelessly, in Bay Lake Towers. Similar speeds wirelessly in Hollywood Studios park.

200-300 Kb/s in Jambo House, Animal Kingdom Lodge. These locations seemed to give fairly consistent speeds, not much affected by moving around the location.

Better speeds (usually 300 Kb/s, but even up to 1.1 Mb/s at one point) within Sheraton Vistana Resort, but variable even within the same room .... one advantage of the Zoom 4506 or Virgin MiFi would mean one could leave the MiFi where in the room you got the best signal and use your device wirelessly.
Maybe fewer people were using the local cell tower here?? (also, this was checked on the weekend, where the others were during the week).

NOT VIA VIRGIN: The wired internet (made wireless) in Bay Lake Towers was fine. The wired internet (made wireless) in Animal Kingdom Lodge sometimes gave an error page requiring a code (easily available from Support - dialed by '56' from the in-room phone), and some devices struggled to connect - there seemed no rhyme or reason to explain when they could and couldn't connect.

Sheraton Vistana Resort ; in-room wireless (free), but appaling connectivity (wireless signal present with good strength, but consistently slow / timed out). Unhelpful resort staff ("Its not intended for business use" -> 'how do you know its business use if you can't get to or past the log-in page!'), and the helpdesk they refer you to no better ("move to a different room" or "go to the welcome centre, they have a good signal there"). No wired option available to use my own wi-fi box.
VIA VIRGIN: Speeds slower than the wired but consisiently connected with no drop-outs / errors.


I'm happy to answer any queries I can / to help ; either here (if the OP is happy I'm not hijacking their thread), or by PM. Again, I hope this info is useful.

BazzaS.

Cdn Friends of Pooh
05-15-2011, 03:18 PM
Sorry if these are stupid questions- I've never used one, but I'm from Canada, and our cell phone Data roaming plans are VERY expensive for the iPhone :sad2:
Isn't that the truth :sad2:

You mention your DS hooked it up to his iPod, how? Is there an adapter? As there isn't a USB slot on my iPhone. I wonder if I had this attached to my iPhone (somehow)if I'd still have to pay data roaming? It would be nice to be able to use my Lines App there! And Skype home.
How much are they?
In order to use the Mi-Fi and not incur roaming fees while in the US, you need to turn off the data option on your iPhone (I don't have an iPhone but I believe you'll find it under Settings -> General -> Network.) Then to use the Mi-fi you need to choose the Wi-Fi network associated with the Virgin Mi-Fi device and you're all set.

I'm actually looking at getting the Mi-Fi for our trips to the US ... :love:

Sue M
05-15-2011, 03:23 PM
No such thing as a stupid question if you don't know the answer.

We have the MIFI 2200. It is basically a portable wireless hotspot. If you have a wireless router at home you have either your phone lline, cable TV line or satellite hooked to it in some manner to then produce a wireless signal from your router out to your wireless devices in your home. The MIFI is a like this only no incoming wires. It gets its incoming signal from a Sprint cell signal, then produces a wireless signal from the MIFI. Now this particular model only has a range of about 50 or 60 feet, that's why its called a personal portable wireless device. However it works just like the router in your house and any wireless device will work off of it as long as your are within the 50-60 ft range of it. It is also secure so the only way someone can use your MIFI signal is if you give them your passord.

My DS had it in his pocket walking around the parks and had the wireless signal with no issues.

Check out the link provided in the earlier post for specifics but this is just a quick overview of how it works compared to one you may have at home.

We got ours at Walmart last year, at that time it was around $120. Then because its a pay as you go, (like a pre pay cell phone), you aren't tied into monthly charges when you don't need it.

The thumbdive version is for your laptop where you can have wireless internet on the go for your laptop. It works the same way as the MIFI but is for your laptop computer. The MIFI will do this also plus any other wireless device. Ie: IPod, IPad, laptop, printer, etc.....

Hope this helps, sorry for rambling on and on.

Thanks! Now I understand!!! How cool. Now I wonder if I'd have to pay data roaming with it using my (Canadian) iPhone so I can use Lines App, send e mail, etc!!! It would come in handy for my laptop too.

Sue M
05-15-2011, 03:27 PM
Isn't that the truth :sad2:


In order to use the Mi-Fi and not incur roaming fees while in the US, you need to turn off the data option on your iPhone (I don't have an iPhone but I believe you'll find it under Settings -> General -> Network.) Then to use the Mi-fi you need to choose the Wi-Fi network associated with the Virgin Mi-Fi device and you're all set.

I'm actually looking at getting the Mi-Fi for our trips to the US ... :love:


Oh!!! Didn't see this before last post. I ALWAYS have data roaming off. So then I can use e mail, and my apps without Roaming, wow! Text too? Or is texting different?

I guess I'd still need a voice plan though, ugh.

Sue M
05-15-2011, 03:41 PM
Thank you for all the good info PB-N-J. You weren't rambling! All us novice folks really appreciate any info we can get about this subject. It's too expensive to pay the cost of internet that Disney charges, and with one of these devices it would pay for itself after one trip possibly! Thanks again!:worship:

Update:

Speeds of 100-200 Kb/s using the MC760 direct into laptop or via the Zoom 4506 wirelessly, in Bay Lake Towers. Similar speeds wirelessly in Hollywood Studios park.

200-300 Kb/s in Jambo House, Animal Kingdom Lodge. These locations seemed to give fairly consistent speeds, not much affected by moving around the location.

Better speeds (usually 300 Kb/s, but even up to 1.1 Mb/s at one point) within Sheraton Vistana Resort, but variable even within the same room .... one advantage of the Zoom 4506 or Virgin MiFi would mean one could leave the MiFi where in the room you got the best signal and use your device wirelessly.
Maybe fewer people were using the local cell tower here?? (also, this was checked on the weekend, where the others were during the week).

NOT VIA VIRGIN: The wired internet (made wireless) in Bay Lake Towers was fine. The wired internet (made wireless) in Animal Kingdom Lodge sometimes gave an error page requiring a code (easily available from Support - dialed by '56' from the in-room phone), and some devices struggled to connect - there seemed no rhyme or reason to explain when they could and couldn't connect.

Sheraton Vistana Resort ; in-room wireless (free), but appaling connectivity (wireless signal present with good strength, but consistently slow / timed out). Unhelpful resort staff ("Its not intended for business use" -> 'how do you know its business use if you can't get to or past the log-in page!'), and the helpdesk they refer you to no better ("move to a different room" or "go to the welcome centre, they have a good signal there"). No wired option available to use my own wi-fi box.
VIA VIRGIN: Speeds slower than the wired but consisiently connected with no drop-outs / errors.


I'm happy to answer any queries I can / to help ; either here (if the OP is happy I'm not hijacking their thread), or by PM. Again, I hope this info is useful.

BazzaS.

Thanks for all the info. My head hurts :laughing: I think I'll look into the MiFi
then I can use it with both my iPhone & Macbook. I'll be in Florida for a month, next trip, so will be more then worth it. And we go at least once a year.
Another stupid question- is texting considered data? Or will I still need a US texting plan add on?

Cdn Friends of Pooh
05-15-2011, 08:40 PM
Oh!!! Didn't see this before last post. I ALWAYS have data roaming off. So then I can use e mail, and my apps without Roaming, wow! Text too? Or is texting different?

I guess I'd still need a voice plan though, ugh.
Yes with Mi-Fi you can use email and apps without roaming fees - but you will need to sign up for a rate plan with Virgin (and of course buy the Mi-Fi unit which you can get at Wal-Mart and Best Buy in the US). For the Mi-Fi, these are the 2 plans they offer:
http://vvcap.net/db/VjQwYpir5idRWNPX1LhI.png

And yes you would still need a voice plan - I just keep the one I currently have as we don't usually make any calls in the US from the cell.

Another stupid question- is texting considered data? Or will I still need a US texting plan add on?
Texting isn't part of the "data" package unless you are sending what they call "premium" messages (I think basically picture and video messages). I'm with Telus and I can text anywhere in N. America for free, but you should check with whoever your cell carrier is to make sure what you have (I don't believe Bell and Rogers offer N.America texting - just Canada).

Sue M
05-15-2011, 08:57 PM
Yes with Mi-Fi you can use email and apps without roaming fees - but you will need to sign up for a rate plan with Virgin (and of course buy the Mi-Fi unit (you can get them at Wal-Mart and Best Buy in the US). For the Mi-Fi, these are the 2 plans they offer:
http://vvcap.net/db/VjQwYpir5idRWNPX1LhI.png

And yes you would still need a voice plan - I just keep the one I currently have as we don't usually make any calls in the US from the cell.


Texting isn't part of the "data" package unless you are sending what they call "premium" messages (I think basically picture and video messages). I'm with Telus and I can text anywhere in N. America for free.



I'd prob need the month plan, as we'll be in Florida for a month, shy 2 days.
I'll be in my mom's condo in s. Fla first, and there isn't a phone in the condo, (or internet) as it's empty most of the time. I get down twice a year, so my cell phone is it, and laptop!

I'm with Telus too, and used to get free texting anywhere, but now with a smart phone, it's all changed. You have to get a U.S. texting plan, because iPhone roams with texting, don't understand it, or why it's different, just know it is. Ick. I like to send photos home, guess with the MiFi I could send them in e mails rather then in text message.
I was thinking of getting a pay as you go phone while there, for voice & texting, but having to lug around 2 phones, + MiFi- ugh.

Cdn Friends of Pooh
05-16-2011, 01:19 AM
I'm with Telus too, and used to get free texting anywhere, but now with a smart phone, it's all changed. You have to get a U.S. texting plan, because iPhone roams with texting, don't understand it, or why it's different, just know it is.
My hubby has an iPhone and I have an Android - so we both have the Clear Choice Voice and Data plans for smartphones with the option of "Unlimited outgoing and incoming text, picture and video messages" ... under the small print it says "Premium messages are not included. An additional 20 charge will apply for each text message or attachment sent outside of Canada and the US." I would definitely check with your local Telus store to see if you have this, or if you could switch to it. :confused3

Sue M
05-16-2011, 01:40 AM
My hubby has an iPhone and I have an Android - so we both have the Clear Choice Voice and Data plans for smartphones with the option of "Unlimited outgoing and incoming text, picture and video messages" ... under the small print it says "Premium messages are not included. An additional 20 charge will apply for each text message or attachment sent outside of Canada and the US." I would definitely check with your local Telus store to see if you have this, or if you could switch to it. :confused3

Clear choice? Huh! Haven't heard of it, but I will check with my Telus guy. Thanks.

Sue M
05-16-2011, 02:54 AM
O.K. I looked on Telus site and i do have the Clear Choice Voice & Data + text
But I'm fairly certain that I have to get a US roaming pkg for text. That's what they told me when I went to US in Jan. I got the US Voice Pass, and the Text Roaming. And you STILL have to pay 17 cents or something per text in US. I'm going to phone them again before I leave for NY at end of month.

Have you texted in the US with your iPhone? for free?

cinderella73
05-16-2011, 03:14 PM
I just popped on here and was thrilled to find everyone discussing what I was in a dilemma over myself. What is the best way to get a wireless internet signal?

I am not a tech smart person ( but learning slowly) . I want to stream live on ustream from the parks and resorts on a small netbook when I am down. Considering that its a live stream what is my best bet for getting a good enough internet signal?

I do have a smartphone BUT the quality is not there and with movement it gets a bit blurry . Low battery time is another issue. ( droid htc eris)

If anyone has watched Lou Mongellos live live wdw streams shows you may have noticed he uses a laptop to stream from. No idea what he uses for internet. Looks a bit bulky to me but I can get a great hd quality webcam and thought of putting this on a more compact netbook , while using either one of the virgin mobile devices . Hearing how slow it can be what is my best bet ? Any advice ?




Update:

Speeds of 100-200 Kb/s using the MC760 direct into laptop or via the Zoom 4506 wirelessly, in Bay Lake Towers. Similar speeds wirelessly in Hollywood Studios park.

200-300 Kb/s in Jambo House, Animal Kingdom Lodge. These locations seemed to give fairly consistent speeds, not much affected by moving around the location.

Better speeds (usually 300 Kb/s, but even up to 1.1 Mb/s at one point) within Sheraton Vistana Resort, but variable even within the same room .... one advantage of the Zoom 4506 or Virgin MiFi would mean one could leave the MiFi where in the room you got the best signal and use your device wirelessly.
Maybe fewer people were using the local cell tower here?? (also, this was checked on the weekend, where the others were during the week).

NOT VIA VIRGIN: The wired internet (made wireless) in Bay Lake Towers was fine. The wired internet (made wireless) in Animal Kingdom Lodge sometimes gave an error page requiring a code (easily available from Support - dialed by '56' from the in-room phone), and some devices struggled to connect - there seemed no rhyme or reason to explain when they could and couldn't connect.

Sheraton Vistana Resort ; in-room wireless (free), but appaling connectivity (wireless signal present with good strength, but consistently slow / timed out). Unhelpful resort staff ("Its not intended for business use" -> 'how do you know its business use if you can't get to or past the log-in page!'), and the helpdesk they refer you to no better ("move to a different room" or "go to the welcome centre, they have a good signal there"). No wired option available to use my own wi-fi box.
VIA VIRGIN: Speeds slower than the wired but consisiently connected with no drop-outs / errors.


I'm happy to answer any queries I can / to help ; either here (if the OP is happy I'm not hijacking their thread), or by PM. Again, I hope this info is useful.

BazzaS.

I am loving all your advice. I am not advanced enough to understand everything but it does give me a better idea of what I am dealing with . Any advice for my issues ( above) ?


---------

Sorry OP . Hope you dont me adding on. Seemed silly for me to start a seperate post.

Cdn Friends of Pooh
05-16-2011, 03:37 PM
O.K. I looked on Telus site and i do have the Clear Choice Voice & Data + text
But I'm fairly certain that I have to get a US roaming pkg for text. That's what they told me when I went to US in Jan. I got the US Voice Pass, and the Text Roaming. And you STILL have to pay 17 cents or something per text in US. I'm going to phone them again before I leave for NY at end of month.

Have you texted in the US with your iPhone? for free?
Yes, my hubby has ... I also sent you a PM with more info :)

BazzaS
05-16-2011, 07:15 PM
I just popped on here and was thrilled to find everyone discussing what I was in a dilemma over myself. What is the best way to get a wireless internet signal?

I am not a tech smart person ( but learning slowly) . I want to stream live on ustream from the parks and resorts on a small netbook when I am down. Considering that its a live stream what is my best bet for getting a good enough internet signal?

I do have a smartphone BUT the quality is not there and with movement it gets a bit blurry . Low battery time is another issue. ( droid htc eris)

If anyone has watched Lou Mongellos live live wdw streams shows you may have noticed he uses a laptop to stream from. No idea what he uses for internet. Looks a bit bulky to me but I can get a great hd quality webcam and thought of putting this on a more compact netbook , while using either one of the virgin mobile devices . Hearing how slow it can be what is my best bet ? Any advice ?






I am loving all your advice. I am not advanced enough to understand everything but it does give me a better idea of what I am dealing with . Any advice for my issues ( above) ?


---------

Sorry OP . Hope you dont me adding on. Seemed silly for me to start a seperate post.

The DOWNLOAD speeds I got (and have quoted) wouldn't support me viewing HD video. The key for you, if you want to SEND live HD video would be UPLOAD speed (which for 3G is usually less bandwidth / 'slower' than the download speed).

So, options would be to not stream it live but in "near real-time" (record it, then upload it as soon as possible), or look to a 4G solution checking that that would supply adequate upload bandwidth.

Sprint's coverage map shows no 4G signal for WDW itself.
Verizon's coverage checker says they have 4G available within zip 23820, but no detailed coverage map.
Tmobile's coverage map shows "4G very good" for WDW, and their "4G" includes HSPA (high speed packet access). If you can get them to commit to if they have adequate speed for what you want, then it will be HSUPA (High Speed _Upload_ packet access) that will be key for any live video streaming at good quality / definition, though you'll need a connection device / devices that will support this.

I regret that as an "Englishman abroad", and new to DISboards I have no idea who Lou Mongellos is, but could you find out what their set-up is?, as that set-up seems to work......

Cinders, I've also sent you a p.m., and can only hope that you will go to the ball! ;)

*p.m. Not sent, as the system won't let me, as I'm a newbie, and don't have 10 posts ...:(. *

singhsongs
05-16-2011, 10:51 PM
Hey guys I am a travel agent and teckkie. I have been loaning the Mifi to my clients who want to purchase their own top off cards (with no liability on the speeds you get) what I found was that in higher level rooms without trees and an area of the room close to the window is the best spot to get good signal.

I personally prefer to get the unlimited plan when I go and I have LOTS of speed when I upload my pics to facebook and shutterfly. Though I have used the $10 plan on shorter trips and never quite topped off the limit. It's not something I would carry around in the park with me like someone mentioned. I've always had strong signal to my iphone then plus Disney is the one time you'd never find my cell phone glued to my hand.

Sue M
05-16-2011, 11:42 PM
Hey guys I am a travel agent and teckkie. I have been loaning the Mifi to my clients who want to purchase their own top off cards (with no liability on the speeds you get) what I found was that in higher level rooms without trees and an area of the room close to the window is the best spot to get good signal.

I personally prefer to get the unlimited plan when I go and I have LOTS of speed when I upload my pics to facebook and shutterfly. Though I have used the $10 plan on shorter trips and never quite topped off the limit. It's not something I would carry around in the park with me like someone mentioned. I've always had strong signal to my iphone then plus Disney is the one time you'd never find my cell phone glued to my hand.

Good to know. How small is it? And light? hard to tell from pics. The reason I would take it to the parks is for data and using the Lines App, etc with my iPhone. Our Canadian phones are very expensive to use in the U.S. with roaming charges for Data.
I plan on getting the unlimited plan, as we'll be in Florida for a month.

singhsongs
05-17-2011, 12:44 AM
It's about the size of a 1/2 a deck of cards. it's pretty thin and I don't think you'd have a problem with it in a pocket but I would sit on it or get it wet. Maybe like a cargo pocket, but still it's not durable or intended to be moved around much. Though it's a to go device I think they still think you'd be in an office or coffee shop type place to use it because it's not rugged.

And my personal opinion the lines app along with some other ride times apps were so grossly inaccurate during my visits, I just never bothered with them again.

The charge really isn't that long on it if you are using it all the time and you could get slower speeds if you go over the 5G so keep that in mind if you are doing the monthly plan.

atheneze
05-17-2011, 02:26 AM
We are interested in getting the mifi for our travels. But we just domt know if its going to be worth it. Thanks for the info!

Sue M
05-17-2011, 11:04 AM
Good to know. We'll be in Florida for a month, so having internet for that lenght of time will more then pay for itself! Both at condo in Ft. Lauderdale and in WDW.
Dissapointing that Lines App wasn't accurate.

sharadoc
05-17-2011, 12:29 PM
We plan to get one, especially since we can use it while driving in the van on the way. Just one more distraction for the kids.

ValinWV
05-17-2011, 02:57 PM
I used it at CR and POR. It was good for looking up and posting on DISboards, checking email. But it was not good for uploading or downloading photos. I was trying to email some home to my mom and they took so long to load I finally gave up.

Sue M
05-17-2011, 05:55 PM
Good to know!

cinderella73
05-17-2011, 06:22 PM
The DOWNLOAD speeds I got (and have quoted) wouldn't support me viewing HD video. The key for you, if you want to SEND live HD video would be UPLOAD speed (which for 3G is usually less bandwidth / 'slower' than the download speed).

So, options would be to not stream it live but in "near real-time" (record it, then upload it as soon as possible), or look to a 4G solution checking that that would supply adequate upload bandwidth.

Sprint's coverage map shows no 4G signal for WDW itself.
Verizon's coverage checker says they have 4G available within zip 23820, but no detailed coverage map.
Tmobile's coverage map shows "4G very good" for WDW, and their "4G" includes HSPA (high speed packet access). If you can get them to commit to if they have adequate speed for what you want, then it will be HSUPA (High Speed _Upload_ packet access) that will be key for any live video streaming at good quality / definition, though you'll need a connection device / devices that will support this.

I regret that as an "Englishman abroad", and new to DISboards I have no idea who Lou Mongellos is, but could you find out what their set-up is?, as that set-up seems to work......

Cinders, I've also sent you a p.m., and can only hope that you will go to the ball! ;)

*p.m. Not sent, as the system won't let me, as I'm a newbie, and don't have 10 posts ...:(. *

Wow thank you so much for all of that info ! Very helpful ! TMobile sounds the way to go. I will have to go check out their website and see if they have any devices similar to what I was looking at with Virgin ( Mifi or the usb kind I guess) . I will post back what I find out in case anyone else here is interested also.

The next thing I need to do is figure how the video I saw that was streamed live on Iphone came out so darn clear. I would gladly switch out my droid for that kind of video quality. Be nice to have the netbook and then the phone as backup .

Dont know if I mentioned this but I plan to be living near the parks soon and it would be great to have the ability to do weekly streams.

Yes the Disboards wants you to have 10 posts under your belt before PM'ing. When you do have it I gladly welcome any advice you have. You have been very helpful . Thank you so much :)


ADDED:
Okay just went to T-Mobiles site . I see they have mobile broadband data plans. Thats what I need right ? Looks like they have prepaid plans also . I guess I would need this first ?
http://www.t-mobile.com/shop/phones/prepaid.aspx?shape=lcards#T-Mobile-Rocket-4G-USB-Laptop-Stick

Then the prepaid options are 1 Gb for 1 month for $30.00 and 3GB's for 1 month for $50.00 . How much GB's would I need for streaming ? Is 3g's enough ?

Thanks again

Sue M
05-17-2011, 06:42 PM
Let me know if you find a T Mobile device similar to the MiFi, small, lightweight. I'd look myself except I'm in Canada! The T-Mobile with 4G seems better then the Virgin.

jgraney106
05-17-2011, 06:47 PM
I just popped on here and was thrilled to find everyone discussing what I was in a dilemma over myself. What is the best way to get a wireless internet signal?

I am not a tech smart person ( but learning slowly) . I want to stream live on ustream from the parks and resorts on a small netbook when I am down. Considering that its a live stream what is my best bet for getting a good enough internet signal?

I do have a smartphone BUT the quality is not there and with movement it gets a bit blurry . Low battery time is another issue. ( droid htc eris)

If anyone has watched Lou Mongellos live live wdw streams shows you may have noticed he uses a laptop to stream from. No idea what he uses for internet. Looks a bit bulky to me but I can get a great hd quality webcam and thought of putting this on a more compact netbook , while using either one of the virgin mobile devices . Hearing how slow it can be what is my best bet ? Any advice ?






I am loving all your advice. I am not advanced enough to understand everything but it does give me a better idea of what I am dealing with . Any advice for my issues ( above) ?


---------

Sorry OP . Hope you dont me adding on. Seemed silly for me to start a seperate post.

OP here......No problem Cinderella73. Hope this topic will be around for awhile, to help others with internet questions while at Disney. The more the merrier I always say! All questions concerning this topic are good ones and will help fellow Diser's out. popcorn:: :surfweb:

BazzaS
05-18-2011, 05:58 AM
Let me know if you find a T Mobile device similar to the MiFi, small, lightweight. I'd look myself except I'm in Canada! The T-Mobile with 4G seems better then the Virgin.

(URL's start with ww. instead of 3 w's, as I'm too new here to post URL's directly)
TMobile's MiFi:
ww.t-mobile.com/shop/phones/?shape=mblhsp

However, a) it is $150, and b) it is locked to t-mobile.
In the same way I compared the Virgin MiFi and a combination of the Zoom 4506 and Virgin MC760 stick earlier in this thread, one might consider using a Zoom 4506 in combination with a Zoom 4597 USB stick modem for $150. (BTW, I haven't got a Zoom 4597 yet, it's "on the list" for my next trip, and, no, I don't work for Zoom!).
For me, or anyone else who already has a Zoom 4506 or similar unlocked personal wi-fi spot, it is only the extra ($80) cost of the USB stick .... another advantage of using a USB stick with an unlocked personal wi-fi hotspot.

The 4597 would allow access to TMobile's 3G/4G signal, at HSPA (but NOT HSPA+ speeds, but it should still be plenty fast for now) ..... (on the AWS / 1700 band), yet also AT&T's UMTS (2100/850 bands), if you later had no TMobile's signal elsewhere, but there was AT&T signal ... Just get an AT&T prepaid SIM.
ww.zoomtel.com/about/4597_3G_mobile.pdf

Using the Zoom 4597, it wouldn't be able to access Virgin's EVDO signal or Sprint's 4G Wimax signal, but this is the advantage of the Zoom 4506 box : if you move to an area that isn't covered by the original USB modem's provider, you don't have to start from scratch with a whole new MiFi, just the relevant USB stick part (so the Virgin MC760 for Virgin, or e.g Sprint U250 for Sprint).
So, more versatility.

Sue M
05-18-2011, 11:13 AM
Is Virgin MiFi locked to a provider? It's all a bit confusing to me!!
I'll be bringing my macbook & iPhone to Florida. I'll have no land line for 2 weeks of my trip (will be in Florida a month) So iPhone will be my life line,lol.

My thought is that I could carry the MiFi in my purse when I'm out, and be able to sign up for skype to make & recieve phone calls avioding the dreaded roaming and long distance charges. As well as having wifi for my lap top duting my trip.

Thank you for the WiFi 101 tutorials for us not as tecky people :goodvibes

BazzaS
05-18-2011, 01:17 PM
Is Virgin MiFi locked to a provider? It's all a bit confusing to me!!
I'll be bringing my macbook & iPhone to Florida. I'll have no land line for 2 weeks of my trip (will be in Florida a month) So iPhone will be my life line,lol.

My thought is that I could carry the MiFi in my purse when I'm out, and be able to sign up for skype to make & recieve phone calls avioding the dreaded roaming and long distance charges. As well as having wifi for my lap top duting my trip.

Thank you for the WiFi 101 tutorials for us not as tecky people :goodvibes


The virgin MiFi will be locked to Virgin. I'm not sure the Virgin service will be "fast enough" (give enough bandwidth) to allow Skype at good enough quality, based on the speeds I've seen.

In fairness, all the networks quote speeds as 'optimal' / maximums, and 'real-life' speeds will depend on the theroretical maximum, the signal locally, whether one is indoors or outdoors, and how many people are sharing the cell tower.

If your iPhone is unlocked, would you consider buying a local pre-paid SIM?. I can't PM yet, but with details of your iPhone's bands and if it is unlocked, I could suggest a network you might use. As this is straying away from broadband at Disney (let alone Virgin Broadband at Disney), despite how kind the OP on this thread has been, perhaps you'd start your own new thread and pm me, and I'll try to help there ;)

Cdn Friends of Pooh
05-18-2011, 04:27 PM
Is Virgin MiFi locked to a provider? It's all a bit confusing to me!!
I'll be bringing my macbook & iPhone to Florida. I'll have no land line for 2 weeks of my trip (will be in Florida a month) So iPhone will be my life line,lol.

My thought is that I could carry the MiFi in my purse when I'm out, and be able to sign up for skype to make & recieve phone calls avioding the dreaded roaming and long distance charges. As well as having wifi for my lap top duting my trip.

Thank you for the WiFi 101 tutorials for us not as tecky people :goodvibes
Just like our phones up here are locked to either Bell, Rogers or Telus, it's the same in the US ... so yes, the MiFi is locked to Virgin - that's why you need to sign up for the monthly plan with Virgin. You can still keep the MiFi in your purse and sign up for Skype to make & receive calls and have it for wifi on your laptop - but it will all be done on the Virgin network. Clear as mud??

Sue M
05-18-2011, 08:09 PM
Just like our phones up here are locked to either Bell, Rogers or Telus, it's the same in the US ... so yes, the MiFi is locked to Virgin - that's why you need to sign up for the monthly plan with Virgin. You can still keep the MiFi in your purse and sign up for Skype to make & receive calls and have it for wifi on your laptop - but it will all be done on the Virgin network. Clear as mud??

yup! got it!

Sue M
05-18-2011, 08:12 PM
The virgin MiFi will be locked to Virgin. I'm not sure the Virgin service will be "fast enough" (give enough bandwidth) to allow Skype at good enough quality, based on the speeds I've seen.

In fairness, all the networks quote speeds as 'optimal' / maximums, and 'real-life' speeds will depend on the theroretical maximum, the signal locally, whether one is indoors or outdoors, and how many people are sharing the cell tower.

If your iPhone is unlocked, would you consider buying a local pre-paid SIM?. I can't PM yet, but with details of your iPhone's bands and if it is unlocked, I could suggest a network you might use. As this is straying away from broadband at Disney (let alone Virgin Broadband at Disney), despite how kind the OP on this thread has been, perhaps you'd start your own new thread and pm me, and I'll try to help there ;)

Sadly, my phone is locked. After contract is up, and I get a new phone, I'm having this one unlocked & use it for travel.
May just buy a cheap pay as you go phone down there, for talking, phoning home, etc and use MiFi for internet & data.

Cdn Friends of Pooh
05-22-2011, 08:25 PM
Hey Sue (and any other Canadians looking to get the Virgin Mobile Mifi) - Here at the Poly right now ... picked up the Virgin Mobile MiFi ... just wanted to share some important info with you

1) WalMart may not have the device in stock (we got ours at Best Buy Mobile in the Florida Mall as the WalMart we went to didn't have it and actually didn't even know what it was) :sad2:

2) You will need to buy the Virgin Mobile Top Up Cards (I think they're available at Best Buy Mobile but we didn't think we'd need them so had to get them at Walgreens). Unfortunately the Virgin Mobile website you use to set up your mifi device doesn't take Canadian credit cards, nor can they take them over the phone.

3) Once you've added the top up cards to your account, you still may have to phone Virgin Mobile to get them to set up your plan - we tried to do it online but it kept telling us we had "insufficient money" in our account when it plainly showed we had the $50 in our account.

We finally got it up and running and it works wonderfully :thumbsup2 Will try it out at the parks later tonight and let you know how it goes.:wizard:

Sue M
05-22-2011, 11:17 PM
Thanks for the info. How did you set everything up if they don't take Canadian Credit Cards? Will Best Buy help set it up?
I look forward to hearing how it works in the parks.

Enjoy the Poly, what longhouse are you in? We were in Tokelau. Loved watching Wishes from the beach :goodvibes

BazzaS
05-23-2011, 08:51 AM
Thanks for the info. How did you set everything up if they don't take Canadian Credit Cards? Will Best Buy help set it up?
I look forward to hearing how it works in the parks.

Enjoy the Poly, what longhouse are you in? We were in Tokelau. Loved watching Wishes from the beach :goodvibes

I got my MC760 reactivated from outside the USA by phoning Virgin Customer Services (its 'number' had expired after over a year of non-use).

The initial $10 top-up I got online from Walmart. I got around the "non-US" card problem by paying by paypal, and Walmart emailed the top-up PIN to me, though it did take about an hour to come through.

I then added the later $50 once I knew the service did what we wanted, as a top-up card bought in store : At first the balance didn't show on the account even though it said top-up accepted, but logging out and then in again solved that, and allowed me to buy the $50, 1 month service plan.

I hope these posts are helpful ; I'm not a fan of "padding posts" just to reach the 10 posts mark so I can send PM's, so I'm hoping to reach 10 useful posts soon ;)

Cdn Friends of Pooh
05-30-2011, 10:10 PM
Thanks for the info. How did you set everything up if they don't take Canadian Credit Cards? Will Best Buy help set it up?
I look forward to hearing how it works in the parks.

Enjoy the Poly, what longhouse are you in? We were in Tokelau. Loved watching Wishes from the beach :goodvibes
No I don't believe Best Buy Mobile will help you set it up as it's done online through your laptop (all the information on how to is included on a card in your package). I'm not sure if it was just a glitch that the website indicated we had insufficient money in our account after I entered the top up cards to the account - but calling the toll free number got it fixed quickly. Unfortunately we weren't able to use PayPal either (it wasn't an option in the drop down menu of choices to use to pay for the monthly plan). There are different options - Credit, Debit or top up cards ... because they don't take Canadian CC, I chose top up cards. When you purchase the top up cards, there are numbers on your receipt that you enter into the website.

Once we activated it (done through your laptop), it worked wonderfully, although my DH had to keep reminding me to turn the mifi off so we wouldn't drain the battery (there's no "manual" with the device so only figured out that you can configure the device to shut down after a certain period of time after we got home and downloaded the manual from the website). It actually worked much better when we were at Disney than when we were visiting friends who were staying on I-drive :confused3

We were CL in the Hawaii building :)

BazzaS
05-30-2011, 10:27 PM
Unfortunately we weren't able to use PayPal either (it wasn't an option in the drop down menu of choices to use to pay for the monthly plan). There are different options - Credit, Debit or top up cards ... because they don't take Canadian CC, I chose top up cards. When you purchase the top up cards, there are numbers on your receipt that you enter into the website.


When I used paypal, it was to buy the "top-up card" online from Walmart (online), rather than using PayPal directly on the Virgin site.

Walmart then emailed me the PIN, which allowed me to enter it as a top-up on the Virgin site.

Sue M
05-30-2011, 10:34 PM
Thanks for the updates.

Cdn Friends of Pooh
05-30-2011, 10:51 PM
When I used paypal, it was to buy the "top-up card" online from Walmart (online), rather than using PayPal directly on the Virgin site.

Walmart then emailed me the PIN, which allowed me to enter it as a top-up on the Virgin site.
Ah that makes more sense!