Virgin Mobile Broadband To Go ...... anyone ever use it at a Disney Resort?

Discussion in 'Disney Resorts' started by jgraney106, Apr 27, 2011.

  1. jgraney106

    jgraney106 DIS Veteran

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    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:
     
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  3. tobikaye

    tobikaye DIS Veteran

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    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.
     
  4. pb-n-j

    pb-n-j Earning My Ears

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    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.
     
  5. luvthemouse71

    luvthemouse71 Cries like a baby at Illuminations..

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    I used the Virgin Mobile MiFi last year- used it with my ipad. Worked fine at the Poly.
     
  6. jgraney106

    jgraney106 DIS Veteran

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    (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?
     
  7. pb-n-j

    pb-n-j Earning My Ears

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    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.
     
  8. jgraney106

    jgraney106 DIS Veteran

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    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!
     
  9. Sue M

    Sue M DIS Veteran

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    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?
     
  10. jgraney106

    jgraney106 DIS Veteran

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  11. pb-n-j

    pb-n-j Earning My Ears

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    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.
     
  12. jgraney106

    jgraney106 DIS Veteran

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    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:
     
  13. BazzaS

    BazzaS Earning My Ears

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    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.
     
  14. jgraney106

    jgraney106 DIS Veteran

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    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
     
  15. BazzaS

    BazzaS Earning My Ears

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    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.
     
  16. BazzaS

    BazzaS Earning My Ears

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    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.
     
  17. Cdn Friends of Pooh

    Cdn Friends of Pooh Certified Mousejunkie

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    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:
     
  18. Sue M

    Sue M DIS Veteran

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    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.
     
  19. Sue M

    Sue M DIS Veteran

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    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.
     
  20. Sue M

    Sue M DIS Veteran

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    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?
     
  21. Cdn Friends of Pooh

    Cdn Friends of Pooh Certified Mousejunkie

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    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:
    [​IMG]

    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, 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).

     

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