Options For Staying Connected To Broadband In Your Truck

I want you, the trucker to be connected to the Internet. The more informed my fellow truck drivers are, the better trucking is for everyone. You cannot remain informed and connected without some sort of connection to the Internet.  No longer do you need to rely on the TV, secondhand information from your dispatcher, and the unreliable CB radio information. After your initial investment of the laptop, the next is cellular mobile broadband Internet.

The Choices
Generally speaking, there are only a few choices

  • EvDO – currently the best for truckers with it’s very wide coverage and ability t­o use slower technologies when the newer ones are not available. This is what I use from Verizon.
  • UMTS/HSDPA – Very, very fast, but quits working in far outlying areas
  • EDGE – Junk, slow, but cheap

Verizon and Sprint use EvDO, while Cingular uses UMTS/HSPDA. T-mobile has the cheap edge technology.

  • Truck Stop WiFi – I hate these as for a little more you could have better service that works where you are. However, if you just want to get your feet wet, this works fine. They are also cheap for short periods of time. They should be cheaper though. Keep an eye out for businesses closer to truckstops offering free connections. You will see them pop up in your “networks” window often.

Accessories

There is only one vital accessory that you need, and that is an antenna. A visit to the CB shop can get you hooked up with a good one for around $60. Your service will work without it, but if you want to really get your money’s worth, get an antenna. I have heard many truckers complain about Verizon’s service, when simply getting a $50 antenna from the truckstop would have solved it. Verizon dealers are usually clueless about the antennas, so don’t look for help there.

You can check out Over-The-Road Wireless For Dummies at the I’d Rather Drive A Truck Bookstore.
 

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Wireless from AT&T

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