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A bit over-connected here, perhaps.
I have a BulletHP for WiFi, a broadband wireless card for my laptop and a Motorola Droid. (Also have a Blackberry from work, but web browsing on it is difficult.)
I may scale back one of them. Probably not the BulletHP, even though I only plan to buy the $80 high-gain antenna next month. Why? Because that setup is a one-time, fixed cost that can payback for years, and the bandwidth is pretty high. E.g., I could probably watch movies via netflicks. Besides, I have visions of putting a webcam on our boat for when I'm not there.
On the other hand, broadband wireless (card plugged into a laptop, I hear USB is better) works out a few miles from shore and is great for pulling up weather reports when doing coastal cruising (e.g. intellicast.com's moving map, nexrad radar to show where the storms are and which way they are moving). So it's tough to let that go, even at $40 or $50 per month. (And I can connect into work when needed, although the Blackberry has that covered.)
On the 3rd hand (borrowing someone else's hand here), the Driod is so nice to have when driving ("turn left in 100 feet"), doing emial, and web browsing that is tough to give up. They do need a charting app though. It actually does all that the broadband card-laptop combination does, so maybe that's the way to go (at IIRC $24/month).
So for now, I'm a bit over connected. My job requires me to be able to connect on weekends, so it's been worth it.
If I was retired, I'd go with a Verizon cell phone that also docks to a laptop, AND the BulletHP with a high gain antenna. The first will give you connectivity in the most place. The second will give you WiFi connectivity out in the middle of the anchorage, not just near the shore/houses.
For what it's worth, T-Mobile would be my last choice, since IMHO their coverage is cities only. Their coverage elsewhere is simply insufficient for the job. (To be clear, they suck big time.)
EDIT: P.S. The Nanostation is made by the same people as the BulletHP. The BulletHP lets you add any antenna you want, so you go for a bit higher gain. I understand there is a new outfit that uses the BulletHP technology as the basis for their offering, but uses different software to make it easier to use. Not sure about all that, haven't looked into it in awhile.
Good luck and please post for results when you do get set-up. I think many of us are looking to see how really effective each option is.
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Average minds discuss events;
Small minds discuss people.
The best minds discuss sailing (and a little bit of politics). I don't know why. It's a mystery!
Last edited by Bene505; 03-09-2010 at 12:21 PM.