The Phoenix Nest

Phoenix Nest on WiFi at Campgrounds

Phoenix Nest on WiFi at Campgrounds:

The Sorry Task of Getting Connected

By Jim Fulton

 

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A Message from the Phoenix

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Abstract

The Phoenix travels to see things, not to get away from it all. More precisely, he does not want to get away from the internet. He depends on it for many aspects of his life, especially for building the Phoenix Nest, but also for streaming movies and other programs. Thus the quality of access to the internet is an important measure of his satisfaction with the campgrounds where he stays, campgrounds notoriously deficient in providing adquate WiFi.

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Page Specifications
Id pnModal_WiFi
Title Phoenix Nest on WiFi at Campgrounds
Subtitle The Sorry Task of Getting Connected
Keywords
Author Jim Fulton
Author's URL https://fenixnest/Phoenix/
Copyright 2016
Status Published: 2018/9/5
Last Revised 2018-10-30
The Phoenix travels to see things, not to get away from it all. More precisely, he does not want to get away from the internet. He depends on it for many aspects of his life, especially for building the Phoenix Nest, but also for streaming movies and other programs. Thus the quality of access to the internet is an important measure of his satisfaction with the campgrounds where he stays, campgrounds notoriously deficient in providing adquate WiFi.

In order to provide suitable WiFi access, without depending on the campgrounds, the Phoenix subscribed to the Unlimitedville Wireless Service. [https://unlimitedville.com/] Unlimitedville provides fixed-price WiFi over your own (major) cellular service. They advertise, "No Data Limits.  No Throttling.  No Contracts. No Credit Checks."

So, in theory, I can stream as many movies as I want, and they won't charge more and they won't degrade my service. In practice, I find that they live up to that claim. As long as my cellular provider offers adequate coverage around my campground, I can stream whatever I want and my bill remains the same.

Of course, that's the rub. My T-Mobile service does not support all the places I want to go. There are places where the service is too poor to stream movies. There are places where the campground's WiFi is significantly better than I can get over my Unlimitedville modem, including all of Canada, where Unlimitedville is not licensed. There has been a few places where I couldn't get to the internet at all! A communications black hole! But for the most part, I have enjoyed good to very good internet service.

Since the internet is important to me, I decided to rate its quality at the campgrounds I visit. If you're reading this, it might be important to you too. I use a scale of 1-10:

Rating Apple TV Computer Phone & Tablet
10 Movie Streaming Excellent Excellent
9 Movie Streaming Good Good
8 Movie Streaming Good Poor
7 N/A Good Good
6 N/A Satisfactory Good
5 N/A Good Satisfactory
4 N/A Satisfactory Satisfactory
3 N/A Good Poor
2 N/A Satisfactory Poor
1 N/A N/A N/A

where

  • Excellent means indistinguishable from broadband cable access.
  • Good means slower than cable, but still sufficient to do my work.
  • Satisfactory means frustratingly slow, but still sufficient to do my work.
  • Poor means slow and intermittant, frequently interrupting my work.
  • N/A means not available at all.

By the way, I also use a VPN (Virtual Private Network) service from Private Internet Access™ [https://www.privateinternetaccess.com/] in order to encrypt and secure my internet usage. It's installed on all three of my devices (computer, table, phone). That adds a layer that transmissions have to pass through, and it is not negligible. There are times when the added burden on my connection is too much to bear, and I turn it off, and take the risk. But for the most part, I leave it on. I prefer not to make it easy for hackers to listen in.

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