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Old 04-20-2016, 02:24 AM   #1
JacknBetsy
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Secure temporary line?

I will be moving to a new home June 1st, but until then I plan to be working from the Montana. I am looking for a secure internet connection. Any you can recommend? Any to stay away from? TIA
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Old 04-20-2016, 04:02 AM   #2
Starmaster
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Hi JacknBetsy,

It is more secure to provide you own internet connection than rely on one provided by someone else such as a campground or Starbucks or whomever.

You have at least a couple of choices to be able to do this. If you have a smartphone, it can most likely be setup to provide a hotspot function that will allow your wireless devices internet access through your phone's internet service. Check with you provider if you are unsure if you have this available to you.

The second option is to purchase a (new or used) standalone hotspot. Verizon calls them a "MiFi" or "Jetpack". These provide the same wireless internet connectivity as your phone's hotspot but don't require your phone.

Either of these options do use data on your cellular phone plan. Be aware how much and what you surf. Unless you have an unlimited plan, watching a movie or lots of video or doing firmware updates on several devices will quickly burn through several Gigabytes of data.

When setting up your own wireless hotspot, be sure to set it up to use "WPA2" (NOT WEP!) encryption with at least a 10 character password that contains upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and a special character like "!,@,#,$,etc". This prevents unauthorized people from using your hotspot and burning through you data allocation or having access to your internet communications. Also, change the administrator password on the hotspot, this prevents other people from changing your settings and thereby gaining access to your computers, etc.

Another option if you're really paranoid about security and are willing to put up with decreased internet performance is to use a VPN service. A link to an article detailing how VPNs work, what the considerations are, and a review of several services can be found here: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2403388,00.asp
Give the above article a read and then you will be able to better decide whether the overhead of a VPN is something you need.

I personally do not use a VPN for normal internet communications, only for accessing my employer's corporate network. I use a Verizon MiFi for mobile internet access and occasionally the hotspot function on my Android or iPhone.

I hope the above info is helpful. I know this stuff can be confusing, but the above has most of the bases covered and provides adequate data security / protection for most activities including personal banking.

Its important to remember there are no guarantees regarding data security. NOTHING is hacker proof, but the above steps do provide a decent level of protection.

Dave

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Old 04-20-2016, 04:05 AM   #3
1retired06
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We have the ellipsis jet pack from Verizon. Works great, and completely mobile.
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Old 04-20-2016, 06:10 AM   #4
DQDick
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We also use Verizon with a grandfathered 40 gig plan.
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Old 04-20-2016, 06:45 AM   #5
stengels
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AT&T MIFI w/30 gig program. Is sufficient for us and I use 40 hours/week for work, including opening several PDF documents.
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Old 04-20-2016, 07:25 AM   #6
CORattler
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Excellent advice & well explained!
Remember, signal strength also is a factor in how fast your hotspot is on both the phone and the MiFi/Jetpack. The more bars, the better

Quote:
quote:Originally posted by Starmaster

Hi JacknBetsy,

It is more secure to provide you own internet connection than rely on one provided by someone else such as a campground or Starbucks or whomever.

You have at least a couple of choices to be able to do this. If you have a smartphone, it can most likely be setup to provide a hotspot function that will allow your wireless devices internet access through your phone's internet service. Check with you provider if you are unsure if you have this available to you.

The second option is to purchase a (new or used) standalone hotspot. Verizon calls them a "MiFi" or "Jetpack". These provide the same wireless internet connectivity as your phone's hotspot but don't require your phone.

Either of these options do use data on your cellular phone plan. Be aware how much and what you surf. Unless you have an unlimited plan, watching a movie or lots of video or doing firmware updates on several devices will quickly burn through several Gigabytes of data.

When setting up your own wireless hotspot, be sure to set it up to use "WPA2" (NOT WEP!) encryption with at least a 10 character password that contains upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and a special character like "!,@,#,$,etc". This prevents unauthorized people from using your hotspot and burning through you data allocation or having access to your internet communications. Also, change the administrator password on the hotspot, this prevents other people from changing your settings and thereby gaining access to your computers, etc.

Another option if you're really paranoid about security and are willing to put up with decreased internet performance is to use a VPN service. A link to an article detailing how VPNs work, what the considerations are, and a review of several services can be found here: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2403388,00.asp
Give the above article a read and then you will be able to better decide whether the overhead of a VPN is something you need.

I personally do not use a VPN for normal internet communications, only for accessing my employer's corporate network. I use a Verizon MiFi for mobile internet access and occasionally the hotspot function on my Android or iPhone.

I hope the above info is helpful. I know this stuff can be confusing, but the above has most of the bases covered and provides adequate data security / protection for most activities including personal banking.

Its important to remember there are no guarantees regarding data security. NOTHING is hacker proof, but the above steps do provide a decent level of protection.

Dave

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Old 04-20-2016, 10:29 AM   #7
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If you have a reasonably current model iPad with LTE abilities, it too can become a hotspot, no new hardware to purchase.
If mobility is not a concern, ie working from RV in a site, not moving, consider cable or telco provider that services the park. Usually more data for less $, often incentives for new customers too. No marginal reception either.

-Steve
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Old 04-20-2016, 10:43 AM   #8
Razrbk
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Thanks, Dave. Very informative.
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Old 04-20-2016, 03:08 PM   #9
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You da man, Dave!
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Old 04-20-2016, 06:10 PM   #10
Starmaster
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Thanks for the comments. Glad to hear the info was helpful. There's also good info in the other posts as well. Computer security, system operations, and networking paid the bills for over 36 years so I have a bit of experience fighting and taming computers/networks

Dave
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Old 04-28-2016, 05:29 AM   #11
Sundogette
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We also use the Verizon Jet Pack. We run 20gig plan and then shared data on our smart phones. Has worked really well for us, 2 laptops and an IPad.
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Old 04-28-2016, 12:16 PM   #12
WeBeFulltime
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We share 18 gig from Verizon over 2 phones and 1 tablet. Use my Galaxy S5 as a hotspot to connect the MacBook when needed. Works great for us full timers. 18 gig is plenty for us as we do not use it for work. Your mileage could vary!
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