Now that we’ve been doing this for ~2 years, it’s time we get a truly unlimited data plan.
This way we can work and upload all our content from the Scamp. Until now, we’ve had to go to town anytime we need significant amounts of data. This forced us to park close to towns with decent coffee shops.
Now we can park just about anywhere, point our weBoost at the nearest cell tower and geek with unlimited data.
This will allow us to upload streaming video from the backcountry. We’re looking at live streaming on Youtube and Twitch. We can livestream whatever we’re doing and interact with viewers directly in real time.
When we lived in the city, I loved watching people play video games on Twitch. Similar to live professional sports, watching a livestream has a visceral allure. Being able to interact with creators in real time is engaging and useful.
We rely on towns less the more time we spend living nomad style. With this new freedom we’ll be able to stay in the backcountry even longer and share our experiences as we go. We’ve been talking about doing a series seeing how long we can go without visiting town at all, could be a fun thing. #selfreliance 😬 😂
Choosing a Plan
In the context of cellular service plans, “unlimited” no longer means unlimited. All of the major carriers begin to throttle or limit bandwidth after a certain number of monthly gigabytes used.
Of all the standard carrier plans, Verizon has the best unlimited(ish) options, with good overall coverage. Currently, they have a plan for $60 that gives you unthrottled bandwidth up to 75 gigs/month.
The only bummer is that this plan caps tethering data at 20 gigs per month. So, if we went with this plan, we would have to get an iPad with a sim card slot as our primary data device. To upload videos, we would have to send them from our computer to the iPad, then upload from there.
It would also be a problem when both of us need to be online at the same time, since the one iPad is the only device with unlimited bandwidth.
We would also be limited on our ability to upload streams. With this plan, we would have to use the built in cameras on the iPad to stream.
This plan would make a lot of sense for a solo person, unlimited data on one device with a good chunk of tethering data.
I recently found a company called Unlimitedville, these guys offer truly unlimited plans, leveraging the network of whichever carrier you choose (tmobile, sprint, verizon or at&t).
The plan we’re getting is on the at&t network. This way we can point the weBoost at the nearest at&t tower and boost the signal of both our phones and the hotspot itself. Also, since most nomads and people in Colorado have Verizon, at&t has less bandwidth competition on a similar coverage map.
The plan is $200 a month, which is a big chunk of money, but the additional content we will be able to upload, & coffee shop/gas savings will quickly cover the cost.
The signup cost depends on the hotspot device you choose. We’re going with the Unite Explore device, which costs $100 at signup. This little device supports 15 devices, has 22 hours of battery life, and is water/shock resistant.