You can probably guess our decision about the Internet. Both Wayne and I spend an inordinate amount of time online in town. There's e-mail, webpages, my blog, not to mention forum posts to get the word out about our books. When we're at the cabin we don't want the pressure. But if you need service in a remote area, here's some information. Be sure to research carefully before making any decisions.
Cellular Internet Access
Cell phones can be used in two ways to access the Internet. The first is as a dial-up modem. You need cables to connect your laptop or PDA. You also need a dial-up Internet service provider (ISP) and will have to pay for cellular minutes while online. This can get expensive. The other method is to use the e-mail and web browsing services offered by a cellular provider. I am familiar with Telus and Nextel. Most companies have plans that include these services.
Satellite Internet Access
Satellite Internet can be accessed in two ways. If you have a satellite telephone, it can be used as a modem. I am familiar with Globalstar. You need a specialized cable and the data transfer speed is slow (9.6 Kbps). There are also ISPs that offer Internet using satellite dishes. Services come in two formats: satellite downlink with dial-up uplink (you need a landline) or two-way satellite. This is probably a better solution if you use the Internet freqeuently. Here are two providers to explore: Xplornet and Virgin Technologies.
Free Wireless Hotspots
Wireless Hotspots for Boaters
There are wireless service providers catering to boaters while moored at public and private docks. BroadbandXpress is one in the Pacific Northwest and Coastal BC. Here we are in Refuge Cove, a BroadbandXpress locations. In California, you can try iDockUSA. They have both short term and annual subscriptions.
Surf on! -- Margy