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For those who have seen our Mobile Internet video, or our recent weBoost video, you might wonder if I've been in the mobile internet arena for a while, or if it's something I deal with at my IT day job. Not a bit! While I do have an extensive background in computer networks and programming, I knew jack squat about mobile internet back in mid 2017, when we were doing our initial research and planning for full time RV life.
When I first started digging into the topic, I figured it would be a cinch for someone with my background. From a networking technology standpoint, I was on solid ground. However, the more I dug into mobile internet world, the more confusing it got. Not only was it a whole new world of cellular technologies, it was also a mine field of equipment and data plans. Holy cow! Seriously! My head was spinning, and I have decades of experience in nothing but computers and networking! How am I supposed to make heads or tails of this router or that antenna or the plethora of data plans?!?
Then, I discovered the Mobile Internet Resource Center (MIRC). No joke! Finding this site was like solving the DaVinci code for mobile internet!
Let me interject here by saying that we have no affiliation with the MIRC. We get asked a lot about this or that in regards to mobile internet and we always refer people to the MIRC, because we feel what they do and the information they provide is absolutely invaluable! We get nothing for referring you to them other than knowing we've sent you to the best possible resource.
However, in the interest of full disclosure, after noticing we were sending traffic their way, they did refund our membership for 2019 as a thank you. We had already paid it and will continue to pay it for as long as we are nomads. Let me explain why:
Chris and Cherie (and team) eat, sleep and breath mobile internet. They don't just do a speed test and call it good (yes.. this is what I did in both videos 😎). The team thoroughly tests a multitude of devices in varying conditions in a very scientific manner to provide the most reliable results and recommendations. They do this for hot spots, routers, antennas, data plans, etc. This is what they do and they do it VERY well! I've not found anyone doing what they do to the extent they do it. That said, this is their business and it's how they support themselves and can focus on creating such a great product. To that end, they do offer a paid membership called MIA (Mobile Internet Aficionados), that provides several advantages over the free content (which is also unrivaled):
In Depth Reviews and Information
While you can get some great information on the free portion of the web site, with the MIA membership you get access to all of the nitty-gritty details as well as awesome in-depth summaries and training. THIS is the kind of information one needs when researching the technologies available and the products that use those technologies before hitting the road. I joined the MIA about six months before we bought our RV and spent hours learning everything I could on the subject of mobile internet there. It is 100% how I picked the right gear for our mobile needs before we hit the road full time. Gear that we've used on the road for over a year now and is still serving us extremely well!
“What?? Holy Crap! AT&T is about to stop offering REAL unlimited plans!”, is what I said in late 2017 when we were gearing up to hit the road full time. It was because of this alert that we knew to buy a Unite Explore Hotspot and add it to our account for $20/mo, tied to our (now grandfathered) Unlimited Plus plan. Had we not received this alert, it would have been too late for us to get a hotspot on a real unlimited data on AT&T. That one alert has paid for years in memberships for us! Any time there's a relevant change or new story specific to mobile internet, MIA is on top of it! They sometimes get the scoop well before it's public!
Private Facebook Group
As part of the MIA, you also get access to a private Facebook group. While this serves as another medium for the timely alerts mentioned above, it's also a great place to ask questions. Post your query there and you'll get feedback from the MIRC/MIA team as well as lots of great members who've likely had the same question in the past. It's a very valuable piece of the puzzle and is usually where I see breaking stories first.
When I reached out to Chris and Cherie to get permission to use their logo in this article, they extended a discount offer to our audience. It was very nice of them, completely unsolicited, and very appreciated. Just use the code CHANGINGLANESRVMIA to save $5 off a membership when signing up here.
If you want to stay on top of the mobile internet game, you NEED this membership!