The modern world has rediscovered the traveling holiday, and the UK is well near the front of the pack. Sales of caravans are peaking each year, and camping and glamping options are becoming a growing fad. But even though the call of the open road is luring more and more citizens from their comfy couches, the modern dependence on TV and Internet based information and entertainment options is strong as well.
Facebook, Football, and Must See TV:
While it is nice to get away, most people still need to stay in touch while travelling, at least once in a while. Social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter help them to stay in touch with family and friends, reducing the number of surprises that may await them when returning home.
Sports, news and especially important TV shows are also a draw for the modern traveler, who wants their majestic scenery and the football finals when they are on the road.
So, how does the modern traveler have it all?
Mobile Satellite Rigs:
Satellite receivers are available in a variety of price ranges, depending on what you are looking for and how much you are willing to spend.
At the bottom of the cost range are portable satellite dish kits which pack into a case for easy carrying. These are then assembled, usually on a tripod, and aimed at the satellite where you get your service. This process can take from 30 minutes to an hour, depending on conditions, and does require that you stop in an area with proper sky clearance to prevent interference. But once you are set up, you are good to go until it’s time to say goodbye.
This is a popular option for tent campers and small caravans where a permanent receiver would not be practical.
Next is the roof mounted dish, a good option for caravans and campers. In this case, the dish is already in place, needing only to be aimed. Again, a 30+ minute operation done on the roof of your vehicle and repeated every time you move, but still an economical and effective option.
Finally, there is the self-aiming receiver, an enclosed antennae system that automatically positions its internal components to line up with the satellite providing your service. This can be very costly, often in the thousands, but is the easiest and most maintenance free option. The receiver, once it is mounted, remains on the vehicle and its low profile prevents it from interfering with clearances.
Internet Service on the Go:
The same issues and advantages listed for mobile satellite TV exists for Internet connections, except that there are a few other options available, including:
- Mobile Phone Service: The cost of connecting to the internet with your mobile phone has dropped steadily in recent years, to the point that affordable data plans exist that will allow you to surf the net, check your Email and tweet you heart out all from your mobile screen.
Another option is to use either your phone or a dedicated hot spot device to connect your laptop or tablet to the Internet to give you access to more screen real estate.
However, this only works well if you are close enough to one or more towers to get a strong signal, a problem if you like to travel about the countryside. Signal boosting systems are available that can help pull in a signal in remote areas, but they have their limitations.
- Wi-Fi: Free or reasonably priced Wi-Fi service is becoming available in restaurants, hotels, campgrounds and public building, allowing travelers to access the net, as long as they are in the correct location.
Satellite based internet has several advantages over the other options, including access to the internet in areas where mobile towers and Wi-Fi are not available.
As long as you are in the coverage range of the satellite service you subscribed to, you can probably connect.