This week our “Fulltime RVing Q&A” is all about the internet. We fielded a question from a YouTube viewer who wanted to gauge our gigabyte usage. The question reads:
Wow you use that much data for Etsy (regarding a previous video)? We just got our hotspot at 6 gigabytes for our Etsy shop on the road. Is that only Etsy or do you guys do a lot of Facebook and other sites?
We’ll break the answer down into a few sections – first we’ll let you know what devices we use, second we’ll talk about boosting tools, and third we’ll tell you the amount of gigs we use a month.
Here’s the breakdown:
Two Smart Phones
We both have iPhones that connect to the AT&T cellular network. Our plans are through Straight Talk and cost $50/month for 5 gigabytes a piece (totaling $100 for 10 gigs). With the arrival of the iPhone 7, we’ve seen some great deals on the iPhone 5s. It’s the model we use to film 90% of our videos.
T-Mobile Hotspot (Falcon Z-917)
Our T-Mobile hotspot is a $100 post-paid plan that offers 22 gigabytes of high speed data and additional features like Binge On and Music Freedom. The Binge On feature lets us stream movie services like Netflix & Hulu without counting against our monthly data allotment. Music Freedom is the same concept, except with music services like Spotify & Pandora. Than plan also has a “rollover data” feature that lets save unused data for future use.
Most months we end up using between 40-60 total gigabytes with our T-Mobile plan, because the bulk of usage comes from streaming Netflix or Spotify. Despite using so much overall data, we’ll often gain rollover data every month.
WeBoost OTR 4G-X
If you’ve read any of our previous articles then you’re probably aware that we love our WeBoost cell booster. It’s sole purpose is to take a weak cell signal and amplify the heck out of it. There’ve been many occasions when the WeBoost took a previously unusable signal and amplified it into a strong 4G LTE connection.
It’s one of our most important tools for connectivity.
The WifiRanger is similar to the WeBoost, but it amplifies wifi signals instead of cell signals. Recently we camped at Rain Forest Resort, where the free wifi router was located 500 yards from our campsite. None of our devices could find or connect to the signal. Once we turned on the WiFiRanger, we were able to get the wifi signal inside our camper and connect all of our devices.
What We Use the Internet For?
While Etsy is our main source of revenue, it requires the least amount of data. With a measly 3 gigs we can operate our Etsy store for a month. If we’re adding hundreds of new items, we might use a little extra data – but, most months our iPhones can handle the needs of our Etsy shop.
YouTube & Blog
Our YouTube channel is a pretty new endeavor; and, it uses a LOT of data. Uploading videos can use anywhere from 0.25 to 2.5 gigs a piece. We’ll use the T-Mobile hotspot to upload some videos, but we prefer to use free wifi if at all possible.
From morning to night, we’re always streaming. We’ll wake up to some good tunes on Spotify, catch up on the previous evening’s “Late Night Shows” during breakfast, stream podcasts while driving, and binge watch Netflix at bedtime. We’re a few streaming fools!
We use approximately 100 gigs a months; 60 on T-Mobile, 10 on AT&T, and 30 of free wifi. If we really wanted to tighten our belts, we could let go of our T-Mobile service (but, I hope that day doesn’t come anytime soon)!
Thanks for reading our blog. Help support our mission – to live freely and deliberately – by checking out our Etsy store or shopping Amazon through our link.