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mrdynamite

Tech on Independence (Live): VPN, Hotspot, Wifi Calling

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Hi,

 

Currently on the Independence of the Seas and need to stay connected to the kids and work (unfortunately). Here is my experience so far:

 

  • Paid for one connection but am sharing it with 5 devices (iPhone, MacBook, Samsung Tab, S9, and Windows laptop). I can return the TP-Link AC750 Wireless Wi-Fi Travel Router (TL-WR902AC) to Amazon.
  • VPNs are blocked overall (NordVPN, mine of choice) in fact any web pages that mention VPN are blocked also
    • Even when using "obfuscated mode" to circumvent blocking they still blocked NordVPN
    • Using another VPN from a well-known network is working fine ( I can mention the name if needed after we get off the boat)
  • Windows 10 hotspot does work well except it likes to timeout when no clients are connected
    • It seems there is no way to disable the timeout only to lengthen it
  • Verizon wifi calling is terrible with the S9
    • even with changing the network settings to prefer wifi it still wanted to use cellular
    • putting the phone in airplane mode and then turning on wifi gave me the dreaded "Unable to make calls in Airplane mode. To allow calls, Airplane mode will be turned off."
    • a reboot of the phone and turning off and on the wifi (on the phone) enabled it to be able to make calls
    • even with wifi on some calls don't go through and I have reboot the S9 again like I'm using Windows 3.1
  •  - iPhone wifi calling is also terrible in this setup

 

Lastly the call quality was like before Sprint made the pin drop in 87 (horrible) with intermittent dropouts, i.e. people not hearing me. This is with both the Verizon S9 and the AT&T iPhone. Next test is to try Whatsapp and Viber to see if they can do any better in this setup. 

 

My connection speeds are 2M down/ 1.25M up consistently. (I am toying with the idea of purchasing a second connection to get 4M down)

 

This post is to help people like me that need to be able to work on the cruise and harass their landlubber kids but want to save the Wifi charges for the suite charge or drink package instead.

 

Ask me anything!

Edited by mrdynamite

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try connecting directly to voom with your phone instead of through the travel router-

 

 

I literally could not tell the difference between wifi calling and my normal cell  calls on harmony with an iphone and that was 3 years ago.

 

 

Edited by proggieus

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I saw it mentioned that some ships are blocking travel routers on their network. Did you have to clone your MAC address to get yours to work?

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I just tried calling my wife sitting here next to me while she is on AT&T network and I am through wifi and it worked fine. The two previous calls did not work well (AT&T Cellular and Verizon wifi), Maybe it might have been a dead spot in the ocean.

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4 minutes ago, fizzywm said:

I saw it mentioned that some ships are blocking travel routers on their network. Did you have to clone your MAC address to get yours to work?

 

Nope, I just connected my Windows 10 laptop and turned on the Mobile Hotspot on it (it's the button next to airplane mode in network settings in the tray). 

I didn't even open the box on the travel router.

Edited by mrdynamite

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Very interesting i had been thinking about getting one of the tp link travel routers , there is a slightly cheaper one

than the one you have also tplink will check to see the difference , very interesting what you have managed to do with your laptop , i wasnt planning on taking mine but not sure if it could be an option if i am able  to use it as hotspot but i supposed could depend on pc , the one i use for travel is only a cheap one and probably has a weak network card.

 

 

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22 hours ago, mrdynamite said:

My connection speeds are 2M down/ 1.25M up consistently. (I am toying with the idea of purchasing a second connection to get 4M down)

Not sure what the extra download will get you.

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Last time I cruised, i didn't notice a fiber optic cable trailing the ship everywhere it went. Don't expect speeds like you get at home. Be happy with the 2M.

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22 hours ago, mrdynamite said:

 

Nope, I just connected my Windows 10 laptop and turned on the Mobile Hotspot on it (it's the button next to airplane mode in network settings in the tray). 

I didn't even open the box on the travel router.

 

Mrdynamite - 

 

Please excuse these questions from someone who believes you are speaking a foreign language - one which she does not know. 😊

 

Are you saying that if I have my Windows 10 laptop, and can find this button you mention, I can use my iPhone and my laptop at the same time, having only a one device package? And knowing or doing nothing else but activating this “mobile hotspot”?

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2 hours ago, Merion_Mom said:

Are you saying that if I have my Windows 10 laptop, and can find this button you mention, I can use my iPhone and my laptop at the same time, having only a one device package? And knowing or doing nothing else but activating this “mobile hotspot”?

Yep. Settings, Network, Mobile Hotspot - just realize that the performance may be notably worse compared to connecting directly.

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8 hours ago, Saman said:

Very interesting i had been thinking about getting one of the tp link travel routers , there is a slightly cheaper one

than the one you have also tplink will check to see the difference , very interesting what you have managed to do with your laptop , i wasnt planning on taking mine but not sure if it could be an option if i am able  to use it as hotspot but i supposed could depend on pc , the one i use for travel is only a cheap one and probably has a weak network card.

 

 

 

Yes my laptop (not cheap in any case) probably has a good network card but it probably doesn't matter much since all the devices you will be connecting are in your room and are max 20 feet away. Any card should be able to do that.

 

 

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On 11/14/2019 at 4:49 AM, joshwillmot said:

Hi Mrdynatime, what VPN did you find that worked please?

 

Torguard worked well while NordVPN was blocked. This may have changed since I cruised in January. I will check again on my next cruise and report back. 

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7 minutes ago, irishgal432 said:

Does Independence have the chat feature on its App so you can chat with other guests without wifi?

 

Not as of today.  No ETA given by cruise line.

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