Technology in terms you understand. Sign up for the Confident Computing newsletter for weekly solutions to make your life easier. Click here and get The Ask Leo! Guide to Staying Safe on the Internet — FREE Edition as my thank you for subscribing!

Is there an ISP that I can use in two different places?

Question: I’m a snowbird. We live in Des Moines, Iowa in the summer and in Arizona in the winter. I have CenturyLink. I have more trouble with it than it’s worth. I’d like to know of an internet service that I can take back and forth and it doesn’t cost too much. I currently pay about $20. They never get the order right; I lose them all the time and I’m getting tired of it.

Traditional ISPs are almost always location-centric. The company that connects through the telephone or cable connections that come into your home is the one that provides the internet.

Two different locations will almost always require two different traditional ISPs. Even if the ISP happens to be the same company in both locations, then you’re still typically looking at two separate accounts in those two locations: one for each.

There are few solutions.

Become a Patron of Ask Leo! and go ad-free!

Multi-location solutions

In the past, I actually would have suggested you look into Clearwire, a wireless internet provider. If they have you covered in both of your locations, that actually could have been a reasonable solution for not too much expense.

The problem is that they were purchased earlier this year by Sprint and they’re no longer taking new customers.

The only other real solution that I can come up with is a more traditional mobile carrier like Sprint, Verizon Wireless, AT&T, T-Mobile, Virgin Mobile or perhaps others. They work using their cellular networks, independent of where you are.

If you’ve got cellular coverage in both of your locations by the same provider, then a single wireless data plan using your cellular phone or a cellular modem could actually solve the problem quite nicely. I personally happen to be a long-time Verizon wireless customer and I’ve been Global Internetquite happy with their service  wherever I am.

It gets tricky if you have more than one computer. Most of the services are intended to be used by a single computer. It’s not to say that they can’t be used by more than one. It’s just harder to set up.

And cost. I honestly couldn’t come up with a $20/month solution this way. I certainly am paying much more than that for my wireless connection.

Unfortunately, those options are ones that I know. Perhaps readers will be able to chime in to the comments to this article to suggest some alternatives.

Do this

Subscribe to Confident Computing! Less frustration and more confidence, solutions, answers, and tips in your inbox every week.

I'll see you there!

3 comments on “Is there an ISP that I can use in two different places?”

  1. I have a cell phone service with internet. It’s much more than $20 a month, but if you factor in the basic cost of a mobile phone, what you pay for the internet access would only be the difference. My provider charges an extra $15 a month to connect a computer to the phone, but I have a phone which I bought outright, not from my cell service provider, which allows me to bypass the $15 tethering fee.

  2. FYI On your web page, with my screen size at 100%, the panel on the right is 1/2 cut off. If I go to a 75% size the panel is complete and can be read. Also, the bar with left and right arrows at the bottom of the screen is missing, even at 75% with the status bar off.

  3. About connecting more than 1 computer.
    You can do that with a 3G or 4G capable router.
    ISP only recognizes the MAC address of the router.
    (According to howtogeek 4G is actually 3G) Just info, don’t know much about that, and who cares?
    Most come with 5 or more channels.
    Some newer Android smartphones can be used as a router too, normally 5 channels.
    For a pc without wireless card you can use an USB device, most easy way to go.

    I’m not on a contract, but use pre-paid (unlimited data), how much I pay is not relevant as I do not live in the US.
    But I think they rip you off there.


Leave a reply:

Before commenting please:

  • Read the article.
  • Comment on the article.
  • No personal information.
  • No spam.

Comments violating those rules will be removed. Comments that don't add value will be removed, including off-topic or content-free comments, or comments that look even a little bit like spam. All comments containing links and certain keywords will be moderated before publication.

I want comments to be valuable for everyone, including those who come later and take the time to read.