Canada & Alaska

Michele & Stephen's trip in 2012

Mobile Internet Access in Canada

This page is probably only of interest if you are intending to tour Canada in a motorhome for many months and require lots of Internet access, even then it's fairly boring. You have been warned.

One of the things that we sorted out in Halifax whilst waiting for Man to arrive was Internet access on the move in Canada.

One of the advantages of being in the same country for the whole of a "long trip" is that it makes sense to buy a local mobile phone, SIM card or 2/3/4G modem. Something that is rarely worth while doing when moving from country to country. As in the UK there are multiple network "brands" and multiple offers to choose from.

Because we have between us two notebook computers, one netbook computer (used for navigation), two Android smartphones and one Android ePad the most cost effective way of getting on-line is to use a MiFi (i.e. a wireless broadband modem linked to a WiFi base station). The original plan was to buy a local Broadband USB modem and plug it into my Zoom 4506 Travel MiFi, however the first problem was to find a company willing to supply equipment and Internet service to a non-Canadian.

We approached Rogers, Bell Alant, Telus and Virgin, all of them said they were unable to offer either pre-paid or contract services without a Canadian address and Canadian credit rating!

Eventually one Bell Alant shop said that whilst they had the best coverage, at least Rogers would deal with us without a Canadian address. So we tried a third Rogers shop near the university (with lots of foreign students) and here the manager said "no problem", they would just use the shop address and were happy to use our UK credit card. (Matthew Harnett (Store Manager), AML Communications Inc, 5693 Spring Garden Rd., Halifax, NS B3J 1GN).

He also offered us a Rogers Rocket Mobile HotSpot (a battery powered, self-contained MiFi) that shares Rogers 2/3/4G network via a secure WiFi link with up to ten concurrent users. Up to 2GB of data per month costs about Can$ 52.00.

Both the shop and the device are highly recommended.