Satellite Internet for RVers with No Service Contract!

One of the most important factors we considered when deciding to purchase our new satellite internet dish was the service contract. There is none! Aside from the promise of instant internet access anywhere, that point alone had me sold.

As far as I know, MobilSat is the first Internet Service Provider to offer on demand bandwidth with no service contract required, and no FAP (Fair Access Policy). When we need bandwidth, we buy it, and we use it, however and whenever we want. It’s that simple!

This will come in very handy whenever we are workamping or staying long term in an area with decent wifi or Verizon service where we can use our Mifi mobile hotspot.

Let me explain…

Boondocking at the Pads Death Valley CA
Working from Death Valley thanks to satellite internet.

We spend a lot of time in very remote areas with limited or no cellular service. This is why we love having satellite internet, and value the investment we made in the new RVDataSat 840. The system allows us to get online and work from anywhere. Of course, that freedom comes with a price. In the past—or in the case of most cellular data providers—that price usually requires a commitment of up to two years.

These service contracts limit the amount of bandwidth you can use during a specified time frame. For instance, our Verizon shared data plan provides 10GB of bandwidth per month at a certain price which we could only get with a two-year contract. Our previous HughesNet satellite internet service was similar, it cost a certain amount per month but we had to commit to a one year contract.

Our HughesNet account had a daily FAP limit of 500MB within each 24 hour period. If we used more than that, service would be degraded to the point that it was basically useless until enough time had passed for the FAP to reset. Verizon network techs have informed me that data transfer speeds are throttled for all users based on a maximum number of simultaneous connections. And if you go over your monthly bandwidth limit, of course, you’re just automatically billed for the extra data.

Still with me?

None of this applies with our new Insta-Sat on demand satellite internet service. Instead, MobilSat allows us to purchase the bandwidth we need, and use it when we need it. We can basically purchase “chunks” of data, with discounts available for larger amounts. We can use that data as we need to, and when we need more, we just purchase another chunk.

Please visit MobilSat for current plans and pricing.

So…say we need 25GB (good for three months), and happen to use it up in a couple weeks. We do not get billed for any overage. Download speeds do not slow to a crawl, they just stop. We simply visit our MobilSat user portal, purchase another plan, and we are immediately back in business!

Luckily, we haven’t had to do that yet. Watching your bandwidth usage, and monitoring your available data is always important! Our Insta-Sat service makes that simple. Here’s how it works…


UPDATE: MobilSat no longer offers “pay-as-you-go” on demand internet service plans. Please review all RVDataSat service plans here.


How To Purchase On-Demand Satellite Internet Service

Another beauty about the RVDataSat 84o is that the system is totally plug and play. The included iDirect modem comes pre-commissioned, which means there was no lengthy process to get online once we had the dish installed. Within minutes after connecting the hardware, I had purchased our plan and was browsing the web.

InstaSat Satellite Internet User Portal

When new Insta-Sat users deploy their dish for the first time—or if their data plan has expired or been used up—they are automatically directed to the MobilSat user portal.

InstaSat Satellite Internet Service Plans

There you have the option to purchase one of the on-demand service plans.

InstaSat Satellite Internet User Portal

Select the plan you want, enter your account and payment information and you’re done.

InstaSat Satellite Internet User Portal

The portal provides users with a snapshot of their available data, and detailed usage history by the month. You can add more bandwidth any time. The amount will be added to any remaining allowance you have, and the usage deadline extended accordingly.

InstaSat Satellite Internet User Portal

For security reasons, the portal can only be accessed via the Insta-Sat network so your dish must be deployed to view your current account status or purchase more data. If for any reason you need to know how much data you have remaining, but you are not online with your dish, you can find out with a simple phone call to the MobilSat Support reps who have all been very prompt, knowledgeable and courteous the few times I’ve decided called with questions.

InsatSat Internet Service User Portal

The User Portal also has a built-in ticketing system for technical support or billing questions and allows users to manage multiple accounts, if they have a fleet of internet-equipped vehicles or trailers for instance.

“Expensive” is Relative

Ever since I started sharing news about the new RVDataSat 840 system, we’ve received comments and questions from both genuinely interested potential users and the stereotypical naysayers. One common theme though tends to address the cost. One person on the Faceborg even questioned why we would ever pay that much when “Verizon is so much cheaper” per month. She didn’t get it. 🙄

The answer is simple: As Dave Ramsey once told us, This is a cost of lifestyle decision.

Free RV Boondocking Leadville, CO
Working off grid at 10,000′ near Leadville, Colorado.

We can’t use our Mifi hotspot outside the Verizon coverage area. And we hate being tied to cell towers. Satellite internet clearly isn’t for every full-time RVer, but we wouldn’t be living—and working—on the road without it. And I for one, am happy to be enjoying on demand internet service, anywhere, without a service contact!

Any questions?

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UPDATE: MobilSat no longer offers “pay-as-you-go” on demand internet service plans. Please review all RVDataSat service plans here.


7 thoughts on “Satellite Internet for RVers with No Service Contract!”

  1. Hi Jim & Rene,
    Do you have an update on your internet solution as of 2017? Have you been moved to iDirect’s new service plans and contracts or are you still enjoying Insta-Sat’s pay-as-you-go plans at those 2015 prices? Like you, we’re hoping to boondock as far away from everything as possible, but still maximize our connectivity.
    We were IT developers so understand the cost-benefit of what may seem like high data costs, but it seems to me that one has to be really careful in the selection of systems and hardware in a market that is predominantly aimed at the commercial/global/emergency service industries – that gets REALLY expensive!

    Thanks for your useful information.

    Regards – Pete

    • Thanks for asking Pete! As User #1 on the InstaSat network, we have been grandfathered into the Pay On Demand plan. This is no longer available to new users, and will expire for us next year. At that time we will have to decide about purchasing one of the new RVDataSat Plans.

  2. Sorry, sounds great; but the $100/month average price is still way too much for those who do not have an income other than Social Security. It costs these companies next to nothing to purchase GBs; the mark ups are as bad as the Pharmaceutical companies w/Drugs. There is no Reason that they can not offer plans at $50/mo for 5-10GB.

    • Thanks for the comment klee, no need to be sorry.

      A. As I mention, this is not for everybody. And it is a cost of lifestyle decision. For us, it is a must, and we are happy with our purchase decision.

      B. Do you happen to know the actual cost of leasing Satellite bandwidth? If so, please enlighten us and we’ll be happy to investigate further.


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