I've always been a technophobe... most new technology seems to be little more than a distraction at best, and life-draining time wasters at worst. (Do we really need a phone app that makes parts of photos "jiggle" when you shake your phone?) There are always exceptions however. When we decided to live on the road, some of the new gear we discovered seemed made for our lifestyle, (mobile, nationwide). We sold the old desktop and traded up to a laptop, that was a no-brainer. Now, how to get internet service? Alot of people like satellite, but it's slow and expensive. (as well as bulky) We opted for Verizon's 4G Mi-Fi device... fast, small, good coverage, and the same price as our current provider but with nationwide coverage. The most interesting thing we found was the "Home Phone Connect". Instead of paying $50-$80 a month for a cell phone contract with an expensive phone, Verizon gave us this device for free with a two year contract. It's major selling points: 1.) you can have service anywhere in the country for $20 a month, and all the usual services that come with a cell phone. 2.) It works with almost any standard cordless telephone... just plug the cord into the back of the device. Whatever phone you connect will work within 50' of the device, pretty cool, and it keeps the cost of being connected down.
For reading, we went with the Kindle from Amazon. There are lot's of copy-cat devices out there but for simply reading books, the Kindle's at the top of the heap. Battery life is measured in weeks, it stores over 3500 books, and you can purchase books online or right off the device in under a minute usually for 50% off normal prices. (Sometimes $2, or even free.) Nexflix has been our choice for movies, even at 5 dvd's out at a time, the cost is only about $30 a month. We simply get our discs delivered via "general delivery" to our name, at whatever post office we're closest to. (Often, straight to our RV park.)
All these devices/arrangements saved us space, money, and made the transition to the mobile lifestyle an easy one. On the negative side, we can't stream movies anymore, due to data limits. Verizon has two plans: 5 gigs for $50, and 10 gigs for $80. 1.) $80 is out of our budget, and 2.) you reach your data limit REAL FAST with movies and music downloads. TV comes in the form of Dish Network's "tailgater" portable satellite dish. We got a 60 channel HD package for $35 a month, and the Tailgater was $380. (It pays for itself in time savings... just plug it in, and it locates the satellites for you in about 5-10 minutes, no muss no fuss. Weighs only 10 lbs, and fits in the back seat.)
UPDATE 6-20-12: We found that the WiFi device didn't work more than 60-70% of the time, and performance (Speed) was iffy. We also found that we really didn't use the phone as much as expected, so we ditched the Verizon "Home Phone Connect" and "MiFi" device, saving us $70-$80 a month. We have had no problems using a "pay-as-you-go" flip phone for calls, ($10 a month avg.) and seeking free WiFi hot spots for internet service. They're fairly common at Libraries, McDonalds, many RV parks, and other public forums... and performance is more consistently reliable. Security isn't a huge issue, with the proper precautions, such as firewalls, and "public" security settings on your computer. We're cautious about where we access our bank accounts and other sensitive sites.
UPDATE 9-11-12: We had 2 months of trouble-free use of the Tailgater, but since then nothing but trouble. Our unit stopped "moving", and couldn't locate signals. Dish network referred us to King Controls, who sent us a replacement (which was used, and missing a screw) This one didn't work either, but in different ways. Right now, both companies blame each other's equipment and a refund isn't likely. Considering all the hastles we've had, we decided to stick with Netflix for TV series/movies... and free cable hook-ups/over-the-air programming for other programming. It's cheaper, there's no hastle, and no equipment to lug around in the back seat. Cest La vie.
UPDATE 11-10-12: We wound up selling the Tailgater after all. Dish did finally forgive the early cancellation fee, (we got hold of the right rep, and were lucky). All in all, we've found that keeping things simple is the easiest, cheapest way to go. Many of the things we bought and tried were just too expensive, and weren't worth the monthly payents considering reliablity issues, and "dead zones". We've been getting by just fine with the cable TV and WiFi offered at many of the RV parks we stay at... and are able to pick up over-the-air digital stations 90% of the time regardless. I can't say enough about Netflix... cheap, reliable, great personal service, and it follows us everywhere. (not to mention, commercial free and more variety of programming.) Those few occasions we don't have cable, we watch news and recent shows on the internet for free.