After reading the "cut the cable" topic and seeing all of the good suggestions I thought I'd try my own question. I have a cottage on Lake Michigan (between Manistee and Frankfort) with no available cable, no available DSL (too far from the CO), no cell signal. I need VPN for work so satellite will not work.
1. Cellular - I've tried Wilson Electronics cell booster with both a omni directional and yagi antenna (outside) but cannot pull in a useable signal. I do get a cell signal from Wisconsin (about 80 miles away) but cannot connect using that signal (I think the distance introduces a delay they the equipment can't handle). Even pointing the Yagi antenna inland towards Michigan still gives me a Wisconsin cell signal. I've used the Open Signal app on my Android to locate Michigan cell towers. I'm below a hill and trees and have no line of sight to a Michigan cell tower even from the top of the two story structure. The cell signals from Wisconsin seem to interfere/overpower with anything in Michigan.
2. Wifi - I've tried a Alfa 2.4GHz 24dBi Grid Wireless LAN Antenna - For 802.11b,g, paired with a EnGenius USB Adapter 600mW 802.11b/g/n and my laptop. I can find a few Wifi networks but the signal is intermittent and I can't connect to the networks I find (they seem to be Wisconsin based marinas by the names of the networks).
Other than building a several hundred foot tower (or dialup), does anyone have any other suggestions for getting a high speed data signal?