It is a question that I see come up time and time again, what is the best RV Wifi solution?Unfortunately, the question, how to get a strong internet signal does not have a simple answer. We work online while traveling, and wifi is an absolute must for us.
Having a dial-up speed internet is not an option. It’s a bonus to be able to have internet that can handle streaming TV, running two phones, and handle 2 laptops, all at the same time.
I realized right off the bat that finding an RV Wifi solution was not going to be easy. But, after months of research and lots of trial and error, I have come up with several RV Wifi solutions.
The Obvious Solution
So the first RV Wifi solution is an obvious one. Sorry, I had to at least quickly cover it. Depending on where your RV is, you might be able to access the Wifi that is at that location. Maybe you are at a park that offers wifi. Or, you are at a friend or relatives house, and you can mooch off of their wifi.
In addition, you might be parked close enough to a wifi hotspot. Wifi hotspots are getting more and more popular around the country and sometimes this is an option.
I would always suggest just taking out your cell phone and checking to see if you are picking up a network. If your phone is showing a network available, perhaps this is a quick and easy solution. But, let’s be honest, most of the time, this is not available, and if it is, the service is usually terrible or doesn’t work at all.
As stated in the last section, sometimes there is a service available in range, but the signal is very weak. Or, perhaps, there is Wifi available at the front office, but you are not parked close to it. When there is a signal close, but it is very slow, or just out of reach, this would be a great scenario for a RV Wifi extender.
There are several options for extenders, ranging in price from around $100 to as much as $600 or more. Specifically, what they do is take an existing Wi-Fi hotspot, such as one available at RV parks, camping sites, restaurants, coffee shops, and truck stops.
An extender expands the Wi-Fi coverage, allowing you access to it. They DO NOT create their own internet connection, so there must be available Wi-Fi for it to extend. Also, it cannot increase the base speed of the signal it is extending.
Therefore, a wifi extender can be beneficial in times when there is an available wifi signal. We own the KING KF1000 Falcon Automatic Directional WiFi Antenna, and it works great, but it is one of the more expensive ones.
Cell Phone Signal Booster
Another RV Wifi Solution would be a cell phone signal booster.If you have a streaming service through your cell phone provider, or you can get it, this might be a good option for you.
What cell phone signal boosters do, is similar to what the wifi extender does, but it extends your cell phone or personal hotspot signal.
This is our TOP RV WIFI Solution.
The is the one thing that works when you are dealing with a weak cell phone signal. This booster is extremely powerful. It was a life saver for us when we were in the middle of the Redwoods with very little cell service.
We use our mobile hot spot and this weBoost and we are able to both work on the computer and additionally, can stream netflix!
- COMPATIBILITY: This weBoost Signal Booster is compatible with all US carriers including: AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, Sprint, Straight Talk, U.S. Cellular and many more. *Government regulations in the U.S. prohibit boosting a particular frequency used by some of the Sprint network. Most Sprint customers still see performance improvement from weBoost signal boosters.
- SIGNAL BOOSTER: The weBoost Connect RV 65 boosts your signal up to 32X for fewer dropped calls, higher audio quality, and faster uploads and downloads.
- BATTERY LIFE: Enjoy up to 2 hours of additional talk time with the weBoost Connect RV 65. This cell phone signal booster consumes only a small percentage of your phone’s battery, prolonging battery life.
- VERSATILITY: The weBoost Connect RV 65 supports multiple devices so that everyone can experience the fastest network speed inside of your RV.
- STATIONARY USE: The weBoost Connect RV 65 is designed to increase your cell phone signal in your parked RV.
So, if you have cell phone service that is very weak, it will amplify the signal to make it stronger.Therefore, you will get a better signal to stream through your cell phone. However, there are a few downsides to this RV wifi solution.
The Downsides to Cell Phone Signal Boosters for RV Wifi
First, you have to have a cell phone signal, to begin with. These devices DO NOT create a signal, they just boost it. So if you have no signal at all, this will not help. Also, if you are restricted with your cell phone data, this choice can get expensive, especially if you pay per gig.
All of the major cell phone providers have gotten away from unlimited data. Well, let me rephrase that, you can get unlimited data for your cell phone. However, in regards to streaming, they will limit you to so many gigs of full speed. Typically, it is around 15 gigs, and then the speed will drop down to basically an unusable speed.
How much Internet Do I Need?
RV Wifi, put it into perspective, 1 hour of Netflix streaming, equals out to about 1 gig of data. For some people, this might be plenty of data.I know for myself, I go through 15 gigs in about 3 days.
The Potential Solution
The good news is that there is a potential solution for the whole 15 gigs of data thing. There are people out there that have grandfathered cell phone data plans that are truly unlimited. What this means is, in the past, the service provider offered a truly unlimited plan. People purchased these plans and have kept them continuously. Now, the cell phone providers will honor those plans because they have been “grandfathered” in. There are several options out there for this, but be careful! I have heard that some are not truly unlimited or are a rip-off.
We use an AT&T Unlimited. Also if you are interested in knowing who we use for our grandfathered unlimited plan, message me here, and I will send you the details. Honestly, this is my personal favorite internet solution. Fairly inexpensive comparatively, and it works great.
Top RV WiFi Satellite Solution
Last on my list of RV Wifi solutions would have to be Satellite dishes. Although they are a decent option, they can be very expensive. The hardware that is required can be very large and sometimes difficult to install or have to be installed by a professional. There are several options on this one and a few key items to look at when shopping for your satellite.
These satellite Connections are usually reliable. Allowing you to get a signal almost anywhere. In addition, the monthly subscription usually includes cable tv.
You can find out what deals you’re eligible for when you call your local satellite provider.
In conclusion, it really all comes down to exactly where you are and what you are doing.If you are going to be in close range to a cell phone signal, there would probably be no need to buy a satellite.However, if you are in the middle of nowhere, with no signal, a booster will not work for you.If you can afford it, I suggest a combination of all of them.This way no matter where you land, you will always have a way to connect you RV Wifi.
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