One of the best things about heading out in your RV on a camping trip is the ability to unplug! But let’s be honest, we still want to have some connection to the outside world.
Whether it be to do a quick check of your email, stream a movie at night or search for nearby attractions; having an internet connection is great to have.
But what is the best way to get wifi while camping? Here are your options:
Options for getting internet in an RV
Just because you’re away from your home Wi-Fi and in the middle of nowhere doesn’t mean your devices can’t be connected to the internet. Below are some ways you can quickly get online when in an RV.
Use Campground Wi-Fi
When talking about campground Wi-Fi, this might be a free internet connection from the surrounding library or coffee shop or the paid connection from the many internet plans that campgrounds offer. Today’s internet service providers have also put hotspots in campgrounds you can take advantage of. You may find a strong enough campground connection, but it is not always predictable or reliable due to many users drawing from it simultaneously.
If you want to use campground Wi-Fi with faster speed comfortably, install a Wi-Fi extender in your RV. The device will cost a few dollars but It’s an ideal option if you are planning to stay in RV campgrounds and parks with amenities. We like the Winegard 80800 Wi-Fi extender
Note: There might be security issues with the free public Wi-Fi due to vulnerability to hackers. This is not the type of connection where you would want to handle your online banking.
- A great temporary option
- No cable or clunky infrastructure is needed.
- Less secure and easily hacked
- Can be unreliable and unpredictable
Use Your Phone as a Hot Spot
This is the most popular internet connection option for most full-time RVers. The cellular hotspot is easy to set up and relatively faster than even the cable modems. With just a MIFI or a smartphone, you can create a mobile hotspot and effortlessly connect multiple devices. To exploit this option, you must pick a mobile network carrier with the best monthly plans and most widespread coverage. With the emerging of 4G and even 5G in some cases, the cellular network coverage of today is better than it has ever been.
- Very reliable highspeed internet connections
- Staying connected while driving
- Costly unlimited data plans
- Affected by poor cell signal
Satellite internet is the perfect option if you plan to spend most of your time boondocking in very remote regions with absolutely no cell signal. Satellite Internet is available anywhere; you only need to ensure a clear line of sight to the southern sky. Even though satellite internet can offer the best option in situations of high usage, most providers tend to reduce the speed when you surpass a certain limit. Either way, satellite internet works well in very remote areas, and this is why it’s a good option if you need an internet connection in your RV.
- It works where cellular data or a Wi-Fi network is not available.
- Satellite Internet is available anywhere.
- It’s a cumbersome option when setting it up.
- Can be affected by extreme weather such as snow
How Does Wi-Fi Boosters Work For RVs
A Wi-Fi booster starts working after establishing a connection between the access point or router and your wireless devices such as a cell phone or laptop with Wi-Fi turned on. Take an example; you want a web connection on your handset without using a lot of data in your allocated data package, you will only need to turn the access point on. The access point will immediately send the transmission. If it does not reach your handset in some corner, a Wi-Fi booster will help you in such a situation.
The transmission is captured by the booster and then pushed into your handset with the Wi-Fi feature turned on. The wireless relays information to the booster before the router receives the transmission. Once the router accepts the information, it relays it to the web servers. The process repeats itself. The efficiency or swiftness of this process often depends on the type of Wi-Fi booster, the router, and each booster’s standard. The Perse booster standard provides an excellent range and speed as well as very interference-resistant in its coverage.
What is the difference between a Wi-Fi booster, repeater, or extender?
Wi-Fi boosters, repeaters, and extenders are devices that enhance the coverage area of your Wi-Fi network. The terms are interchangeably used even by manufacturers, but the difference is simple: Wi-Fi boosters receive your existing Wi-Fi signal from a wireless network, amplifies it, and then transmit it to a new area, extending the coverage of your Wi-Fi network. They are basically wireless range extenders.
Unlike Wi-Fi boosters which link directly to routers and boost the signal from the main access point, Wi-Fi extenders and repeaters rebroadcast an established Wi-Fi signal. Repeaters are usually made up of two separate wireless routers. One of the routers gets the Wi-Fi signal and passes it on to the other router, amplifying it and retransmitting it to another area. On the other hand, Wi-Fi extenders are wired into outlets and utilize two antennas to transmit, replicate, and extend a specific connection. Since extenders are linked through wired connections, the bandwidth always stays uninterrupted.
Below are some products that can help you boost your Wi-Fi connection in an RV.
Best RV Wifi Booster – Repeater Reviews
Bearifi BearExtender Marine High-Power USB & Outdoor RV Wi-Fi Extender Antenna for Personal computers offer long-range Wi-Fi extenders for outdoor and indoor use. The extender is long-range, 802.11n 2.4 GHz, and extends the Wi-Fi signal to only the computer connected to a USB cable. The device features three versatile mounting options, a Velcro pole mounting strap, an adjustable metal pole mounting band, and a Detachable tabletop tripod. It is IP65 certified dust and water-resistant with an anti-corrosion and anti-UV protective coating.
- Maximum Wi-Fi range: About 1000mW RF output for long-range Wi-Fi
- Three versatile, quick mountings included no drilling required.
- Designed for Microsoft Windows, Windows 7, 8/8.1, Microsoft Windows Vista, and Windows 10
- IP65 certified, dust and water-resistant
- 2.4 GHz boost, does not need any power supply
- IP65 certified, water and dust resistant
- Maximum Wi-Fi range
- Versatile mounting options
- Only designed to work with Windows Vista, 7, 8/8.1 & Windows 10
Winegard Wi-Fi Extender for RVs keeps your media players, computers, and mobile devices connected to a reliable connection and extended coverage. The extender features denial-of-service (DoS) attack prevention, guest network access; advanced Wi-Fi protected access (WPA2-PSK and WPA), and double firewall protection (NAT and SPI). The setup requirements for the device include a wireless 802.11b/g/n 2.4GHz network, smartphone, tablet, or computer with a browser.
- Device dimensions: 16″ diameter, 8″ height, 3.75 lbs.
- It requires a Wireless 802.11b/g/n 2.4GHz network.
- AT And T is the approved providers.
- Features denial-of-service (DoS) attack prevention, guest network access, advanced Wi-Fi protected access (WPA2-PSK and WPA), and double firewall protection (NAT and SPI)
- Offer high performance and maximum security while capturing available Wi-Fi signals.
- Easy Connectivity for all Devices
- Increased Wi-Fi speeds and range
- Always secure
- The connection does not happen automatically; you have to connect it manually every time.
The weBoost Drive Sleek improves your cell phone’s data speed and usable range. The device ensures faster mobile internet, better voice quality, improved streaming on the road, and fewer dropped calls for single mobile devices. The device comes with a rapid charging USB-A cord that charges your mobile device on the go. FCC-approved to run on frequency bands 4, 2, 5, 12, 13, without interrupting any cell towers within the cell tower.
- Compatible with all US networks, including T U.S. Cellular, -Mobile, Verizon, Sprint, AT&T, and more
- Approved by FCC to operate on frequency bands 12, 13, 5, 4, 2
- Compatible with the latest 5G network
- Adjustable design that can easily fit hotspot and any phone between 5.1″ and 7.5″ in length
- A 2-year manufacturer’s warranty by weBoost
- Safe and secure
- Compatible with all US network providers
- 5G compatible
- Not compatible with original sleek antennas or cables
As you plan your RV trip, remember that an internet connection can enhance your experience. No matter which location you find yourself in during your RV trip, a Wi-Fi booster can help keep you connected, even during signal interruptions. If your hotspot is too slow, the device will always save the day.