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Old 02-13-2020, 06:26 AM   #1
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Does anyone have the almost perfect solution for wifi internet connectivity while on the road fulltime?
If so can you share your thoughts and equipment you purchased with links please
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Old 02-13-2020, 06:32 AM   #2
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I recently changed one of our phones to the Verizon "Get More Unlimited" ($55 per month) which comes with 30 Gb of hotspot at 4G/LTE, then it slows to 600 Kbps. As far as using the phone itself for surfing, videos, etc. - it has 75 Gb before it can be throttled back. I just started it a week ago - so I can't really tell you much more than that.

We've been Verizon customers for years and find they have the best service. One of our sons has T-Mobile and the other has AT&T - and our phones work where theirs don't work or barely work.
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Old 02-13-2020, 07:53 AM   #3
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Verizon 55+. Hot spot for internet. Forget about streaming video. That's what Dish and DTV are for.
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Old 02-13-2020, 09:49 AM   #4
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Does anyone have the almost perfect solution for wifi internet connectivity while on the road fulltime?
If so can you share your thoughts and equipment you purchased with links please
There is no almost perfect solution.

This has been discussed a multitude of times and you can pretty much forget about depending on the campground. Ones with good WIFI are few and far between.

The consensus is have a hotspot through a major carrier or better yet with two.

A forum search will bring up lots of reading.
There was a pretty big discussion here just a few weeks ago that included talking about Visible, a fairly new player in the data provider game.
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Old 02-13-2020, 09:55 AM   #5
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no, there's no such thing as even an 'almost perfect' internet/wifi solution that fits EVERYONE's needs, as there are just too many variables.

Some will be moving and mobile almost all of the time

Some will be in areas that don't even have a cellular signal

Some will be in a fixed position, yet expecting low-cost high speed Unlimited data, which in itself is really not feasible... even cable companies that offer internet and a modem still have limitation to data, or will have you in a long-term contract.

You question, though, may allude to a lot of differing questions that you don't specify:

are you talking just about the 'connection' to the internet? Many parks offer 'free' wifi, but even then you may have a hard time 'connecting' to the signal. Some antennas can offer help for this.

are you talking about 'speed'? High Speed is really the term of the day, yet most parks who offer wifi don't disclose the 'speed', and most of the time it's not the 'high speed' you might expect. You can have high speed if you have a cellular plan with a good strong signal and within an area that the company offers the faster speed for, but many campgrounds aren't in those areas.

are you talking about 'unlimited data'? that's where the cellular companies have you over the barrel - they may give you access to 'high speed', but once you've streamed the first movie, or done 'too much' already in the month, you'll be 'throttled down' to a point that's almost unbearable, speed wise, even though, yes, you still have 'unlimited' data...


You'll have to be more specific with your desires...
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Old 02-13-2020, 10:39 AM   #6
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If you must have internet (like working remotely from the road), a yearly subscription to www.rvmobileinternet.com is well worth it. It'll help you navigate the different plan offerings and make equipment suggestions.

Right now, most of my friends are going with www.otrmobile.com. It's an unlimited provider with AT&T service. For redundancy, they're then coupling that with a plan from another carrier (or two!).

For boosting your signal on a hotspot, the $30-40 Netgear Mimo antenna is worth its weight in gold. But your hotspot needs to have antenna ports.
https://learntorv.com/netgear-hotspot-antenna/

For fringe areas, a booster can be helpful. I have the weBoost 4G Drive-X and it's helpful sometimes. It's hard to spend the $400-500 on it and not have as much benefit as you'd think (especially comparing it against a $30-40 antenna).

It's a little out of date, but I talk about my setup here:
https://learntorv.com/cellular-wifi-and-networks-oh-my/

If you're in areas without cell service, then you either have to go with campground wifi, without, or look into satellite offerings. Be aware, the current satellite offerings are slow, not great, and expensive. But it opens more wilderness up to you, if that's what you're interested in.

And if you're talking about stationary fulltime RVing (i.e. living in a camper in a single campground year-round), you might be able to talk to the local cable/phone company and have high-speed broadband internet brought directly to your rig.
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Old 02-13-2020, 10:40 AM   #7
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Oh, and cell service/internet is one of my larger expenses at over $300/month for 3 phones and 2 hotspots on 2 different carriers. AND I'm talking about adding a 3rd phone provider for when I'm in snowbirding locations with overloaded AT&T and Verizon towers.
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Old 02-13-2020, 02:10 PM   #8
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Thank you guys for your insight and beating this topic to death, hopefully the 5g will offer better service. I may just get the dish network for entertainment pay as we go and as far as checking email and surfing internet get a hotspot with we boost.
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Old 02-13-2020, 10:01 PM   #9
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I recently changed one of our phones to the Verizon "Get More Unlimited" ($55 per month) which comes with 30 Gb of hotspot at 4G/LTE, then it slows to 600 Kbps. As far as using the phone itself for surfing, videos, etc. - it has 75 Gb before it can be throttled back. I just started it a week ago - so I can't really tell you much more than that.

We've been Verizon customers for years and find they have the best service. One of our sons has T-Mobile and the other has AT&T - and our phones work where theirs don't work or barely work.


This^^^

Lots of people on internet related threads are negative about how there is no perfect solution. Which there’s not, but there are solutions. We switched to the same Verizon plan across 2 phones and we essentially stream as much Netflix as we would want every month. We camp around 70 nights a year as weekend warriors and Hayward WI was the only area we have been to where we couldn’t stream, otherwise we’ve been as far as Wyoming west and south as the smokies and had LTE the entire time. Went to Manitoba CAnada last fall and streamed the packer game to the tv. It’s completely possible. Go Pack
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Old 02-14-2020, 12:34 AM   #10
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Thank you guys for your insight and beating this topic to death, hopefully the 5g will offer better service. I may just get the dish network for entertainment pay as we go and as far as checking email and surfing internet get a hotspot with we boost.

Rusty


I'm afraid 5G won't make it any better, at least not for the very long time. 5G towers range is significantly smaller, the infrastructure is more expensive and -at least for now- it's totally focused on urban areas where it works best. I wouldn't expect 5G in the middle of nowhere any time soon.
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Old 02-14-2020, 09:05 AM   #11
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Happily lost so you use one of your phones as a hotspot correct and stream through the other phone to your tv? does your phone battery drain fast?
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Old 02-14-2020, 09:34 AM   #12
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Happily lost so you use one of your phones as a hotspot correct and stream through the other phone to your tv? does your phone battery drain fast?


Yes. They are both considered hotspots and if we’re running multiple things we’ll split them. This way kids can stream Disney+ in their room and we can stream Netflix on our outside tv if we’d like to. Phone batteries will drain faster than normal but we typically just leave them on charger. We also bought a pretty good portable charger on amazon for 60 bucks that’ll give us 4 individual charges so we have used that before. Range isn’t super great on them and doesn’t go through the exterior walls great so you want it close. But we’ve encountered Michigan UP state parks that are pretty remote and had 100 mbps. Most of the time we’re around 15-20 mbps. That one campground we were at in Hayward Wisconsin was like 2mbps but was weird because when we went 1 mile south to the lake it was back to the 20mbps so idk. 99% of the time we’ve had no issues.
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Old 02-14-2020, 09:42 AM   #13
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as a note, as we've used many differing methods and devices along our 5 years of many, many miles of travel, the 'NetBuddy AT&T Netgear device' with UNLIMITED high-speed service for $65 monthly has been taken off-line by the company netbuddy.co ....
their website says that they are 'no longer taking on new customers', and when I tried to re-establish my device's service, it will not allow it..... so...

I went back to go ol' AT&T, which has my 4 iPhones on a limited 3 gig monthly plan, and changed it to their new 'UNLIMITED ELITE' plan, at least for a week or so while we are on a special trip, away from our 'Fiber Internet' home-base. AT&T also assured me that I could easily change BACK to my original 3 gig monthly rate when I returned, as it is a plan that they still have 'active', meaning that they still 'sell' it, though it may not easily be found any longer on their website. Good to know, since this actually will be an easier and cheaper alternative to a mifi device, and will give ALL 4 phones each their own UNLIMITED HighSpeeed 5G option, and 30gb of 'hot spot' sharing with laptops, etc.

So, no, there's not really a 'perfect' wifi/internet 'single' option when you are mobile, sometimes not even when you are parked, but you have to remain creative and understand the options you DO have.

I think this change for us will cost all of $20 for the short time we will need it, versus the NetBuddy device would have cost us $65 since they only provide 'monthly' billed service, at least WHEN it's available!
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Old 02-14-2020, 10:59 AM   #14
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Almost perfect for us is a twofold solution. We are not FT but are on the road for 3 months each winter and lots of weekends during the year.

First we have a WiFi Ranger in our trailer that takes a local (campground) WiFi signal and routes it through your camper so your WiFi Ranger is what you log into which adds another level of security and allows you to link multiple devices. In our limited experience this gets us a little better connection speed as the antenna is on the roof so we’re not trying to connect through your metal encased RV. We have streamed movies this way also but only during the off season so as to not take up valuable bandwidth in the campground. WiFi Ranger has also rolled out a cell signal booster that connects to their antenna hardware.

Second option we use is our unlimited data plans on our two iPhones. We use the phone data when we want more secure connections like for banking or online shopping. We also use it for web surfing and social media when we don’t have WiFi. We also use the phones unlimited data for streaming movies either using the phone as a hotspot that our Roku is connected to or using the iPhone lightning cord and a HDMI cord attached to our tv.

We currently have ATT cell service which we have had from the beginning of cell technology. We will be switching to Verizons new Visable service for $40 all in per month per line, unlimited everything. Add more phones to the Visable “party” and you can get the monthly cost down to $30. The change is both a financial advantage and better coverage in our snowbird location.

Hope this helps in your decision.
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Old 02-14-2020, 11:34 AM   #15
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I appreciate your advice and options this does help a great deal everyone for when we go fulltime
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Old 02-14-2020, 03:23 PM   #16
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We have a receiver from ATT (VZ has them also) where our internet access and home phone come to our home wireless. The phone just plugs into the back of it.

When we travel we take it with us, so we have our own WIFI, and even our home phone no matter where we are, as long as we can get decent ATT Cell reception.

It's all part of package with DirecTV, and Cell phones with unlimited data.

We don't have to deal with congested campground WIFI, and can stream data, DirecTV or Amazon Prime video content. No more setting up a satellite dish either.
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