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Old 01-27-2022, 01:18 PM   #1
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Why do I have a wi-fi ranger?

My Roo came with a WiFi Ranger on the roof. I've used it to connect to campground wifi, and create my own local wifi using that connection. It's always slower than connecting directly to the campground wifi.

Is security the reason to use this device? Or are there issues with the campground wifi penetrating camper shells that I'm just not encountering because I have three permeable bunks instead of solid walls?
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Old 01-27-2022, 01:52 PM   #2
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The theory is for that Ranger to connect to an external WiFi source and it acts like a local hub for other devices so you only have to connect various devices to your one "known" Ranger.

If it's slower then I'd go with whatever is faster. As far as security, I always recommend against using any public WiFi. I pay for unlimited data on my mobiles so I always use that. I also tether to my mobile from another device if needed. If I have no service, it's not the end of the world and more reason to enjoy the outdoors.
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Old 01-27-2022, 01:58 PM   #3
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There are campgrounds that limit the number of devices that can connect to their WIFI and some also limit streaming devices.

As mentioned, your WIFI Ranger is a single source connection that then allows all YOUR devices to connect to it, possibly circumventing the limitations.

Technically, having an outside antenna 'could' improve signal...but... with that comes the limitations of adding another 'handshake' in the data stream. Depending on your location in the campground and how well the campground WIFI passes data, there's no doubt what you've experienced (using WIFI Ranger=slower) is normal.
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Old 01-27-2022, 02:01 PM   #4
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Thanks - that makes sense with the single login on all of the other devices. I've never had much luck with campground wifi anyways and often use the phone hotspot. Sounds like it's not entirely necessary for what we typically need.
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Old 01-27-2022, 02:15 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by EcoBuckeye View Post
Thanks - that makes sense with the single login on all of the other devices. I've never had much luck with campground wifi anyways and often use the phone hotspot. Sounds like it's not entirely necessary for what we typically need.
Campgrounds (and a lot of other internet providers) find themselves scrambling to provide the data necessary in today's world.

With the onslaught of COVID and everyone working from home/remotely, schooling, banking and what not, internet service providers are having to blaze as many new trails as possible to keep up. Even before COVID the demand was increasing.

Many campgrounds find themselves in territory like it was when cable TV became the next big thing. Having to update their infrastructure to accommodate every site with cable. Same with 50a shore services and now with WIFI.

Add to that, the rural location(s) of many campgrounds simply limit them to available bandwidth (some places if any!) so it is tough for them to provide a robust service for all. Then you'll get the WIFI hogs who stream every show on several devices and soon, there is no WIFI bandwidth for anyone.

It seems to be getting better and some campgrounds are even offering higher speed connectivity for a price if they have access to additional bandwidth. (maybe a fiber connection) Those of us that still work from our R/Vs carry hotspots/jetpacks from several carriers and just do not rely on campground WIFI at all.
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Old 01-27-2022, 02:16 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by RedRoverComeOver View Post
The theory is for that Ranger to connect to an external WiFi source and it acts like a local hub for other devices so you only have to connect various devices to your one "known" Ranger.

If it's slower then I'd go with whatever is faster. As far as security, I always recommend against using any public WiFi. I pay for unlimited data on my mobiles so I always use that. I also tether to my mobile from another device if needed. If I have no service, it's not the end of the world and more reason to enjoy the outdoors.
That's why I use it, all my devices are already programmed with that access point and password. But it will only connect to a slower 2.4 Ghz network, not the faster 5 GHz network like iphones and the like are capable of using.
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Old 01-27-2022, 02:53 PM   #7
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Thanks - that makes sense with the single login on all of the other devices. I've never had much luck with campground wifi anyways and often use the phone hotspot. Sounds like it's not entirely necessary for what we typically need.
...and I've never had much luck with the Wi-Fi Ranger. Two trailers and it's always such a PITA to connect that I don't even bother anymore.
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Old 01-27-2022, 03:13 PM   #8
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We have WiFi Ranger and have always had good luck with it. As has been said, it provides a single point connection to the campground and that has been necessary a few times. The only times I've had speed or connectivity issues were when the campground wifi was unstable to begin with. And, most importantly, it provides a secure connection to the internet. I don't think we've ever had a campground that provided that. Overall, it's been easy to use and we like it. I also upgraded the firmware last year when they offered it, although IDK if that will make any difference - we haven't tried it with the new firmware yet. Finally, WiFi Ranger got bought by Winegard last year, so it remains to be seen what will come of that.
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Old 01-27-2022, 03:21 PM   #9
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But it will only connect to a slower 2.4 Ghz network, not the faster 5 GHz network like iphones and the like are capable of using.
FYI,
2.4 and 5 GHz are the same speed, 2.4GHz covers longer distances and is open to more interference from appliances and the like, and more data usage i.e. longer distance equals more signal pick up (congestion).
5GHz has much shorter distance capability thus less interference and opportunities for congestion, plus 5GHz supports more channels thus lowers congestion even more, all of this appears to increase speed but in reality the speed in the same, the channel usage is lower which provides better thru-put.

Sorry just one of my pet peeves.
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Old 01-27-2022, 05:46 PM   #10
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No.

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FYI,
2.4 and 5 GHz are the same speed, 2.4GHz covers longer distances and is open to more interference from appliances and the like, and more data usage i.e. longer distance equals more signal pick up (congestion).
5GHz has much shorter distance capability thus less interference and opportunities for congestion, plus 5GHz supports more channels thus lowers congestion even more, all of this appears to increase speed but in reality the speed in the same, the channel usage is lower which provides better thru-put.

Sorry just one of my pet peeves.
Lucy, you should be careful about this. Under IDEAL conditions, the top speed you can get with 2.45 GHz Wi-Fi is about 450-600 Gbps. With 5GHz Wi-Fi, the ideal top speed is 1300 Gbps.

There are a few sites (Quora is one of them) with outdated information. Don't be fooled.
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Old 01-27-2022, 06:22 PM   #11
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Lucy, you should be careful about this. Under IDEAL conditions, the top speed you can get with 2.45 GHz Wi-Fi is about 450-600 Gbps. With 5GHz Wi-Fi, the ideal top speed is 1300 Gbps.

There are a few sites (Quora is one of them) with outdated information. Don't be fooled.
the "speed" your talking about is bonded channels and shorter distance, not speed as one is faster then the other. it is an industry marketing thing that that mfg sucked everyone in on. Radio Frequency in spectrum is all the same speed whether it is 2.4 GHz, 5Ghz, ect. think of it this way 2.4GHz = 1 mile in 1 min. 5 Ghz = 1/2 mile in 30 sec then stops. they both go 60 miles an hour, but 5G can go twice in that min. so its not faster but it can deliver more load if the load needs to only go 1/2 as far. (leaving channels and bonding out of this example)

I am not fooled and I am carful about this, RF spectrum management is part of my real job.
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Old 01-27-2022, 06:29 PM   #12
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Lucy, you should be careful about this. Under IDEAL conditions, the top speed you can get with 2.45 GHz Wi-Fi is about 450-600 Gbps. With 5GHz Wi-Fi, the ideal top speed is 1300 Gbps.

There are a few sites (Quora is one of them) with outdated information. Don't be fooled.
Do you mean MBPS?
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Old 01-27-2022, 06:44 PM   #13
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Yes

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Do you mean MBPS?
Yes
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Old 01-27-2022, 08:25 PM   #14
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Carrier frequency or modulation or encoding scheme?

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the "speed" your talking about is bonded channels and shorter distance, not speed as one is faster then the other. it is an industry marketing thing that that mfg sucked everyone in on. Radio Frequency in spectrum is all the same speed whether it is 2.4 GHz, 5Ghz, ect. think of it this way 2.4GHz = 1 mile in 1 min. 5 Ghz = 1/2 mile in 30 sec then stops. they both go 60 miles an hour, but 5G can go twice in that min. so its not faster but it can deliver more load if the load needs to only go 1/2 as far. (leaving channels and bonding out of this example)

I am not fooled and I am carful about this, RF spectrum management is part of my real job.
I mostly was a data communications guy but I do know the difference between carrier frequency and modulation frequency and baud rates and bit rates.
The earliest Wi-Fi standard to be widely used was IEEE 802.11b. It used the 2.45 GHz ISM band. In that early 1997 release, it used Direct Sequence Spread Spectrum (DSSS) encoding at 1 Mbps or 2 Mbps.

In 1999 IEEE updated the standard to support DSSS at 5.5 and 11 Mbps.

Here are the modulation schemes that go with DSSS encoding:
Differential Binary Phase Shift Keying (DBPSK) 1 Mbps
Differential Quadrature Phase Shift Keying (2 Mbps)
Complementary Code Keying (5.5 & 11 Mbps)

In 2003, the draft IEEE 802.11g began to be widely used, long before the standard was actually ratified. It included the Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing (OFDM) scheme from the little-used 802.11a at data rates of 6, 9, 12, 18, 24, 36, 48, and 54 Mbit/s as well as all of the 802.11b schemes for compatibility. I suppose one could argue that by sending the data via a set of different modulations that didn't interfere, but since the channel bandwidth is the same, Claude Shannon might just raise up from his grave to disagree.

The consumer--the people in this forum--interpret speed as data rate. How quickly can I download those new maps for my GPS or new anti-virus rules that huge video? All of these TWELVE DIFFERENT DATA RATES are one antenna to one antenna, same channel bandwidth, no MIMO involved. And this was nearly twenty years ago.

The draft IEEE 802.11n standard was incorporated into IEEE 802.11 in 2012, but like 802.11g, consumer products built to that standard were available for a couple of years previously. This is where it gets a little tricky. Some features were introduced that support your analogy to bonding. These include
  • Spatial Division Multiplexing: If channels are available, put multiple antennae on each end and send the data on multiple pipes at the same time. This is sometimes called Multiple In, Multiple Out, or MIMO. (It is available on both the 2.45 and 5 GHz carriers.)
  • 40 MHz channels: When you just send a carrier wave (e.g., 2.45 or 5 GHz wave with no information) it takes very little spectrum. When you modulate it (put information on it), it takes more space, centered around the carrier. 802.11 b and 802.11g specified a 20 MHz channel; that is, the 2450 MHz signal actually occupied space from e.g., 2440 to 2460 MHz. The design had to stay within these bounds which limited the complexity of the modulation and encoding. Increasing the bandwidth to 40 MHz meant that the data encoding and modulation could be increased.
I would concede that each of these is sort of changing the rules, but each of these modifications does increase the data rate (which consumers refer to as speed). The maximum data rate achievable with all of these options is 600 Mbps.

However, let's stay within the "rules". 20 MHz channels, one antenna at each end. IEEE 802.11n increases the data rate from 54 to 72 Mbps. This applies to both 2.45 and 5 Ghz carriers. Maybe this is the point you are trying to make.

Not many people get into their routers and lock the channel bandwidth. I expect most people use laptops or cellphones as endpoints which are uncapable of MIMO because they are too small for two antennae. But they probably benefit unknowingly from beamforming when they buy a router with multiple antennae, even if they don't do MIMO, simply because it permits a higher data rate and fewer unrecoverable packets.

Don't get me wrong. I have a lot of respect for the RFI people. I would bring a product to the EMC chamber and they'd test it and it would be way off the map in emissions. I'd wonder how we could ever ship it. And while I was wondering, they'd put a few ferrite beads in critical spots and it passed testing. But I don't think they ever thought about modulations or encodings, just the stray or out-of-band stuff.

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Old 01-27-2022, 09:50 PM   #15
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Then data rate is what I was referring to. For the layman, people always say speed.
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Old 01-28-2022, 04:15 PM   #16
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WiFi ranger

I also have a WiFi SkyRanger on my 2020 Rockwood Ultra Lite. It is a TOTAL waste of time and money. It is basically worthless. I have updated files, done everything suggested, and simply CANNOT maintain a signal. I’ve parked directly under boosters in 5 different campgrounds, and have NEVER had a satisfactory connection. Pure junk !
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Old 01-28-2022, 05:46 PM   #17
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I've had 3 trailers with the WiFi Ranger. It has been a great device for my purposes. I do not use the campground wifi. I connect it to my Mobley or transfer the sim to a Netgear unit to get out. The ranger connects my Roku, Temp monitors, camera and GPS to the 4G device. I have never had any issues with streaming or connection. Before the ranger I always had issues with campground setups.
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Old 01-28-2022, 06:11 PM   #18
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I've had 3 trailers with the WiFi Ranger. It has been a great device for my purposes. I do not use the campground wifi. I connect it to my Mobley or transfer the sim to a Netgear unit to get out. The ranger connects my Roku, Temp monitors, camera and GPS to the 4G device. I have never had any issues with streaming or connection. Before the ranger I always had issues with campground setups.
Many campground networks are way oversubscribed. They sized for the days when people used one device for an hour or two a day. Then Apple had the bright idea of "let's transfer data when the user isn't requesting it." They started doing downloads and backups and updates without regard to the the user's current environment. I've been on cruise ships where clueless Apple users racked up over $100 satellite internet fees in a single day and tried to get a refund with "I only used it for a few minutes." but she never shut Wi-Fi down when she was done. They refused the refund. Yes, Android was forced to follow, but the user may have a little more awareness.

The campground where the Cherokee 38P is stationed has the highest-capacity connection Comcast offers. They have three distinct networks. They do deep packet inspection and block VoIP and streaming. Their network guy saw the congestion and set each of the three routers to a maximum of 25 users which he thought would speed things up. Instead it had the unfortunate effect of simply bouncing the user with the greatest time between requests, to admit another. Everybody had access, but it was slower than before because each time you got bounced, your computer had to go through the Wi-Fi connect sequence.

(Don't tell anyone, but I set up a script to ping the Comcast host once per second and didn't get bounced.) Then DW got fed up and subscribed to individual Comcast service for the trailer at 2 Gbps.
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Old 01-28-2022, 06:54 PM   #19
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... Then Apple had the bright idea of "let's transfer data when the user isn't requesting it." They started doing downloads and backups and updates without regard to the the user's current environment. ...
I have no Apple experience but Windows does basically the same thing. However, you can set any particular connection as metered which mitigates that. That said, I'll guess that 99% of the population doesn't know that or doesn't care.
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Old 01-28-2022, 07:52 PM   #20
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Hine WiFi Extenders cut speed by 1/2. I would expect the Ranger to be no different than any other repeater.
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