Satellite internet for RVs is a hot topic in 2021, and for a good reason. RV satellite internet used to be way too expensive and slow for the tastes of most RVers, but the technology is rapidly improving. This article will dive into how RV satellite internet works and the current options on the market.
How Does Satellite Internet for RVs Work?
While there are many ways to get internet in your RV, satellite internet is becoming a more appealing option for RVers. Satellite internet for RVs works like satellite internet in a sticks-and-bricks house. You use a receiver dish that receives the signal from a satellite in orbit. Your dish transfers the signal to a modem inside your RV. The modem broadcasts a wireless signal for your laptop, cell phones, tablets, TVs, and more.
Satellite internet for RVs is different from home installations because RVs are mobile. This means that you may have to do some work each time you set up camp to connect to the satellite. But satellite internet technology is progressing rapidly, and it’s much easier to connect your RV now than it was in the past.
How Much Does Satellite Internet Cost?
Satellite internet for RVs costs between $50 per month and $400 or more per month. The equipment is the most expensive part. Setup and equipment costs can vary from the $400 range to upwards of $6,000.
Starlink by SpaceX is continuing a rollout around the U.S. Setup fees for this mobile internet service are only around $500 with a $99 monthly fee. According to many RVers, the Starlink system may soon become the new gold standard for mobile internet options.
Can You Use Home Satellite for Your RV?
No, you can’t use a home satellite internet plan for your RV. This is because a home satellite never needs to move, but your RV moves all the time.
There are fewer satellite internet and TV providers for RVs than for stationary homes. Even if you already have satellite internet at home, you’ll likely need to purchase a mobile satellite setup and plan from a company specializing in it.
Options for RV Satellite Internet
There are few providers for RV satellite internet, but options seem to be increasing every year. Here are some of the most popular options for RV satellite internet today.
Starlink Satellite Internet for RV Life
Starlink is a global satellite program by Tesla’s SpaceX program. Currently, Starlink is in beta testing, so it’s not available to everyone yet. Many RVers already have access to the Starlink service.
Starlink costs $99 per month and has a $499 setup cost. Once the Starlink initiative is complete, SpaceX hopes to provide global high-speed Internet, even in the most remote areas.
Earlier this year, Elon Musk tweeted that SpaceX anticipates Starlink will be out of beta testing sometime in summer 2021. Additionally, he estimates that Starlink should be “fully mobile” by the end of this year.
Mobilsat RV Internet
Mobilsat provides a variety of mobile satellite internet options for RVers. Monthly internet prices through RV DataSat range from $80 per month to $409 per month.
RV DataSat 840
The RV DataSat 840 is the most popular RV satellite internet offered through RV DataSat. The initial setup and equipment costs for this installation are $6,995. This setup features a self-pointing antenna and claims to be the lowest-priced self-pointing mobile dish.
HughesNet via ISPSat
HughesNet is an attractive internet option for RVers because of the speeds. Because of this, retailers and resellers are starting to take notice. You can purchase HughesNet satellite for RVs through ISPSat for around $6,000 with monthly service plan options between $89 and upwards of $1,000 per month.
How Fast Is Satellite Internet for RVs?
Satellite internet for RVs is a notoriously slow, albeit generally reliable, option for mobile connectivity. With RV DataSat, you can expect download speeds between 1-4 Mbps, depending on which plan you pick.
However, HughesNet RV satellite internet boasts download speeds of up to 25 Mbps. And Starlink satellite internet boasts the fastest speeds in the satellite internet industry. Posts from the Starlink RV Facebook group show beta users getting speeds of 360 Mbps download and more.
Is RV Satellite Internet Reliable?
Satellite internet for RVs is a reliable option, but it does have downsides. Besides the prohibitive costs of getting set up, satellite internet can be finicky. You may experience interruptions in connectivity during storms, near mountains, and in heavily wooded areas.
While satellite internet will work almost anywhere — including where cell data doesn’t reach — it isn’t without its limitations. Still, it’s the preferred internet option for many RVers who work from the road and want to camp in very remote areas.
Satellite Internet Allows You to Camp Anywhere
Satellite internet for RVs might be an expensive option, but if you like boondocking and need a connection, it might be the best one for you. With the new and improved satellite internet options hitting the market today, the future is looking bright for mobile connectivity. Soon we might have global internet, which is a really exciting possibility for remote working RVers. How do you get internet on the road?
maryann jorgensen says
would love to learn more