Is There a Perfect Way to Stay Connected Online?
This subject hits home for me as I full-time RV, work camp, and work from home as well. RV parks can tout their internet connectivity all day long but when it comes down to it, there are times when even the best WiFi goes down. You can rely on a mobile hotspot plan on your phone with your provider but if you happen to be where there is no cell signal then you are down for the count.
What Are The Best Mobile Hotspot Plans For RVers?
There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to the best mobile hotspot plans for RVers. Everyone has different needs. Here are a few things to consider before you buy a device or pick a plan.
Make sure the device you purchase will work with your mobile carrier or can be used as a stand-alone.
How many devices will you be connecting?
Think about how many devices you will be connecting. For example, your phone, tablet, laptop, and smart TV can be just for one person. Add in a spouse and kids and the additional devices could add up quickly. Make sure you pick a hotspot that will support all these devices.
Battery life is very important particularly if you plan to boondock. If you have a power inverter and can plug it in, you will be fine. If not, you will have to rely on the device’s batteries.
Monthly contract fees
Some providers will suck you in with low monthly fees that change after a certain amount of time. This could get you a great deal but be sure and read the fine print and be aware of the costs before you sign.
Find a 5G compatible hotspot. Even if you don’t want or need it now, you can always upgrade later.
Of course, you can also choose to use your hotspot function on your cell phone but this can drain your battery and limits the number of devices you can use. If you need a more dependable, portable connection, a WiFi hotspot is the better way to go.
Best mobile hotspot routers
1. AT&T – Netgear Nighthawk M1
This is one of best mobile hotspot plans for RVers and a great choice if you are an AT&T customer. It can also be used as a stand-alone.
This device can share WiFi with up to 20 devices and has a long battery life with continuous use. It allows easy charging of other USB devices and one USB port shares storage for data or personal media streaming with connected wireless devices. Wireless transmission can be configured from 2.4 & 5GHz to 2.4 only, 5 only, or you can completely disable it. It also allows for a guest connection.
Cost $275.92 on Amazon
2. Verizon – Jetpack MiFi 8800L
This is available to Verizon customers as either a one-time purchase or a monthly payment plan. With an intuitive touchscreen and a long lasting battery, the Verizon Jetpack allows users to connect to 5 GHz or 2.4 GHz bands simultaneously for a great way to enhance link speed, reduce network congestion, and improve connection quality.
According to specifications, with this device you can access WiFi in more than 200 countries. This one lets you connect up to 15 devices at a time and allows you to share files over your local WiFi connection with a storage device and USB connector.
Cost $183.55 on Amazon
3. T-Mobile – Alcatel LINKZONE 2
This mobile hotspot is one of the most affordable options. It can connect up to 16 devices at once and can be used as a power bank to charge your phone or tablet. The Alcatel LINKZONE 2 supports speeds up to 150Mbps download and 50Mbps upload. It comes with a 4400 mAh battery for up to 24 hours of power.
Cost $60 on Amazon
“So fast !!! I am using T mobile unlimited plan and I put my sim card in this machine. I put two steam games on download list since steam always has the fastest speed. Download starts at 10 pm and until next morning 9 am, 89 GB was downloaded. I was thinking about something close to 15 GB but this result really shocked me. I love this machine. Really easy to use and great for travel. Also, I put some of the home utilities, such as wifi outlets and lights, on this router so they won’t occupy any ip address on my home internet system.
Plus, I want to mention that only sim card bought from major companies, like tmobile att version, has hotspot function. My friend has an unlimited plan with lycamobile, which rent out tmobile frequencies, but it doesn’t work with any hotspot device.” Mingde Li via Amazon.
4. T-Mobile Inseego 5G MiFi M2000
This device touts fast 5G speeds on the largest 5G network. Connect up to 30 WiFi enabled devices wirelessly or tether a single connection using the USB Type-C port.
Get enterprise grade security, advanced device management, and a 5050mAh battery that will keep you running all day. You can also use it as a battery bank to charge your phone, tablet, or other mobile devices.
Cost $294 on Amazon
Hotspot data plans
The best mobile hotspot plan for RVers is the one that works best for their needs. Like everything else in life, the more you get for less money is always the best choice.
A hotspot data plan is no different. Also, pick a plan with a good coverage area and one that is compatible with a good-quality hotspot. You want fast speeds and the ability to connect many devices. As an RVer who travels a lot, you want to get a plan on the largest US cellular network. Verizon is considered the largest network with T-Mobile second and AT&T third.
As you will see below, hotspot plans give you a set amount of data per month. A prepaid plan such as the Cricket Simply Data is one where you pay only for the amount of data you need.
Most hotspot plans give you a set amount of data per month. But if you’re traveling or need the hotspot only intermittently, consider getting a prepaid plan.
Best mobile hotspot plans include:
- T-Mobile 2 GB for $10/month. Add data if you run out. 5 GB for $20; 10 GB for $30; and 30 GB for $40. Use with the T-Mobile Inseego 5G MiFi M2000. You also have the option of paying $10 extra per month (with autopay) but your speeds will be slowed once you exceed your initial data allotment.
- AT&T 15 GB – 15 GB for $50/month (with autopay). Use with the Alcatel LINKZONE 2
- Verizon Unlimited Plus – 30 GB of 4G LTE/5G, then reduced to 600 Kbps for $85/month. You also get unlimited access to Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband network.
- Cricket Simply Data 20 GB (prepaid) – $35 per month (plus the price of the hotspot). Cricket runs over AT&T’s network and you can upgrade to add more data. 40 GB for $50 per month; 100 GB for $90 per month. This plan allows you to use your own unlocked hotspot as long as it’s compatible with Cricket’s network.
Simply put, you can pick a plan from what your cellular provider offers but you can also shop around for other providers that give you more data, have a larger cellular network or a plan that leaves you room for change, depending on your needs.
As RVers, my husband I have chosen to get hotspots tethered to our phones on both Verizon and AT&T networks. I know of others who choose multiple hotspots with different providers to use depending on what part of the country they are in. We are still investigating and hope to find the perfect setup to work from home.
One of the best parts about RVing is engaging with the community of traveling enthusiasts. iRV2 forums allow folks to chat with other RVers online, and get other perspectives on everything RVing, including products, destinations, RV mods, and much more.
Terri and her husband, Todd, are full time RVers and work campers. They have been living full time in their RV for nearly three years with their Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Newton, and their Mini Aussie puppy Remi. They are currently wintering in Arizona with plans to continue their travels next summer. Writing is Terri’s passion but she also loves hiking, kayaking and anything she can do outside.