It’s a nice feeling to be off the grid, but only when you want to be. Even though we have the urge to “get away from it all,” we find it necessary to have internet. A reliable internet connection helps us stay linked with the rest of the world when need it. An RV WiFi booster can be your best solution in times like this.
Even for dedicated RVers, it’s not always no work and all play. We have to balance our vacation time with traditional duties and responsibilities. Many of us make our living from the road, which means we have to be connected.
Access to the latest weather information can be essential. GPS helps us find our way from place to place. And let’s face it, sometimes it’s comforting to watch a movie, stream our favorite music or upload the latest travel adventures to social media. These things are not always easy to accomplish in remote areas, but a WiFi booster can help with them all.
What Is an RV WiFi Booster?
A WiFi booster doesn’t create an Internet connection; it strengthens an existing one. It pulls the signal from a router, amplifies it, and re-broadcasts it. This simple product ensures you’ll have a stronger connection for your smartphone, tablet, or laptop.
RV WiFi boosters are easy to use. Typically, you just plug it into a USB port and install the drivers and face it in the direction of the WiFi transmitter. Some of them are mounted on the roof of the RV while others are designed for inside use. Some are wireless while others plug-in.
Besides a WiFi booster, you may also see the terms “extender” or “repeater”. Though the technology may vary a little, they are all designed to improve connectivity.
Where Can I Get a WiFi Signal?
You have to have a signal already to use a WiFi booster. If your provider has a tower nearby and you have the right kind of service plan, you can tether to your own phone signal “hotspot”.
Many RV parks provide WiFi, so make sure to ask for the password when you’re checking in. Other options for a WiFi signal to use are big stores Walmarts and fast-food restaurants (some of them require a membership and some of them don’t).
Coffee shops are another option, though it’s awfully tempting to go ahead and splurge on a double latte and a muffin. Pretty soon you’ve shelled out a lot of cash you could have spent more wisely. Parking outside a public library just to log in and quickly take care of some online business is another option as well.
Do I Need an RV WiFi Booster?
It’s one of those things that can’t hurt. You really won’t know for sure whether a WiFi booster is going to solve your issues until you hook one up and give it a try. You can also go online and find endless testimonials from satisfied users. Our personal experience over the last few years indicates they are certainly worth the investment.
A WiFi booster is not a magic bullet, however. Keep in mind that it’s not going to extend a signals range indefinitely – that’s not what it’s designed to do. In more crowded camping areas, there are lots of people trying to use the same network, so it’s inevitable that it’s going to get bogged down no matter what.
Also, just because you’re connected, that doesn’t mean you have enough bandwidth to make your time online useful. In the right circumstances, though, a WiFi booster should give you a much stronger reception so you can have an uninterrupted connection and, hopefully, some peace of mind.
What Are the RV WiFi Booster Options?
There are many different options when it comes to choosing a WiFi booster for your RV. Below are two options = we like based on a few criteria such as performance, cost and ease of use.
Winegard Connect 2.0
The Winegard Connect is only 8 inches tall and 16 inches across. This sturdy unit is fairly compact and is designed to mount on the roof of the RV so it has a clearer path to the source of the internet connection. It then rebroadcasts the signal throughout the RV so you can use it with your various devices. There is even a “guest” mode so friends can log on too!
Alfa Camp Pro 2 Kit
This model is made up of three separate components: a router that connects to your computer via USB, a weatherproof receiver for outdoors that stands 6½ inches tall, and an 18-inch antenna that attaches to it. The manufacturer says the range will be based on how many obstacles are around you. However, 500 to 1,500 feet of coverage is likely, and more in wide-open areas.
Even if you’re fully committed to a life of leisure, there are times when you have to have internet service you can depend on. Does your coverage need a boost? Sometimes the cell service promised by an RV park doesn’t live up to its reviews, and a WiFi booster might be just the little helper you need to stay connected.