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Old 01-11-2019, 11:33 AM   #15
UnklJoe

 
2015 28' Flying Cloud
Berthoud , Colorado
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 34
Campground WiFi Service

My experience with most campground WiFi service is that they only have one (usually cable, sometimes satellite or infrared/line of sight) connection to their Internet service provider--and all campers are trying to use that one connection. It's a BIG bottleneck (that single connection) and if people are streaming any kind of TV or videos it can get very, Very, VERY SLOW, and, you can continually be losing your connection or your connection can be timing out very frequently--all of which can be very frustrating.

Most iPhones (and other cell phones) can be used as WiFi "hotspots" and can accommodate more than one connection (such as both your Macbook and iPad). BUT, if your cell phone service is not very good then your Macbook and iPad connections aren't going to be very good.

So, there are basically two ways to access the Internet using your Macbook and iPad: using the campground's WiFi, or using your iPhone as a WiFi hotspot to provide the Internet signal to your Macbook and iPad. (You would have to enable the WiFi hotspot feature on the iPhone--lots of youTube videos on that--and then use the password provided on the iPhone on the Macbook and iPad to access the iPhone WiFi signal). One thing about using the iPhone as a WiFi hotspot: It drains the iPhone battery pretty quickly, so you usually want to have your iPhone plugged into a charger when using it as a WiFi hotspot. And, using you iPhone as a WiFi hotspot won't provide the fastest Internet access, but it will likely be better than most campground WiFi service. And it will depend on how good your cell phone service is in the campground.

My suggestion would be to consider a WeBoost cell phone booster or similar because it can help anywhere you have a cell phone signal, amplifying that signal for your phones and Macbook and iPad if you use an iPhone as a WiFi hotspot.

A WiFi Ranger MIGHT be a good idea if the WiFi signal is weak in your area of the campground, but if the WiFi is bottlenecked because of the single connection the campground has to an Internet service provider, even amplifying the WiFi signal isn't going to improve that very much, if at all.

Setting up your iPhone as a WiFi hotspot isn't very difficult and it can make connecting to the Internet using your Macbook and iPad easier wherever you are (when you are away from your new home!)--because they will easily find the iPhone all the time and can connect automatically to it.

At present we have two cell service providers (T-mobile and Verizon) and an AT&T WiFi hotspot so we can usually get a good cell phone signal just about anywhere (except many remote national park- and forest campsites). I usually try the campground WiFi service and use it if it's not too slow (which is NOT very often), but can easily switch to one of our cell service providers, whichever one is the best. (I have a personal phone, a work phone, and that AT&T WiFi hotspot (which only costs $20 per month!). We don't camp much yet, but as we begin retirement we will be camping more (hopefully a LOT More) and will probably be getting some kind of cell phone booster (like a WeBoost)--because we can use it anywhere, even at home if there's an interruption in our Internet service (which happens occasionally).

Hope this helps!
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Old 01-11-2019, 11:43 AM   #16
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2007 27' Safari FB SE
La Pine , Oregon
Join Date: Mar 2014
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No reason to pay to join a group for mobile internet information - there are tons of "free" options all over the net and here on the AS Forums.

I originally bought a SureCall RV setup and after having two units die I switched to Weboost and have had no problems whatsoever. As others have mentioned, this is a cell signal booster.

I have AT&T and in outback WA state none (and I mean none) of the cell services have great signals. In some areas T-Mobile has no service so you're roaming on the AT&T network which kills any idea of decent internet service (250 Meg data limit) with T-MO. AT&T has one bar and Verizon has a sketchy one bar signal. My company cell is Verizon and even with the Weboost I get sketchy service. I previously had T-MO but switched to AT&T because of the pathetic data limitations where I was located. Where I'm parked now I get great AT&T and T-Mobile service with and without the Weboost - Verizon, not so much. YMMV.
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Old 01-11-2019, 11:43 AM   #17
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2019 20' Flying Cloud
Eau Claire , Wisconsin
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My experience has been that if you have a crappie signal to start with then when it’s amplified all you have is a much stronger crappie signal. Wasted money for the most part. If you have 2 or 3 bars to start with then go for it. But 1 or two or even down to 0 at times wouldn’t work very well. Good luck with whatever you do.
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Old 01-11-2019, 12:49 PM   #18
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2015 28' International
Ofallon , Missouri
Join Date: Sep 2013
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My personal experience with campground WiFi is that it is very spotty - often almost useless. If it works, you are subject to bandwidth issues as there are multiple users. It is also not secure since it is a public WiFi. There is a chance you could spend quite a bit of cash and still have mediocre or worse performance.

I am looking at Weboost RV Cell Boost system. Typically our LTE coverage is better than CG WiFi. We too have had some areas where cell service is spotty (like middle of nowhere WY) but we deal with it. One of these days I may pull the trigger on WeBoost.

Second the recommmendation on internet sources like Mobile Internet Resource Center. There are numerous sources of good and independent information and product evaluations out there.
Good Luck!
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Old 01-11-2019, 07:36 PM   #19
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Victoria , British Columbia
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since your there for a few months is getting a line service brought in an option.??
last year in Palm springs Using the RV parks Cable service line we paid to get our own setup ....about $30-40 as i remember and I returned the box 3 1/2 weeks alter and they sent me a cheque for $7.....I couldn't believe they didn't charge me a minimum!...worked awesome like being in a house.
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Old 01-11-2019, 07:39 PM   #20
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1970 23' Safari
Victoria , British Columbia
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it was Spectrum that the park used for TV ....for internet they had Tengo which is I think one of the worst services and a royal pain in the A-- to deal with.
Went to the Spectrum office and was up and running.
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Old 01-16-2019, 10:21 AM   #21
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2018 27' Flying Cloud
Gold River , California
Join Date: Jan 2018
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We purchased a WeBoost Drive 4G and have been happy. You can see increase in signal when using. That said if there is no signal you cannot boost nothing. That has been a problem with many campgrounds.
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Old 01-16-2019, 10:22 AM   #22
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1973 Argosy 26
Bloomington , Indiana
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If you use cellular data, find who has the best signal in your neighborhood, then which of the alternate carriers that use that base carrier's signals have low-cost data plans. Then tether, sharing the phone. I use T-Mobile and have a grandfathered ancient data plan, but MetroPCS uses T-Mobile, and their plans are cheap. Beware that watching videos will eat your available data allocation like a football team.


Getting data at a long-term stop using WiFi means getting a sensitive router, and positioning the location of the router (which serves technically as a network bridge) helps a lot. Best is an external antenna, but no router using the 802.11n or 802.11ac protocols (meaning 5GHz bands) is allowed to have an external antenna that can be user-modified. Yuck.



For WiFi, a range-extending router is therefore, the best choice if you can't get close proximity to the RV resort's WiFi antenna. Big aluminum stuff blocks WiFi mightily. Sorry.


There are satellite dish options, including ones that can mount on the RV. Generally, they're fine for most purposes, but can be spotty for voice and video. Check their data/month allocations, too, as overage fees can be steep, just like cellular data.


Tom W9YW (my amateur radio call sign).
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Old 01-16-2019, 10:50 AM   #23
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2003 39' Land Yacht XL 330 hp w/2slides
Hartwell , Georgia
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WeBoost and WifiRanger

I have both WeBoost and WifiRanger since I work out of my RV. Currently I am based where i needed wifi amplification so the WifiRanger is great - I am still learning how to use it at other locations. The WeBoost is also terrific since my Verizon cellular signal is variable. I can now do conference calling without worrying about dropped calls.
The WeBoost is the cheapest option and if you are comfortable Hotspotting off your phone for both you devices then that works great. I've done all of the above at different times.
Nancy in Georgia
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Old 01-16-2019, 10:58 AM   #24
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Happy Valley , garyburke
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Just a thought I have not seen mentioned yet: we are probably months away from the significant deployment of 5G cell service by the big carriers. I’m not sure if the specs but I think it will help with the issues we all have with campground internet service. Hope so, anyway! Also want to endorse the fairly new offering from Verizon if true unlimited Jetpack, $70/month prepaid- if you don’t pay, it’s ok. You can start again any time.
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Old 01-16-2019, 11:19 AM   #25
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2016 25' Flying Cloud
Carter Lake , Iowa
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I have in same concerns as UnklJoe, and am looking at the various options to add hardware to my 2016 25ft Flying Cloud.

Has anyone else checked into a new service offered by AT&T through a partnership with Airstream? It's called Airstream Connect, and it requires that existing Airstream owners take their rig to dealerships to have hardware installed that will boost both Wifi and Cellular signals after the Airstream owner signs up with AT&T and has a SIM chip installed. I've attached the link ..

https://www.airstream.com/att/

Airstream Connect

Stay connected with family and friends, stream entertainment and share your Airstream adventure wherever you go with two 4G LTE Data Connect Plans from AT&T for any Airstream.

- Unlimited Adventure 1 year of unlimited data at $360
- Weekend Adventure 5 GB at $25/mo

Other features include:

- Intuitive and easy-to-use Wi-Fi hotspot
- High-gain, roof mounted antenna to ensure the best possible coverage
- Wi-Fi boost technology to improve the performance of weak campground Wi-Fi

Airstream Connect is offered exclusively through Airstream's dealer network and requires professional installation.
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Old 01-16-2019, 11:34 AM   #26
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Eugene , Oregon
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Have you looked at the "WiFi on Steroids?" We have used it with fairly good results. The best feature, besides enhancing the signal, is the we can set it up with our own security, eliminating the potential for having an open-public signal going out.
One other positive is that technical support is easily obtained on the cell phone (or land line) by the inventor.
A negative is that in one rather remote area that had a monopolist internet provider, we occasionally had to restart our system. Even though the inventor swears it isn't true, I think that the enhancement and security process looks like a "hack" to the provider. It is like there is a new customer that hasn't paid to get in (this is only a guess, because we have not checked it out). This has only happened in one area, however.
We take our WiFi on Steroids" with us, everywhere, even if we are staying at hotels & cabins when not camping. It works wonders there. I like the security we can maintain outside of the non-secure version the lodgings seem to always provide. It probably works in airports, too--just never tried it, yet. All one needs is an outlet.
Disclaimer: we are in no way connected with the inventor or product marketing. We are simply users. Call Gary Drake (tech support-inventor) at 904-806-6400. He is a "full timer" himself. Dave
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Old 01-16-2019, 11:35 AM   #27
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2016 25' International
Williams , Oregon
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Use an ATT Mobile Hotspot

I have a 25 foot FBT and have solved this exact problem to my complete satisfaction. Pick up an ATT “Unite Express 2” mobile hotspot at your local ATT store. This small little unit has a receiver that is remarkably better than the one in your phone or Ipad. It will take a one bar ATT signal as shown on your phone and convert it to a strong WiFi signal covering your entire trailer and a good sized area near it outside.

It works very well from inside the trailer. I set mine on the top of the couch near the door. The best location for you will depend on where you are parked relative to the local cell tower. It has a good sized battery that will last at least 8 hours. You can charge it or run it from an external phone charger.

The unit has provision for connecting an external antenna. I have tried a small patch antenna mounted with suction cups to the outside of the trailer. I quit doing this as I have found it to function perfectly well with the internal antenna.

The beauty of this device is not only that it is small and requires no installation but that it directly addresses the problem you wish to solve. That is, you do not really want to rebroadcast a phone signal in your trailer nor access the usually low speed and insecure park wifi. You want your own high speed wifi that can be used by any of your devices including your phone. You will be able to make phone calls also by using ATT wifi calling, at least if you have an Iphone. There is no setup either. Simply power up the unit and it works displaying all relevant info on its color screen.

It is true that your phone or Ipad will also create a hotspot but not anything like as well as this device. I have several of each and their recievers are much much weaker than the dedicated hotspot.

So, get an ATT hotspot and job done.
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Old 01-16-2019, 11:54 AM   #28
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1972 31' Sovereign
Woodhaven , Michigan
Join Date: Sep 2003
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rollieboy View Post
My wife and I are staying in a campground while looking for a new home. The campground has internet service but the other campers say its pretty iffy which is typical of most places we've stayed. Another camper suggested an antenna which he said will help pick up the signal. My question is what to buy and how does it work? Will one antenna work for both my wife's laptop and my Macbook? Will I need a router also? Sorry if this sounds pretty remedial but I know just enough on the internet to cost me money. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Thank You
You can buy a WiFi extender which will multiply the original signal. It also allows you to password protect your new signal. Got mine at Best Buy.
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