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Old 03-10-2013, 11:24 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by wkerfoot View Post
The WifiRanger Sky is the only one you can't purchase from WiFiRanger. I purchased a WiFiRanger RV Pack from directly from WiFiRanger off the web site in January. Mito is friendly once you call them, but you can't purchase from their web site.

https://www.wifiranger.com/store/pro...products_id=55

Bill
Yes, I realized I'd forgotten to type "Sky" after I posted, and went back to edit... which your quote picked up, amusingly enough.
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Old 03-11-2013, 01:01 AM   #16
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The Sky has a feature which automatically locks on to the strongest signal. We left it on while we traveling between two campgrounds in Florida and our smartphones with the wifi feature turned on were picking up emails while we were driving. When we got to our next campground, our wifi was working as soon as we arrived because they have an open network without passwords. All our wifi devices were working immediately with no effort.
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Old 04-04-2013, 11:37 PM   #17
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That one is for the Mobile, not the Sky. It may suit your purposes, but I don't think it does the local private wifi that the Sky does. If memory serves from when I was picking out a solution for my sister, this one is basically an exterior amplified wifi antenna and you have to connect to it with a wire.
The Sky and the Mobile have exactly the same features. Both are routers and allow device connections. The Mobile has a higher power radio and antenna, and more robust mounting options.
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Old 05-17-2013, 08:52 PM   #18
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Well, we finally did it. We are picking our our 25fb 2013 Flying Cloud at the end of this month! I have been reading all these posts about getting internet in our trailer. The Wifi Ranger seems like the answer. Here are my questions for those who have this:

How does the Ranger provide the internet? Does it pick up service from cell phone towers thereby necessitating some sort of service plan. I keep getting confused by the wifi that campgrounds provide which is basically free and then the service that you can get anywhere from cell towers...but of course at a cost. A plan from AT&T or some other service provider is required. I also read somewhere that with the Ranger, you need a plan from Mallenicom.

Could someone please explain how this works? Kind of "A Sky Ranger for Dummies?"

Thanks so much!
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Old 05-17-2013, 09:30 PM   #19
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The WiFi ranger looks like a really expensive repeater. You can fined repeaters on Newegg.com for under $50. A repeater simply takes a radio signal and rebroadcasts it on a slightly different frequency.

If the source signal is weak, then the repeater just extends the chain. It cannot compensate for an upstream weak signal. A lot of free WiFi at rv parks are overloaded anyway.

A mobile hotspot like offered freedompop.com or just using a cell phone is more flexible.
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Old 05-17-2013, 10:02 PM   #20
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Thanks for your response. But..if I wanted to stream a movie using my laptop via Netflix, it would become cost prohibitive using cell phone service...right?
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Old 05-17-2013, 10:11 PM   #21
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We have tried cheap wifi repeaters before getting our Ranger and found them much more lacking in capability. The Wifi Ranger is much more than an expensive repeater. First, it amplifies a weak signal to make it useful. While different campgrounds have different bandwidths, a bigger problem at many campgrounds is the location of the wifi broadcast towers. If you're not located in the right place, capturing a signal is problematical.

Second, the Wifi Ranger has many more capabilities than available on "cheap" repeaters. It automatically locks in the the strongest available wifi signal, amplifies it, and rebroadcasts it on its own pass protected signal that can be picked up on your wifi devices. If it picks up a password protected signal from any source and you have the password, it remembers the password just like your computer or smart phone does and reopens the signal if the signal drops out for any reason or your return to the stored location. My wife and I have two computers, two tablets, and two smart phones and all of these devices can pick up our pass protected signal at the same time. If it locks on an open non-password protected signal, no further action is required. An example, we left our Wifi ranger turned on while we were driving from one campground to another and noticed that our smartphones were signaling receiving wifi emails while we were traveling-- it was locking on to new open wifi signals as we were moving in our TV.

The other comment on this I will make is that Airstreams are notorious for reducing wifi signals because of their construction. We have had no problems receiving available wifi signals within our AS since we installed our WiFi Ranger.

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Originally Posted by kscherzi View Post
The WiFi ranger looks like a really expensive repeater. You can fined repeaters on Newegg.com for under $50. A repeater simply takes a radio signal and rebroadcasts it on a slightly different frequency.

If the source signal is weak, then the repeater just extends the chain. It cannot compensate for an upstream weak signal. A lot of free WiFi at rv parks are overloaded anyway.

A mobile hotspot like offered freedompop.com or just using a cell phone is more flexible.
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Old 05-17-2013, 10:20 PM   #22
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Thanks for your response. But..if I wanted to stream a movie using my laptop via Netflix, it would become cost prohibitive using cell phone service...right?
Receiving Netflix on wifi is primarily a function of the wifi bandwidth. We have been in campgrounds that we get a very strong signal with our Wifi Ranger but they don't have enough bandwidth to stream video. Our primary reason for getting the Ranger was getting a strong signal without worrying about where you are parked in a campground and penetrating the shell of our Airstream with a strong signal. If bandwidth is inadequate for video streaming but plenty strong for all other wifi requirements, we are very pleased.
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Old 05-18-2013, 08:11 AM   #23
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Thanks so much for your posts. What I was really hoping is that I could use my Roku to stream movies, documentaries but it looks like it's dependent of the strength of the campground's signal. Wolverine...it sounds like even with the Wifi ranger...it not really possible. We talked with people at AT&T and Verizon and although we can get service from them, streaming videos can be very expensive. And of course the problem is getting a strong signal from those cell towers to stream.
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Old 05-18-2013, 08:53 AM   #24
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Anna, if you have an old iPhone with AT&T unlimited data you can upgrade to an iPhone 5 with LTE and steam ROKU or Netflix at no additional cost. Just can't use FaceTime under the legacy unlimited plan.
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Old 05-18-2013, 03:09 PM   #25
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Thanks Mark...no, he doesn't have an unlimited plan on his iPhone. He does, however, have a grandfathered unlimited plan on his air card (data) that he plugs into his laptop. It has 3G service though...so I'm thinking that we would run into speed problems. There is no easy, affordable solution.
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Old 05-18-2013, 06:12 PM   #26
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Signal strength and bandwidth are two very different things.

One can plug in any wifi router or access point, fire up a laptop, have full bars and no Internet.

The wifi ranger and/or sky products are not simple repeaters.

A wifi repeater is just that. Is hears the rv park's access point and repeats the data on the same wifi frequency. While this works, this repeater method actually cuts the overall data throughput in half, because the data is resent on the same frequency it oringinated on.

Devices like the ranger and sky actually have two wifi radios and connect to the park's wifi as if they are the laptop. They then offer connections to devices like laptops and tablets via the second radio. This is better than a simple repeater, because the two radios can communicate to the respective connected devices at the same time. Not one at a time, like a simple repeater.

However, either device is still speed limited by the total amount of Internet available to the park. If the park has a mediocre Internet connection, full bars on your wifi connection does not mean enough Internet to stream a movie. Especially if 20 other trailers are doing the same thing.

Think of it as one pizza when everyone is hungry and wants a slice, or two.

Having your own pizza (cellular air card or mifi) may be a better plan, but even this has limits. Air cards have limited amounts of data for the price.

We have both the ranger and sky. We use the sky as mentioned above, to access park or other wifi with weak signal strength, and the ranger to allow more than one connection to our pay-as-you-go USB stick. We do not steam movies on the cellular, and rarely on the park wifi. It is just not what these connections are meant for.

A thought: cellular towers are limited in the same manor as the rv park wifi, there is only so much Internet available to the tower. That is why cellular Internet may be slow, even if you have "full bars."

Regards,

JD
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Old 05-18-2013, 06:37 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdalrymple View Post
Signal strength and bandwidth are two very different things.

One can plug in any wifi router or access point, fire up a laptop, have full bars and no Internet.

The wifi ranger and/or sky products are not simple repeaters.

A wifi repeater is just that. Is hears the rv park's access point and repeats the data on the same wifi frequency. While this works, this repeater method actually cuts the overall data throughput in half, because the data is resent on the same frequency it oringinated on.

Devices like the ranger and sky actually have two wifi radios and connect to the park's wifi as if they are the laptop. They then offer connections to devices like laptops and tablets via the second radio. This is better than a simple repeater, because the two radios can communicate to the respective connected devices at the same time. Not one at a time, like a simple repeater.

However, either device is still speed limited by the total amount of Internet available to the park. If the park has a mediocre Internet connection, full bars on your wifi connection does not mean enough Internet to stream a movie. Especially if 20 other trailers are doing the same thing.

Think of it as one pizza when everyone is hungry and wants a slice, or two.

Having your own pizza (cellular air card or mifi) may be a better plan, but even this has limits. Air cards have limited amounts of data for the price.

We have both the ranger and sky. We use the sky as mentioned above, to access park or other wifi with weak signal strength, and the ranger to allow more than one connection to our pay-as-you-go USB stick. We do not steam movies on the cellular, and rarely on the park wifi. It is just not what these connections are meant for.

A thought: cellular towers are limited in the same manor as the rv park wifi, there is only so much Internet available to the tower. That is why cellular Internet may be slow, even if you have "full bars."

Regards,

JD
Excellent explanation of the capabilities of the Wifi Ranger. We have never counted on our Ranger to stream video, although we can occasionally pick up a short video stream. If we really need to watch video, we either bring a DVD with us or we rely on Redbox. We've had excellent results with acquiring wifi in campgrounds and other wifi sources while traveling to or from campgrounds for our non-streaming internet requirements.
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Old 05-18-2013, 09:00 PM   #28
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This has all been a tremendous help. Thanks so much for helping me understand this.
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