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Old 03-30-2015, 05:29 PM   #1
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WiFi antenna for laptop????

Has anyone come up with a super-duper way to have an external antenna for WiFi hotspots...and what products on the market are easily adaptable?


Gail and I use our computers extensively and get frustrated with weak signals inside Ole81.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Bob and Gail
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Old 03-30-2015, 05:46 PM   #2
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Go on ebay and do a search for Alfa Wifi and take your pick. This is not just an antenna but a complete Wifi setup.
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Old 03-30-2015, 06:33 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ole81 View Post
Has anyone come up with a super-duper way to have an external antenna for WiFi hotspots...and what products on the market are easily adaptable?


Gail and I use our computers extensively and get frustrated with weak signals inside Ole81.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Bob and Gail
Look into: 3Gstore.com, 3G/4G Routers, 3G/4G Antennas, 3G/4G Amplifiers & Boosters, Data Cards, WiFi, Data, IP Switch & CloudCam

I use a lot of their offerings in many of my solar installations. Their advise and tech support is excellent, and their pricing is good too.
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Old 03-30-2015, 06:41 PM   #4
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X2 for the Alfa,i have been using one for several years on the boat and it works very well attached to the window in the Argosy withh a suction cup
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Old 03-30-2015, 06:55 PM   #5
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I've got a roof-mounted TV antenna re-purposed to direct two yagi wifi antennas.
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Old 03-30-2015, 07:41 PM   #6
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Best Buy has range extenders for about $60. They boost a weak wi fi signal. The aluminum body of your Airstream does a good jog reducing signal strength. And if you are parked next to a giant motor home between you and the campground wi fi antenna, you aren't going to get much of a signal.
I locate the wi fi antenna in the campground and place the range extender in the window of the Airstream in the line of sight of the antenna. I have even placed the range extender on the roof of the AS near a skylight to get a clear shot at the campground antenna if blocked by a motorhome. Just don't leave it out in the rain.
Just because you get a good wi fi signal does not mean that you are going to get streaming internet service. In many campgrounds there is not enough capacity to accommodate all of the users particularly at peak times.
If you have to have reliable internet service at all times, your option is to get a data service from one of the cell phone carriers. You pay for the data and get a little gizmo that plugs into one of the USB ports of your computer and delivers the internet access.
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Old 03-30-2015, 09:51 PM   #7
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Re: Free WiFi vs. Mobile Broadband

See lengthy discussion in this thread from 2012: WiFiRanger master thread

Alternately, one can use any mobile router that has "WiFi-as-WAN" capability. Basically, this is what the WiFiRanger does; i.e., it uses a WiFi signal (such as free WiFi from McDonalds, Starbucks, or the RV resort/campground office) as the WAN (Internet) connection for your LAN. However, other devices like PepWave and other brands of mobile routers can be used for the same purpose.

The 3Gstore is a good source of information for those unfamiliar with WiFi and mobile broadband equipment, as they offer a wide range of products. And, their Website has links to video demonstrations that help explain how the various devices function. After deciding what works best for you, an Internet search may reveal vendors with cheaper prices. However, I have found 3Gstore products to be competitively priced, and their customer service was very good when we purchased our PepWave SOTG (mobile router) a few years ago.

If you often camp where there is no WiFi signal available, you may wish to investigate mobile broadband (MiFi) devices (like a Verizon jetpack or cellular modem), which use cellphone signals. These are more secure for banking and financial transactions, and are ideal for boondocking. However, the cost of the additional data plan, amplifier and external antenna (if used) will be significantly higher than a mobile router with free WiFi.

Note: I have no affiliation with the 3Gstore other than being a satisfied customer.
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Old 03-31-2015, 11:56 AM   #8
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Thanks for the input...

I also was pointed to this kit by an non-Airstreamer....
JEFA Tech: 15dBi WiFi 2.4GHz Super Long Range Outdoor Omni Antenna.
It will take a hefty support but could solve the problem of being parked between monsters....
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Bob (K5RPS) and Gail (MAAAA)

31' 1981 Excella II
2001 F-250 7.3D Crew w/8'bed and Pullrite 180degree

"Ask the Man Who Owns One" (Packard, Of Course)
or
"Ask the Woman who lives with one...or more!" (Gail)
'
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Old 03-31-2015, 04:02 PM   #9
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Using unsecured free WIFI spots is akin to leaving your laptop open, logged on, in the mall food court while you shop at a nearby store. These free spots are not encrypted, meaning IDs and passwords for everything you connect to is transmitted in the clear, available to anyone using free, easily downloadable, monitoring software. Everything you do or type can be seen by anyone up to 100' from you with no special equipment. Some hackers have even used their own 'free AT&T or free T-Mobile' etc. WIFI hotspot for you to log into so they can capture your data.

In this case, free may be very expensive. Everyone should read this article before they accept the risk.

Public Wi-Fi use raises hacking risk - ABC News
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Old 03-31-2015, 04:12 PM   #10
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Same

Quote:
Originally Posted by ole81 View Post
I also was pointed to this kit by an non-Airstreamer....
JEFA Tech: 15dBi WiFi 2.4GHz Super Long Range Outdoor Omni Antenna.
It will take a hefty support but could solve the problem of being parked between monsters....
I have the JEFA installed in my AS and it works great. Attached the omni-directional antenna to the TV mast and ran the coaxial cable down next to the TV cable into the front locker.
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