Having consistent and reliable internet is one of the biggest challenges associated with RV Life. Even in our third year of full-time traveling, we’re still trying to find the perfect balance of coverage and cost.
We were recently asked (on our YouTube channel), “How do you stay connected to internet on the road?”
The question comes up often and we enjoy sharing our internet set-up with folks… but remember, we’re not RV-Internet experts. We’re continually learning about new ways to get connected.
Watch The Video:
First, the Cell Booster
We traveled for a year before getting a WeBoost Cell Booster. But, very quickly, this device became the most important component to having consistent RV Internet.
The cell booster’s function is pretty self explanatory: it finds cell signals, boosts those signals, and re-broadcasts the boosted signal throughout your vehicle or rig. The booster works for all major carriers and multiple devices can receive multiple signals at the same time.
We’ve been able to boost an unusable 1-bar signal into 4-bars of signal, strong enough to stream Netflix.
Second, Cell Phones
We use Straight Talk for our two iPhones. The plan is $60 for 15 gigs – we both have this plan for a total of $120 and 30 gigs a month. This Straight Talk service uses AT&T towers.
Our current cell phone set up is, by no means, the best deal out there right now. We are currently doing research to find an economical deal with nationwide coverage.
Third, Cellular Hot Spots
A cellular hotspot is used for connecting devices (like laptops and iPads) to the internet. It uses the same signal as your cellphone.
We have two cellular hotspots at two totally different price points. First, and most expensive, is our T-Mobile hotspot. It costs about $100/month and offers 22 gigs. The reason we still have this plan is because it includes T-Mobile’s (now unavailable) “Binge On” feature.
“Binge On” allows us to stream movies & music without it counting against our monthly data allotment. This means, like the name implies, we can totally binge on entertainment without worrying about running out of data.
We oft hear complaints about T-Mobile’s coverage. These complaints are no more than echoes from years past. T-Mobile has the fastest growing network in the country and we’ve had amazing coverage & speed results (even when boondocking in the middle of the desert).
Our second hotspot is AT&T’s Mobley. Read all about it here.
Essentially, the Mobley offers unlimited internet for $20 a month. The minor catch is that after 22 gigs, you become subject to “prioritization”. That means, if the cell tower is congested, your speeds might be slowed… otherwise, fast internet as usual. We haven’t experienced prioritization yet in 4 months.
This deal is too good to be true and we don’t expect it to last.
Our current monthly total is $240 for cellular internet. This price includes “unlimited” internet from AT&T and T-Mobile, and our phone service.
Paying big bucks for reliable connectivity is a truth of RV Life.
One of our favorite resources for staying connected on the road is https://www.rvmobileinternet.com/
Its a wealth of information and helped us research and create the perfect setup for our mobile internet needs.
We’re always interested in learning about new plans and tools to stay better connected. Let us know what works for you!
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