This Camping WiFi Guide Will Keep You Connected
Mixing work with pleasure out here on the road isn’t always easy. In fact, camping can be a struggle without a reliable WiFi connection.
There are a few things we look at first when we’re researching camping sites around the country. We want to know whether there are full hookups and whether the sites are level and spacious.
We also want to know whether there’s good connectivity. It’s a simple fact: We need WiFi, even when we’re camping.
Let’s dig into the guide!
This Camping WiFi Guide Will Solve Your Campsite Internet Headaches
Camping WiFi is crucial for those working remotely and for anyone who lives a modern life. At the very least, most of us need to read our emails, check the weather, and use GPS. We’re active on social media, and we also rely on it to stream movies or music from time to time.
After a few years of being full-timers, we’ve learned how to get the best possible connection under different circumstances. Keep reading for some tips on how to stay connected.
How to Get Internet While Camping
One thing we know is it’s hard to get by on just one source. You’ve got to have options. We’ll go through them, along with their advantages and disadvantages.
Many campgrounds and RV parks offer internet access, and it’s usually listed along with their other amenities. Sometimes it’s even promoted prominently because, after all, it does have important marketing value.
This is a great option for many RVers because it means having one less struggle to overcome. There’s usually no extra charge for this service. Sometimes a password isn’t even needed. It’s very convenient, especially for people you might call casual internet users who don’t require a lot of speed or bandwidth.
Unfortunately, WiFi at a campground is often slow and unreliable. One reason it gets bogged down is that there are lots of people using it simultaneously. Also, it may not be a strong signal to start with if you’re in a rural area. There could be lots of interference, such as other RVs that block the signal’s path. Another concern is it may not be secure, leaving you open to the possibility of hacking.
Pro Tip: Here’s the scoop on RV Wifi Boosters.
Cellular Data Plan Internet
This is where your cell phone comes in handy once again. As long as you have a data plan, you can “tether” other devices to your cellular service. There are different names for this. A common general term for it is “hotspot,” which is what T-Mobile calls it. Other common cell providers that have good coverage are Verizon and AT&T.
This is a great option, especially if you have unlimited data. It’s more secure, for one thing. It also gives you access in locations that don’t have WiFi at all. This means you can supply your own internet connection when you’re boondocking or out on the open road.
Every carrier’s coverage is limited, so there’s no guarantee you’ll have a signal. Maps that show coverage areas are not always accurate. Also, if you don’t have unlimited data, you can burn through it pretty fast. And, it’s not free. We actually have plans with three different carriers, so we’ll have a better chance of always having a connection.
It’s costly, but it’s the cost of doing business – being able to post our videos and articles like this one.
Another option is subscribing to satellite service from a company such as Hughes.net or Viasat.
Satellite internet is sometimes available in some remote camping areas where WiFi and cell service are not. This makes it a good alternative because it’s the only game in town. It can also be a good option if you are staying in the same place for a while.
It can be slower than WiFi and cellular, though, and it’s expensive. Satellite service isn’t the best plan if you’re on the move a lot. It’s a bit of a hassle to take down the satellite dish and reinstall it at every stop.
Boosting Internet Signals at the Campsite
Maybe you need a boost. There are small, portable devices that team up with antennas to improve a signal, and they don’t cost too much.
WiFi Booster for Campground Internet
When your camping WiFi signal isn’t strong enough, a WiFi booster can help. An outside antenna amplifies the signal and beams it directly to a receiver inside the RV.
Cell Signal Booster
An outdoor antenna captures a cellular signal, amplifies it, and rebroadcasts it to another antenna inside the RV. If you have one already and aren’t getting good results, try upgrading to a larger antenna.
Pro Tip: Here’s the best camping cell boosters on the market this year.
The Key to Boosting Camping WiFi Signal
Under certain conditions, boosters do help. But it’s important to remember that they don’t create an internet signal; they strengthen existing ones. So a booster won’t help if you’re somewhere with no signal at all. Unfortunately, they don’t create additional bandwidth either, which means they’re not a remedy for a campground’s WiFi being overloaded.
Best Option For Camping WiFi
After lots of trial and error, we’ve found what works best for us. Let’s put it this way: We usually don’t even bother to find out the password for the campground’s WiFi. Instead, it’s a combination of a cellular hotspot and a booster that keeps us connected.
You Can Have Good WiFi Connection While Camping
Technology is changing all the time, and we know that faster internet access is probably just around the corner. This is because of the advent of 5G and Starlink Satellite Internet that will result from those SpaceX missions. One day soon, we may look back and laugh at all the effort it took to have internet service. In the meantime, it’s no laughing matter not to have camping WiFi. So use this guide to help you stay connected.
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