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Old 01-13-2019, 12:30 PM   #1
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WIFI Booster Recommendations

Hi, I have looked through the threads in WIFI topic, but because technology goes obsolete so quickly and newer, better systems are constantly coming on the market, I am looking for recommendations from RVers on WIFI booster systems.

My needs arenít huge as I spend most of my time outside, but at night I watch a little Netflix and may do some computer work from time to time.

I am thinking about installing an external telescopic antenna that couples to a repeater so I can create a hotspot that my various devices can then connect with.

I am technically literate and skilled at installation so those are not issues for me. When I buy technology I donít normally buy beta tech, but I do buy the beefiest fastest model I can get.

All recommendations appreciated.
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Old 01-13-2019, 12:43 PM   #2
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if you’re planning to capture and use campground wifi you shoukd know CG wifi is usually not engineered for streaming video and that many parks actually throttle back throughput when ANY type of streaming is detected.
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Old 01-13-2019, 01:14 PM   #3
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I used to use a Verizon jet pack, but now I mostly just set my iPhone up as a hotspot for any device that isn't on a cellular network. I haven't run into issues with my unlimited data plan, but I am definitely not using this method regularly.
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Old 01-13-2019, 06:08 PM   #4
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We have a WifiRanger system and have used it for a number of years (plus we stream all our TV on the RV, too).

The WFR system consists of two parts, a rooftop “antenna/booster” and an indoor router. The booster is actually a router, too but in this configuration it works with the indoor router to bring in more WiFi access points from, they claim, up to 2-mi away.

We love our system but have learned that the reality is there is not much benefit in “boosting.” The real gem is the indoor router.

We rely on the router constantly and it works great with campground WiFi, such as it is, and our Mifi/Jetpack cellular internet devices. We occasionally turn on the outdoor “booster” but pretty rarely.

85% of campground WiFi is worthless, so boosting it doesn’t help any thing. Sure with the booster we can pick up a dozen other WiFi access points, but all of them are secured with a password. The 15% of campground WiFi that is good enough to use for streaming is easily picked up by the indoor router without any booster needed.

What works for us is the WFR GoAC router inside, a WeBoost 4G Drive-X cellular booster, one each ATT and Verizon Mifis and totally unlimited data plans. This group of gear works extremely well.
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Old Yesterday, 04:50 PM   #5
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I've crossed the US several times over the years and can say from experience that parks WIfi is generally getting better and better. I'm now at a TengoInternet park (one of the worst whole park Wifi service outfits out there - they manage the entire system, often poorly) and even here I measure 3.6Mbps usually. Good enough for HD. (Speed is down from last years 13Mbps just after they hooked up to a fiber optic feed - kinda expected that throttling from Tengo or from the park to reduce expense).

It's almost always faster and more widely dispersed (covering a greater portion of whichever RV park you're in) in the west. Get to the mid west and you start seeing 1Mbps throttling and frequent drop outs.

That's not to say that even western states RV parks can't have a problem, many do, it's just that it's getting better. I was able to watch a HD TV show this morning from 9-10. and could be watching a movie this afternoon. This park has over 100 RVs too.

What I do to take advantage of the nearly universal 'free' high speed Wifi is carry this: Long Range Wifi with 10 meter cord

What the long cable does is allow you to position the antenna anywhere inside the RV so you can get line-of-sight with the transmitter. I could put it outside, but seldom bother. Most laptops allow the internal antenna to be turned off so you can use this USB device. If there isn't a single window where I can get line-of-sight with the transmitter, I ask the RV park for a different space. Usually don't have to. Saves me hundreds every year over phone tethering and data plans, which are really turning into a scam.
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Old Yesterday, 07:02 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim_HiTek View Post
I've crossed the US several times over the years and can say from experience that parks WIfi is generally getting better and better. I'm now at a TengoInternet park (one of the worst whole park Wifi service outfits out there - they manage the entire system, often poorly) and even here I measure 3.6Mbps usually. Good enough for HD. (Speed is down from last years 13Mbps just after they hooked up to a fiber optic feed - kinda expected that throttling from Tengo or from the park to reduce expense).

It's almost always faster and more widely dispersed (covering a greater portion of whichever RV park you're in) in the west. Get to the mid west and you start seeing 1Mbps throttling and frequent drop outs.

That's not to say that even western states RV parks can't have a problem, many do, it's just that it's getting better. I was able to watch a HD TV show this morning from 9-10. and could be watching a movie this afternoon. This park has over 100 RVs too.

What I do to take advantage of the nearly universal 'free' high speed Wifi is carry this: Long Range Wifi with 10 meter cord

What the long cable does is allow you to position the antenna anywhere inside the RV so you can get line-of-sight with the transmitter. I could put it outside, but seldom bother. Most laptops allow the internal antenna to be turned off so you can use this USB device. If there isn't a single window where I can get line-of-sight with the transmitter, I ask the RV park for a different space. Usually don't have to. Saves me hundreds every year over phone tethering and data plans, which are really turning into a scam.
This sounds like a good solution but I wonder why there are no reviews on Amazon or NewEgg.
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Old Yesterday, 07:12 PM   #7
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This sounds like a good solution but I wonder why there are no reviews on Amazon or NewEgg.
The company that has it's name is on it now just bought the rights to the design apparently. I've bought two of them over the years and they carried a different brand name. I'm sure, since Amazon didn't link the two products together that most potential buyers are leary of it and can't blame them. But it's the same product and has the same good-ol' RT chipset which is the best going for Wifi these days.

I wouldn't worry about lack of reviews. But it's not my money at risk either.

One other thing, I remove that mounting from the back (held with screws) and toss it. Then I use clear packing tape to tape the antenna as high on a window as I can. The 30 foot cable sometimes is laying on the floor as it snakes back to the bedroom but usually it's in the living room and the cable is out of sight behind furniture or under throw rugs. The body of the antenna is thin enough that I can easily close the curtains.
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