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Old 03-23-2020, 12:41 PM   #1
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On the Road Wi-Fi

I have a home bookkeeping business and I'm trying to find out the best - most efficient and cost effective - way to set up my home office in my travel trailer. I have a Micro Minnie. I want to be able to work from my Trailer while I'm traveling without going to a place with wi-fi.

Any information or links would help!

Thank you!
Kim Prebish
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Old 03-23-2020, 01:21 PM   #2
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I'm not a techie but I'm sure you'll hear from those who have a better handle on the technical solution, but I'll share with you the $40 a month system that I use for both my home and motor home. Below is a youtube you might look at that explains the system, it connects to the Verizon network. You can use an old phone or do what I did is I purchased their $25 new Samsung and it drives the whole network. You do need to get the travel modem to allow it to connect multiple devices. Works for me. $40/ month, no contract.

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Old 03-23-2020, 01:43 PM   #3
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Kim, the only real answer, if internet is necessary, is to use MiFi devices. These provide a cellular router inside your TT and give you access to the internet via cellular broadband.

The general category is called a Mifi - but you'll see Verizon call theirs a Jetpack and some times ATT calls them a broadband datacard. But it's all the same.

Because no one provider covers every place you might travel it's helpful to have more than one account. We use ATT and Verizon. About 80% of the places we visit have good service on either one of those two. But in the other 20% of places only one of the two is practical for use.

The next problem is getting enough high speed data to meet your needs. For general office use you probably will be fine with the options from the major carriers. Please know that EVERY carrier offers "unlimited" data plans that are extremely limited. How can that be? Well, they will let you use all the data you want every month with no extra charge - but they limit the high speed data that you can use. Most unlimited plans offer 22gigs of on phone data and 15 gigs of Mifi device data. When you use up the high speed data they drop the speed to 2G speeds - really it's dial-up speeds.

Most work uses don't use a ton of data. But video or TV streaming use a tremendous amount.

You can bypass all of the MiFi/Jetpack business and use a cell phone as a hotspot. But this isn't as convenient or speedy as using a MiFi most of the time.

Also, with the Mifi it's a router and you can connect multiple devices - your phone, your tablet, your laptop, etc and you will have a private network connection inside your TT just like at home.

From there there are a great many more things you can do. But it will depend on what your deeds are and how much you want to spend.

We have a WiFi Ranger which consists of a network router that uses both any available Wifi and rebroadcasts it into the private RV network. And, MiFi devices connect to this router via USB or Ethernet and you can set up auto load balancing between campground wifi and two or more MiFi devices and let the WiFi Ranger router switch between them all seamlessly as needed.

Also, there are Cellular Boosters that can amplify a weak cell signal in remote areas to make the broadband more usable.

And beyond that there are professional devices that can combine all of these things into one rooftop device.

I recommend people join www.rvmobileinternet.com. It is a website that keeps up with all of these things. Tests all the equipment and antennas. They tell you what dataplans are best, etc. It's free to visit and you'll see about 1/2 of the content. If you become a paying member you get access to it all. There's a ton there and it's updated almost daily.

Here's what we have:
Wifi Ranger GoAC Router
Wifi Ranger Elite Rooftop "booster'
WeBoost Drive 4G-X Cellular Booster with rooftop antenna
Verizon 7730L 2.4/5 ghz Jetpack
ATT Nighthawlk 2.4/5 ghz Broadband router

And, we have two things that are just not available any more that we established a couple of years ago - ATT Connected Car totally really unlimited high speed dataplan for $22 a month and a Verizon Grandfathered totally Unlimited Dataplan for $34 a month.

Because our plans are totally highspeed unlimited we use it for streaming all our TV and we use between 200 and 350 gigs of data per month when we are on the road.

Best of luck to you. It's a huge topic and you have a great deal to learn about mobile internet in your travel trailer.
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Old 03-23-2020, 01:53 PM   #4
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What Wingchop is refering to is the Visible service. It's $40 a month and it s unlimited... but, it is limited in a couple of ways. One it only uses Verizon LTE cell service. So, in rural areas that are still on older 3g or even 4g non-lte cellular service the Visible service will not work at all. It won't even see those options.

Second, it only works via a phone setup for teethering. This works but is less desirable than using MiFi devices. And, you cannot take the Visible SIM card from the phone and simply insert it into a MiFi device. They will cancel your service if you do.

Lastly, Visible is a lower tier service on Verizon's cellular network. When things are busy on the Verizon network the non-Visible traffic gets priority. You can be slowed down. Also, the service is supposed to offer no more that 5 mbps speeds. This is pretty fast but most MiFi speeds are between 12 mbps and as much as 100 mpbs. Though 5 mbps is acceptable. (I have seen folks say that this limitation has been lifted, but I've also seen folks that are seeing much slower speeds occasionally now, too.)

I'm not trying to talk down the Visible option. For many it is the best inexpensive mostly unlimited option out there. However, there are other options that do cost more but have none of the limitations of the Visible service.

You have to decide what works best for you and as long as you know the pluses and minuses then you can make an informed decision.
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Old 03-23-2020, 02:19 PM   #5
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Here's some very current info on Visible:

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Old 03-23-2020, 02:55 PM   #6
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As a business, and considering that the Internet service is both a necessity and a writeoff for you, you may want to a more robust system.


In our motorhome, we have 2 cellular routers connected via Ethernet to a WiFi Ranger Spruce router in load balancing mode.


One of our routers is on ATT, one on Google FI (T-Mobile) for more redundancy.


This also gives the ability to have hardwired Ethernet connections to devices, as well as WiFi.


You might want to join this forum's sister forum, iRV2.com, and post your question over there. There are several topics on this question, and you could look for member docj, who is that forum's WiFi Ranger ambassador. Their products may be more suitable to your business needs.
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Old 03-24-2020, 05:58 PM   #7
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I have a system similar to creativepart's. Wifi Ranger "Teton" (rooftop booster) and the indoor "Poplar" router with a tethered hotspot - in this case a AT&T Nighthawk. They are both upgradeable according to your needs and work together very well once set up properly.

The Nighthawk hotspot replaced my AT&T Mobley Connected Car Device - I just put the Mobley SIM card into the Nighthawk and got a better, more powerful hotspot and so far AT&T still charges only the $20/month unlimited data that I had with the Mobley.

The advantage of this system is it can be directed to use local, free WiFi but can blend in the cellular when needed. I'm not real tech savvy, but finally got it working the way I wanted and am able to stream Netflix, Amazon, YouTube and Sirius Radio without issue - so handling email, sending attachments, and other internet stuff we do is without issues. If the AT&T signal isn't great, I can also just unplug the Nighthawk and tether my cell phone as a backup.

lots of great tech stuff out there. Finding a good data plan can be hit or miss.

have fun,

Dave-oh
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Old 03-24-2020, 06:26 PM   #8
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We simply hotspot a cell phone. We pay for unlimited data on one phone. We use it for email and Roku for TV. I am sure there are better ways perhaps even cheaper, not really sure.
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Old 03-24-2020, 08:46 PM   #9
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Don't forget to use some sort of a firewall when connecting to an unsecured park wifi system. I would only do that when my phone can't get a connection for a hotspot.
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Old 03-28-2020, 09:19 AM   #10
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Thank you Grand Adventure!
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Old 03-28-2020, 09:30 AM   #11
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Thank you so much!
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Old 03-29-2020, 08:36 PM   #12
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Sierra Wireless Cellular Modem

Although not specifically RV related, we’ve tried several solutions for our fleet of ambulances. We started with MiFis, then USB cards for the tough books, then using the hotspot feature on ipads. In the end, we went to Sierra Wireless cellular modems. The modem/router itself mounts in the vehicle permanently and is connected to a rooftop “diversity” antenna on the roof that is actually 5 antennas in one, all five of which connect to the modem. These include GPS and each cell and wifi band. There are 4 Ethernet ports on the router, but it provides a wifi network within I think 250 ft of the vehicle and supports multiple users. It can accept two SIM cards and switch back and forth if needed. You can put it whatever plan you want.

Pricey (about $1000) but works great almost everywhere. I’m planning on getting one for my Winnie when we go fulltime-ish.
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Old 03-29-2020, 10:04 PM   #13
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Lots of $1000 options for businesses as there is a need for real time tracking and record keeping of vehicles, teams and assets.

But these are just not necessary for RV usage, thank goodness.
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