In our conversations with fellow RV’ers, communicating in the RV forums, and other general chats with folks we find that there is one consistent issue most RV’ers struggle with and thats the issue of RV Internet.
RV Internet or “Mobile Wifi or Mobile Broadband” as some refer to it is easily the most common issue people face as the world continues the trend of staying connected. We will attempt to address this issue and offer some clarity on what the options are and how to proceed.
We have seen far to many people overpay, get unnecessary services and receive poor results with their RV Internet trials and tribulations. Below you will find a graph outlining the major players in the Mobile Wifi world and what they offer.
You may notice we omitted some names. We did so on purpose because many others only exist while using the below companies cellular towers under a different marketing name and offer very little real value to the end user. Some of them only operate regionally and tend to be uncompetitive on price.
If you happen to find a company offering better deals with the same level of service quality, support, and value as what we are describing here than we applaud you! Just be sure to check the fine print.
There are 3 main ways to access the internet while on the road:
- Public/Private Accessible WIFI Networks – McDonalds, RV Parks, Libraries, Rest Stops, Starbucks, etc
- Satellite Connection – Dish, Hughesnet, Starband, etc
- Wireless Service Provides (Cell Phone Networks) – Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, Millenicom, etc
Public/Private Accesible WIFI Networks
They are available throughout the US. The connections as well as speeds are hit or miss. Your experience can be improved through the use of additional equipment installed in your RV. This will not be the focus of this guide though it will touch on it briefly
Through the use of a satellite dish your RV uploads and downloads data through the same satellites that your TV would. This service tends to be more expensive and equipment heavy than other options. This will not be covered in this guide.
Wireless Service Providers
Through the use of MIFI “Mobile WIFI” stand alone devices or the use of your smartphone your device becomes a wireless connection device that uses wireless towers to send and receive data.
Your service experience relies heavily on coverage and the quality of the network you choose to use. This is the most cost effective and popular way to connect while on the go and will be the focus of this guide.
If you already have a device and looking to boost your wireless coverage signal, be sure look over our cell phone signal booster guide.