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Post Info TOPIC: Which wifi ranger to choose?


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Which wifi ranger to choose?


So, after the wifi Ranger demo at the Pigeon Forge Rally last year, we were convinced that the wifi ranger was the way to go once we hit the road, whenever that happened.  Well, now it's happened, and we are getting ready to embark on our fulltiming adventure.  I went on the wifi ranger website, only to find that there are now multiple models to choose from! 

There are 4 of us in our RV, and between us we have 4 laptops, 2 itouch, 2 wireless printers and an xbox 360.  We plan on getting an aircard, but also using campground wifi where it is reliable.

I need to work from the RV, connecting to my company's VPN for much of the day (trying to get a dedicated aircard for my work computer, but no sure if I'll be able to), and the boys have to be online for some of their classes.  Tom just needs to surf the net . . .

Which wifi ranger is going to be the best for us, and what else to we need to go with it?  Any advice will be much appreciated!

 



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I would choose the Go. And perhaps pair a Mobile with it, but you can do that later if you want to add it.

The Go picks up campground wifi far better than the Pro so used without a Mobile that would be a major consideration. I also like the hardware better - it should be more reliable, and it seems faster to me - although I am not done speed testing it yet.

The Mobile is a separate radio unit that sits on the roof with its own antenna and picks up wifi far better than the Go alone. It communicates to the Go over an ethernet line.

Those are the basics....if you have questions I'd be glad to help....

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Reading about the "mobile" on their website is what got me confused. It's what they suggest for RV applications, but seemed to only pull in wifi, and sounded like it would require the basic ranger paired with it in order to use an aircard and create a little network in my RV.

We're going to be in a local campground for the first month after we vacate the house, and hopefully their campground wifi will be sufficient for our use so we have time to work on putting together the system we'll need for on the road. We're going over there tonight to check it out (with my laptop), so we should know more after than. Then we'll probably contact you to talk this through. Thanks!


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Your understanding of the Go/Mobile is correct. The Go is the device that you can add an aircard to. Think of the Mobile as just a better wifi antenna, although technically it is far more.

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Hello Everyone,

I have a question with respect to the WiFiRanger line of products and upgrading my equipment.  Currently, I have a WiFiRanger Pro with one of their Ubiquiti PicoStations referred to as a "Boost" mounted internally in my 5th wheel.  The setup is mounted to the interior of my slideout in the entertainment center.  Works great but I would like to see an improvement in throughput.  I normally connect 4 devices directly by ethernet and a few by wireless g/n.

As I understand it, the maximum throughput that I can expect with my current setup is 150Mbps.  Should I upgrade to a WiFiRanger Go (that has 300Mbps)?  And if I do the upgrade, should I keep the current POE PicoStation or replace it with an upgraded one (i.e. Ubiquiti PicoStation M2HP 2.4GHz 802.11g/n High Power Access Point - Amazon $89.00) or purchase a WiFiRanger Sky to use as a bridge.  I am reluctant to mount an external anntenna (i.e. WiFi Ranger Mobile) because I just don't want to drill a hole through my Suh-Weet.

Alternately there's a Ubiquiti Ultra-Long Range WiFi Router PowerAPN that has 300Mbps throughput that I could pair that up with the 2.4GHz 802.11g/n PicoStation.  I would lose the USB port for an Aircard that I have on the Router now but......  I can use my Verizon Driod as a wireless tether for 3g/4g cell access through whatever WAP I have.

I'd appreciate any input Jack or others would offer.  I work with technology all day and to be honest, I am tired of all the constant upgrades in technology and would like to find a fast and reliable source for my needs.



-- Edited by 01zeosix on Tuesday 28th of August 2012 06:31:11 AM

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First, let me ask you what you are doing that you need more than 150mbps? That might help determine the correct components. Is this a fixed activity, or is it mobile? Is it conducted on your local network, or are you pushing across to the Internet ? And if you are accessing the Internet, what is your backhaul?

Since you are asking about a router (the Go) I'm guessing you are just looking for speed on your local network?

Also, using a Sky and fusing it to the Go (for example) is not going to necessarily be a good way to improve speed, since you are using wireless and doing two hops.

Drilling a hole in the roof is not actually necessary. You could go up a vent. Or you could just drill a hole in the roof. There is actually nothing to doing so, if done properly.

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Jack Mayer wrote:

First, let me ask you what you are doing that you need more than 150mbps? That might help determine the correct components. Is this a fixed activity, or is it mobile? Is it conducted on your local network, or are you pushing across to the Internet ? And if you are accessing the Internet, what is your backhaul? 


Thanks for the prompt reply, Jack.  To help with your suggestions:

  • I'm usually in a fixed location using the WiFiRanger to connect via wireless.
  • My backhaul is usually a wireless connection to a ADSL2+ access point (S&B).
  • I use cellular as a secondary failover connection type.
  • I connect to a source using a VPN client
  • I  also connect to a MetaFrame client through the Internet
  • The MetaFrame client "publishes" it's applications to my PC on my Internal Network
  • I upload and download files via a secure FTP process
  • I push and pull files across the Internet from my network at the S&B and my office.
  • I video conference
  • I stream content to a Roku box

Looking for speed and reliability.  If it's a situation where the advise is, "You're better off sticking to what you have, rather than upgrade." please explain.

Thanks, in advance, for your valuable input.

 



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I'd eliminate all wireless hops that I could. The goal being to obtain as close to the speed of your backhaul as you can. Wireless is going to limit the speed,and every hop you take is going to have an impact. Then, look at all the equipment individually and decide if an upgrade to a faster component will affect 1) reliability 2) complexity/maintenance 3) cost.

If I could do it, and you are in that location long enough I would hardwire the connection to the primary router and then just go wireless to your PC - no other wireless jumps. In fact, if the file transfers are your primary activity (they are the only thing really benefiting from additional speed) then I would find a way to hardwire them if I could. Or live with the speed difference. Ultimately, you are going to be limited by the 802.11n last jump to the PC. It can only go so fast....and it is way less than your DSL in.

For equipment I think the best cost/benefit is likely to be a Go with the Mobile or put your current pico on the roof, which may get you some additional speed - but maybe not depending on what you are currently achieving. The key is to get all the wireless running as fast as possible - which at the moment is "n". If you want to cook up your own solution using a higher speed wireless bridge (point to point) you can do it at faster than "n", but you are then even more-so in the networking business....and I doubt in practice you will notice the speed difference to any significant extent. Your best bet is to hardwire the link as much as possible if you feel you need to squeeze the most speed out of it.

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Thanks for your input, Jack.  Between your response, the WiFiRanger site and forum, and your website, I feel that I am more empowered to make the appropriate decision for my circumstances.  Still love my "Suh-Weet".



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Jack, My wife and I are about to buy our first 5th wheel and go full timing....previously had class a motorhomes but just used for vacations and short trips.  We are interested in using the internet while traveling and GMC {we  are ordering a diesel dually) has a wi fi option with autonetmobile.  In your opinion is this a good  choice or should we be doing something different.  Appreciate any input/thanks.

Patrick/Linda



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Linda M Haney


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Patrick/Linda,

I really don't have an answer for you.  This is the first time I've ever heard of autonetmobile, so I went to exercise my search engine skills.  There are a few sites out there that rate different networks and autonetmobile seems to have very little usage, especially considering the number of folks out there that are using wifi.

You might also check out the website/blog of the RV Dreams users with the username of "technomadia" (or something like that.)  They've done some extensive work with different "connection" options, so they are another source beside Jack Mayer.  Also, Bill Joyce (bjoyce username) seems to have a lot of knowledge with this topic.

If you don't get answers here, start a new thread with a mention of autonetmobile in the title.  If anyone recognizes it, they will likely comment in that thread.

Terry



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Hi Patrick & Linda -

We've looked into AutoNet just enough to say they're not on our list of recommended internet options for full time RVers. There are so many better options out there. You'd be better off researching out a different option.

As to recommendations for what is right for you? I'd have to know a lot more about what your needs are to make specific recommendations. We did write a book on this topic overviewing the options (see the link in our signature), and Jack also has an excellent website with details on specific products.

Here's a link to our personal setup:
http://www.technomadia.com/2012/12/mobile-internet-for-rvers/

At the top of the page is a video chat we did that explains the various options out there that you might find useful.

Enjoy,
- Cherie



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FWIW - we just got the Wifi Ranger Go, after having the Wifi Ranger Mobile for a year along with the "boost antenna". Go has been much better than the previous version. We emailed Jack Mayer with our current set up and he gave us his opinion of what we could do to improve our current situation. His opinion proved to be right for our situation. BTW, I work from "home" full time and need to be connected for my job approximately 40-60 hours per week so connectitivty is a huge factor in our decisions on which products to purchase and use. When I told my manager we were going to be full time RV'ing, his response was that I've been doing it part-time for so long, he never knew when I was "home" vs. on the road so didn't really care as long as I could get to an airport to fly out for customer meetings the 3-6 times a year my job requires travel.

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Technomadia's, The Mobile Internet Handbook, just like in Cherie and Chris's signature.



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I would not recommend AutoNet or any other manufacturer solution as a long-term primary Internet solution. They just do not have the flexibility of installing your own solution.

Unless I know your specific needs it is hard to recommend a specific set of equipment. The book referenced above is your BEST source of knowledge of what is available today and it's tradeoffs. After reading that and arriving at some initial thoughts I'd be happy to answer you questions - either here or via Email.

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Thanks for the input.  Truck wont be delivered for 8=10 weeks so we'll have time to continue the research.

Patrick/Linda



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Jack, is it worth considering upgrading from the Pro and WFRBoost combo we got originally to the Go/Mobile combination…or maybe the Go inside and hook up the WFRBoost for outside antenna (assuming that the Boost is even compatible with the Go).

We recently got the 6.6.3 firmware update for our Pro…and ever since the Millenicom air card connects very slowly (200-400K instead of the 600K-1.2M we normally get) and the Pro is rebooting about 15 times a day. 

I'm working with Brian from tech support to get things sorted out…but Connie is _not_ happy that she has no internet.

 

 



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Neil, I would consider upgrading to the Go. It is a far better piece of hardware than the Home/Pro hardware. I don't know if it will solve your particular issue, but overall it is a better solution. It should work fine with the Boost hardware you have.

I recently upgraded my Pro to 6.6.3 firmware and it is not handling my UML 290 aircard well at ALL. I can not keep a connection alive. But move it over to the Go and it is fine.....

That is my 2 cents for what it is worth...I'd defer to Brian though, on the final solution.

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I have the WiFiRanger and have had it for a few years. When it works, it really works, but the problem is that over half of the RV parks we go to it will not connect. We have the WiFiRanger with the External antenna configuration. I have reported these problems for years now and typically they ignore the problem and seem to have made no progress in getting it fixed. So, I would not recommend this product if you want consistent connectivity while traveling. 



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Gee, I am now totally confused. I. Guess I don't know tech lingo at all.

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I have the Verizon Mifi and it only works when it wants to.. It is really good when it does, but you just never know when & for how long it wants to be used. I am, like others trying to figure out what would be best for everywhere we go. I know Verizon doesn't work everwhere.

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There have many models of "Verizon Mifi" through the years. About every manufacturer of hotspot devices has made them. Some have worked solidly, some not so well. Two people with the same model and brand will have different experiences. Is yours an old 3G one or a newer 4G one?

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The new Jetpack - Pantech 291 - works very well as compared to ALL previous MiFi or Jetpack solutions. That is the one Millenicom is shipping and the ONLY mifi-type device I recommend. I think the Technomania folks would agree...but I'll let the speak for themselves.... :)

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I have the 4G. It works well at times, other times not so much..  We have never had good service, so I don't expect much.  Just would like to be able to pay bills, do my banking and conect a litle bit.  Will check out the new jetpack. Thans for the advice.



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It's 4G, but I have had it for a couple of years. It is all that is available in our area. I am used to it's unreliability, but I want to be able to do banking, pay bills and conect a little with everyone. I have internet on my phone but it is small and also not so reliable. I guess there is no perfect so
Ution, especially traveling.


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Kenny & Brenda

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Is Millenicom a provider like Verizon? What is the difference?

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Kenny & Brenda

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Millenicom is a reseller of Verizon DATA service - not voice services. It is IDENTICAL to Verizon from a tower and capability perspective. It is just cheaper if you use over 10 gig a month of data. Under 10 gig then look carefully at Verizon plans and compare. The one benefit of Millenicom is NO contract and NO taxes or fees on a monthly basis.

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If you are on Verizon's Share Everything plan, then you can use your smartphones as hotspots for no additional charge and not have a standalone hotspot/MiFi. A bit more hassle, but will save you some money.

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I am new to the Keystone Montana that I will be out-fitting with the WifiRanger Ti..

Any suggestions on how to run the wire from the WiFiRanger? I plan on mounting it to the TV batwing.. How do I snake it? Where does the TV ant. cable go to?

Thanks!

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Pretty convinced based on this thread and some other reading that I am getting a WiFi Ranger and a Go2 router.  Wondering if I should get the Mobile or get the "better" antenna with the Marine.  Any opinions?

...Bill



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Not to add to the confussion, but check out the Rogue Wave WiFi system

 

here is a great discussion from some very experienced and knowledgeable users of RaNiger vs Rogue Wave products  

http://www.outsideourbubble.com/rv-internet-access-and-rv-dedicated-wifi



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Summersquash wrote:

...snip...I have internet on my phone but it is small and also not so reliable. I guess there is no perfect soUtion, especially traveling.


 OK. just wanted to add a quick note.  Teethering (also discussed in the book), would allow you to use your phone (android or iphone) to provide a signal to your pc.

 

can be discussed someplace else.



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bbarnesb wrote:

Pretty convinced based on this thread and some other reading that I am getting a WiFi Ranger and a Go2 router.  Wondering if I should get the Mobile or get the "better" antenna with the Marine.  Any opinions?

...Bill


We just picked up a Mobile and Marine this past week when we passed through WFR Headquarters, and will be testing them head to head against the Sky and Go (and other options out there too). Too soon to comment on results. But, I can say.. the Marine is **HUGE** in size and definitely will have considerations for mounting on a RV.   

 - Cherie



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RV Mobile Internet Resource Center (unbiased information by RVers for RVers)

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The Marine will by far perform the best. Not even a close contest. But that is for distance capture. For close in - and within any RV park is "close in" - the SKY is almost always sufficient, and the Mobile is capable of going outside the park and fetching wifi.

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I'm with Jack; the Go/Mobile combination is great. I started with a Pro and a Boost (which has a less powerful radio and is just an external antenna instead of being a full up router like the Go can be used). Upgraded to a Go when I had an issue with a firmware update on the Pro…WFR asked me to join their beta team and I bought the Mobile to replace the Boost.

Outstanding connectivity. As Jack said there have been some growing pains with the line but they keep on top of things and update the software if needed pretty quickly. I haven't tried any of the other options since this works fine.

 



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Cherie, you're right…the Marine is huge. I assume it's got a pretty decent antenna and might be worth adding on some sort of ladder attached pole or something; but would clearly have be lowered somehow when moving if it was a roof mount



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The Junkman wrote:

can you guys provide the cost for these systems please?


 LINK to their website.



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oh.. I thought it was something else.. thanks

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Any news on the head to head comparisons?

I was planning to mount the Marine on a pole off the ladder on my 5th wheel and take it down while in transit.  Was hoping this would allow me to overcome the size issues and the problem with driving with it unsupported and horizontal if I mounted it on my batwing.

I'm interested in the Marine for the increased range to be able to pick up wifi from nearby McD's or similar.  The current park we are in has pretty good wifi coverage but horrible back haul.  I can get a good signal directly off my laptop but the connection is essentially unusable.

 



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I've got the Go2/Mobile bundle, and I used the basic instructions (from bill?) in the new internet guide (technomadia)

and modified his instructions for the cell radio attached to the ladder, for my mobile install.

 

My DRV has a ethernet port in the "water access" closet (what the heck is this door called, ideas please?)

and I connect the mobile to that via the port. (the port there goes into my entertainment center, which then goes into the liv. rm, and my router.


I will post a few pics of it tomorrow, when it isn't dark...

Cheers



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Cargo door?

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cheryls-other-half wrote:

I've got the Go2/Mobile bundle, and I used the basic instructions (from bill?) in the new internet guide (technomadia)

and modified his instructions for the cell radio attached to the ladder, for my mobile install.

 

My DRV has a ethernet port in the "water access" closet (what the heck is this door called, ideas please?)

and I connect the mobile to that via the port. (the port there goes into my entertainment center, which then goes into the liv. rm, and my router.


I will post a few pics of it tomorrow, when it isn't dark...

Cheers


 If you really mean the compartment and not just the door, I refer to it as the "utilities" compartment because that is where the water and sewer controls are, as well as the TV options.  The only utility not there is the electricity, for obvious reasons.

Now, what DRV or anyone else calls it, I have no idea.

Terry



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