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Post Info TOPIC: WiFi/Cellular in your new Coach


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WiFi/Cellular in your new Coach


Howard, Can you describe your Wifi/Cellular setup in your rig?

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Kristin & John

2018 Grand Design Reflection 26RL "Snickerdoodle"

2012 Ford F350 CC SB "Brown Sugar"

 



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I look forward to Howard’s response.

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Winnebago TT 2101DS & Tahoe LTZ, 300 watts WindyNation solar-parallel w/MPPT, 2 Trojan T-125s. TALL flag pole. Prefer USFS, COE, BLM, USF&WS, NPS, TVA, state/county campgrounds. 14 year Army vet-11B40 then 11A - old MOS 1542 & 1560.



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Ok, here goes.

We have Verizon. It's a love/hate relationship. They are expensive and a pain to deal with, but they still have the best geographical coverage, and every time I look elsewhere I end up crawling back.

Our main device for data is the 4G LTE Broadband Router with Voice which, of course, is not sold any longer (you can find a few online). It's a home-type device with a larger, more powerful antenna than the typical Mi-Fi or JetPack. Often, we can get a good data signal without a booster. However, the data side runs on AC power, so it has to be plugged in - we have to turn on our inverter to use it while boondocking. The voice side runs on battery power. This is the device we are currently using in a remote area of Oregon where we were told there was no way we would get a Verizon signal.

We also have this JetPack device: Jetpack 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot AC791L. It's a NetGear device that we use as a back-up or when we are traveling to RV shows or when we are boondocking and don't want to turn on the inverter. I've been happier with this model than any of the other Mi-Fi/JetPack versions we've had over the years. 

We're due for an upgrade of our cellular booster, but as of now we have the Wilson (now Weboost) Mobile 4G kit (which came with an external and an internal antenna). We very rarely have had to use it, and when we do, it really hasn't helped that much. But, like I said, we are due for an upgrade as it is several years old. I'll probably go with a Weboost model as I have had better luck with that brand than any other brand of booster. The cradle-type booster - the Sleek - we had in the past did a very good job, so we may get the new version of that. In any case, we'll go through the reviews on RVMobileInternet.com and make a decision.

We both have Android phones - Samsung Galaxy J7 V. 

This surprises some people, but we rarely use Wi-Fi. We don't have a Wi-Fi booster and we don't have a Wi-Fi Ranger. I'm sure the Wi-Fi Ranger has improved over the years, but we had one at one time and I found it to be more of a pain than it was worth.

Just let me know if you have any questions.

 

 

 

 

 

 



-- Edited by Howard on Tuesday 19th of June 2018 08:38:14 PM



-- Edited by Howard on Tuesday 19th of June 2018 08:41:52 PM

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Pssst Howard, you might want to check the link for the 4G LTE Broadband Router above as it brings me right back to this page.

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Thanks for the explaination Howard.  You summed it well and you had not posted what you had in the new rig.  Just wondering

 

Thanks 

John



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Kristin & John

2018 Grand Design Reflection 26RL "Snickerdoodle"

2012 Ford F350 CC SB "Brown Sugar"

 



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Sorry about that. I fixed it.
arcaguy wrote:

Pssst Howard, you might want to check the link for the 4G LTE Broadband Router above as it brings me right back to this page.


 



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Host

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You're welcome. The change of rig didn't change our set-up.
DoubleG wrote:

Thanks for the explaination Howard.  You summed it well and you had not posted what you had in the new rig.  Just wondering

 

Thanks 

John


 



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Great information.

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Winnebago TT 2101DS & Tahoe LTZ, 300 watts WindyNation solar-parallel w/MPPT, 2 Trojan T-125s. TALL flag pole. Prefer USFS, COE, BLM, USF&WS, NPS, TVA, state/county campgrounds. 14 year Army vet-11B40 then 11A - old MOS 1542 & 1560.



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Hmmm. I'm just using a Verizon iPhone 8 with the full package, using it as a hotspot. Is there a need for a full router inside the rig? Do the dedicated mobile hotspot devices have better signal reception?

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Yes, the dedicated mobile hotspot devices do have better signal reception. In strong areas it may not matter much, but in weak signal areas there is definitely a difference. I just did a test here in the campground on the Washington coast, and my speed with the 4G LTE Broadband Router with Voice is twice that of my phone used as a hotspot.
For whatever reason, better internal antenna or perhaps a focus on data only, we've always had better, more reliable signals through dedicated data devices than through our phones.
Whether there is a "need" for a dedicated data device is a personal decision based on needs and budget. That decision sometimes changes as you travel the country and experience a variety of signal strengths and speeds. Also, many dedicated data devices have a port for an external antenna while most phones don't.
Lots of people get by just fine using their phones as mobile hotspots. If they are happy, there isn't a need for a dedicated data device. But they may not know that their signal strengths and speeds could be better with a dedicated data device, or it may be they just choose not to have the extra expense as long as they get the performance they need.
I wouldn't go out and buy a dedicated data device as long as I was perfectly happy with the performance of my phone as a hotspot. 
Acheron2010 wrote:

Hmmm. I'm just using a Verizon iPhone 8 with the full package, using it as a hotspot. Is there a need for a full router inside the rig? Do the dedicated mobile hotspot devices have better signal reception?


 



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"Is there a need for a full router inside the rig? Do the dedicated mobile hotspot devices have better signal reception? "
Dedicated mobile hotspot devices might have better signal reception, but they might not. Also remember that about all the current cell phone and mobile hotspot plans limit hotspotting to 5, 10, 15 or 20GB (the new expensive Verizon plan) per month before slowing the speeds to unusable (throttling). So many end up with more than one hotspot device to share with their computers and tablets, since they use more than the hotspot limit on one device.

A full router with "Wifi as WAN" will allow you have more than one wifi hotspot device and make it look like you only have one. We have both a Verizon and AT&T mobile hotspots, both on plans that are no longer available, and can set our Pepwave Surf SOHO router to use the one we want. Our computers, wireless printer (which only can be set to one wifi name/password), and any tablets we have only know the router's wifi. On rare occasions campground wifi has also been "routed" through the router, but most campground wifi is inadequate. OI also update our smart Blu-ray player via Ethernet (wired internet), since I want to keep it off wifi and using lots of data. The router has Ethernet.

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Bill Joyce,
40' 2004 Dutch Star DP towing a 2012 AWD Chevy Equinox
Journal at http://www.sacnoth.com
Full-timing since July 2003

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