Traveling around often has its pros and cons. A huge con, for myself at least, was losing a fast reliable internet connection. I am a tech enthusiast and love keeping up with related health, consumer electronic, and video game news. I do my share of video streaming, like Netflix and Twitch, audio streaming, like Apple Music and Sound cloud, as well as downloading betas, podcasts, patches, and general updates. I often wondered how I was going to keep us connected to the internet while traveling around.
I never heard or read anything too great on internet connections provided by campgrounds. The common theme seems to be unreliable, slow, or missing all together. I have read issues about maintaining a cell connection due to remote locations or congested towers. I knew I had to think of a way to utilize today’s technology to make the best of things.
I did a fair amount of research and developed a solution that works best for our situation. As you see in the picture attached to this post, our home does not have your average batwing antennae. I had to remove it. First of all, the old batwing antennae that our rig came with only picked up analog TV signals. Second of all, the standard TV broadcast format went digital a couple of years back so the antennae wouldn’t do us much good in the long run anyways. Instead, I replaced the old antennae with two new ones.
The first new antennae, the square one in the picture, is a directional Wi-Fi antennae. This allows our home to pick up on any Wi-Fi signal that is 5-10 miles (with clear line of sight) from our location. Granted, there are usually buildings, trees, and other rigs surrounding us, it does not seem to stop us from picking up all of the campgrounds, near by homes, and even a Starbucks or two Wi-Fi signals.
The Wi-Fi antennae helps us solve the problem by providing a stronger, more reliable internet connection. Although speed and security is another issue…
The second, more rectangular shaped antennae in the picture, is a 700-2700 MHz wide band directional antenna. This antennae, combined with a booster I will discuss in another posting, is used to pick up and enhance nearby cellphone signals. On average, the antennae will boost your cell signal from two bars, or circles, or dots, or whatever you call them now, to full signal…or five bars. For a quick example, while testing Verizon, without the antennae and booster, I get a 60 ms ping with a 1-2 mbps down and <1 mbps up. With the antennae and booster on, I can get 20 ms ping with a 25 mbps down and 15 mbps up. This makes a huge difference when trying to stream live video or when playing an online game… which now is usually Overwatch or League of Legends.
So far, we have not had any issues connecting to the internet while traveling. I can go into more technical depth about each antennae and most likely will in another post. If you are thinking about making the mobile lifestyle plunge, or maybe you are already mobile and current internet issues, there is definitely a solution!
Here are a few links to the products we are using. This isn’t everything you need, but it provides a great starting point if you want to do your own research!