Please Recommend a Wifi Booster - Fiberglass RV


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Old 11-16-2015, 03:07 AM   #1
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Please Recommend a Wifi Booster

I need to buy something that will increase the strength of my wireless signal, like a booster. I've been full timing for 2.5 months, and the longer I travel, the more I want to reconnect with far-flung friends on Facebook and email, etc., when I stop for the night. Do you have one you can recommend? Many thanks!

WendyW
Currently in Seaside, OR
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Old 11-16-2015, 09:00 AM   #2
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I am guessing that you are asking about WiFi for your computer, not about cell phone service. That said; unless it is wired for WiFi, getting any sort of signal in most campgrounds will be near impossible, especially in the western states where campgrounds tend to be more remote.


Best bet might be to talk with your cell phone service about a data plan that will let you tether your phone to your computer, but be careful, some of those plans can get very expensive.


Perhaps some site members that use cell phone links for WiFi will chime in.


Our usual practice is to reduce WiFi use by about 95% when travelling, and use free WiFi at exotic locations, like McDonalds and Starbucks, when absolutely necessary. This past week, even though WiFi is available in Yosemite Village, our total use for 5 days was zero.
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Old 11-16-2015, 09:30 AM   #3
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Wendy,
Congratulations on full-timing. I think one answer to your question can be found on a blog at < rvsue and her canine crew | Living on less and enjoying life more >If you check out the internet antenna section on her site.I have basically followed her blueprint and have been very satisfied with the result.
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Old 11-16-2015, 09:46 AM   #4
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While I may be more of a Geek computer wise than most, I gave up connecting to campground WI-FI connections as they usually change the computer's IP address and the Internet Security set up.

Once this is changed to "Public" (sometimes automated and not user controlled) it can be a royal PITA to reset everything so your laptop will again be recognized as a secure link and log into your home/office network.


The IP address (the ID of you computer on a network) is key to smooth functioning and recognition on a network.

Hard lesson learned the first 2 weeks on the road in January of this year.

The campground networks have their own routers and will generally reset everything on your machine in order to connect automatically. In other cases you may need to first log into your browser and link to a WI-FI supplier web page for the given campground. Usually this is free, but beware you may be inundated like we were with SPAM and other unwanted adds for the campground for months afterwards.

Now we just bring our own WF-FI hot spot with us so we always have reliable and secure connections. The last part, SECURE is important for on-line banking etc.

The mobile Hot Spot is easy to set up from Verizon.

This has solved all of connectivity issues when on the road.
OK not every where as we had no connections in Death Valley, but that was a good break from working.

I do hear Bob loud and clear with zero time spent on Internet access as a relaxing goal LOL.

However as I am still working on varied research projects I need to be able transfer data to and from as well as communicate with others. Additionally in regard to bill paying and banking this has been an excellent choice for us.

As always YMMV.

We are currently working (read just thinking about it) on how best to simplify life on the road with 2 laptops, the Hot Spot, an external 1 TB drive, chargers, power strips etc. and where to put them.

No! the thought of moving from our Scamp to something bigger is not an option. Maybe migrate to tablets and ditch the laptops?

Given the limited Scamp table space is routinely used for mundane things like eating and resting wine glasses what to do when the laptops are out?

When Scamping there are some serious priorities like where to put one's wine glasses.

Often the computer bags get tossed on the bed when laptops are in use on the table and recently just under the table in their bags when not in use.
DW is not thrilled by any of those actions.

Still learning on what works best.

BadDude
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Old 11-16-2015, 09:48 AM   #5
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Dogbiskett

For years I have used an app called PdaNet+ it turns your smart phone into a modem. as long as you get a signal from your carrier you plug it into your computer and you can get online. It was $15 when I bought it. I have no idea how much it is today. I would highly recommend this app, check it out and see if it will work on your phone and computer.
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Old 11-16-2015, 11:32 AM   #6
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A WiFi booster allows a person to connect to a WiFi router that's owned by somebody else. Which means that you're stealing bandwidth without paying for it or without permission to use it. If you happen to be in a campground with WiFi it might improve connection, but that's doubtful. Most problems in campground are because of too many users at once.

No on to the IP thing. Many home systems have what is known as Dynamic IP. Very few pay the extra for a static IP address. Therefore you home system changed it's IP address from time to time. DCHP assigns that address along with the address of the preferred DNS server. In other words fussing about IP addresses changing is fussing about the way the internet works.
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Old 11-16-2015, 11:52 AM   #7
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WIFI booster

Quote:
Originally Posted by WendyW View Post
I need to buy something that will increase the strength of my wireless signal, like a booster. I've been full timing for 2.5 months, and the longer I travel, the more I want to reconnect with far-flung friends on Facebook and email, etc., when I stop for the night. Do you have one you can recommend? Many thanks!

WendyW
Currently in Seaside, OR
It is all in how much you want to pay, my wife bought one that works but is not great as she went for cheap but it helped in places that do not have good wife reception. She said if we spend lots of money they all work way better so it is in how much u want to spend.
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Old 11-16-2015, 11:55 AM   #8
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Sorry TMI...

Byron is of course correct if you only have a single computer at home.

However if you are using a home/office network where the unique IP addresses are used so all the computers can talk to each other and have file sharing over the network that is a different issue.

Likely very few would worry about it if you only have a single machine. For networking the IP address is the individual computer address, not the Internet service provider IP that is usually dynamic and changes.
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Old 11-16-2015, 12:23 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BatDude View Post
Sorry TMI...

Byron is of course correct if you only have a single computer at home.

However if you are using a home/office network where the unique IP addresses are used so all the computers can talk to each other and have file sharing over the network that is a different issue.

Likely very few would worry about it if you only have a single machine. For networking the IP address is the individual computer address, not the Internet service provider IP that is usually dynamic and changes.
Same issue Bruce. The local router WiFi or wired cnnection uses it's internal DCHP to assign IP addresses. You can use the default IP in router or assign another. Most home systems and some business systems use the 192.168.1.xxx series of IPs.
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Old 11-16-2015, 01:28 PM   #10
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Wendy. Our computer solution is similar to Bruce (Batdude). We have a Verizon hotspot and it's rare when we can't get a signal. Once we were way out in the Black Hills and wi-fi worked but not phone. Our Hotspot is an older one and 3G that we've had for a decade.

These days, except for FRV, I mostly use my phone for email, news, ....

Between Ginny and I we have 4 Gigs of data, usually enough.
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Old 11-16-2015, 01:34 PM   #11
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I know some people are afraid of using places like McDonalds, and such other free wifi access spots, but not us. We don't us much internet while traveling, too many other things to do. Most of the internet use while traveling is to check on automatic bill pay and auto deposit. Some monitoring of credit card activity.
Every so often I'll update my travel blog. In 10 years of traveling I've always been able to find a WiFi hot spot when I needed one.
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Old 11-16-2015, 01:48 PM   #12
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Simplifying

Quote:
Originally Posted by BatDude View Post
We are currently working (read just thinking about it) on how best to simplify life on the road with 2 laptops, the Hot Spot, an external 1 TB drive, chargers, power strips etc. and where to put them.

No! the thought of moving from our Scamp to something bigger is not an option. Maybe migrate to tablets and ditch the laptops?

Given the limited Scamp table space is routinely used for mundane things like eating and resting wine glasses what to do when the laptops are out?

When Scamping there are some serious priorities like where to put one's wine glasses.

Often the computer bags get tossed on the bed when laptops are in use on the table and recently just under the table in their bags when not in use.
DW is not thrilled by any of those actions.
BadDude
Bruce, I'm sure your needs are different but since we've started we've simplified from a large windows laptop to simpler, yet Internet effective Chromebooks. They cost little ($200), are truly solid state (only the keys move no fans or drives), are updated regularly, security is handle and updated by Google, yet to notice a virus in 3 years), weigh about 2 pounds, small 11.5x8.5 x 0.6" and have long battery life. Our case is just slightly bigger than the computer and fits under the couch cushion.

We put our two RV wine glasses next to the coffee cup tray. They stand upside down for all our travels, they are plastic, we no longer carry glass.

Certainly there are things it can't do, the number of programs are limited (though enough for the basics, docs and spreadsheets).

We had a Pad and no longer use it, we have to ebooks and no longer use them.

Again since you're still working it may not meet your needs but easily handles life on the road.
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Old 11-16-2015, 05:02 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Byron Kinnaman View Post
I know some people are afraid of using places like McDonalds, and such other free wifi access spots, but not us. We don't us much internet while traveling, too many other things to do. Most of the internet use while traveling is to check on automatic bill pay and auto deposit. Some monitoring of credit card activity.
Every so often I'll update my travel blog. In 10 years of traveling I've always been able to find a WiFi hot spot when I needed one.
Last week I went to the local library. I wanted to update the operating system on my android tablet and the state has wired libraries with fiber for folks who live in the rural areas where high speed internet has yet to arrive. When I got home I had a security email from google. Someone had gotten my pass word over the library wifi and logged into my account. There was about $5 there and since they were using a Mac, which was the trigger for the security alert, nothing of interest for them. I was lucky, other than feeling violated, no real harm was done. I changed my password and moved on. Lesson learned.

Obviously you feel comfortable viewing your bank accounts at McDonalds? Why? Raz
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Old 11-16-2015, 05:51 PM   #14
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i wasn't very clear, thanks to my not knowing how stuff works. Sorry! I have only two communication devices -- an iPhone 6 and an iPad Mini. My network is AT&T. The iPad hotspots with the iPhone. I want to communicate while traveling, since I'm solo and have no other home. If an RV park advertises free wifi but it is too weak to use, I don't think I'm stealing anything if I strengthen the signal, if that's what I would be doing. Most of the time I'm using up data since there IS no wifi. In that case I need what? An antenna? Which one? I did look at rvsue's setup, but it seemed pretty complicated. Sigh. Is it too much to ask for something that's under $100, easy to install, and works?
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