I’ve spent the last few months living and working as a digital nomad in my Class B RV. In preparation for moving into my RV full time, I did a lot of research on how to stay connected. Here are five ways you can access the internet while on the road:
The easiest way is using a data-capable cell phone e.g. smartphone, iPhone, Blackberry, to tether your laptop to the internet so you can retrieve email and browse the web. If you don’t automatically have a tethering option on your cell phone, you can sign up with your provider. I don’t recommend it, though. Most phone companies don’t want you to tether a lot, especially the ones that offer unlimited data. You can go around this if you use an app like EasyTether to connect your laptop through an Android device to the internet. The cell phone needs to be connected to your laptop via USB cable or Bluetooth. This way the cell phone connects through the wireless provider to the internet without actually having to sign up or activate the tether option with your provider. This service relies mostly on the quality of the network you choose to use. It is very cost effective and is a popular way of connecting while on the go.
RV park WiFi
Most RV parks have their own WiFi, however the signal may be very weak. By using a WiFi Extender, Booster or Repeater you can make it stronger. These devices main function is to extend the coverage area of your existing WiFi network. So basically, what these devices do is receive your existing WiFi and amplify it, which then transmits the boosted signal. The difference between a WiFi Extender, Booster or Repeater is very minimal, and the end result is essentially the same, namely to increase the coverage area of an existing WiFi network.
Another option is to use a hotspot like the Verizon Mobile MiFi to create an internet connection through your network provider. Verizon wireless smartphones usually have a built-in mobile hotspot function which you can use to connect up to 5 devices on 3G and up to 10 on 4G LTE smartphone. It should be noted it deducts from your data plan. Also, it’s advisable to set a password on your WiFi network to prevent anyone from accessing your data.
If you are planning to spend lots of time out in the middle of nowhere, then satellite internet is the answer. The satellite system is usually mounted on the rooftop of your RV as a separate auxiliary unit. It acts as a modem which transmits internet signals from the dish to your computer. This service tends to be more expensive and the equipment is heavier than the other options but it is very convenient and one can get a strong signal from almost any place.
Use Your Laptop as a Hotspot
If you want a cheap option where you can use multiple devices while tethering, try software like mHotspot. I usually tether my cell phone to the laptop, then set my laptop as the hotspot. I can then use this hotspot for my Roku and watch Netflix too. Most of the downloadable hotspot programs are free, making it even easier to access the internet.
RV internet access is becoming more important as days go by. With these 5 ways to access the internet remotely, you’ll be good to go.
About the Author
Viktoria documents her RV lifestyle at Smallrvlifestyle.com, providing advice and resources for taking on remote work, and living life on the road. Her mission is to help readers pursue their dream of a mobile life now instead of waiting for retirement.