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Old 11-23-2020, 09:40 PM   #1
Dgarcia
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WiFi question

Hey everyone! Iím new to fifth wheel life and just recently sold my house to fifth wheel for a few years. Anyone have recommendations for best WiFi options? I burned thru my phone hotspot pretty quick and from what I read online, furry on isnít way to go. Any ideas?
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Old 11-23-2020, 10:29 PM   #2
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Hey everyone! Iím new to fifth wheel life and just recently sold my house to fifth wheel for a few years. Anyone have recommendations for best WiFi options? I burned thru my phone hotspot pretty quick and from what I read online, furry on isnít way to go. Any ideas?
I have tried a few different systems, but this is the best I've used so far and it is really good... Ubiquiti Nanostation and Aircube AC.

Ubiquiti is known for big wifi connection systems, and can be a bit technical to setup. This is a really good video that simplifies how to set this system up...


Once setup, the system is rock solid.

A couple of notes though:
-many RV parks are limiting the ability of any wifi antenna and/or router to share the signal with other devices. So you end up having to connect your devices individually and get whatever speed you can.
-a wifi antenna and router like the above system will do a great job of connecting to the park wifi, but if the park wifi is slow you will be slow.

As a result of the above, my wife and I still keep a good data plan on our phones to use as hotspots when needed.

HtH,
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Old 11-24-2020, 06:46 AM   #3
DutchmenSport
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Other than our phone hot spots, I don't know of anything better.

My wife and I both work form home (she's always been "home office" status, and I've been home since the virus started). And since we are both work from home, we've taken advantage of the time and hit the road some and, instead of work from home, (WFH), we've been doing WFC .... (Work from camper).

Now my wife has a company phone with hotspot. So she can work unlimited. We have AT&T and an unlimited plan. Yes, it costs. But we've never been throttled.

The only down side is, as you know from your own experiences, there are spots that simply do not get phone service. After 35 years of camping and starting out with one of those mobile phones as big as a world war 2 walkie-talkie radio powered by a battery in a suitcase, we have found not every spot has service. But, no matter which phone plan and data plan you go with, you'll find that to be true for all of them.

We've even been in campgrounds (state parks) that were within close proximity of a metropolitan area, but because there was a mountain range between us and them, or we were in the valley, there was no reception, or simply no phone towers around. It happens.

We tried the AT&T device that is an Internet Hot Spot only. It worked great on all my computers, but it failed at connecting to my wife's office. For some reason, there was some protocal with her company that did not like the device and now matter what the work around (form both AT&T and her company), the company's system didn't deem it secure enough. And they never figured it out. We ended up getting rid of that, since our phones did exactly the same thing, and we didn't have to pay for yet ANOTHER service plan.

We tried Hughes Net at home (satellite internet) some 13 year ago when we first moved into our current house. We thought this might be a good system for the camper too. After 1 month we got rid of Hughes Net because the latency between send and receive was too long. Playing on-line video games just didn't work. You were killed before you even knew it. Response of slow. And when talking to them, there was no convenient way to set it up for the camper.

Maybe Hughes Net has improved since then, but they aren't cheap. Back then, they were something like $100 a month.

I keep following this subject, hoping someone will come up with a true independent wifi solution that is NOT dependent upon campground's internet service. Because, maybe, only once a year, do we stay in a campground that actually has wifi.

Your best option is your phone hotspot. Beef-up your plan for more data, And if it means getting a different phone that covers different areas, maybe between the two of them you won't have any dead zones.

My wife's company phone will work in some spots where my personal phone will not (different carriers), and visa-versa.

No matter what you do, you'll still eventually hit dead zones. And if you go with a satellite system, then you have to contend with trees blocking the signal.

I think at this point, there really is no true 100% all the time, everywhere system. Just like the choice to select a travel trailer, Motor Home, or Fifth Wheel, there are pluss's and minuses about each one.
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Old 11-24-2020, 07:00 AM   #4
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Well how much bandwidth do you need?
How much data do you need?
Where will you be camping?

What is the best WiFi/Cellular solution really depends on YOUR needs.

Try going here to research what you need
https://www.facebook.com/groups/rvinternet
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Old 11-24-2020, 11:46 AM   #5
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I have found that the hotspot on your cell phone to be best, not only when you have a good signal, but from a security standpoint also.
There are a lot of hacks when you log on to a private WiFi service. When you log in to your hotspot on your phone, the security is YOURS, not some campground that may be rebroadcasting your information.
I am not saying all campgrounds are this way, but I have run into my share of the insecure ones. Good luck!
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Old 11-24-2020, 01:02 PM   #6
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I have found that the hotspot on your cell phone to be best, not only when you have a good signal, but from a security standpoint also.
There are a lot of hacks when you log on to a private WiFi service. When you log in to your hotspot on your phone, the security is YOURS, not some campground that may be rebroadcasting your information.
I am not saying all campgrounds are this way, but I have run into my share of the insecure ones. Good luck!
...please don't think of any of the following as presumptuous, but my career is in IT security so I kinda know this part

A cell phone hotspot is not necessarily secure and I would not advise anyone to connect to sensitive company information without adding additional security.The security on your cellphone is not yours either, it is managed by the cellphone provider.

I do agree that campground wifi is not secure, but I would add that ALL campground wifi is not secure. While some may have "better wifi" with a very basic level of security added, if I have to access campground wifi directly from a device, I try to use it only for web surfing or netflix.
The best way to approach security is to assume there is none, and that you need to add your own layers of protection as appropriate.

The Ubiquiti Aircube solution I recommended above is a commercial level of wifi security but still provides just the basics. Some of those basics go beyond what a cellphone hotspot would typically provide.
For the layers of security that the Ubiquiti Aircube does provide it is really quite robust and difficult to hack, and it is more secure than products such as the popular Alpha CampPro products, to use one example.
But there are many other layers of security that are not addressed by the Ubiquiti solution (or PepWave or Winegard, etc) that could allow someone to see or even access your information. A simple example might be to compare a good wifi router to a stout steel front door with a great lock, so the hacker won't even try to break into it... but if they see that you left a key under the mat for the back door, they would take advantage of that instead... hackers live in a world where they make thousands of attempts to quickly access as much as they can in as short a time as possible -they do get information and they can sell it on the darkweb, but often the return is pennies per piece of information.

So, security is then always a balance of 3 things; cost, convenience and security. If you need more security it will raise cost and may reduce convenience. (if you've ever used MFA -multi factor authentication- you will know what I mean)
If you are accessing internet for personal email, web surfing, netflix, youtube, etc, then a wifi router or cellphone hotspot will likely be adequate. (but IMHO they are not truly "secure" by definition). But if you want to do work that involves regularly accessing sensitive company data, I would suggest you are putting yourself and your company at risk unless you work with an IT security professional to assess what other layers of security should be added.

Hope that is helpful!
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Old 11-24-2020, 01:19 PM   #7
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I agree 110%! I was just trying to keep it simple
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Old 11-24-2020, 08:52 PM   #8
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I agree 110%! I was just trying to keep it simple
LOL, if only security were simple... but it's not. I can't complain, it's good for business

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Old 11-25-2020, 01:43 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Dgarcia View Post
Hey everyone! Iím new to fifth wheel life and just recently sold my house to fifth wheel for a few years. Anyone have recommendations for best WiFi options? I burned thru my phone hotspot pretty quick and from what I read online, furry on isnít way to go. Any ideas?
My wife teaches 4th grade, via Zoom video communication, and sometimes she needs to while we're camping. We are using the T-Mobile "Franklin" mobile hot spot device. You can hook up to 15 devices on it. So far it's worked perfectly. The device is about $80.00 and we opted for the most data, which is about $85.00 per month. We have never come close to running out of data use. Works great if you want to use a Roku device to watch TV. Just another option for you to consider.
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Old 11-28-2020, 02:23 PM   #10
Dgarcia
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Thanks for help

Thanks for all the info! Well we use WiFi a lot cause we do a lot of movie streaming since my wife is 8 months pregnant and is laying low! We used our phones at first but burned thru it pretty quickly.
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Old 11-28-2020, 03:51 PM   #11
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For internet access on the road you have two options
1) Provide your own internet (cell / sat)
2) Use what is provided (campground / coffee shop / etc)

In both scenarios you can improve the experience via hardware.

The 'secure' discussion is pointless between these two options and in either case the customer (you) isn't at the termination point. Rather your traffic is routed through at least one 3rd party which could be doing evil or be compromised. Security will be limited to ones use of encryption and you will have the same options through either approach.
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Old 11-28-2020, 04:06 PM   #12
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For internet access on the road you have two options
1) Provide your own internet (cell / sat)
2) Use what is provided (campground / coffee shop / etc)

In both scenarios you can improve the experience via hardware.

The 'secure' discussion is pointless between these two options and in either case the customer (you) isn't at the termination point. Rather your traffic is routed through at least one 3rd party which could be doing evil or be compromised. Security will be limited to ones use of encryption and you will have the same options through either approach.
I agree that each solution will need to be secured and most of the solutions will work for either, but there are some specific differences in the implementation between how to secure each.
However I challenge the notion that "Security will be limited to ones use of encryption". While important, encryption is merely one piece of the puzzle...

(for any techies out there, you will know that security can happen at several layers in the OSI model... and that doesn't even speak to the user SAT piece)

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