If you are a full-time RVer and work while on the road, having a reliable Wi-Fi connection is essential to your business. But even as a casual traveler, knowing that you can easily connect to a Wi-Fi signal will allow you to check emails, talk to friends and family back home over Skype, FaceTime, or other video conferencing software, and complete other online tasks.
Unfortunately, the Wi-Fi signal in campgrounds can sometimes be spotty. Thanks to Federal Communication Commission regulations, a Wi-Fi signal can only be transmitted at a low frequency, which means that most signals only reach about 300 feet or so from their origination point. Plus, signals can be blocked by trees, RVs, buildings, and other obstacles.
So, how can you improve the reception to your rig so that you can hop online when you want to? Here’s what you can do:
- Move your devices closer to the signal – In most RV parks, the main office is the origination point of the Wi-Fi signal, so to get the best reception, your laptop, cell phone, or other device should be situated near windows that are closest to where the Wi-Fi is coming from. Additionally, you can opt for a campsite near the main office to improve your chances of getting a strong Wi-Fi signal.
- Get a Wi-Fi reception booster – The Wi-Fi antennas that are built into your devices are basic and may not be powerful enough to pick up weaker signals. That’s where a reception booster can come into play. A booster is a relatively inexpensive piece of equipment, featuring an antenna and an amplifier that receive and improve Wi-Fi signals. It is powered by your computer and easily plugs into a USB port. You may have to situate the unit to be near a window or in some spot that can pick up on the Wi-Fi transmission. Note that a booster only works with one device at a time and only with devices that have USB ports.
- Install a point-to-point or omni-directional antenna – You can mount these antennas on your RV’s roof or to an extender pole to rise above any potential blockages. The antenna is connected to an external router. The antenna and router on the exterior of the RV pulls in Wi-Fi signals which are routed through an interior device, that essentially creates a network within your own RV. You can then connect multiple devices to the internet.
- Create a hotspot with your smartphone – It’s likely that you’ll stay at some campgrounds and other locations at which there is no Wi-Fi at all. In those instances, you may want to set up your smartphone to serve as a hotspot, so you can connect to the internet.
You may need to do a little trial and error before committing to one method or another. Or, you may find that having access to multiple methods works best for you. Either way, you’ll be able to improve the Wi-Fi signal in your RV and connect to the internet when traveling in your rig.
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