[Note from RV52. This is a guest article by a vendor called Singlepoint Communications. They approached me about an article. I told them to write a “teaching” article and they did (Good job Jasmine). I don't personally use Singlepoint's service and have no opinion, but there are some nice information nuggets in here and given they have some nice “mobile friendly” options, they might have a good solution. Good luck all of you “friends of Fitty”]
[Also from RV52.com – if you order anything off of Singlepoint's web site (yoursinglepoint.com), be sure to use the coupon code “RV52” to get a $50 off of your order for orders of $500 or more!]
It used to be that all you needed to hit the open road in comfort was a well-stocked RV, a good radio station, a map, a camera and lots of film. Today, mobile internet for RV users is becoming another must-have – especially if you forgot the map, have a bored traveling partner, have a band of kids in tow or simply want to stay connected with the rest of the world.
If RV internet is a new technology for you, you may have some questions about how it works. We’ve answered many of the most common questions below.
What is RV internet?
Internet for an RV is similar to the internet access you have at home or in the office. When you set it up, you’ll have an instant WiFi hotspot that moves with the vehicle and lets you do everything you could normally do via an internet connection.
How does mobile internet for RVs work?
When you order a WiFi system for your RV, you’ll receive a kit that comes with a router, antenna and installation hardware. After you set up the roof-mount or window-mount antenna, along with the router with embedded cellular networks, this will create your hotspot. The system connects to 3G and 4G cellular networks to deliver fast, reliable access. You can even encrypt the connection to keep your WiFi hotspot private and safe.
Interested in the ability to cross over to Clear or other WiMax? SinglePoint offers a separate solution called the Moovbox that does support Clear, as our traditional WiFi In Motion COR solution does not support Clear.
Is mobile internet hard to set up?
The quickest and easiest installation option is with an internal, window-mount antenna. This process can be completed within 30 minutes. The roof mount antenna installation is a little more labor intensive because you will need to mount the antenna on the roof and run cabling into the vehicle. Or, there’s always the option to have your hotspot professionally installed.
Can I use the internet while the RV is on the road?
If you are driving the RV, you cannot and should not use the internet. In addition to the various transportation laws against using a mobile device while you drive, you should always keep your eyes on the road. If you want to use the internet, pull over to a safe spot first. If you’re a passenger, then yes, you can use the internet while the RV is on the road. Because cellular networks serve as the WiFi system’s backbone, you can access the internet anywhere there is cell phone reception.
What devices can connect to the mobile internet on an RV?
You can use practically any device that connects to the internet with your RV’s mobile hotspot. This includes laptops, tablets, smartphones and video game consoles. Ethernet devices, such as networked printers and more, can also be connected.
How fast is the connection?
In general, internet speeds can range from 3G to 4G, depending on your carrier. Some carriers support both and offer wider, more reliable coverage as well as higher speeds. If your carrier offers 3G services, download speeds can vary between 500 kbps (kilobytes per second) and 2 mbps (megabytes per second). With 4G, you can enjoy download speeds of up to 20 mbps, which is 40 times faster than 3G service.
At SinglePoint Communications, as an example, we resell EVDO, HSPA, HSPA+ and LTE cellular capacity. Our carrier partners are the two largest in the country. We offer 5 GB plans and 10 GB plans. Each 1 GB over your usage is charged at $15. We do not lower your bandwidth rate [note from RV52.com – this is a pretty big deal because you never want to go lower]. You simply pay the fee for extra bandwidth, or you can put your service on pause.
Is RV internet safe?
As with your internet connection at home, you can secure your WiFi connection with passwords and encryption options like WPA, WPA2, WPA2 Enterprise and WEP. When you secure your connection, only approved devices can connect to the web using your hotspot.
The RV parks I’m staying at offer WiFi. Why should I get mobile internet for RVs?
In general, most RV parks and campgrounds only offer a limited WiFi range. If you park too far away, you won’t be able to connect to the internet. This is particularly bothersome if the internet access isn’t a complimentary amenity. When you have mobile internet for your RV, it doesn’t matter where you park – you’ll always have the best connection and you’ll never have to pay to use the campground’s WiFi.
When you’re traveling on the road, a mobile internet connection also eliminates the need to look for restaurants, coffee shops, bookstores or laundry facilities that offer WiFi. In addition to being inconvenient to search for while you’re on the road, public WiFi hotspots can leave your devices vulnerable to hackers.
What other features does mobile WiFi offer?
Family entertainment. Use your personal RV hotspot to watch streaming videos and listen to your favorite online radio station. Battle friends in an online game as you download a new audio book or e-book. With consistent access to the internet, you’ll have ongoing access to entertainment. No one will be bored during any trip.
Most cellular systems have a concept called fair use. Fair use is use is a doctrine that states that each user should be considerate of others and not use the network substantially more than any other user. This is not to be confused with the copyright concept which is totally different. This means you cannot watch movies without eventually hitting fair use limits and rendering your data service so slow it is almost useless. The carrier owns the network and they reserve the right to shut it off or slow it down when they want to. The WiFi In Motion system from SinglePoint has plans that allow you to pool data so that you can use as much as you would like to in order to avoid these types of issues.
Stay connected. In today’s mobile world, having internet in your RV makes it simpler than ever to stay connected with friends, family and work. Check your email during pit stops and update your social media status at the same time. Upload pictures and videos to your blog and update your online photo albums. Or do a video chat with family members back home and show them the latest souvenirs that you found.
Education. When you’re on the road with the kids, keep their brains sharp by having them learn about your road trip destinations. Watch travel videos to see what attractions the family can look forward to. Have the kids do an internet scavenger hunt for upcoming roadside oddities. Then make it your kids’ job to tell you about the area’s local history with the help of online encyclopedias.
WiFi in Motion technology is distinctly different from the mobile hotspots you can buy. WiFi In Motion offers a more robust solution by offering higher gain (more powerful) roof or window mount antenna, improving your overall ability to send/receive cellular data signals. Additionally, our WiFi output creates a much larger “cloud,” more equivalent to what you are used to when using a router at a brick-and-mortar home. We also sell amplification systems that can amplify cellular signals to get you even further down the highway. Plus, our plans are very competitive (offering 5 and 10 GB pooled data options), allowing you to pool data and also suspend service for up to six months within a year.
RV internet is about more than staying connected. It’s about giving you the conveniences of home so you can enjoy the freedom of the road while having the world at your fingertips.
SinglePoint Communications offers innovative solutions for creating a mobile WiFi hotspot in personal RVs, boats and more. SinglePoint offers an ever-growing suite of cutting-edge mobile WiFi solutions that include WiFi In Motion, everything you need to set up internet WiFi for traveling.