RV wifi router recommendations please

RV wifi router recommendations and tips please

Welcome @Jojo. Perhaps if you could give some detail of your requirements, members on the Community could better advise.

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All I can add is that my understanding that not only Tuscon, but most major cities in California have quite decent WiFi coverage from network providers. Not sure how that works from the RV perspective, though.

/end mandatory Beatles reference

I’m assuming that you are talking about a wi-fi router for a Recreational Vehicle. If so, there is a bit of information on the internet if you do a search such as this.

Thank you yes I had researched this site already I thought perhaps the RV wifi router was the way to go but nighthawk also gets a good wrap. As I am a novice I thought I would put it out in the community for some sound advice…rather than spend decent sums of money on something that may not be quite right.

I can’t speak to the 4G modem/router, but I have used Netgear Nighthawk for years, and still do after repurposing for NBN. The gear is solid and reliable. The user interface is old fashioned on the gear that I have for home, but it gives me a lot of control. The Netgear is more expensive, but it is worth it.

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Thank you. I have looked online and seen RV wifi and nighthawks routers that I think would do the job for our motorhome but as I am a novice I am just not sure. I know that I definitely
do not want to routinely use the free wifi offered by parks mainly for security reasons.

Be aware that if you use their ‘free’ wi-fi, your usage and data is not secure, just as it is not in shopping centres that offer free wi-fi. It is much more secure to use your own phone’s mobile data allowance. To do this, have a look at making your phone a ‘hot spot’, and then connecting your laptop and other devices that need internet to that. Of course this will only work where there is a decent mobile phone signal.

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This is not necessarily the case, but you cannot easily check. (At the very least, make sure that the WiFi requires a password.)

If you want to use ‘free’ WiFi services, then you should use a (paid) VPN - as this will encrypt your WiFi traffic.

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Depending where you park, your mobile signal may be anywhere from ‘better than NBN’ to unusable so keep an open mind and lots of protection software (anti-virus, anti-malware, a VPN service, and so on…). Free wifi not only can be a security risk, it often is bandwidth limited for those checking email and routine browsing, not streaming content.

Summary - it can be a dogs breakfast so be prepared to take advantage of what is available in each locale, and if it isn’t much not to be disappointed.

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Thank you for your feed back….I just wonder whether the night hawk will be as stable moving around to different destinations…. That is where I thought maybe the rvwifi router software may be more suited but coz I have limited knowledge I just don’t know… sometimes they promote these things and it is a sales gimmick and not really justified. These devices can be a little temperamental.

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Thank you for taking the time to assist me. Australia is a whole different ball game to the USA. I will keep researching

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Sorry I can’t help you with this. If you go into a store and what you will use it for and it they recommend/sell you a product, and it doesn’t perform you can return it using the ACL. (If you are unsure what this is then search the forum, of search the ACCC for information.)

The clearer and more explicit you can be the better it would be. For example if you can say ‘I am going out to a particular(s) area or region(s), and I will be staying in a variety of camping grounds and list the equipment you wish to connect to the router and the internet’ is much better than saying ‘I am intending to go out camping, and I will be staying in a variety of camping grounds and I want to connect to the internet’.

If on the other hand you go in to the store and say I would like to buy XYZ, and it doesn’t work, you have no rights under the ACL, and can only fall back on the store’s ‘change of mind’ policy IF they have one.

So unless you get expert opinion here, you will need to go to different stores that sell different lines of products and see what they have to offer. Don’t forget to ask about how long the equipment’s warranty lasts.

Then make a choice.

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Great advice thank you. As soon as we get out of lockdown and the retail outlets are open I will have this conversation. At the moment the internet is our only option. Thank you for taking the time to assist.

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We’ve not experienced problems connecting anywhere there is service with Telstra or Optus other than tower congestion.

We’ve been able to rely on standard mobile devices and hot spotting mobile phones. Even when the car is travelling at highway speeds without an external antenna they seemed to work ok.

The most common issues we have experienced travelling around regional and inland Qld and NSW (obviously not that often recently) are nothing to do with the device being used.

Most mobile towers out west or in the regions have a limited data capacity. They are restricted by the number of cells/users and backhaul connection capacity. It’s worth considering what your needs really are. If they are streaming video content you may not receive a very enjoyable experience due to local tower congestion, or lack of backhaul capacity. Many towers relay their connections using radio-microwave services, sharing a single link across multiple towers creating further issues at peak times.

I suspect that many reports of poor performance are not due to the device chosen, nor can poor service be remedied by purchasing a ‘you beaut’ more expensive option.

It’s worth a read:

Experience suggests a quality external aerial is a good option. If your expected stop overs are all in or close to civilisation it’s worth considering further whether your needs require a specialised (marketed) product.

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Sorry for the late response.

A good router that allows the use as a wireless AP with the ability to use 4G failover is probably all that is needed. There are many routers on the market that would suit you, I would be looking for an ac or ax wireless version, ax as a preference over the older ac and with external antennas (most should have these). Once you have the router you can get an inverter to power the router’s power adapter from a 12 volt source so it will free you from needing 220 volt site power. It won’t need to be a big sized inverter, 200 Watt likely to be more than ample, but you can check what the adapter needs by looking at it’s output.

A VPN while using a ‘free’ WiFi service parks provide is best practice. A VPN will decrease the speeds of upload and download you would have without it so if you start with a slow non VPN connection you will have a slower VPN experience. So be aware of this. As others have noted you could just use your smartphone’s Hotspot function to share it’s data allowance, this may or may not suit you but it will be likely faster in many cases than using a VPN with a free service WiFi and as it is encrypted it will be just as safe.

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