Stay Connected on the Road – Phone, Internet, Free Wi-Fi
Staying connected on the road is one of the biggest campfire discussions (right after the always fun black tank conversations) and it can be a total deal-breaker for many of us travelers. Cell phone service and mobile Internet (and/or WIFI) are extremely fundamental to our personal livelihood (yes, we really do work) and it’s also how we keep in touch with friends and family, watch movies, get the news and listen to music.
Welcome to Our Mobile RV Office
Smart, Simple and Efficient
We like to keep everything as simple as possible while also being incredibly efficient and affordable. This allows us to work smart, not hard. After four years of working on the road, we have tried, tested and dwindled our mobile internet collection down to a pretty sweet set up (or at least we think it’s sweet). We edit lots of videos and photos (see all of our photo/video gear here), update our website, manage our social media accounts, watch the occasional Amazon Prime or Netflix movie, have video and phone meetings with clients and handle all of our bookkeeping online. So what works best for us, may not be ideal for you. Keep in mind its always a matter of budget and what you want/need to accomplish with your mobile, wireless internet set up. With that in mind, here is the scoop on what we use to get the internet on the road!
Get A Hotspot
There is really only one true mobile internet option, a hotspot. Whether it’s a hotspot created from your cell phone (which is what we do) or a designated device. This is by leaps and bounds the best way to go (in our humble opinion). Not only because we say so but most any travel blogger out there worth their domain will say the same.
The two most common hotspot recommendations are Verizon and AT&T. Plans are the cheapest they have ever been and they are pretty darn reliable. We prefer Verizon because right now they have the best nationwide coverage. But, the key is to check the coverage maps for the areas you plan to travel.
There are other hotspot options, and there are satellite internet options, but honestly, these two are the best bang for the buck with the best coverage, so why bother mentioning anything else?
Cell Phone as a Hotspot
We use Verizon because from our experience Verizon has the best overall coverage for the areas we travel (we used to have 1 phone with AT&T and 1 with VZ). But, whatever carrier you find is best for you, make sure it has a hotspot feature and doesn’t have any additional fees to use the hotspot.
Get a Booster
Why have fewer bars and G’s when you can have more?
Wilson Sleek 4g doesn’t require any installation and is the least expensive… We have the Sleek 4g and like it because it’s affordable and it boosts both voice and data. The phone (or hotspot) must be in the cradle to boost. This was once our only booster and it got the job done but as time went on we realized we needed something more powerful for our very remote wild camping needs. Now we keep this booster in the car (very handy) and use a more powerful booster inside the RV. If you decide to go with the Sleek in your RV, you may want to purchase the home accessories kit as well. Amazon Link: http://amzn.to/1ngzl1z
A bigger boost…
The WeBoost Cellular Signal Booster is the best on the market. It boosts voice and data for most U.S. carriers and some international. This booster is powerful enough at our current wild camping location in Michigan to take us from 1 bar “1x” signal to 3bars “3G” signal. For us, this is huge! This boost takes us from not being able to make calls or work on the internet from the RV to doing just that, we’ve even able to stream movies with the boost. I couldn’t have updated this article from our current location without it.
Capturing and Boosting Free WiFi
We use the Wifi Ranger and think it’s worth the investment if you want to use free public wifi (campgrounds, nearby businesses with free WiFi (like Lowes, Starbucks, etc), public parks, Harvest Hosts, Friends driveways, etc…) inside your RV (or boat). We use the WiFiRanger to boost the signal and tune into the various free WiFi spots as we travel. The WiFi Ranger Sky is installed on the roof for a maximum line of sight, boosts any accessible WiFi signal from up to 2,500 ft. away (however there is no compensating for crappy internet, this device just allows us to boost the signal, not the service itself) and the wifi ranger broadcasts the amplified network inside of our RV.
You can purchase the kit we have here: Wifiranger or order directly from wifiranger.com/shop and use discount code: WFRWYNN for a 5% discount on all products.
We don’t recommend satellite internet for a host of reasons.
I am sure there is someone out there that likes it but everyone we have ever known with satellite hates it, home-based or on the road. It’s slow, expensive, you can’t park under trees, you can’t use it while driving, it has major usage limits and will punish you by down-throttling. Plus, do you really want to carry around that stinkin’ bulky dish that you have to align to the stars each time you park?
Why FREE Wi-Fi isn’t Really Free
Finding a place with Free Wi-Fi is a seriously daunting task for us. This is also where I feel the need to note that not everyone’s definition of “hi-speed” internet is equal. Sure there are apps like Wi-Fi Finder that help, but not every spot that has Wi-Fi is always listed and hotels don’t count if you aren’t a registered guest. We have learned to call ahead and ask questions such as; do you have free Wi-Fi, is it currently working and if so, does it work decently fast (i.e. can I load a video on YouTube)? The answers to all of those questions vary each time and help us find the best place to work.
The question you have to ask yourself is do you want to spend your time at a library, book store, coffee shop, pub, restaurant or café? Once you arrive at said location….you now have to purchase something so you don’t become the leach sitting in the corner asking for free bread and water. 2 hours and 4 drinks later the Wi-Fi is not really free anymore. Not to mention that coffee shops can become distracting when filled with hipsters swapping stories about last night’s debauchery, pubs tend to make us utterly useless after beer one (yep, we’re cheap dates) and restaurants are only good for about an hour or two (or as soon as you stop ordering food/booze). To be perfectly honest we do prefer to work in a social atmosphere vs. the Library, so when we have the choice we happily order another beer…to share of course!
Then there’s the safety concern.
You know, those creepers in the corner drinking cheap whiskey attached to the same network you are. If they really wanted to, they could connect to your computer and intercept credit card numbers or worse, your deepest darkest internet searches! We all know we should never use a public network to log into bank accounts or check your credit card balances…but sometimes we just have to do what we gotta do.
We don’t watch much T.V. and don’t have satellite or cableish types of devices.
We love movies and a few series which we stream online. We haven’t paid for traditional cable TV in over ten years and don’t plan on it anytime soon. So, if you are looking for the best options on how to get 690 channels 24hrs a day, we are clueless. However, if your RV didn’t come with a Jack TV antenna, get yourself one. This antenna works much better than the others we’ve had over the years. We can usually pick up some of the major networks (cbs, nbc, abc, fox…) and a few extras depending on where we are.
You have reached the end of the internet.
Or at least the end of our mobile internet collection. If you want all the nuts and bolts on mobile internet options, boosters and other such gadgets we suggest getting a copy of the new Mobile Internet Handbook and joining the Mobile Internet Aficionados group.
What’s working for you? If we’ve missed something grand please let us know. If we’ve saved you hundreds of thousands of dollars…buy us a beer. Either way, tell us how you increase your G’s on the road!
Disclaimer – as always don’t just listen to us, we are not experts, do your own research and find what works best for you. We did not get paid for any of the content on this article…but if you purchase from one of our links or the items in our store we’ll get a few pennies too, so thanks in advance :).
Hi Jason, Love watching all your videos, like a good book, hard to put it down. Just wondering w hff at type of watch do you wear? The Big Black Dial Digital. Would love to get one. Thanks
It’s a Garmin Quatix. https://www.gonewiththewynns.com/product/quatix-5-marine-watch Don’t forget that shopping through the links provided won’t cost you anything extra but it will throw a few pennies into the sailing kitty! So when you’re ready to buy, click through from this link and thanks for the support!
Hi Jason and Nikki,
I remember an RV video about your cell and wifi connection gear. I can’t find it ~ so sad. Did you remove it?
Well there’s this post but no associated vid for RV connectivity. Are you thinking of the vid they did about connectivity from the boat? Same principles apply so maybe it’ll help. https://www.gonewiththewynns.com/sailboat-wifi-phone-satellite
My hubby and I are on the path of getting a cat and I found your website resources oh so helpful! Thank you!! We will make sure to use your referral links when purchasing all the needed items! 😉
One thing that is on our mind is getting good internet as we will be working 9-5 jobs remotely.
Can you tell us how was the Caribbean in terms of connectivity? Did your booster help enough? Did you get local sim cards for each island?
Cruisers forums will probably have more current info on connectivity at specific locations, BUT, all your other connectivity questions are probably answered here: https://www.gonewiththewynns.com/sailboat-wifi-phone-satellite
Hope that helps!
Jason and Nikki,
I’ve really enjoyed your story. I host a radio show in Lexington, Ky and I would love to do an interview with you guys, if you are interested. My listeners are familiar with you because I’ve talked about your adventures and I think they would like to hear more about it from you. Please feel free to contact me and let me know if that is something that you would be interested in doing. Thanks.
Thanks for the information. This is new to me and so this is probably a dumb question but I couldn’t find the answer and i didn’t see it in the comments. But what’s the difference with PDA.net and just using my hotspot that’s built in with my phone?
I had to Google PDAnet and it looks like that is only for Windows phones and enables them to act as a hotspot. So as far as I can tell, the only difference is that it’s specific to Windows phones. Let me know if that wasn’t your question.
Thanks! So it sounds like if my phone has a hotspot than I wouldn’t need PDA.net. I wasn’t sure if cell companies limited date with using hotspots and PDA.net was a workaround. My phone plan includes “3G mobile hotspot data.” Although I’m not really sure what that means . . .haha
Great advice. I will have to try and do these tips. I if I could just learn how to tether or set up a vpn… Lol not quite smart as my phone!!!
WOW WOW WOW. You guys are so refreshing. My husband and I are about to embark on a digital nomadic experience…the new American Dream now televised on YouTube right! We have a Tiny Home (not so tiny at 33′ long but perfect for us). We are founders of Tiny Home Creative a digital marketing agency and Experiencetinyhomes.org so your stories about making money on the road was perfect for us. We are getting our Tiny Home finished and when we do we want to share it with many to bring about conversations of living Tiny. I loved your video about what to do about keeping your plates from breaking…silicone to the rescue >:) Looking forward to watching more of your world and getting tips and tricks of living life on the road.
Thanks Lindsay! Enjoy the adventure 🙂
It’s completely possible to get unlimited tethering usage on an unlimited data plan without using a hotspot device. You can manually tether your 4g phone to certain ASUS routers and share your 4G connection with an entire wireless network. The USB tethering option via PDA+net can obfuscate the source of the tethering and usually get around tethering-specific data limits.
You can also run a VPN on your device (such as HMA which you like) and further obfuscate the tethering usage.
Alternatively, you can usb tether to your PC/Mac and then share the tethered connection with your wifi router via an ethernet cable.
Full instructions for both options can be found here:
What a breath of fresh air to stumble across your blog – finding genuine good folks who articulate substance in a straight-forward, helpful and exciting manner… Bravo to each of you! To make a long story short, hubby and I, at the end of this calendar year, are each retiring from the 9-to-5 existence to the RVing adventure, with the passion and goal being to address kindred Old Boomers who also don’t know jack-shoeleather about rving or blogging but have the heart and determination to jump in anyway! Since we’re both in our 70’s, it dawned on us that we don’t have much procrastination time allotted to us, so we’d better bite the bullet and get on with our dreams. You can count on hearing more from us and, if we can “figger out the ‘puter stuff”, we’ll send you a link to our maiden land voyage! Please keep doin’ what you’re doin’ — you are such a helpful point of hope for those of us following in your tracks, bringing up the rear and forging new pathways! God Bless1
Hello nikki and jason just started watching you videos and gotta say i love them im researching buyng a boat and disappearing for a bit thats how i came acrossed yor adventures you guys are informative and answer a lot of questions we have so thankyou for that good luck and take care of each other
We’ve been using the Winegard Connect (http://www.winegard.com/connect) and so far we are loving it. Most campgrounds have absolutely horrible wifi service, but with the connect we typically get a strong signal from the office and can do normal internet things, typically no streaming though since the service from the campground is just sloooooow.
Hi Nikki and Jason! I just found your site and I’m watching all your sailing videos. They’re wonderful and very helpful, thank you so much! Will you be updating this Internet section to talk about how you handle wifi/work on your boat? It’s my #1 question and haven’t seen it addressed in a video yet. I hope you do (and that you include Amazon affiliate links so I can buy the gear through your links)! Thank you! 🙂
Thanks Rachel! We will eventually cover how we stay connected in the boat. We did talk about what we are doing for internet here in the Bahamas in this Q&A: https://www.gonewiththewynns.com/q-a-working-travel-wifi
Any updates as you are in the Pacific on how you do this offshore? Thanks!
Bill Hamilton.......yet again
Rogers Canada wide Sucks…. Huge company, very expensive, Modems / routers are cheap crap, Tech service is just barely OK but they always want to sell you another service at ridiculous prices. I’m getting ready to kick them to the curb.
That’s my rant. for now………………….
Hi Jason and Nikki….. I am in the process of researching the equipment I will need to stay connected when I tear out in my truck camper in a few months. I look all over the place make copious notes and then almost always return to your blog to read your advice regarding the specific topic I am researching.
You guys are such a valuable resource and the best presenters by a long stretch. I can’t say enough nice things about you both and wish you fair winds and gentle seas. Just thought you would like to know.
Today it’s Cell phones and WIFI boosters…
I use T-Mobile and their wifi hotspot. Works great, at least in the San Francisco Bay area.
Bet it will be grat=)=)=)=)=)=)=)=)=)=)=)=)===)=)=)=)=)÷÷
Haven’t try yet but bet it would be so great =)=)=)=)=)=)=)=)==)= )
You guys are amazing. My boyfriend and I are planning on turning our 22ft trail into our full time home. Your site has been an incredible resource for us.
In terms of internet service…we are on a T-mobile plan where we each get 10GB of data with tethering capabilities and unlimited free streaming, which should be plenty. However, T-mobile is certainly not known for their expansive coverage. I lived in Kenya for a while and was super impressed with the internet options via prepaid USB flash drives. Seriously. Internet in the most remote places on earth. It was incredible. I am looking for a similar option here in the US. I found the Verizon Mobile Hotspot option. It looks like it is $50 for a hotspot device, and then you prepay for certain amounts of data. Has anybody used this before? How is Verizon’s coverage? By diversifying our data on two separate networks, should we be set, or maybe we should still be considering other options?
Again, thanks for what you guys do. You rock. Good luck on your sea voyages!
I am very impressed with you two. My husband and I are new to RVing and we just bought a class a motorhome. I still work and a very robust internet connection along with great wifi and cellular phone calls are all key for my employment. I guess I am unclear about tethering and the putting the hotspot phone in the booster as I have to use my phone for incoming and outgoing calls. So do I need to buy another phone?
Thanks so much for this in-depth analysis of mobile internet. We are soon to begin an adventure across the US and I work from home and was hoping to work using the internet while my husband is driving:) These tips give me many choices. Probably will go with the hot spot. Sounds like the most efficient and versatile.
are you still using the same gear on the sailboat or did you have to change. I would imagine that internet coverage would be none at sea, but maybe if you are close to shore it works?
I’m pretty clueless when it comes to the technical side of things. Does a verizon hotspot mean we need a verizon contracted data plan? We currently use republic wireless which lets us talk and text on both at&t and verizon towers, but since verizon is roaming, it uses that data up at 18%
We’ve noticed in our small (so far) amount of traveling, that we get verizon most places, and at&t hardly ever. So we’re fine for communication, but not for data/internet usage. We are taking off on our nomad adventure in a couple weeks and both of our jobs require use of the internet.
So can I set a booster to only boost my carrier or its partner? I’m trying to avoid roaming charges. For example, I have tmobile (which has a large coverage area) and it shares towers with at&t, so either can be used without roaming data. Purchasing more Roaming is expensive, or having my roaming data cut off has been a huge issue. Otherwise, on the network it’s unlimited. Again, I need a boost on my own carrier & partner. No one on web is specifically addressing this issue for domestic roaming. I see it as an issue before hotspot can be used. If I have hotspot for my phone but it’s on the wrong network, now I’m using limited roaming which cuts me off after 50mb! So much for hotspot.
What do you do when there is no cell or wifi signal to boost? Thanks.
We are going on a 2 week Road Trip fro Florida – Utah. I need need Portable WiFi so I can FaceTime to my business in order to Demonstrate Exercises, Observe Clients Working Out, and Communicate with Clients during their workouts while I am traveling. Suggestions?
That is what the article is about and we listed our suggestions above…not sure what else I can say.
So young, so easy…
You mention PDA.net to tether? I can’t seem to find that PDA.net app anywhere?
Hi Rodney. You can find the download, and info regarding Foxfi here: http://pdanet.co/a/
Hi Jason and Nikki!
My wife Kathryn have been researching, talking and making plans to go fulltime Rving for about 2 years now.. Your insights and comments have been a great source of information and fun for us. We have one more step, we will be renting a Class C and heading to the Escapees RV Boot Camp in July. Once we get back from that and we both still want to move forward, we plan to sell the house and head out on the road..
We will let you know how it goes..
Tony and Kathryn
So with these mobile hotspots, is anyone using them for streaming stuff like Roku? I used the Verizon hotspot at one time, but the data plan didn’t allow for much streaming. A couple of movies and all of a sudden you exceeded your plan limit. Has any of that changed since 2014?
Jason and Nikki –
Awesome post and awesome site! We love all of your guys’ amazing posts, tips, how-to’s, and everything else. The info is priceless and you guys are awesome – a sincere thanks for all you both do!
We just bought our first RV and staying connected is going to be extremely important for our job.
I have a quick question for when you have time regarding your equipment usage. When it comes to the WiFi Ranger, how much do you all use it? We’re going with a hotspot plan for sure and very much considering getting the WiFi Ranger setup to use close WiFi access points, but I’d be curious to know how much you actually utilize the Ranger considering that RV parks are known for sub-par speeds. Is it just something that you use maybe 10% of the time, or do you all find yourselves using it fairly often?
I understand that each situation is different and our needs might be different from yours but I’d like to know if you see the Ranger as an indispensable item in your “connectivity” arsenal or just a nice-to-have item.
Any info that you could provide is greatly appreciated! Thank you guys for your time and for being such an amazing and inspirational resource for all things travel/RV/awesomeness related!
Because we spend more time off the cord than on…we don’t use it often. However, when we do need it…it’s worth every penny! We try to avoid the common RV park as its not where we like to stay but if that is where you will be, then a wifi ranger will be very helpful.
Any Suggestions? While RVing, I’ve discovered that I need to do some awesome Livecast events once a week. Is a Verzion hotspot the only way, with high costs of data? I need High speed internet. Any help would be super appreciated.
Craig and Jennifer
I am curious about your install of the wifi ranger and your wifi booster. Did you do it yourself? Or did you have it done? An article and or video would get a lot of interest I think. The RVgeeks did a nice video on the wifi ranger, but I think there are a lot of hook-ups that are different. I bought both and have been anxious about drilling holes and running cables. We have a 2013 Itasca Meridian 34B and I work from it when we travel. Thanks for all your site does. It has been a big help to us as we transition to spending more and more of our time on the road
The class B+ RV we ordered has a cable connection. I wonder if we stay in cable-ready RV parks, will that give us the TV, Netflix, Amazon, etc. connections? Can we connect those cable links to a router and use our tablets like we do at home?
The cable connections are never for internet but for very poor old school television. Internet at parks isn’t usually very good and rarely enough to stream Netflix and such. You will want a hotspot.
Hi! Love all the media (blogs and videos..especially this one on staying connected) you guys post! Such a great wealth of info!
Two questions…Are you still using most of what is in your Shop lists…meaning do you update it when you change products? And also…since you are going “On The Water” soon..what are you going to do with all your equipment when you turn the RV back in? Selling it?? Or is it going with the RV?
PS.. Your kitties are so fun to watch!
We’re going to do a “Fire Sale” of all our RV stuff, so you’ll have to stay tuned. It’ll probably be around late Spring or early Summer.
We do update our shop every couple months.
Alicia Le Van
Exceptionally thorough and well written article, helps me a lot!
I’ve decided to live in my Airstream now!
Many thanks Nikki!
P.s. Did I see you guys on a reality tv show when you were looking to purchase your RV? Just curious….
Does what work?
It’s genuinely very complicated in this active life to listen news on TV,
so I just use the web for that reason, and obtain the latest information.
This I found after I asked you a question about internet access, I think this answers my ?. You have hotspot, you can boost the signal, and you have a free wifi booster, this seems to work for you. I saw you are in BC now, wondering if you can still connect
Hi Jason & Nikki!
LOVING your Alaska trip updates – this is a trip my wife and I will be making when we sell the sticks & Bricks and go FT in 2018. We will be setting up our 5er with a WiFi ranger and Sleek booster, which sould take care of our USA needs. So the BIG question I have RE: Mobile Internet is how was the service (and how did you get it?!) In Canada?
I presume our Verizon acount will work just fine in Alaska but I have heard horror stories about using cell phones in canada so any advice you can give us would be greatly appreciated!
Honestly, all the options at the time we were looking were so expensive we just choose not to use our phones and used the visitors centers wifi and most were great and got the job done. And, most of the route is so remote there isn’t any cell service any how. If you are taking on the Alaska trip, be prepared to be way less connected than you are in the lower 48. That being said, our entire world revolves around the internet and we have managed to make it all work. We will have a whole post dedicated to this subject in the near future.
Awesome Nikki! Thanks for all the great tips and ideas you are giving those of us who will go after you!
Looking forward to “Staying (un)Wired” post!
Hi Nikki! Great post! You saved me from wasting money on a satellite receiver. I’ve already forwarded this to several people. Here’s my situation: my wife and I run our businesses from our laptops, and starting in Sept. we will have no permanent living address. We’ll be living in different parts of the country for several months at a time, renting furnished apartments, condos, etc. we also stay in hotels frequently. I already purchased the Wilson cell booster. We need a very portable WiFi booster. Below is one I’m looking at. Do you have one you can recommend? Thanks again for a great post! -Jim http://www.amazon.com/NETGEAR-Travel-Router-Extender-Wireless/dp/B00HQ883T4/ref=pd_sim_sbs_147_2/179-8257608-0878755?ie=UTF8&refRID=100WD4KM4PHTMBE0YXH5.
I new to the mohome living!!!! My 16 year old daughter and I are hitting the road in 3 weeks and I am desperate for wifi as you can imagine….if you could please direct me with all I need to make it so she can home school, social media and netflix is what I am in need of for to continue on with the our journey lol….thank you thank you….hopeful you can help
Well, not sure what you are exactly what recommendations you are looking for beyond what we have said in this post. I would recommend getting a Verizon or At&T mifi device with a good amount of data. Without booking a chat session and discussing exactly what all you need it for and how much data you might go through I can’t recommend a specific amount for you because everyone’s usage and needs are so different.
First and foremost, excellent post. My boyfriend and I are about a year out from leaving our brick and mortar life behind for life on the road. I am extremely fortunate in that I work for a consulting agency that is 100% remote, the ultimate reason why full-timing is even feasible for us.
My biggest concerns are being able to set up in remote places and still be able to “go to work” every day. I understand that eventually there are limits to how remote one can be and still get internet, but I’m curious to know just how remote you guys go before losing all ability to connect. I know satellites are garbage in all but perfect conditions, but I also know you can acquire a signal in the middle of a desert with a decent one. Do you think it’s worth having any kind of supplemental satellite system or it simply not worth the investment?
Neither of us are TV watchers. If we need media we’ll stream it :-p
I personally think a satellite at this time is pointless but that is just me. I don’t know anyone that uses one personally. I would suggesting starting out with just a hotspot/teather, see how things go and if you find that you are not as connected as you need to be…then you could consider it.
I am extremely technologically challanged, so forgive me in advance. I have an I phone, and I believe PDA.net is only for android. I was told at Verizon that I should not use my phone solely for internet, because it is too hard on it and it will not last. They recommend a jetpack, for which of course there is a monthly charge. Any other ideas? I do have a booster installed.
I also checked into the jet pack $20 a month from verizon with a 2year contact ! You can buy it outright for $150 from them also. It does use your data so beware. Happy trails to you?
Hi Dianne, browsing through this great blog/site I read your question… I am no expert but I have been using my iPhone as a hotspot since the iPhone gained the ability to tether. I think Verizon is trying to sell you on something you don’t need. I have never had any issue with any of my iPhones. It will not harm it from any of my experience. The phone will drain the battery obviously unless you have it plugged in to power. The other thing I found was that it actually broadcast a signal much better than the jetpack did (I did try it once) and I could connect to it much easier. Sometimes with the iPhone you need to turn off and on the feature for it to connect but that is about the largest downside I’ve found. So my humble opinion is to skip the jetpack if you can, save the money or add data to your existing phone plan.
Howdy! Out here in the wild west, cell service is spotty at best. Good news on the Satellite front- Hughesnet is now $80 for 50 Gigs- that’s a lotta Netflix and data. I end up in places far away from any cell signal- such is life in the Sierras. The past six months I was in 31′ Airstream on the south fork of the Kaweah River. The Sequoia Natl Park is right next door (as it were). I didn’t have cell the whole time so had to figger out Google voice, Skype and all that jazz.
It was not my Hughesnet account, so I am searching the net for best deal on Satellite service (for boondocking). All I need is power (Solar), Satellite internet and a water source (river, creek, stream) I discovered a few years ago on a cross country (and back) Harley ride that being a web designer (with the Google mojo) I can live anywhere (Alvin Toffler would be proud). Said “Goodbye” to LA and I am now broadcasting live from atop a mountain in San Bernardino Natl Forrest (not too far from Big Bear)- but in a cabin with hardline cable (internet only. Netflix and Hulu are enough!).
Here’s hoping for some ideas – most other sites in search results are older RV sites that are woefully out of date. at least this looks like a good modern WP site, and you are doing what I am doing (sorta) but very cell dependent.
I just wanted to say thank you for all the information; I just bought my first MotorHome and this has been one of my major concerns so thank you so much its just me so it would be nice to use the computer and not my small phone that hopefully will post this; defently keep in touch and let you know how things progress; Thanks again have a great day
Thank you so much for all your info, and links. I haven’t gotten on the road yeah with my daughter. We are planning “Our Escape” tho. lol We work an online business that we want to take full-time on the road. Technomadia was so helpful to me. Because we were wondering about mail (which will be our main concern on the road) My business is centered around unusual and unique items. We were concerned about mailing them because of the “fixed” address we have now. On the road, i might have to add extra postage to the items as we move around. I quite haven’t figured it all out yet. We have decided to stay in our state for the moment, maybe just adding the extra postage. I pride myself on customer service and getting my customers there items ASAP. I’ll just have to see how it goes. I’ll check back when we are on the road and working. Again thank you for all your help in helping us decide what to do. 🙂
love it i’m a single man just looking to go fulltime RVing soon along with my chihuhauha named Coco & traveling the east coast soon since both my parents has passed away…. P.s. I work on broken Smartphones, Tablets, IPads, Ipods, Etc….up & down the east coast from Maine, to the keys of Florida but Pennsylvania will always be my home state aKa Pittsburgh…. born & raised there & now it’s time to move on in my new journey….Hope to see & make new friends along my journey…..
Just checked in with Ryann at Verizon and here is what he replied…
“Unfortunately Verizon doesn’t offer unlimited data anymore. The Wynn’s were lucky enough to be grandfathered in with the plan when Verizon still offered it. I have no way of adding to anybody’s account that currently doesn’t have it. Sorry I couldn’t give you the answer you were looking for 🙁 ”
For those of us using a different service, it will now cost a great deal to get enough GB to not worry about your usage. They do go up to 200GB but plan to pay more than we are interested in! Here is the link for that info…
Sure hope it improves soon as we are pretty much completely internet driven with no other connections anymore (i.e. house phone or TV). Will watch to see if anything more comes up on this. Thanks for the other ideas tho!
Its true, Ryann can only help keep the unlimited plan if you already have it. As another option you can look online to see if anyone is selling their Verizon unlimited plan.
Thanks Jason! Where would I look for something like that? I would be happy to invest in that! 🙂
I believe our friends actually purchased a plan and give step-by-step directions on on how to do it. http://www.rvmobileinternet.com/
Thanks for the post! We just moved in to a trailer two weeks ago. We were hoping to just use the free wi-fi at the park where we’re staying but it won’t even let us watch a YouTube video all the way through. We will definitely be looking into these options!
I couldn’t find the .org site could it be .com?
We recently (8/21/14) were able to upgrade my unlimited account thanks to RV Verizon specialist Ryan Maharg ([email protected]). – See more at: https://www.gonewiththewynns.com/mobile-internet#sthash.QTsLArNr.dpuf
I don’t know if they have a website. That is just their email address.
M/M Wynn, excellent post (as usual). I’m surprised, and pleased, to find that we have come to exactly the same conclusions on cell coverage, boosters, etc. I have an identical complement of equipment to yours, evolved independently over the last few years.
In Canada and Alaska this year, I’ve been told there is a lot of free wifi – – but like yourselves, I’ve found there’s free and then there’s useless, and sometimes they are the same. Sadly, in Canada, Verizon wants $1/MB !!!! – – so all my cell stuff is going to be useless unless I decide to invest in a Canadian hotspot and data plan. I have not researched this yet. I’d appreciate any info you have to share.
We are planning to leave in May and return in September (similar to your timeframe). See you on the Alcan. 🙂
we haven’t started the research on this yet, if you get a jump start let us know.
Hey folks thanks for the info. I just wish there weeatome sort of internet plan like you canow get in your home that creates an unlimited Wi-Fi. Or some Hotspot with unlimited data. But I noticed from my readings that you enjoy watching movies and your tv series well do I have the best thing for you. sadly it’s only for Android devices but it is called showbox. It’s like Netflix or Amazon prime but on steroids!! You can you search it on your browser not the play store. Just search “showbox for android” it’s packed with new movies some that are still in theaters and every episode of every show you can imagine. If something is on TV tonight it will be on there to watch tomorrow. You can stream it right to your TV with Google Chromecast or a cable or just watch it on the phone or tablet. But best of all you can download the shows you wanna watch or movies while your in a free Wi-Fi connection and it downloads it right to the app so it doesn’t fill up your phone and for your phones safety.
Well I hope this changes your way of the road. Enjoy!!
Sounds cool, checking out now…
Hi. Love the videos and blog.
Here is my tip for free Wi-Fi
Of course this only works in the city.
I use the local YMCA.
I am not a member but I can visit the lobby
and log on. Fairly fast speed. Tables and chairs
to work at too.
My first best place is the local hospital.
Most have access for visitors, you might have to
register your email name but after that you are in.
Usually a fast connection too. The lobby or waiting
area or the cafeteria are good public places with
tables and chairs.
Give it a try. Happy Camping,
Hey Nikki and Jason,
Love your blog and vlog! I too blog and this year am getting into vlogging as we have traveled for my husbands career for two years now! My question for you: If I contact Ryan will he look over our account and tell us what he recommends?? I need lots of advice because we go over on our phones and sometimes the jet pack! I know we can get a discount by switching everything in to the hubby’s name just need to find the time to do so!
Thanks so much,
Yes! Send Ryan an email to get the conversation going. He has been such a great find!
Check out MaxxFi. You can pop it onto your existing plan with AT&T, Sprint, Verizon etc and enjoy a true broadband experience. Nothing like the slow MiFi or using your cell phone hotspot. You can stream multiple HD movies while enjoying WiFi without any issues. No outside service plans needed unless you want one.
Sounds too good to be true…what’s the catch?
The catch is MaxxFi is a little more pricey than a $50 MiFi however you get a commercial grade product with speeds to match. We have a great Get Connected promotion going right now that allows you to get MaxxFi at an incredible price. Just enter the promo code ‘broadband’ at checkout! We also offer unlimited data plans starting at $80/mo.
I just wanted to thank you for the valuable content. Specifically, I was looking for info on mobile internet. Everyone else robotically listed all the options, prices, etc. YOU offer unpolished, clear cut, bottom-line information, which was what I needed. I was thinking about getting a satellite dish! thanks for saving me from myself!!!!
John in Arizona
Thanks John, we try to share our experience and give as little information as possible while providing a clear idea of what you might (or might not) need.
We have been through 3 towables and just bought our first RV. We love it and try to keep it on he road as much as we can. We do like your informative videos but I have found when something on a motor home breaks down, you can be stuck for a few days and your BLM camping can put you a good distance from repair. Any comment on any of your major breakdowns. Your advice to get a motor home that has state, and national compliance has already paid off.
Thanks. We have had our fair share of breakdowns with our first few RV’s and can’t tell you how important it is to have a AAA or similar roadside assistant plan. We have used our AAA roadside assistance towing with our past RV’s and never cost us a penny over our annual $99 fee. I don’t understand what you mean by “Your advice to get a motor home that has state, and national compliance has already paid off.” can you rephrase the question or clarify?
I really appreciate that you guys provide updates to your posts as you change your tech. Verizon has begun shutting down its 3g service in many areas. I will be interested to see how it affects you guys. I am trying to get myself set up to work PT on the road as my current job allows me to work from home but I have to be connected all. day, every day. Even then, I use under 20GB per month, for work and the price of data seems to be finally dropping.
First off, you two are an amazing resource!
I’m getting ready to plan a mobile life, and recently bought the Wilson 4G Vehicular Cell Booster that you reviewed above.
I’ve been testing it out in my home office using a 110AC to 6V 2A power supply I bought a radio shack.
It seems to be running hotter than I expected and I am wondering if that is normal or if the power supply I bought is giving it too much juice…
How hot does your’s get in normal conditions?
I imagine you have it hardwired to your battery?
We purchased a household plug from Wilson so we can run it off our inverter (our DC plug pulls from our chassis batteries and not our house batteries). The sleek runs hot, hotter than I’d like but they say it’s fine. Without feeling yours I can’t tell you if it seems too hot, but in general ours is warm to the touch, but not hot enough to hurt/burn. Does that make sense?
Do you have any suggestions about getting support from the WiFi Ranger people?
When we able to communicate with someone because we weren’t able to get our unit to work, they convinced my husband that we needed to buy a new Go2 unit.
We did buy a new unit, but even after numerous attempts my husband can’t get it to work and can’t get a response from the company. He just needs someone to talk him through installation I think. So far we would definitely not recommend anyone waste any money on this because support is so bad.
We use hotspots but would like to use the campgrounds’ wifi to keep our data under 30G, but reception is usually bad despite what they tell us.
Do you have any suggestions about where we can turn?
The WiFi Ranger team has always responded to us, and we don’t have any sort of special relationship with them, I just use the “new support ticket” button on their website. I do know they recently uploaded some step-by-step videos on their site, have you seen those yet?
Hope you get it sorted out, we’ve been happy with ours.
I’ve just been told by a Verizon rep that the Ellipsis is considerably faster than tethering. Have you heard anything along these lines? Great article. Thx!
It might be slightly faster but I never believe anything out a salesmans mouth until I see some facts to back it up. Tethering for us is great because we don’t have to have a separate device with a separate contract. It keeps costs down. But that doesn’t mean that having a jet pack like the ellipsis may not be a great option for you. It’s all about understanding you needs.
How do you keep from running your data usage up to the moon. I have verizon mifi — and it sucks data from the air when I have my desktop online. I’ve worked on the road for years, and actually loved my satellite Internet. Yes, slower but almost always available with not limits. Verizon is killing me with charges.
We use a ton of internet and we rarely go over 20GB. Your satellite may provide unlimited but it will likely throttle you to “Dial-Up” speeds once you reach a certain cap.
If you are ‘sucking up data from the air’, the first thing I would check is all the apps you have that are set to automatically check for updates, downloads, automatic back-ups to ‘the cloud’ or other Internet site, and programs set to open on start-up that do these things, as well as your browser settings for the same. There are many things that access the web ‘in the background’. Check with your favorite computer guru to adjust these settings, so that the Internet is only accessed when you manually request it – especially when you are using data plans.
Just heard about your blogs today and and enjoying them very much. I have 5 more workdays until I retire. My hubby and I have always wanted to RV around the country during our retirement. We are very new to all this. Have purchased a used camper in excellent condition, traded his small pickup for a larger one and will be installing the 5th wheel next. Then…we will take our first trip….south as the winters in Indiana are too cold. I’m sure we will learn a lot from your articles. Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge.
PM & LM in Indiana.
Whew, pack your bags and get outta Indiana quick! Thanks for stopping by to say hi and best of luck on your maiden voyage.
great article – thank you for your tips, very helpful!
Nikki & Jason,
We are currently parked next to you in Chula Vista, CA. Enjoy your website, it’s very interesting.
Jack & Alma
Thanks guys! Are you in the Tuscany? Would love to hear how it’s held up for you. We’re booked up this week/weekend but if you’re still around on Monday we’d love to say hi.
I’m really surprised that you can get by with only 20-30GB per month. We are getting setup for fulltime travel, with both of us working remotely via computer all day – and we burned through 20 with very little ‘YouTube’ or other streaming done. I’m going to be signing up for VZ (was on Millenicom, now absorbed by VZ) and debating whether I pull the trigger on 40 or 60GB on their More Everything plan with the special rates this month. I figure a couple of hours a day streaming YouTube, work e-mail, PC backups (required by work), and the one or two Amazon shows we purchase (Walking Dead, etch) and we’ll be pushing the 40 GB pretty regularly. Might be overthinking it though and interested in yours and others opinions.
Some people go through 100gb per month, we only use the internet when we have to as we’d much prefer to be hiking or outdoors. Keep in mind we also do a ton of photo and video editing which don’t require internet. I’d say go for more, especially since it’s “double for free” right now, if you blow through your data even once it’ll cost a lot more than just paying monthly.
Hey Wynn’s, just bought the Wilson 4G booster through your store. Its for the new RV (Jayco Precept). We’ll be hitting the road to Flagstaff then Bakersfield for Thanksgiving! Thanks for the updated “connected” post. Cheers, Eric–
Have you heard that verizon is doubling data through the end of October for higher data users?
We have the Sleek 4g from the Wynns Store and we added a
new antenna (Wilson Electronics 800/1900 MHz Magnet Mount Antenna with SMA Male Connector) that works way better than the original from all my testing. We kinda lost the other one to a low tree and a bounce bounce bounce dragging it down the road 🙁
We used to have this antenna in our travel store however Wilson does not recommend this antenna any longer for the new 4g products. I know they are working on a new external antenna that’s supposed to be even better, but it could be several months away still. Either way I’m glad you found one that works and thanks for the support!
Hi Wynns! As always great stuff! Have you heard when the new Wilson booster will be out? Also, do you use a longer antenna on yours – I read a review on Amazon that a guy used a longer one and got even better results? Thanks!!
The new 4g booster is out and in our travel store. Its also listed in this article. Wilson will be launching an upgraded antenna in the near future but the booser and indoor antenna will stay the same.
Once again another wowed by the Wynns article. Thanks for the advice, links, and opinions. Now for something a little related but slightly different. Smart tv. We are fulltimers and while not using our internet for work, (both retired) we do enjoy our surfing and the wifes facebooking. I am very interested in dumping my direct tv and going with the Smart TV features like Hulu blockbuster and the many other channels available. I am aware of using bandwidth when streaming but believe we can keep it in check. My problem is I need something in the way of a router that I can plug the Smart TV into. Are you aware of any device that has router like inputs (for the tv to plug into) but does not need the landline connection for the DSL feed? Verizon customers currently. Thanks for all the gifts you give to us fulltimer family members!!
This is all great information! This is something I’ve been wondering about a lot lately. I am a full-time online freelancer, so I desperately need the internet in order to make a living. However, that’s the only thing I’m bound by when I travel so knowing all of this is good. I hate being stuck at Starbucks or hotels in order to get some work done.
These tips are great for any traveler, glad you found them useful.
Hey y’all. Thanks for all the great info. By the end of September I’ll be full timing it. I’m looking for options on staying connected. I’m currently a verizon customer but not under contract. I’m considering just using my cell phone as my personal hotspot but also considering the use of the Verizon Ellipsis HotSpot. I’m also a photographer. How do you feel about your connection speeds for working while using your phones as hotspots? Fast enough
Or do you find yourself relying on wifi connections more? Thanks again!
Our Verizon phones work well and are plenty fast enough in most situations. WiFi is hit or miss so you won’t want to rely on RV parks for that.
I want to locate in one spot i want fast enough internet to play games like counter strike source is this possible? i want unlimited data where can i get this?
As far as we know the only unlimited high speed internet options are for home use and not for travelers.
Thanks for the great info. I have one question I am not clear on the following – Why do you use both the Vehicle Cellular Signal Booster kit and the Wifi Ranger.
Is the Wifi Ranger only used when your working off of Free Wifi.. and the cellular kit is for when your using your phone as a hotspot.?
You’ve got it Tina!
The Wilson products boosts cell service.
The WiFi Ranger takes WiFi (from a campground, a nearby Starbucks, etc) boosts the signal and then broadcasts it within your RV on a secure network. The Ranger will also take your cell phone WiFi and broadcast it all around your RV, so you can technically walk all around your RV and still have connection (instead of having to move your WiFi hotspot or cell phone).
I work from our camper about 6 months out of the year. My biggest issue is with how much VIDEOS use up my monthly Verizon GBs. Any suggestions on how to minimize the amount they suck up? Is that what a booster would help with? Or will the booster “just” improve the quality of reception?
A booster just improves the quality of the reception. Videos do use a lot of bandwidth and there isn’t a whole lot you can do about that (other than choose to watch in a lower quality). We try and find a redbox if we want to watch a movie or download a movie while we are in town with free wifi and then watch it later at home. Other than that you should check out http://www.rvmobileinternet.com as they have lots of great info on stuff just like this.
mary beth lambert
Hi! Thanks for all the info. It was really interesting and helpful. I was curios as to which verizon hotspot you use and or recommend?
We use our phones so we don’t have any experience with a specific hot spot, sorry.
I came across your videos and they really helped me with questions and concerns i had, but still got them questions. I plan on moving in the next couple of months into a travel trailer. I am currently employed with the Air Force and since i want to save money, i am planning on downsizing to a travel trailer. One of my main concerns is the internet, i am always on the computer when i am not at work, and i am a big time gamer, is there any words of advice to give me. I am just scared of not being able to play my online games when i want. I really don’t know if i will be able to survive without the high speed internet. please share any ideas. i loved this article and thanks for videos you share , i really enjoyed them.
Hi there. Internet speeds are going to vary based on locations. Some places you will have great speeds using your phone/hotspot and others will be slower (may not be enough to game, depending on the game). You have to decide what’s most important to you. But no matter what there isn’t an option out there that would give you super reliable high speed everywhere all the time on the road. If there was, we would have it! Now, if you plan on staying at an RV park for a month or more, some have options for high speed internet. It’s all about how you plan to travel.
Hi Jason & Nikki.
I was in Chicago the week you guys were and missed you by a day at the Shedd. I thought it would be cool taking pix with you 2 & Roy of course.
Thx for mentioning Wifi Ranger Sky Wifi Signal Booster & Go2. I park my TT at a seasonal site but the WiFi signal is very weak at my spot. I could see the transmitter box and get full bars underneath it but dropping to weak as I walk back to my trailer. I will consider the WiFiRanger.
Our pleasure to help, the WiFi Ranger will help boost the signal, but if the internet is slow it will not speed up the connection.
Really helpful, thanks. I had never heard of the wifi boosters and being on the road for the last two months and working has been a headache trying to find great wifi. It’s like gold when we find a place where we can actually upload new content. Any how, thanks again for the tips.
Our pleasure to help Heath.
Thank you for sharing such helpful advice!! How does your Internet and computer connection fare during storms or bad weather?
If you need internet there’s no guarantee, but for us it works most of the time.
Ahh.. My husband is a motion graphic designer and would need internet connection daily to communicate and upload work.. probably one of the biggest issues we will have to tackle on the road.. Thanks for your help 🙂
Thanks, Nikki and Jason for all these details. We are also grandfathered into an unlimited data plan with Verizon and can tether our phone. We use Easy Tether. However, we can not make it a hotspot. My husband donwloaded the app you use but again we can’t use it as a hotspot. We renewed our contract a little over two years ago just before Verizon did away with the unlimited data and updated our phone. Someone said that when we did that we lost ability to make our phone a hotspot. Do you know anything about this? How is it you can make your phone a hotspot?
I would recommend this…. radiolabs.com/products/wireless/USB-Omni-Repeater-client.php
You could park any where with a free wifi signal and leech in the privacy of your own RV or Boat. AARRRGGG A Pirate Life for me. :OP
Great article and site. Have a question for you, since you mentioned you’re grandfathered in on the Verizon unlimited data plan. Any advice on how to convert a Verizon Qualcomm CDMA (3G USB stick) to a newer Verizon phone or air card without losing the unlimited data? Would love to know if there is a workaround for this…
Thanks! I wish I had a great answer for you but considering I haven’t tried transferring service like that, I am not going to be of much help.
If you currently have Verizon unlimited data and are “grandfathered” in like myself and the Wynns on a month to month contract you have a couple of options…
1. You buy your new device out right meaning you pay full price for it and then have it put on your account. This is what I do. I am a Apple person so I normally just go to the Apple store and have this done because it is way easier and they don’t try to force you into a new contract. Yes, the downside is you are paying that large out right price for a phone or device. In my opinion this is worth it though to keep your unlimited data and stay on a month to month contract.
2. Verizon has recently launched their EDGE program. This is basically the same exact thing and you are buying the device outright. Instead of paying it in full with one lump price though. They allow you to pay it over time on your bill in a believe 20 broken up payments. I brand new iPhone 5s comes out to like $32/month.
If you have any more questions feel free to email me.
Nikki awesome website and article! The wife and I are looking to make the move to living on the road and you guys are a great resource of information.
Thanks for helping clear it up Cody.
Wish I would have known this when we upgraded! They suckered us in and didn’t even tell us anything!!! I was livid when they said we didn’t have unlimited any longer!! Biggest mistake they made was getting rid of unlimited data, but they know people “need” it so they will pay!
That’s great info. I’ve had AT&T since the original bag phone. Recently changed to Verizon because cover in the PNW was scarce. Much happier. Hot spot is a must for travelers.
Great info, love your blog!!
You make me think I just might be able to do this. Thanks! 🙂 (And thanks for enabling entry-by-email so quickly!)
Excellent tips, and as always appreciate your insight!
Great info, especially for someone who is about to hit the road full time! A few things we will definitely look into for our own RV adventure. Thanks!
Almost all Texas state parks have some form of free WIFI near restrooms. Look for the antenna and try and locate near one.
Thanks for the info! We will be going full time in 3 years, 3 months, 16 days, 3 hours, 39 minutes and 17 seconds!
not that you’re counting down or anything…
We enjoy your blog – always learning new things. The technology is often baffling for us and your articles help clarify and inform. We will be looking into VPN for a bit of security and Millienicom. We are currently under contract to Verizon and paying $120 for 4 GB which is extremely limiting on the road.
ouch, 4GB is very limited.
Always enjoy your videos. Fun to watch and informative!
We love traveling the U.S. in our RV with our three kids (and three solar panels), but internet is a challenge. Thanks for the article this may help my husband get some more hours in at work on the road so we can fill the tank and stay on the road!
Our recent trip out west left me surprised by the lack of AT&T coverage. Grand Canyon was the biggest surprise because other carriers seemed to be getting some coverage. I set up an office in our Class C Fleetwood in the second dinette and could very rarely remotely access my work computer during our 7,000 mile journey.
Yep we did the ATT and Verizon thing for a while but realized my ATT phone didn’t work near as much as her Verizon one. So I scrapped the ATT unlimited plan for better coverage. It was a difficult decision for sure.
I’m still waiting for “the one device” that will cover all the options (cell, local wifi, etc) and auto-magically swap/select whatever will give us the best throughput.
For now, just a dream…
Sounds like a good dream Michael…
Thanks for another great article. We’re using Verizon only because we signed up with them before we knew about Millenicom. We’ll definitely be switching once our contract is up.We stay away from all videos and games and close down all automatic updating when we are away and still end up at about 15GB a month which costs us about $140. With Millenicom we’d get another 5GB to go all crazy on for $50 cheaper. Ugh.
this has been a hot topic of discussion at our home. We learn so much from you two. Thanks
Rather than using PDAnet, I’ve used an unlocked phone with AT&T. The WiFi and USB tethering is not blocked like a phone directly from AT&T. Additionally, you do not need to pay the extra fee for tethering. Just don’t overuse the data plan, or they might figure you are tethering without their permission (i.e. don’t use Netflix)
Great article. We are going to be full timers once our house sells and this is really great information.
The only tip I have for staying connected is… If you really want to, you will. I found a bunch of friends on Facebook and now have their numbers. There is always a way. 🙂
True…there is always a way to get connected!
Thanks for the great info. I’ve been pondering retiring early, and one of my options is full time RV’ing until i’m 62. From what I’ve read so far it looks like fun! One of the things to consider for me is internet access. I pay Comcast $50/month just for internet, I don’t have my TV connected to the cable, I don’t watch much TV either. I used Pdanet for emergencies when Comcast is having problems, works great. Thanks to your info I now know about my RV options, Millenicom sounds like a good option, I could hook up my Ooma internet phone and have a fake landline wherever I go, but it could be cheaper to just buy 2 cheap cell phones with an unlimited data plan (Virgin mobile $35/m) and use Pdanet. Again, thanks for the info!
Thanks for sharing Ray, I never even thought of looking up PDA for Virgin. Good Call.
We have not been successful having connectivity in our trips… These are great things to try out. Thank you!!!!
Boosters are definitely helpful.
Thanks for the great info! Just getting started in our research in preparation for our upcoming RV adventures.
Great article, we just finished a trip from Arizona to Oregon and had a hard time finding good wi-fi even in some campgrounds. I started shopping boosters since I got home… Thanks!
I’m ready to get back into RVing after my husband passed away. We had so many great adventures and I am ready to get an RV and hit the road. It’s so good to get the scoop on the newest and best connection options. A lot has changed in the seven years since we were last on the road. I can’t wait to get connected and get moving! Thanks for your great work!
Thanks for this article and the many other helpful ones on your blog. We are full-timers and a wifi booster would be great!
This is our first RV road trip experience and staying in touch with family has been the hardest. We can really use this. You guys are so thoughtful to try and help others out with staying connected!!!
Thanks for the information. That was a very comprehensive look at mobile internet.
We would love to win. We have started part-timing about 65-75% of the year. Keeping in touch with family is so hard. These would sure help.
Thank you for taking the time to let us know about great products for rving.
We sure appreciate it. We have learned so much from your posts and videos.
Keep up the good work.
David and Paulina
Thanks for the info. I am looking at hitting the road in aproximately 2 years and your posts are wonderful for someone beginning the adventure. The info you provide is priceless and I thank you!!
This is such a helpful post. We just bought our land yacht an Argosy ( by airstream) 1974 24′. We plan on using her as a mobile studio one long summer and wifi is a must!
Thanks so much for sharing so many amazing tips and tricks! We appreciate it so much!
Great article!! As usual. Take care out there!!
Loving your site. My husband and I are starting to take the steps to take our 18 year old consulting company location
independent. Looking forward to learning more and getting started.
H. H. Handley
We tend to camp at a lot of State and National Parks and NEVER seem to have service! We both need to us the internet and have phone service for work! We could camp a lot more if service was not an issue!!! Thanks for all the tips and help in attempting to resolve these issues!!!
We have the Verizon Mifi and lately have been on 3g more often than 4g. Not sure why since not on the road…not sure what has changed. Have been looking for a booster…would love to see how well they work for myself! Love how helpful (and entertaining) your posts are!
Very nice Giveaway, just what my husband and I need for our new travels in our new motor home. Every little be of a boost to get a good connection is so important especially when your out of your elements when traveling and making wonderful memories . I am not sure if I made the drawing entries, but so excited to see where you have landed in you travels ! My husband and I are living thru your travels tell we hit the road in September. So Excited !
We will be traveling full time by the end of August. This information is super helpful and winning this giveaway would rock! Thank you guys for continuing to post useful/ fun information, keep doing what you are doing because you rock!!
It would be great to have this in our 1969 Sovereign Landyacht Airstream….love your blog and ‘following’ your travels! God bless.
Pretty nice information, the app was an interesting idea that I wonder if I can try here in Japan, we currently are paying extra for a mobile wifi device with a cap but it’s sometimes as slow as our phones which don’t have a limit. We wanted the portability of internet since we try to take road trips as often as we can while we are stationed here.
I don’t know Sarah, let us know what you find out! Could be a great option.
Just had to break down and get the Wilson 4g sleek while volunteering at Bahia Honda state park in the keys. It’s been a life saver for my online work.
We spent our first year on the road thinking we could rely on campground wifi. We learned almost immediately that this was soooooo wrong. Even campgrounds who promote their “free wifi” as major draw to the campground almost always fail to work…even to just check email. It’s the reason (at least that’s what I keep saying) that our blog is so far behind!
We finally got a Hot Spot through Millenicom and it’s been great. Our next step is to add the booster. We’ve finally found a few places where Verizon signals are a little weak (parts of Utah, Idaho and Montana). We’ve managed well but…you know, if the technology is there we might as well use it. =)
WiFi is horrible in most RV parks, it’s so frustrating. Verizon has (almost) always performed very well for us…but then again we haven’t visited most of Idaho or any of Montana 🙂
We will be hitting the road as a full time family in the fall. Trying to figure out what best to use to stay connected while on the road.
We having been trying to use a Sprint Hotspot – Not reliable at all! Switching to Verizon.
Sprint is great in cities, but I hear they are investing a ton of money in the network and it should grow over the next couple years.
Thanks so much for the information… We are new owners and have only been out twice. It’s so awesome to have all the answers and tips we’ve been looking for in one great article! Thanks!!
We really enjoy all of the info you two provide and the fun ways which you deliver it! Thanks
Great tips! Thanks!
Thank you so much for this great information! Y’all are a tremendous help to rookies!!!
So many different ways to go! Thanks for all the helpful info!!
Like Bill we are going full time soon and I want to stay connected as well. You guys give great advice and honest feedback about what you try. I read every post within a week and a number of your posts about where you are or have been have added places to my list. Yes, I keep a real list. I have a numbers spreadsheet (started it in Excel but then moved to my new Mac laptop so now I’m a numbers gal) and I have a running list of all kinds of things, places to see, recommended campgrounds, museums, stuff to buy for camper, etc.
I’ve got no tips. I learn everything from you!!
Great to read an opinion on you Jack antenna as we may have to replace ours sometime. Thanks.
Thanks for all the great tips!
With a Verizon flip-phone & an iPad with Verizon 3G, I can usually stay connected enough (I’m a landlady with tenants to tend) — but this article was packed with tips — I may have to step into this century! Thanks! 😉
Good artile. I’ve been trying to figure out how to snag WIFI from a distance for a while. Tried to bridge a connection from my PC while running a high powered Realtek adapter. Sort of works, but Windows isn’t always cooperative. Anyways, I’d love to have a better solution. Crossing my fingers on this drawing!
This looks awesome! Thanks for the opportunity. Good luck, all! 🙂
I enjoy following you blog. Keep the adventures coming.
I have been installing a bunch of electronics on a 40′ American Dream and we are currently using the Wifi Ranger setup with a hotspot. It seems when it loses connection to the Internet the Wifi Ranger boots everything off the local network while it searches for Internet. Meanwhile, all of the A/V gear and onboard computer equipment can’t intermingle. Have you experienced anything like this with your setup? If so, any suggestions?
It has been about a week since I found your videos on YouTube. I have found a new source of reference for RV upgrades idea for our automotive electronics shop in NJ. Please keep posting videos about how you two have personalized your coach to fit your lifestyle. Great work!
just got 41 ft pusher ,im ready to roll
The family just inherited grandma’s 5th wheel. While we were staying in it at a RV resort we had a hard time keeping a consistent internet connections. Thanks for your suggestions.
congrats on the inheritance and I bet your grandma is thrilled you are enjoying it!
I have been looking at this topic as I will be a full time RVer in one more month! I like the concept for no contract with Millenicom. Since new to the lifestyle, I’m not wanting to commit to really… anything! 🙂
Ha ha, why commit when you don’t have to…let serendipity take the wheel!
Staying connected in the RV is a huge concern for my husband and myself. We are both computer professionals that require remote access to do our work. We’ve found that the tethering option through T-mobile has made things considerably easier. Thanks for the great article!
Thank you so much for the great info,it really helps with my just beginning adventure of working on the road.
We always appreciate your how-to, lessons learned, and life on the road tips. We plan to go full time eventually, so your blogs are appreciated. Fun too!
Thanks so much for this information!
I just saw you on House Hunters Where Are They Now three days ago and was so captivated by your story. I am also a writer, and both my hubby and I are into cycling, hiking, paddle boarding, etc. We’re further along in life than you with our kids raised and out of the house. I have to say we are now thinking seriously about doing what you’re doing for a year or so when the time is right. I’ll check out your website some more.
Blessings on your journey!
Welcome and thanks so much for searching us out and the kind words! Have fun clicking around and hope to see you on the road someday!
This is great info! Thanks for posting it.
Jason/Nikki, thanks for the information!
Much of what you suggest is what I thought our options would be in our RV. I’m a tax accountant and also provide bookkeeping, and other similar accounting services for small business and individuals and can log online or work whenever. But…my partner is a remote mortgage underwriter and she has to have her system on continuously throughout the day. When she turns her system on, she’s relying on the internet in order to log into the various corporate systems to underwrite residential loans. So…just wondering what your thoughts are for the best setup that could accommodate her scenario? I’m thinking not much more than you have already suggested but just thought I’d ask 🙂 Thanks and hopefully we’ll get to meet on the road one of these days!
I’ve been researching mobile connectivity as we just bought and RV and want to travel, and since I currently work from home as a software developer I need to be connected. This article is very helpful in making me understand what is needed in a working from the road/rv environment.
Very informative. Do you know if the PDA.net will tether my iphone with AT&T as my carrier?
I do not have a clue, I would suggest going to their website and looking into it and email them your phone and carrier.
Fabulous info!! Many thanks for sharing!! 🙂
This is helpful, we are looking to full time soon and my wife is worried about connectivity.
We go everywhere and we seem to always find a place to get connected…even if it means driving into the nearest coffee shop for an hour of work.
We will be going full time within the next year. This info is incredibly helpful…Thanks for the giveaway!
How was installation with your new wifi booster unit? Did you get it professionally done or DIY? If DIY was it difficult? Thanks!
We have the new Wilson 4g Booster temporarily installed, so the wire runs up from the window 🙂
I’ve just started looking into how all this works and this is a great article. I have a lot to learn before I’m ready to hit the road with my writing. 🙂
Thanks for your information, looking at millennium for data.
I have been avoiding the latest Android update not to affect the PDA,Net functionality. Any inside information if there are plans to get that application working with the recent updates?
I am not sure. I have updated and mine still works great. They are really good about rolling out updates right along with android to fix any issues.
Thanks for the information!
Just saw you on HGTV. You two are adorable! 🙂
I am the person you are looking for who does not agree with your “no satellite internet” comment. We have used satellite internet for over ten years (two different motorhomes) and are still happy with our decision. While everyone else in the campground is suffering from slow speeds or without cell service, we are surfing/uploading/downloading on our own private network. We have internet service when we are traveling (often) to areas with no cell service. Yes, it is expensive and we can’t stream movies – but we have internet EVERYWHERE ANYWHERE.
Hey Terry, great to hear your experience and so glad you shared. We have had several friends who have satellite and not one has said they thought it was worth it anymore. They said it was a great option a few years ago but with the all the advancements and new cell towers going up, it just can’t compete. I know for work purposes satellite is too slow for a lot of people including ourselves as working on the back end of our website and other tasks are impossible with such slow speeds. We would still have to head to somewhere with wifi or stronger cell service. Now, when we eventually make the switch to the sail boat, I may be singing a totally different tune about satellite. 🙂
45 more days until retirement………..but who’s counting?
Your setup looks great! I’ll start working on ours.
Hey, Can ya’ll swing by Memphis and help me get this dadgum dome off my roof?
No? Not this trip?
OK, I understand. Maybe later 🙂 yuk, yuk!
Thanks for the info, we are hitting the road full time in two weeks and need to purchase like every single thing listed above to make sure we are connected for work on the road asap! Getting ready to leave and purging all the stuff and purchasing new relevant stuff is quite a chore, we appreciate your site as a resource to make sure we have all our ducks in a row!
We are debating the purchase of a phone cradle for our truck but would love to have the 3G or 4G for inside our Travel Trailer. Either way it would really allow us (couple with our Verizon hotspot) to keep working and affording our adventures! Thank y’all for this contest opportunity!
Awesome info for us travelers. We have been struggling with WiFi in many places we have stayed, looks like we should head to Verizon for some technical lessons with our system and options we can choose from.
Wow, you guys know your stuff. We are looking at going fulltime within a year and have been researching this and by far, you and Tchnomadia have the best info. Thanks so much!
One thing we learned recently. Don’t watch videos on HD with the hotspot! Really ate up the time. Thanks for all your advice. I love your blog!
Yes, HD video is a data hog! We save that for when we have free wifi!
You are the cutest couple and looks like you have a blast! I’m not on the road yet, but plans are in the works. I have Verizon and considering switching to Millenicom prior to going on the road. Thanks for all the helpful information you make available on your site. Your videos are very entertaining as well as informative!
So glad I read this post about internet. I just bought a new van that my boyfriend and I are fixing up to travel in. But I was worried about what the internet situation would be like and if I would be able to work while on the road. I almost bought satellite internet because I thought that would be my best option. But after reading your post, I’m going to have to seriously reconsider that idea.
Thanks for the heads up and for helping guide me in the right direction. Nothing like learning from a couple of pros to figure out how to work while on the open road. You two are truly an inspiration 🙂
We’re just starting to RV and still do what we need to do computer wise by using our cell phones – quickly. I know the time is coming to look into other options. Your article was very informative. Thanks!
Travel with Kevin and Ruth
We use free wifi just about everywhere when we’re on the road with the motorhome. But you’re right, a combination of free wif and a cellular hotspot is the way to go.
I am new to this so I have no experience with it yet.
Think of how far we’ve come…Used to require a gigantic, expensive satellite that make us look like “Houston Control.” Now we just expand our cell phone cababilitys and download a movie.
Thanks for the great article on how to make the most…with the least investment! You guys ROCK!
Isn’t life amazing?!?
Hi Guys, I wanted to thank you first for all your great information. We took your advice and went with Millenicom AND the Wilson, both have worked out excellent! My wife and I work remotely and rely on internet AND cell service to make sales calls. I know you’ve visited Turtle Beach and Yosemite Lakes (Thousand Trails) and was curious if they have Verizon and ATT service? Additionally, do you know of a site or resource that has updated listings of sites that shows cell phone service? Thanks a bunch!!
The Coverage App is still the best as far as we know for finding cellular coverage. If my memory serves me correctly for Yosemite Lakes we actually drove into town one day to visit the little tea shop on the Main Street and work for 3 hours: https://www.gonewiththewynns.com/rv-yosemite-lakes
I don’t think Turtle Beach was an issues for cell service.
I would SO love to do what you guys are doing!! I’m working on my hubby little by little…BUT, his main concern is staying connected (we are still working people). So….these items would be an awesome addition AND another reason to HIT. THE. ROAD.
I really learned a lot from this post. This past week-end we were using my Smart Talk Samsung phone from Wal-Mart as a GPS to find our way to a resort in Hiwassee, GA. We were winding around nicely through the mountains of SE Tenn, when, all of a sudden, I realized that, although our car was moving, the little blue arrow wasn’t. For the rest rest of the way we were flying blind with no internet connection, and now I know why. We were on the Sprint network. Do you think the booster would work on this phone? Also, would the PDA.net app work with it as a hotspot? Love to you both. I’m living vicariously through your travels!
Thank you for the great ideas. I just purchased the Wilson Sleek and have used it a little and it worked great. Thanks again to both of you for all that you do.
Great information. One question, though. You recommend going with a no contract cell phone, which I’m all for. You then say “make sure you understand which phone is on which carrier.” Is there an easy way to get that information? I currently have a Tracfone that I believe is on the Verizon network (the software says version V10e, which is the only possible clue I can find), but I’m not sure how I would confirm that or find that out prior to purchase.
After finding and reading another article, I have determined that my Tracfone is actually on AT&T’s network. That’s okay for now, but when I go on the road, I’ll need to make sure to find something on Verizon’s network.
Thanks for hot spot information
Once again, so much good information! You two have inspired us to start our own business and try to convice my work to let us travel/blog/consult. I want to thank you for helping us to look and think outside of the box.
A wifi booster would most certainily help!
Jonathon Barton (@jonathonbarton)
Jason and Nikki,
Your mini-review of the Surface, or rather, your anti-review of other tablets (overgrown cellphones) convinced me to get a quote for the new Surface Pro 3 (with flip cover, docking station, and a 24″ Display Port-ready monitor) at my Jay Oh Bee. I’m going to experiment with it while we build our side business (Amazon FBA sales) and save up for our downpayment on an RV to realize our ‘working for ourselves’ dreams…
We started full-timing before the Wifi Ranger was widely available, so I set up a home-made version of it with a DLink Range Extender/Access Point (DAP-1360) hooked up to an 8 inch flat panel directional Wifi antenna (14dBi gain). The antenna sits atop our standard Wineguard crank-up “bat wing” TV antenna and can be aimed at the strongest nearby Wifi source (when we’re stopped, of course). Our router (DLink DIR-615) is plugged into the access point and provides us a LAN for all the on-board devices (Laptops, main computer/server, Kindle, Smart TV, BlackBerry, etc). We often dry camp while on the road and can almost always pull in free Wifi with this set-up. At RV Parks with weak Wifi signals the flat panel directional antenna can be aimed at the nearest tower to significantly boost the signal. It’s a little more hands-on than the Wifi Ranger, but it works for us.
While on the move we use PDA Net on the BlackBerry to create a hotspot, using our grandfathered unlimited data plan with Verizon. Hope this helps someone!
Thanks for all the great info. Keep up the great posts!
Great DIY tips, thanks for sharing!
No mobile tips to share as we are first trying to figure this out for our brick and mortar to get away from our really bad internet provider. We live somewhat away from the city (4 miles) and did hold the distinction in my hubby’s company for having the most expensive internet in the country. So when a second provider came along, we switched. BIG MISTAKE. So the first tip is just what you had mentioned – ask lots of questions before and not after. We have also learned that our internet cycles down at various times and when we aren’t using it (though the provider swears it doesn’t). So by turning off the modem and turning it back on or sometimes simply turning off my computer wi-fi button and turning it back on, we can get faster speeds.
I love how you include your cats in your office setup! Great article. Saving up starting now. What is your policy on referencing information in your articles?
Thanks! As long as you are just referencing (a link is always much appreciated) and not copying all is good. Thanks so much for asking!
Thanks for all the helpful info! We will be starting our dream/adventure in September and will have two homeschooling kids and one semi-employed husband so will need the internet. Thanks for all you do to help us newbies out. Love your blog!
No problem! Thanks for following along!
We enjoy your posts. Replace the cats with one dog and we have a similar office (Jeff would also prefer the comfy seat Nikki’s vs the table/bench seat- more comfortable chair and no one looking over his shoulder :-).
We dipped our toes toward the “full time” dream last year camping 52 nights. This Friday we are wading in a little deeper to begin a 4 month journey. Our communication consists of 2 iPhones (currently AT&T soon to be Verizon), Millenicom Hot Spot, Wilson Sleek with External antenna. We drank a lot of “apple Koolaid” (MBP, 2 iPads, 2 iPhones, shuffle, touch), and enjoy having an Apple TV to stream video.
Ha Ha, you gotta be cautious about that “apple koolaid”!
More great stuff Niki and Jason!
I only just discovered you this evening, while perusing Amazon reviews. As an aspiring runaway, I’m inspired and impressed by how thorough and helpful your site is… looking forward to exploring it more! Thanks.
Welcome aboard and thanks for the love!
Good stuff, as usual, but I’m not on the road full time, yet. Here at Rockbound (our bricks-and-mortar home), we have a Sprint hotspot that has never seen 4G, an AT&T hotspot with 5 gig/month, and a new Viasat, with 25 Gb. As soon as the contract is up, the Sprint is history. For years (and years) we hated AT&T, and every time we changed providers, they just seemed to buy them, and get us back. Lately, tho’, we have been very satisfied with the phone and the hotspot. Our data plan with the phone as a hotspot is kinda pricey, but the Sierra is great. 4G LTE. We were unhappy with our Verizon land-line, but that may have been our local company. (We are nearly ‘boon-docking’ here at home, lol.) So far we like the satellite, because everything is slow, here. 5Gb is fine on the road, as we don’t do much work while traveling, just keeping in touch. When we get to spend more time traveling I know we will need more capacity, but we will probably stay with AT&T. So we have not had an issue with coverage, although they can’t figure out where we are. If we need to search for some store, we have to start with changing the location where they think we are. But, that is not a bad thing, I think.
For those people that wish to enhance their free WiFi, another option is to purchase a Linksys router with DD-WRT installed. This repurposes the router to repeat the WiFi signal to the RV. Costs about $25 on e-bay.
I always wondered how y’all worked in the new coach “Roy”…thanks for the pic. Great info too. We tether my ATT cell with just a 5GB plan but I had now idea about PDA.net. Gonna check that out. The wife is also grandfathered into her unlimited data, so….maybe we can share that too.
Thank you for helping shed the light on what to do to get connected while on the road!
Im grandfathered in (praisetheheavens) and pda.net will allow me to share to my other devices? Just sign up and Im good to go…just keep my data down? Is it hard to do….
Im a hug fan….twitter, Instragram, the whole gamefit. What adventures you have….adorable and so fun. Thanks!!!
You have to install pda.net and FoxFi to create a wifi network. Good luck.
We have used the Millenicom hot spot since we attended your presentation on mobile communications at the Abbotsford RV show.
As others have mentioned the no contract is what sold us. On crossing the border southbound we give them a ring and re-initialise the service, then when returning to Canada we call to cancel. While it can be used stand alone, we couple it with a wireless router for additional range.
We also use Straight Talk, on arrival in the U.S. we install their SIM card and pick up an International phone package at Walmart.
Thanks for all the great information.
Thanks for the great info you put out regularly. We just switched to a Jack Antenna – our old one got in a battle with a tree 😉 and you’re right, it does work better. Happy trails!
Thanks for the info on mobile internet. I’ve got a couple of questions for you. I first heard of Millenicom on the “Living the RV Dream” podcast, but I’m not sure how it gets the data to your devices. Does it in some way connect with a normal router to provide a wifi signal in your coach? Also, with the booster, how did you route the cable into your interior? I’m planning to order an Excel 5th wheel from the factory, and I want to route all necessary cabling and wires (including solar) as options to install during the build. Thanks for all you two do!
So we yanked our DataStorm dish off the roof this past winter after nine years of use, thanks to your suggestion, Nikki & Jason. Now we use our new Millenicom device as we cruise down the highway, don’t have to worry about trees and never get throttled. The only three minor downsides so far, we knew in advance: 1) When it comes to work, we’re home-bodies, knowing that working in a coffee shop, cafe, or restaurant would make us fat, as we can’t eat everything in sight like you two skinny minnies. 😉 That heavier use led to 2) We overshot our 20GB one month, which doubled our cost for that one month. We’ve since made a successful effort to share some of the data duties with our tethered iPhone 5S (on AT&T, which contrary to what everyone says we absolutely LOVE). 3) We can’t hang for long at some of the extremely remote hidden spots we used to seek out (in the northern Nevada desert for example) where our dish was our only thread to the world. But after 11+ years on the road, we’ve gotten a lot of that uber-remote exploring out of our systems, and the cellular network has gotten much more widespread anyway, bringing more remote places into reach.
One of the greatest things about the Millenicom deal for us (despite the price increase right after we bought ours) is no contract.The ability to turn it on and off is awesome for our situation – we spend about half of every year in Canada, where we can’t use ANY U.S. cell-based service without getting killed on int’l data roaming charges. What we do is cancel our Millenicom when we cross the border heading north. Then we call Shaw and have them turn on cable internet service to our new RV site in BC. We get whatever the current 6-month-discount-special-for-new-customers happens to be (typically $30/month for the first 6 months for really fast 25 mbps service). Then we just cancel that and turn the Millenicom back on when we cross south. Sweet!
What we don’t have yet is any Wilson or WiFiRanger equipment, but now we will after we win one here. 😉 Sorry if we accidentally entered more than once. It’s Sunday, and even Geeks have fat fingers sometimes. lol
Is there any carrier that offers unlimited 4g with an individual hotspot device?
Thank you for all the advice! We are on the road a lot and my hubby works while I drive the rig. He has a hotspot but we only have 6GB! Every time I make reservations at a campground, I have to ask if they have Verizon coverage. Sounds like a booster would help since I want to try boondocking!
We are just south of you at Bay City and Tuesday heading north to Brimley State Park on Lake Superior for 10 days and than Straits State Park for a week.
We have two hotspots, an AT&T and T-Mobile based on previous places where we’ve stayed. Hosting at Shenandoah River State Park in Virginia both last year and this year AT&T was the only option with no Verizon coverage.
Thanks for sharing Don, it’s very rare to get AT&T and no Verizon but it sounds like you’ve found one of the few places.
Mary Boone Wellington
Always useful data! Thanks. I use a Verizon MIFI and it gets a great signal almost anywhere. So far have not needed a boost and I watch a lot of Netflix! Not sure of the cost as it is blended into a business plan.
Happy travels, Mary B
Thanks for the great info! We are planning on doing an RV trip and we were wondering about the best internet options.
I also like spots where I can get a bee and appetizer as opposed to a library 🙂 Here in Oregon, free wifi is tough with all the mountains and trees, a boost is a good idea
I’m looking at the “new media workstation” that Nikki is working off of….what kind is it? Where did you get it?
My wife and I travel often and she sure could use something like that for work.
So enjoy your videos.
We have it in our travel store, or you can purchase on Amazon if you use out link. It’s called a Surface Pro 2, and it works great for on-the-go editing of photos and writing. You can also read more about it here: https://www.gonewiththewynns.com/hd-video-secrets
I’m sorry. I meant the table she is working on not the Surface Pro 2.
I have been reading the comments and your blog about bandwidth and data usage and being new to mobile internet I have a question I hope you can answer. I believe my usage requirements are minimal as I am only looking for my 2 dozen or so emails daily and 6 hours or so of internet usage. I don’t download or upload video but I do download a lot of data related to my Genealogy… so the question is… How do I determine how many GB I need per month for a hotspot?
Thanks in advance…
If you do a search online for a “internet usage tracker” I’m sure there are plenty of options to track your current data usage so that you don’t over purchase. Sounds like you’d be fine with a 5gb plan, but I would make sure before buying anything!
Thanks for the great insight in to what it takes to stay connected. I am in the process of putting together a small 19ft trailer with 320 watts of solar and 4 6 volt deep cycle batteries and a natures head. It carries 90 gal of fresh water and I have 70 gal of grey water storage. 35 of that used to be for the black water… Now I am working on the internet side so your article is perfect timing for me. I don’t plan on using it for work as I am retired but I am a Genealogist and I like to be connected when traveling so I can do my research and build family trees for people I meet on the road.
I have enjoyed following your travels for a few months now and I only wish I had done something similar many years ago when I was your age… keep on going and maybe we will run in to each other down the road Jim
Thanks for the tips!
Oh! I love giveaways! I tweeted and now I’m commenting. If I don’t win, I suspect we’ll be picking up with the Wilson 4G and a WiFiRanger on our own. Gotta stay connected!
We are building in the country, north of Houston and have tostand on top on the vehicles just to make a call or get a text. I have found all your booster info very informative. I think I will go out and get a booster for the car and after we finish the build one for the house.
We are grandfathered in for unlimited data via Sprint. I know they don’t have the best coverage, but they work well for every where my wife and I travel. We are not full time, we planned to, but just are not able to at this time, but we do plan to travel a lot, RV or not.
Great information explained in not too technical terms
We’re not experts and we do our best to explain these technical items with a simplicity that even we can understand. Glad you found it helpful.
We currently have a Verizon JetPack Hotspot. It does the trick for our needs now – mostly just weekend camping at State Parks about once a month. A couple times a year we sneak in a whole week! However, with both of the kids in high school, it won’t be long before we’re traveling farther and longer (sans kids), at which point we’ll need to use some of these solutions. Thanks for the low-down! 🙂
Our pleasure to share Amy…Good luck getting those kids educated and out the door 🙂
Great info. Thanks for posting.
Great blog post as always!
There is one more thing one can do to boost signal strength. Switch to a “Yagi” antenna. Yagi’s are sold my several manufacturers and come anywhere from 5 to 13 elements. They are directional vs most other types which are omni-directional.
I use a 11 element Wilson Yagi mounted on a “painters pole”.
The pole is positoined by the window which allows me to rotate the antenna while observing signal strength on the modem. The yagi combined with a 3 watt amplifier pulls in towers as far as 12 miles away. (depending on elevation and terrain)
Rich, is the Yagi antenna for 4g signal or just 3g?
For most instances, the antenna is the same for both 3G and 4G provided you are using Verizon in the 700-960mhz range. There are some instances where Verizon uses 1700/2100mhz for 4G but this is rare. (I havent had a problem for years in traveling thru out the west)
The antenna sells for less than $70 and works well because it is directional.
Used yagi’s on Ebay are even cheaper.
Wilson does not recommend a “directional” antenna for RVs, but I guess if you know what you’re doing they can be even better/stronger than an “omnidirectional”.
Hi Jason, Nikki and “Feline Distractors”!
Almost fainted when I saw that it was 8/12 rather than 7/13 on the caption btw…
Just a heads up on Verizon; my husband and I both had unlimited data air cards for years and Verizon decided awhile back that we were using too much data (I work remotely) and so cancelled mine saying it was an invalid contract. The same rumblings were happening on my husband’s so after a lot of wasted time fighting them, we cancelled Verizon and got two ATT MiFi’s and have had to use them most sparingly due to the high cost of data. We are however pleased with the coverage and like you, I am always looking for Free Wifi and now have WiFi at home through our cable company which is a huge cost savings over the mobile spots, though not useful on the road. So far we are very pleased with the West Coast coverage for our ATT MiFi’s and just lament the cost.
Thanks for all of the great info!! Happy travels you 4…PW
It’d be pretty hard for the creeper to intercept credit cards, or any other information that’s being sent using 128 bit encryption – which is pretty much any bank or online store these days. And if you wanted to encrypt ALL your traffic, you just need to connect to a service like AirVPN which would make it nearly impossible for the creeper in the corner to intercept anything since it would all be encrypted.
There’s always the risk that he could connect to your computer directly, but making sure you have all the wifi privacy settings on your computer locked down should all but eliminate that risk.
So yeah, just wanted to clear that up – that creeper in the corner can be shut out if you want to take a few steps.
Infact, cell phone networks aren’t unlike wifi networks in that anybody can intercept the packets ‘floating’ around in the air! So if you’re worried about people intercepting your wifi signals – they could do the same thing with cell phones if they were motivated enough! That’s why it’s best to use encryption if you’re worried about the privacy of your data.
sorry, my computer science degree rears it’s head sometimes ha.
Clayton, thank you for taking the time to share. We’re not really worried about privacy (obviously since we have a blog) but it blows us away how many people are really afraid of their “stuff” being stolen by a hacker! Oh well, to each their own.
Jason I need some help/advice with the Sky WiFi Ranger. We just got our new trailer, a 29′ Hideout (Keystone).
I have purchased the Sky, have not installed it, just have been using it either in the trailer or our truck. I have seen no difference in the internet using or not using the Sky. Does it have to be installed on the roof of the trailer to function correctly?
I would like to have the capability of using it in the truck when we drive from a campground, and of course have it at the campground. Should I even keep the unit or return it? The $ for it is pretty salty if it won’t work for our use.
BTW we met in Bardstown, KY a while back. You showed me the Ranger on top of your rig. We are soon to be full time.
The higher you can mount the sky the better. Ours works well for picking up weak signals and broadcasting them through the Go2 that is installed inside our RV. When we’ve had issues I call the customer service line and they have been very helpful with setup and adjusting settings to make the Sky and Go2 work properly. Keep us in the loop.
Hi guys. We have Verizon for our cell phones, so we are interested in the Millenicom device for a mobile hotspot. How exactly does it use Verizon’s network to provide connectivity? We ask, because we’ve used a Verizon MiFi device and can’t help wonder why Verizon would permit a third party hotspot device to use their network? Thanks.
Millenicom simply purchases bulk data from Verizon and resells it at a more affordable rate. Sounds too good to be true right? That’s what we thought too but we know several full-timers who have the 20GB plan and swear by it. In theory Verizon still controls the data and could provide slower service to Millenicom, however the people we know that use it say it’s just as fast as the Verizon network.
Often you say… “have a question… shoot us an email!”.
So here goes… it is about being connected on the road. I have read several different blogs about wifi on the road and the equipment needed to do one’s best.
But technology seems to change on a daily basis… like the cool flexible solar panels you just mounted on your Fleetwood!
So… in order to point us in the right direction… here is a little background on our situation.
In 51 days we are off on the adventure of a lifetime… full-timing in our 25 foot Airstream Safari.
We don’t watch television. After 30 years in the business of making TV commercials… we can’t stand the poop that is on… so we have been streaming everything for almost two years…. on our laptops.
Some blogs list equipment that seems to be “overkill”… and all about watching TV or computer programming for a living.
I am a photographer and my wife is a chef…. yep… we won the free Harvest Hosts membership… thanks again for that!!!! Will be bloging… yes indeed … all about photography and gourmet meals on a three burner.
So… I know we need an antenna to suck the signal from the sky. Why Kyle from…”whereiskylenow.com” has two… I don’t pretend to know.
And I know we will need a ” box” that will distribute the signal inside the Airstream to the two laptops.
And I know we will need some kind of a “plan” from Verizon. Yes….?
We stream golf and tennis and “netflix” on a daily basis…2 hours a day except on the weekend when it might jump to 3-4 hours a day.
We have two outdated iPhones at he present but we are retiring them and getting rid of AT&T to be with Verizon… probably becoming Samsung Galaxy people.
We have one Nook.
There you have it… so the question is… what do we need to stay connected without a bunch of equipment that we do not want or need.
Again… thank you so much for being the freshest faces… the most genuinely extroverted and giving people on the “net”.
Gene and Fame Turner
I am sure the Wynns may have comment here for you when they can.
But one thing I am noting is your streaming video 2 hours a day and 4 hours on the weekend is going to go through some data. It could be approx 1 gig – of data an hour, so conceivably your monthly data plan will need 70-80 gigs of data a month.
You arent going to like what I may suggest but you may want to consider a satellite dish like tailgater and watch tennis and golf that way. They even have the Golf Channel on satellite.
Save the data and bandwidth for email, facebook, web surfing, etc and you most likely can use the Millenicom plan and hotspot…
But streaming netflix and online video will eat up your bandwidth
Thanks so much for the “head’s up”. I was afraid of that.
See you on the road!
In this post we list every item we own and use to have better cell phone reception and better WiFi inside the RV. Trust me it is all necessary if you want to be constantly connected.
You should track your data usage so you understand how much data you’re currently consuming. I would guess if you want to stream such a large amount of data you may need to contact Millenicom and see what type of big data plans they offer, or you may end up purchasing multiple 20GB plans from them?
Keep us in the loop and have fun on the road!
Thanks… and yes we will begin tracking it… but I think a great idea would be to try and wean ourselves from the “sports”.
Again thanks… 34 days to launch.
And right now you are in our old stomping grounds… Northern Michigan!
Nikki, great blog, Glad I found it. Wilson has released the 4G 5 band LTE booster. Mobile 4G Model 460108 http://www.wilsonelectronics.com/store/display/245/38/mobile-4g.
I’ve been using it in my truck and bought an extra 12V power supply, inside antenna and external ”Trucker” antenna that I put on a pole outside the trailer. Simply unplug the unit in the truck (2 connections and power) and transfer the main box to the Airstream. For now one of the Wilson antenna extensions through the AS door works fine (very small wire) until I figure out some more permanet routing, probably when I get solar installed next month.
Works great. Stronger and more powerful than the Sleek series. And after asking Wilson it will handle multiple devices simultaneously. I am still skeptical but that would mean you could have your Verizon phone running data and hold a call on the other phone and get boosting for both. So a Verizon puck like Milenicom and your iPhone running together and talking away all while out boon docking. Don’t ya just love technology?
We have the new 4g setup from Wilson and have been testing it over the past month. It does work well and we have now updated this post to reflect our findings.
Thanks for taking the time to share.
Thanks for the great info. Can you tell me why you would want to tether? Also, I believe the site you mentioned is for Android only. Is there tethering for iPhone?
Nancy, I tether because I don’t have a separate mifi device. The app I mentioned does have an app for iphone and others.
Nothing beats those privacy concerns so much as a nice VPN. I have the benefit of having my own server at my “office” but with a little bit of Google-fu, it’s not hard to set up a VPN gateway just about anywhere with the assistance of a good friend or family member and their donated internet connection. In times of need, I have a backup VPN gateway running on a Raspberry Pi at a friend’s house for those times when I’ve “forgotten” to pay my server’s internet bill. Admittedly, it takes a bit of your speed away, but nothing beats the knowledge that your traffic is more secure at those shifty “free wi-fi” watering holes with the aforementioned creeper in the corner.
“when we’re way out with zero 4G around. I won’t tell you about this product as Wilson is launching a new system that will boost 4G in the coming weeks. So the short answer: Sleek is great, but the new setup will be even better!
We’ll update everyone as soon as we have it.”
Hi Jason and Nikki we are in the process of setting up the internet connectivity for our new RV (very excited – it arrives in July). Do you know if the new Wilson system is out yet?
Thanks so much for your help. Really enjoy your videos.
The sleek is a great option for affordably boosting 4g on 1 phone (or 1 WiFi hub), the new system will replace the $800+ ‘whole house’ system that currently only supports 3g. So if you’re budget is around $1,000 and you must have 4g throughout your RV then I say wait another month or so, otherwise go ahead and get the sleek and save a bundle.
I’m wondering about more booster details. I have an already updated iPhone, so can’t jailbreak and tether. I use a Verizon mifi jetpack for internet. The mountain only has 3G and I could really use a booster. But I also would want a booster that could be mobile – go from cabin to jeep to RV – and work to boost both my mobile phone’s data as well as the mifi jetpack which my laptop runs from. The link you have looks like it is a cradle booster which needs to be installed physically in a vehicle. Anything which you are aware of that can walk around with me? How do you use this when you connect sitting outside of your RV enjoying the morning coffee?
You’re best bet for portability is the Sleek 4g-V from Wilson. Otherwise the strongest option for the RV would be getting the Wilson RV system and the WiFi Ranger that can broadcast your signal throughout your RV and with a decent radius around the RV. It’s not cheap but if you need internet this is the best option at the moment.
BTW – New FCC regulations are being implemented, Wilson will have a new set of 4g products that should launch in the near future if you can wait a month or two longer.
I’m wondering if my earlier comment got denied/deleted for some reason. It was there awaiting moderation, and when I reloaded the page it was gone.
In hopes it was just a technical glitch and not something I said, I’ll try again. I am thinking the Millenicom plan you mentioned is the way for us to go whenever we can hit the road, even with the recent cost increase I read about. One question about your usuage. How many movies and TV shows are you able to watch online before you hit your 20gb allotment? Thanks.
Honestly Walt, I have no idea. We don’t currently use Millenicom because I am still under contract with Verizon but still stay within 20g per month. We are able to watch a few movies, tv shows and get all of our work done most months. when we know we have a lot of heavy uploads and downloads we usually head to a library, pub or a coffee shop for a few hours so we don’t take a huge chunk out of our data. Hope that helps.
Follow up question: Do you get a notice/warning from Verizon (this can also go out to those who use Millenicom) when you get close to that 20gb threshhold? If not, is there an easy way to track usage, and how often do you do so? Thanks.
I get notifications when I have used 50% and another at 75% and another at 90% and it is sooo helpful. You can also use onovo which tracks usage. I have it listed here with our other favorite apps: https://www.gonewiththewynns.com/road-trip-apps
Thanks! Looks like a great list.
I’ve read that a good rule of thumb for video is 1 gigabyte per hour of standard definition and 2 gb per hour of high def.
I’ve heard about the Millenicom plan (now $89.99 a month for 20gb), and it does seem like the way to go once we can hit the road full time. However, I notcie from the post that you watch online streams of movies and a few TV shows. Roughly speaking, how many movies and/or TV episodes can a person expect to be able to watch before blowing past that 20gb figure? Thanks and great stuff, by the way.
Excellent article! I’ve been thinking about getting satellite but I think you’ve successfully convinced me to hold off. I currently have an iPhone with AT&T that I’d love to tether to a laptop, but I don’t want to pay for tethering. I wonder if there is an app of some type (probably not) which enables you to tether like the Verizon app you mentioned (the one that’s against their terms of service). Since AT&T’s app store is so restrictive, I’d doubt it.
Actually, now that I think about it, I bet I could accomplish this by jail breaking my phone! It’s at the end of it’s life anyway. So if it broke, it would be the perfect reason for me to upgrade! lol. PS: Thanks for the follow back on Twitter. 🙂
The Jail Brake is the only way, we have heard of people doing this successfully. Good luck!
Good to know! I’ll give it a shot. Thanks Jason!
I wonder how much data you use tethering in a typical month with your ‘unlimited’ verizon cell phone plan. I do the same, but always wonder how much usage would be too much…
we try to be respectful and stay under 20GB.
Can you please do a segment on the Wilson signal booster setup. Im interested in one and would like to see how you have the wiring and internal antenna setup. Most YouTube videos show the wiring being done thru a window or something like that and its no conducive for driving down the load.
For public wifi where you need to access critical information, I recommend a hosted VPN service. I use privateinternetaccess.com for home and when I’m on the road for business and love it. For $40/year I have unlimited access on all my devices, including laptop, Android phone, iPad and home servers.
They also have multiple connect points around the country, so latency is pretty low and speed are decent.
Oh, and no, I don’t work for them. 🙂
Love the blog! Long time lurker, first time poster. My wife and I are researching fulltime rv living within the next two years, and find your blog a great resource. Keep up the great work! It’s inspiring!
Thanks for the heads up, love to hear about more secure options for web browsing. You’ll be happy to know we’ve just installed a WiFi Ranger Sky, it takes any network, amplifies the signal, and creates a secure WiFi inside the RV. So far it’s working great, but we’ll need to use it for a bit longer before we add our review to the site. Definitely check it out in your RV Pre-Planning.
Glad you finally came over to say hello, better not be the last time we hear from you 🙂
Did some research on your Wifi Ranger Sky and bookmarked the link.. I’ll be interested to read your review.
Using a VPN service, though, provides a different layer of security than the Ranger Sky.
With the Ranger, you have a secure internal network when you’re connected to your RV – that’s good! However, when you hop in the car and take your laptop to a place with free public wifi and want to work, that’s where a VPN comes in handy.
In that case, you plop down, order your French Sumatra (lookin’ at Mrs. Wynn, the coffee connoisseur!), connect to the coffee shop wifi and turn on your VPN to create a secure connection on the coffee shop’s network.
Without getting more techy on you (and thus annoying Mrs. Wynn who is only on her first cup!) it’s like taking the security of your home wifi with you outside the RV.
Now, all that said, it might be overkill for your needs. But I thought to at least throw it out there for you if you hadn’t researched it already.
In any case, thanks for replying. We’ll continue to watch your site with much interest!
If you have any other tech questions, feel free to reach me privately (15 yr IT Engineer here). More than happy to help!
Now, back to my mocha….
HAHA Jim…we enjoyed sharing a cup of quality joe with you 🙂 We are always looking for way to keep our data secure in this mobile life, so thanks for the tip.
Jason, are you using this instead of the Sleek 4G-V now. We are weekend warriors for a few more years yet and I am just using my phone as a mobile hotspot and want something to boost signal when we are away from everything. Living in North Texas we have been spending most of our time up in the Ozarks as of late and signal can get thin when up there. The extra security would be nice also. Nice to see you are local. We live in Allen.
We use the Sleek 4G-V for boosting the 4G signal if we’re near a city. We now have a new Wilson Booster system that’s been installed that boosts 3G signal for when we’re way out with zero 4G around. I won’t tell you about this product as Wilson is launching a new system that will boost 4G in the coming weeks. So the short answer: Sleek is great, but the new setup will be even better!
We’ll update everyone as soon as we have it.
Thanks sooooo much for this. We’re full time RVers too. I’m a traveling musician and travel full time with my wife and 7 children. Between my music business, my wife’s blog, and homeschooling the kids, we blow through a ton of data with Verizon. I’ve been looking for a cheaper alternative than the $150 / 20 gigs I’m paying with Verizon. I’m definitely going to get Millenicom!
So glad to find your blog…it’s nice to see others living, working, and playing on the road as we do! Maybe we’ll run into each other sometime.
So glad we could help save you a few bucks on the road!!!
Thank you for your posts and videos about life on the road. I’m a full-time telecommuter while my husband is halfway through his internship for funeral services. Believe it or not, the funeral industry in Florida (where we are) has “seasons” that follow the migration of the snow birds. We’ve pondered off and on living like snow birds ourselves since I can work from anywhere. Lately I’ve been contemplating the RV life as an alternative. He could work 4-6 months a year back here and the other half of the year he could take the time off or see about licensing himself in other states.
The biggest concern I’ve had in this idea is maintaining strong enough cell/internet signals as it is vital to my daily work. I’m online 9-10 hours/day working with large data files (I’m a data analyst, ironically for a large travel service provider) and need to be able to reliably call in to conference calls. Of course during the work week we’d have to be sure to be in well-connected areas.
Lastly, I’m happy to see the changes you’ve made to the RV such as the compost toilet, the solar panels, and even the induction cooker. I know my husband is not a fan of cooking indoors with propane so I had considered this as an option. I was very excited to see you actually using one!
Thank you for the inspiration!
We are closing in on 2 months fulltime. We are using the Millenicom 20 GB(Verizon), and page plus 29.99 plan(Verizon.
Long story short,$100 per months for great phone, and data service. We have been good everywhere we’ve been.
We are closing in on 2 months fulltime. We are using the Millenicom 20 GB(Verizon), and page plus 29.99 plan(Verizon.
Long story short,$100 per months for great phone, and data service. We have been good everywhere we’ve been.
Thanks for the info. I could get really frustrated with living off 3G and data limits.
That was our year 1 and 2 till we ‘smartend’ up 🙂 Glad to help a fellow traveler.
I see you are really enjoying yourselves what a nice time and I do think it not all play but some hard work. I see you were in hope BC, Did you by any chance get to visit our wine country in the Kelowna, Oliver, Osoyoos BC and so on through the valley they have over 250 wineries and beautiful valleys.
Just thought I would pass that on and don’t forget if you get a chance also Vancouver Island were I live. The have a ferry from Seattle to Victoria.
I have a feeling you may be on the road for a couple of more years enjoy North America cause it beautiful.
Have a great adventure be safe.
I was soooooo going to ask you guys how you stay connected on the road (I’m new to the site and now a new fan.) but I found your very informative post that answered my questions so thank a bunch. Love the adventures and now inspired to be on the road.
Welcome Don, if you have any specific questions don’t hesitate to ask…we’re kind of an open book!
Thanks for the input at the Abbotsford RV show. Am looking into the Wilson booster, and it would appear that I have a choice to make – they make a separate unit for Canada (because we’re *special*) which does not meet US FCC requirements. I have not seen the reverse question (can I use the US version in Canada) on their website so will have to do some more digging and may ultimately end up with two, although most of our travel is in the land of cheap gas. You’d think being so neighbourly, our countries could get our collective poop in a group at least on SOME things….like internet access.
Judy, I feel ya!!! I am not 100% on how well the Canada unit works in the US and that is a great question. I am going to reach out to Wilson and see if I can’t get a good solid answer for you.
hey there just caught you on global news…….having internet has always been a challenge for me as well as expensive going from Canada to the USA…..i just purchased a SIM card for my iphone which i just had unlocked….. the company i went with is roam mobility …..you can add as many days or monthly plans as you need …..and can top up through your
phone or on line…….they also have mobile hot spots device you can purchase or you can use your cell as a hotspot
i will be using it in Arizona
this winter . Has anybody else heard of this company?
Thanks for sharing Cora, we’ll have to take a look into this. Hope you can come down and see us at the show this weekend in Abbotsford.
Thanks for the collection of info. The wife and I are currently getting our affairs in order to enjoy the open road. She is a telecommuter, so regular connect ion is a must. Plus our 2 year old needs here little einstiens.
For what it’s worth, you have a very nice site, IMHO money well spent.
Thanks John for the nice words, we’ve put a lot of time and money into our site and it’s good to hear that people actually like it!
Once you get on the road you’ll have to keep us updated, maybe your family could be featured on our Make Money and Travel series 🙂
Thanks for the information on Millenicom…. After month of bad service with T-Mobile we now have acceptable Internet access.
Went full time 2 months ago….Thanks for the inspiration and your funny posts….
Gary & Joanne
Our pleasure to help….now we just need to get Millenicom to give us kickbacks:) Ha.
Enjoyed meeting you at Thousand Trails at Newport ‘s Little Diamond Reserve….. This afternoon. we love what you and Nikki are doing and will continue following your journey….Don, Gary , Marci, and Barb at site 36.
Welcome on board! I enjoyed chatting with you guys as well…btw you still owe me that beer 🙂 ha.
I’ll mention what might be the obvious choice – but don’t see it mentioned here: local libraries. When we have some high-bandwidth requirements we skip the costly and noisy coffee shops and pubs and head straight for the local libraries.
Overall they have pretty solid wi-fi, are quiet, no expectations of purchases, and usually have comfy seating. It helps that we are all bookworms…;)
Great call Boyink, we often forget about libraries…but to be perfectly honest if I’m gonna be working I like having the satisfaction of ordering a beer or some yummy dessert; Not something you get at the library, haha.
Great post, thanks for sharing. This is good information and highlights the differences between Europe and the USA.
I’d like to share some comparisons with Europe;
3G coverage can be variable and 4G virtually none existent (Europe has just 8% of the worlds 4G). What’s more despite the European Union, taking a UK SIM card into France will result in a cost of about 45p (70c) a Mb unless you subscribe to a specialist roaming SIM such as EuropaSIM.
Therefore WiFi is often the best source of internet in Europe and so long range WiFi boosters are popular in conjunction with WiFi cooperatives such as FON which has 7,000,000 hotspots and growing. However, the EU also heavily restrict the power output of WiFi devices and so for example we have to turn down our equipment 2/3 vs if we sold the same kit in the USA just to be able to legally sell it!
Adam & Sophie
Thanks for sharing the European cell info. We’ll need this when we make our way across the big drink to explore Europe. You know we’ll be calling you guys first 🙂
I usually just pull into a safeway parking lot (Canada) if I need a quick wifi hit…no purchase necessary : )
nice! We do the same if we’re in a bind.
I’m extremely tech savvy; so, my only question is: where do I get a couple of those fuzzy satellite dishes like the ones you’ve got mounted inside your windows? 🙂
Gayle, those are not satellite dishes. That’s Singa and Cleo and they barely manage to keep the mice at bay much less help with our cell signal!
Gayle, I wouldn’t invest in those fuzzy sat dishes…they are more trouble than they’re worth when it comes to getting work done, and I swear all they want to do is go outside and play 🙂
Thanks for your second shot at my comment! I was mortified that you took me seriously! But I don’t blame you. My boyfriend calls me the mistress of deadpan. He thought I was serious when I asked him if lining up the french fries on my tray at McDonald’s would boost my wi-fi signal — LOL!!
The good news is that your wonderful lifestyle and partnership has inured you to sarcasm! We so appreciate you and Nikki’s wonderful, positive work.
We can’t suffer enough to improve one person’s life; but, we can be positive and improve many peoples’ lives!!!
Nice post guys. I wish that the coverage app you linked to would work for the Android phones.
Steve, I’m right there with you…the whole world isn’t Mac exclusive 🙂
Very helpful post! I also full time, and while I don’t work while I full-time, I like being connected no matter where I am. I have a Verizon Jet Pack instead of the hotspot on my phone. I chose the JetPack because it leaves my phone ‘free’ and doesn’t drain the battery. I can also monitor my usage very easily on MyVerizon.
I am a definite ‘Wynns’ groupie-love your posts, blog, info articles. Thank you!
Peggy, I love that you just said groupie and wynns in the same sentence! Ha ha, we love you too! Thanks for reading, watching and commenting!
Thanks for the post. With 3 high schoolers getting their classes on line and my business, good internet is a must. I love the Mellenicom tip. We are locked into our Verizon hub contract, but might actually be worth it to pay the fee for canceling. 30 gigs would be great. We burn through our 10 every month and usually have overages due to my work.
One of the “free wifi” tips we have found is Lowe’s and Home Depot parking lots. Because they are larger stores, their range usually can reach to the back, or at least the side of the parking lot. While we see so many people dry docking at Walmart, we pass on by to the nearest Lowe’s. It’s great for school work and even streaming movies or tv shows. Still to slow for my video uploads, but definately does what we need for the kids.
Thanks for the info. Keep up the great work.
Dino, Great tip on Lowes and Home Depot Free WiFi…I always thought why the heck would a home improvement store have free WiFi…you just answered me 🙂
Thanks for the great info. This is very helpful as we plan nomad life next year. Definitely need to stay connected on the road.
Hi, I love following y’all. All the fun adventures and great information ,too. We have enjoyed our Roku that Matthew bought for us. I get to feeling like I’m a little on overload with so many choices. Thanks for your research and recomdations. Happy trails:-)
For what its worth, Starbucks is testing Googles Fiber network. Which means 1gig per second speeds. Hello? This is starting to roll out in more metro areas. In turn, this is opening up these 20-30 mps speeds in out lying areas.
As for security, there is some good news on that front with apps that love to tattle on anyone bumming a free ride. The good news overall is that great strides are being made in access speed and security right now. It is one the hot button issues.
Oh man, Starbucks is the Devil…but if they have 30mbps wifi we just might have to take a visit! Thanks for the heads up.
I subscribe to and enjoy your YouTube channel so I know that you upload videos on a somewhat regular basis. Do you typically use your mobile connection to upload those videos or do you wait to use the slow free wifis for those?
When my wife and I go full time the majority of our income will come from videos I produce which will end up on my YouTube channel.
Thanks for the info on this post, it was very helpful.
Bobby we use the internet on our phones when necessary, but we prefer to upload the larger videos and photographs on a Wi-Fi connection so we don’t “overuse” our phone and get kicked off the unlimited plan.
Internet and cell service can be sparse while living full time, it blows me away every time we’re in a new spot without cell reception…I think “Dude it’s 2013 how can there not be cell service”. Oh well, its something we’ve learned to deal with.
Nice post. One thing I’d add is that the data allowance for most plans are not sufficient to do the kind of internet surfing most folks are accustomed to. We easily blow through the 5gb we get on our Verizon Hotspot each month without downloading a single video, let alone trying to use it for regular T.V. consumption. We rely heavily on campground wifi which, albeit unreliable, is about the only way we can survive digitally on the road full-time.
One more thing. Television has gotten soooo much better in the past decade that it really is worth picking up some quality seasons on DVD.