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Author Topic: Wi fi or cellphone signal booster  (Read 1040 times)

mhogan1602

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Wi fi or cellphone signal booster
« on: November 24, 2019, 04:38:45 PM »
I just bought a travel trailer and I would like to be able to use my Smart TV and streaming service while camping.   I have done a little research but I wanted to ask some RV veterans.   Which is better to have , a wifi or cell phone signal booster (using cell phones as a hotspot).  Thanks in advance for any advice!

John From Detroit

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Re: Wi fi or cellphone signal booster
« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2019, 04:45:29 PM »
Why not both?  Winegard has gotten into the wi-fi/cell data booster business.  Where as I do not know how good they are compared to the competition.. Both in one dome.
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mhogan1602

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Re: Wi fi or cellphone signal booster
« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2019, 04:52:14 PM »
Interesting.   The options I have looked at so far have not been 2 in 1.  My gut feeling is that the cellphone signal booster would serve me better.   If you had to go with just one,  even if you exclusively camped where there was wifi,  what would work better?   Meanwhile,  I'll do some looking for the combination options.

Gizmo

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Re: Wi fi or cellphone signal booster
« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2019, 04:58:56 PM »
A cell booster is likely your best option, if only choosing one.
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Back2PA

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Re: Wi fi or cellphone signal booster
« Reply #4 on: November 24, 2019, 05:02:23 PM »
A cell booster is likely your best option, if only choosing one.


Agree. In those places that do have wifi, it often won't support streaming (in many cases because everyone else is trying to do the same thing).


To stream on cellular, you'll want an unlimited data plan.
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mhogan1602

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Re: Wi fi or cellphone signal booster
« Reply #5 on: November 24, 2019, 05:10:02 PM »
That's what I thought but wanted to check with some that have done it.   Thanks for the help everyone!

Isaac-1

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Re: Wi fi or cellphone signal booster
« Reply #6 on: November 24, 2019, 05:20:41 PM »
A lot depends on what you expect out of the device, cell phone booster are good under very limited conditions, they can turn a marginal signal into a usable signal, however they tend to do little if anything to increase connection speed under most other conditions.

In other words, cell phone boosters are good for fringe areas where you get some signal, but have problems with drop outs, or you need to stand in a certain spot facing a certain way just to get signal at all.

Wifi boosters are also of limited use, as most RV parks with poor wifi, also have very poor internet connections to the outside world that can't support multiple people trying to stream at once.  There are exceptions to this such as RV parks that have reasonably fast internet, but with wifi that normally only covers the area around the main office building.  A wifi booster, particularly one with a directional antenna can extend this coverage out as much as a few hundred feet assuming it has good line of sight.  A wifi booster will do nothing to help the more common situation of fair wifi signal, but over saturated connection to the outside internet.
« Last Edit: November 24, 2019, 05:22:41 PM by Isaac-1 »
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Kevin Means

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Re: Wi fi or cellphone signal booster
« Reply #7 on: November 25, 2019, 12:38:55 PM »
There are a lot of variables to consider when answering your question, but here's what we do. Our WiFi Ranger can combine a WiFi signal and a cell phone signal to give us the best internet signal available.

If we have no WiFi signal at all, we can tell the WiFi Ranger to use only cellular data. If we have a strong WiFi signal, we can tell it to use only WiFi. If the WiFi is sketchy, for whatever reason, we can tell it to use 25% WiFi and 75% cellular, or any other ratio that works. Of course, if you don't have a WiFi or cellular signal, boosters won't help. You can't boost a signal that's not there.

If you can get the antennas above the RV's roof, you will realize a significant improvement in range, especially in fringe areas. Our daughter lives a quarter of a mile from us, and our devices cannot even "see" her home WiFi network when we're standing outside. However, when I raise our RV's external antennas, and connect our devices with the WiFi Ranger, we can easily connect with her network.

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