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You can easily equip your camper with WiFi. All you need is a SIM card, a travel router, a MiFi device, or a WiFi dongle for your campervan.
However, the fastest and most straightforward method of getting WiFi in your campervan is just creating a mobile hotspot with your smartphone.
There are several reasons why creating a mobile hotspot with your phone isn’t the best way to get WiFi. For example, you’ll quickly deplete your phone’s data. In addition, if you want other family members to access their devices, there are better ways to get online.
There are far more robust and reliable ways to get WiFi in your camper, which we will discuss in the following article.
What Do I Need to Get Internet in My Camper?
Several types of devices will enable WiFi in your camper:
- Mobile tethering using a smartphone
- 4G/5G WiFi device (MiFi)
- 4G Dongle
- USB WiFi Antenna
- WiFi Repeater
- 4G/5G Router with external antenna
- SIM card
- Data only network contract
How to Get High-Speed Internet in a Camper
A straightforward solution to get internet on the road is to check with site owners to see if they provide internet on their campsite. Many travellers take advantage of this way of doing things. But there are some drawbacks.
In many cases, if you’re getting a strong 4G signal from your network, it will be faster than most campsite WiFi. Too many other campers are sharing the signal, plus there may be download restrictions. If you’re planning on streaming your favourite movies and shows in the evenings, that might not be a viable option for you.
To get the best results from campsite WiFi, you could buy an external antenna that you position permanently on the roof of your vehicle or set up when you arrive at your destination. Suppose you want other family members to connect their devices as well. In that case, you should pair the antenna with a WiFi repeater to create a hotspot.
As we mentioned, you can use your phone as a mobile hotspot or buy a separate 4G/5G MiFi device or dongle. A dongle, also known as a WiFi dongle, WiFistick, internet stick, or USB network adapter, is a small modem that allows you to access 3G/4G or 5G data by inserting it into a USB port on the device you’re using.
With the introduction of the latest pocket, MiFi devices that work with 4G and 5G and allow connections to several devices simultaneously, dongles are not as popular or convenient as they once were. However, a dongle is one solution for quick access to broadband when on the go.
The most robust method and one that delivers the best results for reliability, even in remote areas, are 4G and 5G ready Routers and external antennas.
Increasing numbers of motorhome and campervan owners are taking advantage of their vehicles for more extended periods and travelling much more. Campervan and motorhome ownership is growing in the UK. If you’re a digital nomad, you can work from anywhere as long as you can access the internet.
For the best solution, you’ll ideally need a high-performance 4G/5G wireless router with an external omnidirectional antenna like the Maxview Roam. The Roam’s antenna is powerful enough to pick up network signals that mobile tethering or a MiFi cannot. In addition, the Roam also has the capability of receiving WiFi signals from a direct WiFi source, which means you can save your 4G/5G data.
How Much Does it Cost to Put WiFi in a Camper?
There are several WiFi options for your camper, so costs vary substantially. The cheapest, of course, is to use the campsite WiFi; some campsite owners do make a charge for their service, though.
The next least expensive is a mobile hotspot using your smartphone. You won’t pay any extra if you have sufficient data on your SIM contract. I should mention that most SIM contracts attached to a smartphone don’t typically have adequate data for streaming movies every night.
That leaves us with dongles, MiFi devices and travel routers with an external antenna. Depending on the device and the SIM contract, these can run from £20.00 to £400.00.
How to Get High-Speed Internet in a Camper
There are four popular ways to get high-speed internet in a camper:
1. Check for WiFi at the campsites you’ll stay on your route. Make sure to sound out the owner for the type of speed you’ll likely get and also if there is a charge involved.
2. You can use the 4G mobile network to create a mobile hotspot with your smartphone. However, check the areas you’ll travel to see if your SIM card gives you the network coverage you need.
3. Buy a MiFi device or dongle. You will need a separate data plan and SIM card to use with these devices.
4. For more robust and reliable internet service, especially if getting connected is crucial for you or travelling to more remote spots, you need a travel router with an external omnidirectional antenna. We recommend the Maxview Roam as the ideal device if you go down this route.