You don’t need to say it! There are 100’s of articles on the internet explaining the “best” ways to improve wifi and cellular service. Well, here is our solution (so far).
Rachel and I run Philly Pug & Short Nose Rescue. We also have an online store, RSQ K9 Products that sells products for canines and raise funds for rescue organizations around the country. One of our key operating Guidestones is to be responsive to our followers, supporters, and customers. This means being connected even at Home d’Pug RV. We do not stay online 24/7, but, try and respond in a timely fashion.
As a general rule, campground wifi is useless unless you are close to the store/office or a repeater (if the campground has installed any). Wifi is a line of sight technology. Our site is relatively close to the camp store where the wifi emanates from. Unfortunately, we are on the down side of a small hill and cannot “see” the Wifi too well. One solution would be a wifi booster. This maybe the route we take at some future time, but for now, we are going to rely on a cellular solution.
So what is in our tech tool kit?
- An Apple iPhone (each)
- An Apple iPad (each)
- Dell laptop computer (Windows 7) (Rachel)
- Asus laptop computer (Windows 10) (Jeff)
- ZTE Mobley VM6200 4G LTE WIFI Hotspot
- weBoost Drive 4G-X RV Cell Phone Signal Booster
Not going to talk about the phones or laptop computers. Will spend the rest of this article talking about the ZTE Mobley and weBoost Drive 4G-X RV Cell Phone Signal Booster.
I know your first question is what the heck is this device??? The ZTE Mobley* is a mobile hotspot device that allows you to connect up to ten Wi-Fi devices while on the road. No charging or cables required.
To use as a hotspot in your car just plug the Mobley into your vehicle’s (post-1995) OBD-II port and your Hotspot is live. (You need to get a SIM card and have it activated first.) The device is supposed to be for cars, but with an optional power supply*, you can use it anywhere. This is how we use it in the RV.
After two visits to the AT&T store and a phone call with the vendor from whom we purchased the Mobley, it is up and working like a charm. Spent a Monday at Home d’Pug RV answering email and maintaining several websites all on my laptop. Speeds are not as fast as our cable connection at home. However, it was very workable as both Rachel and I were able to stay connected with no real noticeable slow downs.
AT&T currently offers a special standalone unlimited data plan for the Mobley. It is only $20/month (plus taxes and fees). After 22GB of data use AT&T may slow you down, but will not charge you extra for the data usage. As we don’t stream many video or movies, this should not be a problem. Besides, we have 15GB of shared data on our iPhones we could use if the connection gets to be too slow.
This is a tool that will stay in our tech tool box for some time to come.
Using the Mobley or our cell phones as hotspots are only effective if we have a good, strong cell signal. To help ensure that we have a strong, reliable signal we decided to investigate a cell phone signal booster. After much research, we decided to try the weBoost Drive 4G-X RV Cell Phone Signal Booster* from Wilson Electronics.
weBoost Drive 4G-X RV Cell Phone Signal Booster* is reported to do exactly what the name implies – boost the 4G cell phone signal. According to the Wilson website: “The weBoost Drive 4G-X RV from Wilson Electronics is the most powerful RV cell phone signal booster in USA & Canada.
- Boosts 3G & 4G LTE for any vehicle
- Works for all phones & cellular devices, all major US & Canadian carriers.
- Complete kit: all parts included, easy install.
- Most powerful RV signal booster.
- Better talk, text & internet guaranteed.
With up to +50 dB gain of power, it greatly enhances 3G & 4G LTE cell service for all your wireless cellular devices (smartphones, tablets, notebooks, hotspots, etc.) on any carrier in North America.
There are no monthly fees nor does it need to be connected to any internet source (wifi or landline) to work. It simply amplifies your existing in-building cellular service up to 32X for better talk, text, and faster internet.”
Our weBoost Drive was just delivered and will be installed this coming weekend. I will update this post with our thoughts on this device after we have had the chance to use it for a little while.