This has always been the number 1 question we get asked and the answer has changed several times since we hit the road in 2003. The current answer is that we use a smartphone as a WiFi hotspot and our computers connect to that. If you have an Android or an iPhone, you can do this too. It may cost you extra depending on your cellular provider and your contract. In any case, your computer will be consuming the Data (Internet) allotment from your cell contract. We have Android phones from Verizon. On our contract, if we were to use the built in Hotspot feature (Settings->Mobile Hotspot) from Verizon, we would see an extra $20/mo charge on our bill. So, we use an App from, called FoxFi. We paid a one time fee of about $10 for the app, and we’ve been using it for a several years now. In fact, it’s been so long that we expect it to stop working with the next upgrade to Android. We hope not, but nothing this good lasts forever.
Verizon or AT&T?
Once in a while, we find ourselves in an area where the Verizon signal is extremely low, and AT&T is better. At those times, we use our iPhone as a WiFi hotspot because it’s on AT&T. If you have any plan other than an unlimited one, your provider should allow you to turn it into a Hotspot. Watch the following video to learn how. This is a great way to have a temporary hotspot if you are a vacation traveler.
One more piece to our Internet puzzle is the WiFiRanger. It’s a router. It creates our home network that is always called GeeksOnTour. So, all of our devices, computer, tablet, printer, AppleTV, Chromecast, etc. can be set to connect to the GeeksOnTour network. The WiFiRanger then, can connect to different Internet sources. It can use a cell phone hotspot as its Internet source, it can use the iPad, or it can use the RV Park’s WiFi hotspot or even an Ethernet Cable or DSL modem connection. The beauty is that all of our devices just connect to the standard GeeksOnTour network – the WiFiRanger takes care of getting the Internet from wherever.
There is a lot to know and understand about this stuff. If you want to study up, we recommend the website RVMobileInternet.com. It is updated all the time.
What Does This Button Do?
We do a 45 minute weekly show on using smartphones and other technology. Two of our episodes have dealt with Internet on the Road:
- #106: Internet Connections on the Road
- #72: How to Connect While Traveling with guests Chris Dunphy and Cherie Ve Ard of RVMobileInternet.com
How about you? How do you connect to the Internet as you travel?