When traveling in a camper, it’s pretty difficult finding an appropriate solution to stay connected to Internet. If today the comfort of these vehicles is becoming more similar to that of a home, especially with innovations for water solutions, electricity, sanitary … Internet remains a problem to solve.
Yet, the needs are similar to those that we can have at home: the need to check mails, to download a movie, to keep in touch with loved via Skype or even share vacation experiences on social networks…
Here, we’ll summarize some possible solutions to get you a reliable connection in your camper:
Your 3G/4G connection
The first solution when traveling in your own country would obviously be to use your mobile data package 3G / 4G, provided you have both a recent smartphone and a package including access to the 3G / 4G network. The connection can then be shared with other devices such as a computer or tablet, and the connection speed can be very good depending on location.
Some things to check before your departure:
– Be sure to check which countries are covered by your data package. Most often, your package includes only your home country and the data used abroad are priced very expensive (several thousand Euros for a gigabyte for example).
– You can estimate your consumption in terms of data to ensure that your package is suitable for your use here. You would normally need several tens of gigabytes if you plan to watch videos.
Free WIFI solution
Several public places and private institutions now offer free WiFi. For tourists and travelers, this solution is generally acclaimed at no cost. So you can access your mail and surf the internet if you stop regularly at camp sites or you lunch at a restaurant (Opt for the restaurant chains and fast food which often have Wi-Fi access for their client).
In major cities, tourist offices also sometimes offer a Wi-Fi network to their visitors but it is not necessarily easy to approach its offices in a camper!
However, you need to be patient because the connection speed is not the same as at home, so you cannot download a movie or make a prolonged Skype. In some institutions, such as fast food, for example, there is also connection limits in terms of durations.
In addition, pay attention to the not so optimal data safety on these shared networks. Be careful not to browse sites where your financial or personal data may be easily attainable.
WIFI amplifier (antenna)
If you want to intercept network on free Wi-Fi (or payable) of the items listed above, such as restaurants, fast food, etc. while still warmed up (or cool depending on the season) in your camper, you can go for the external antenna.
Instead of capturing the Wi-Fi network through the integrated antenna to your computer, you use a mobile outdoor antenna on the roof of your camper, which “will capture better and farther.”
For this, you simply buy a mobile antenna (around 70 euros) and a Wi-Fi card (about 20 euros). Place the antenna on a rack on the roof of your camper, connect the USB Wi-Fi key to your computer after loosening its detachable antenna, and finally screw in place the other end of the antenna cable.
You could also buy a foldable indoor antenna, the Wi-Fi key is integrated and equally powerful.
The Pocket WIFI option
If your camper is only a rental and you neither want to invest in the acquisition of a too costly solution nor subscribe to a 4G plan, you can opt for renting a pocket Wi-Fi. Small handheld wireless modems, these boxes are rented by the day and provide unlimited high speed internet access.
This powerful connection costs quite much but this is quickly recovered if used by many. In fact, a pocket Wi-Fi connects between 5 and 10 devices (for higher performance).
According to the offer you choose, you can enjoy unlimited data in your country, but also a few gigabytes connection abroad. This solution is therefore relatively convenient if you aspire to a road trip sometimes beyond the borders of your country of departure.
See our pocket Wi-Fi solutions here.
The satellite option
The most effective solution for internet access in almost all situations remains access to satellite broadband. It provides full coverage around the world. However, the connection speed is not always the best (depending on the operator, the speed may go up to 10Mbps).
You will need to buy an automatic satellite antenna and not the manual type, of which the price is around 3,000 euros, such as the SAT-NET ALDEN automatic antenna.
Rates for monthly subscriptions vary according to operators. For example, the operator Digitaria offers two types of subscriptions. A 2GB monthly subscription at 24.90 € / month, with a bandwidth of 6Mbps. And a subscription with unlimited data at 22.90 € / month, but with a 1Mbps bandwidth.
This solution is very costly and the connection speed is not ideal, it should therefore only be considered if you travel regularly with your camper in places not covered by 4G / 3G / Wi-Fi and a permanent internet connection is required.
Thus, according to the frequency of your motorhome travel and duration one solution will prove more relevant. If your Internet needs are quite primary, access to hot spots WiFi Free with a booster antenna will be sufficient. If you travel with a group, pocket wifi could be a perfect solution: very high speed connection and lot of data to share with your fellow travelers