Woodalls Open Roads Forum: General RVing Issues: Wi-Fi Signal Booster
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 > Wi-Fi Signal Booster

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The_Painting_Teacher

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Posted: 02/02/13 12:30pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Is there a device which could be plugged into the USB port of a laptop to increase the reception of a campground's weak wi-fi? Camp on!





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Posted: 02/02/13 12:35pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Although I don't know of a USB-connected device, quite a few people use items such as those sold by WiFiRanger to improve the signal strength. Many times, at campgrounds and other public wifi spots, the problem isn't receiving the signal but, rather, having enough power to transmit back to the wifi access point. WiFiRanger's systems can improve both reception and transmission. Another advantage of WiFiRanger products is that they can easily switch your computer and any other devices on your network (printers, etc) from one internet source to another so you can toggle between campground wifi and your MiFi or phone's hotspot as desired.


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clhamon

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Posted: 02/02/13 12:36pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

This is what I am considering... Wilson Electronics sold in Walmart and Best Buy

We are headed out to the desert this week and borrowed a friends to see how well it performs in an area I know has really poor reception. If it improves the reception then I am buying.


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Jack_Diane_Freedom

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Posted: 02/02/13 12:40pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I use a Rockland n3 for exactly that reason. Works fantastically well.

Dennis M M

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Posted: 02/02/13 12:47pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Used to use a booster and antenna, but it no longer worked with the latest Mac OS.

Now I have a Bear Extender Mini and it works great for a reasonable price.

I think they have one for Windows as well.


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ChooChooMan74

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Posted: 02/02/13 12:55pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

What you need is a range extender or repeater. Many companies make them.


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vermilye

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Posted: 02/02/13 12:59pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

clhamon wrote:

This is what I am considering... Wilson Electronics sold in Walmart and Best Buy

We are headed out to the desert this week and borrowed a friends to see how well it performs in an area I know has really poor reception. If it improves the reception then I am buying.


Wilson makes cell phone/data boosters such as the Sleek - won't help on WiFi.

Depending on how much a boost you need for a good WiFi connection there are a couple of different solutions. The easiest is an external WiFi radio that plugs into your USB port. By placing the USB radio at a window or even outside the RV you can improve the signal over a laptop's built in WiFi. As Dennis noted, if you are using a Mac, make sure the device & software are compatible. There are many brands available - here is an example.

If you need more gain, there are more expensive, but stronger solutions. For example, combining a WiFi Ranger GO with a WiFi Ranger Mobile will give you a very strong connection, but will not be cheap. WiFi Ranger.

A good source for communications from an RV is available at Jack Mayer's Communications Page.


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2oldman

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Posted: 02/02/13 12:59pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Don't they sell these anymore?



docj

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Posted: 02/02/13 01:02pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

2oldman wrote:

Don't they sell these anymore?



That doesn't appear to be a wifi range extender; I think it is just a USB wifi adapter designed for laptops that didn't have wireless built in.

docj

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Posted: 02/02/13 01:08pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

clhamon wrote:

This is what I am considering... Wilson Electronics sold in Walmart and Best Buy

We are headed out to the desert this week and borrowed a friends to see how well it performs in an area I know has really poor reception. If it improves the reception then I am buying.


Wilson products are excellent, but as already noted, they do not help with wifi reception, they only help you get cellular reception where the signal is weak.

You should also be aware of the fact that if the cellular signal is adequate without the Wilson booster, it will usually not get any better, or faster with it. The only time a signal booster will improve the speed of your connection is when you are right on the margin and you are getting a lot of packet losses; the amplifier can improve the effective speed by reducing those. The Wilson devices can, indeed, help you get connections where otherwise you would not.

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