Whether you are going on vacation with your kids, spouse, friends or by yourself, someone is bound to either want or need WiFi. Being connected in the 21st century is definitely a must! Some people also need to be connected for work, school or entertainment even when you’re out enjoying the outdoors.
But sometimes being out in the woods makes internet connection a little dicey, so naturally, boosters come to mind. However, will they really help or will it be another expense?
Depending on your situation, you may not need one if you’re wanting to get away from the world. However, It’s great to be connected, so we will be looking at some pros and cons to help you know what the right option will be for you.
In short, WiFi boosters really do help with the range and even increase the quality of your WiFi signal and router. Depending on the model and specifications you’re looking for, most WiFi boosters are definitely more helpful than hurtful.
Below is a quick list of some of my findings of top pick boosters to help give some ideas and suggestions for where to start in your internet source search!
- Alfa Wifi Camp 2 Wifi Repeater Kit
- Google Wifi System
- Alfa R36 802.11
- Winegard Connect 2.0
- King KF1000 Falcon
- Bear Extender RV & Marine
- D-Link AC1750
We will go through each individual product and I will explain some of the pros and cons of each one. But since these are some of the best WiFi options I could find, I think you will be pretty satisfied with what you will review.
Pros of Having a WiFi Booster
First, we will be highlighting some of the perks of getting a booster and why it might be necessary than just relying on the campground or public WiFi wherever you go.
Just as a quick lesson in WiFi Boosters, repeaters and extenders are actually not the same things. Even though some people use these terms as though they were easily interchangeable, there are some subtle differences in operation.
Booster is actually a generic term for WiFi support. Typically they are identified specifically as repeaters and extenders. These two types have separate ways of how the device boosts WiFi, but ultimately the end results are increased connectivity.
Repeaters are usually wireless and can be placed anywhere in the RV or home, however, it is recommended that you put it where you get weak signals/closer to the router, so you can optimize the device.
Once plugged in, the device will pick up the signal from either the campsite or public space you are in and reproduce the signal in your RV amplifying the area’s connection directly into your abode.
WiFi extenders are a little different than repeaters as they actually need a physical connection to your network, like an Ethernet cord. Because it is set up like this, WiFi has better speeds and better coverage. However, some Repeaters do need Ethernet cords too. A few of the examples I have listed do require an Ethernet connection.
A large benefit to having an extender instead of a repeater is that the device can take whatever signal is being emitted and convert it to a stronger signal. It’s kind of like having another router that is on an energy kick. Double the efficiency!
Extenders even run on a different network, so it has a very low impact on your devices connectivity or your router’s output making your devices have a better connection and increased running speed.
You can’t really go wrong with having a WiFi booster in your possession as they all help boost the connection that can be found in any campsite, public space or business by providing faster internet speeds, especially if you live in your RV full time.
Not all places you will stay either campgrounds or these public areas may have reliable WiFi, so you may be dealing with frustrated teens or frustrated self. Getting a booster helps ensure not only reliable WiFi but also a faster and more secure connection.
Cons of Having a WiFi Booster
However, not everything is peaches and rainbows with routers. There are a lot of different models, pricing, set up how-to videos and instruction booklets may not seem like a pleasurable way to spend your vacation.
At the very least, wanting to know if you want a WiFi booster depends on how much time you want to commune with nature vs time on your device. Some people find that campground WiFi or public WiFi is enough to fulfill their needs when they make a stop. It really depends on what you’ll be needing the WiFi for and where you choose to camp.
Being out in the middle of nowhere will be difficult to get a connection without a booster for sure. Boosters rely on other routers to get an internet connection to you. However, some people like not having to worry about that and will just drive into town if they need something.
Boosters would work well for places that have weak WiFi or none so if you mostly stay in RV parks and do so occasionally for vacation, it might not be for you.
But you still might be thinking . . . why do I need this? There are a few things to consider. Some may or not be what you expected and not a lot of people know that some of these issues are actually a problem.
First, let’s just talk about the general cons of repeaters: they actually can impact negatively the performance of your device and router. There’s something called a bandwidth which just means how fast data is traveling through the air to get to your devices. Low bandwidth means slow internet.
Because repeaters connect with your router and devices, it places a little bit of a burden on your connection speed shorting the bandwidth, but it will help cover those dead areas. If you’re trying to connect with the RV park’s or campsite’s internet, it may be a little slower, but you’ll get connected.
It’s kind of like giving your friend a boost to get up on a ledge. They’re kind of heavy, but can’t reach and you’re not that strong on your own. However, for the needed times and situations, you can get your friend up there with some strain (hopefully not too much). You completed the task, but you’re both a little tired from the event.
On another note, something to also consider is that sometimes installing WiFi or other internet services may get kind of pricey and won’t always be easy to install.
It may cause more of a headache instead of inducing a relaxing vacation. With lots of cords, computer set up and syncing, you would probably want to look up how to become Amish, but not be able to anyway. Unfortunate situational irony.
To be stated through the biggest need full-time RVers have is connectivity. Or for those who will be taking a significant amount of time off for vacations or road trips. They do not have the same resources as some people with permanent residences have. Like enough amps or even space.
So, we are back to square one of is this really worth my time and money? Below we will talk about some of the most headache-free devices out there so you can find a happy medium with staying connected and staying in budget.
Best Boosters on the Market
There are a lot of different kinds of boosters you can choose from. There are models that have outside antennas, simply just plug into an outlet, or are even wireless. Modern technology gives you a lot of flexibility in finding something that’s right for you.
If you were to pick between having a repeater or an extender, I would choose the extender. The price point may change that for you, but we will take a look at some specific examples, to help you make a choice.
Granted price points do vary from device to device, but the following list will give you some highly rated WiFi boosters out there.
For your convenience, I have included a sampling of different options you can pick with differing styles and price points. Take a peek at these seven top-notch devices.
- Alfa Wifi Camp 2 Wifi Repeater Kit
- Google Wifi System
- Alfa R36 802.11
- Winegard Connect 2.0
- King KF1000 Falcon
- Bear Extender RV & Marine
- D-Link AC1750
Alfa WiFi Camp 2 WiFi Repeater Kit
First up is the Alfa WiFi Camp 2 Repeater Kit. Its features are a must-have! Built with a fast working network and sleek style, you’ll love the easy setup and effectiveness of this product. Not to mention the pricing on this kit is around $130- $160 US dollars.
You will have to do a bit of installation for a part of it on the outside of your trailer, but the outside receiver is made with fiberglass, giving it a protected outer layer from the elements.
This particular kit is a long-range repeater to pick up even a distant WiFi signal even if you get stuck out in the most distant part of the RV park. Which is super nice and can put your mind at ease to get your work done.
Now, repeaters aren’t terrible to purchase, they actually are pretty ideal if the signal you’re bouncing off of is a poor campground signal or if you’re out in the boons and need a little help. They do use some more energy than other systems but are still highly effective.
With one page set up guide, this product is quick and easy and can get you connected to the things you need, when you need them. Installing boosters doesn’t and shouldn’t be an expensive process either.
If you’d like to check out the pricing or other features with this product, if you click on the highlight camping pro you’ll be taken to Amazon.com. Generally, this product ranges from about $140- $160 US dollars online.
Google Wifi System (Single WiFi Point) Router Replacement For Whole Home Coverage – White
If you’re pretty sick of routers and antenna and wires, the Google WiFi system would be a pretty neat fit for you! You can purchase this item either by itself or in a 3 pack for maximum coverage. Click the link to go to Amazon.com for more details about this product.
Generally, you can find this product for about $90-$310 US dollars. For a single device, it is about $90-$120 dollars. For multiple, you’ll see the price point increase closer to the $250- $310 range.
This device is pretty noteworthy as it is the #1 Best Seller on Amazon’s “Whole Home & Mesh Wi-Fi System” category. With a single wire and a sleek look and high-performance speed, you’ll enjoy this device as it is simple but powerful.
Another perk with this device is that if you have kids or just want to help yourself, you can set limits on their WiFi usage so there can be a time to unwind and unplug so you can have a full day of adventures.
Alfa R36 802.11 b/g/N WiFi Repeater & Range Extender
The Alfa R36 802.11 b/g/N WiFi Repeater & Range Extender is a great option if you want to connect old school style or have a computer that is around. This device offers a lot of benefits and does connect a little differently than some of the other boosters I have listed.
If you click the highlighted link, it will take you to Amazon’s website so that you can check out the product yourself and see some reviews. With over 290 reviews, you’ll get some good feedback about how others have felt about it.
Here are some perks with the Alfa R36 802.11.
- produces a 3G connection
- Firewall to protect from hackers or other viruses
- Can be used on and with multiple computers
Pretty neat perks considering an affordable price range. This device, because of it’s unique setups might not be right for everyone. It does need to be plugged into a wall with an Ethernet cord connectivity for power.
A perk though is that if you have the right connectors, it is an easy process to have everything up and running.
Winegard Connect 2.0 WF2 (WF2-335) Wi-Fi Extender for RVS
The Winegard Connect 2.0 is a smooth black booster that gives you fast speed and a greater range, which is nice if you find yourself in a distant campground or truck stop you’d be taken care of.
Below is a chart that explains just a few of the stats about the Winegard Connect 2.0.
|Power Capacity||Up to 12V|
|Wireless Standards||802.11 b/g/n|
|Power Rating||DC 9-16V, 1A|
|Dimensions||16″ Diameter x 8″ Height|
It has a pretty how power capacity. It may be a little larger than you anticipated, but it’s supposed to be mounted on the roof of your RV which is great because it will be nice and sturdy up top.
Averaging about $180-$200 US dollars, its a pretty great good price range for an “on top of the roof” type of a WiFi set up. You can find this item at many stores like Walmart or this internet link Winegard Connect 2.0.
You may be able to find a better deal online, but it sometimes depends on the store and if they are doing any sales. This device was made specifically for RV’s so you can rest easy that they have designed this product with RVers in mind.
KING KF1000 Falcon Automatic Directional WiFi Antenna with WiFiMax Router and Range Extender – White
This KING KF1000 Falcon is a unique type of a router. Coming to about $380- $410 US dollars online at Amazon.com you can easily connect to all your devices. This link will take you to the specific product on Amazon for your enjoyment and information KING KF1000 Falcon.
As it says in the title, you will get a superior range with this device as it also comes with an extendable antenna. It is also super easy to use as this product comes with an app that allows simple and fast controls to get you up and going.
Below is another table that has some pros and other specs about the products that you may enjoy!
|Item Weight||2.7 pounds|
|Product Dimensions||22.6 x 10.9 x 9.2 inches|
What is also really helpful is that I found a link on how to install this particular device for your RV. Which will save you a little bit of time! This will take you to a video on Amazon. com made by the manufacturer.
BearExtender RV & Marine High Power USB Outdoor WiFi Antenna
One of the most affordable models I have highlighted so far would be the BearExtender RV & Marine High Power USB Outdoor WiFi Antenna. Coming in at about $50-$60 US dollars you’ll see that it is definitely a good option for you.
If you are traveling by yourself, or really just need one device connected to WiFi, this device only plugs into one device at a time. Direct connection for sure.
A few really nice quality about this one is that it is long-range, shielded by hackers, water-resistant and has several different mounting options. You can put it up as a detachable tabletop tripod, or an adjustable metal pole mounting band, and finally a Velcro pole mounting system.
Just to be safe these are some of the devices that it is compatible with since you will be having to plug it directly into your device.
- Microsoft Windows Vista
- Windows 7, 8/8.1
- Windows 10 (Win 10 use requires a download from our support page).
Be advised that it is NOT compatible with the following devices.
- Windows RT tablet
- Mac OS X
Check out the link here Bearifi BearExtender to be taken to Amazon.com to see more details and possibly purchase one!
But in case you just wanted a quick snapshot, here is a small specification list for you!
|Dimensions||8 x 1 x 4.2 inches|
|Reviews out of 150||3.8/5 stars|
|Best Sellers Rank||#40 in Computer Networking Antennas|
D-Link AC1750 Wi-Fi Range Extender with Dual Band Gigabit WiFi Booster Wireless Repeater and Smart Signal Indicator (DAP-1720)
Among its many awesome features, the Netgear WiFi Range Extender EX2700 is compatible with any wireless router, so you don’t have to worry about extra cords to bring on your trip. If you desire you can hook this device up to gaming consoles, TVs and computers for direct streaming you are in luck.
If you click the highlighted link above, it will take you to Amazon.com where you can check out more of the product!
It’s an easy one-touch setup, so you can spend your time somewhere more meaningful than setting up your WiFi booster. Ranging about $25-$35 US dollars this is definitely a steal and can connect with up to 10 devices.
|Dimensions||7.1 x 5.8 x 4 inches|
|Added Coverage||600 feet|
|Best for Internet Speed||up to 10-20 Mbps|
Alternatives for RV WiFi Boosters
You can get pretty clever with how you get WiFi if a booster isn’t really what you’re looking for, without spending a bunch of money. You may not want to connect with campground internet or whatever your reason, maybe you just decided to do something different.
Just as a quick resource, here are some ideas that came from a neat YouTube video I found. The couple here explains how they were able to find affordable and easy ways to get WiFi.
This video was especially good because it also catered to people who live in the RV full time, so whether you are a first time RV camper or have a lot of experience, this video helps a lot.
This video is a pretty clever way to find WiFi in places that you may not expect for sure! Use your resources, Boy Scout! As a summary, you can find WiFi in the following places.
- Mobile Hot Spot
- Cell Phone
- Campground WiFi
- Public Spaces
A smaller, sometimes more affordable option is to go with is purchasing a mobile hot spot. Those little guys are sold almost everywhere and are very portable and easy to use.
With using your cell phone, most devices have an option to turn on this feature. Granted some data rates may apply, but if you just needed something quick or to check an email this is a cheaper way for some to get their WiFi fix.
Campground WiFi, businesses and other public spaces are pretty straightforward. You can grab a bite to eat and do a little online shopping for a time. I am actually a fan of sometimes getting WiFi this way as it helps me get out for a change of scenery and enjoy snack–if you go to a restaurant or something similar.
I am Tony, an RV designer and RV developer. I create bill of materials for RV manufacturers for travel trailers and fifth wheels. I worked as a freelance transportation consultant for Lyft. As an RV development consultant, I create customization trees for RV manufacturers who want to offer a solution to prospective customers to design their custom RV with variant configuration. Apart from this, I sell in Indiana trailer hitches, hitch balls, goosenecks and weight distribution systems where I provide advice to customers who want to know which is their towing capacity, which hitch ball should they utilize and how to deploy a weight distribution system. I do my best to explain all these processes and their installation, in the Lifestyle edition of Business Finance News.