RV INTERNET ISSUES
So many things must be handled differently once you become a full-time RV’er. One of those things is internet access. We did our research prior to moving out of our condo and into our RV full-time. The Husband is, by nature, a researcher. He weighed the pros and cons of various options. We finally decided that buying a MiFi through our Verizon phone plan would be the best option with the highest reliability and the fastest response times.
We have a 5 family member phone plan plus the MiFi with a 30 gig/month plan cumulative usage. For this plan we pay $423/month. Now, to my way of thinking $423 is a princely sum!! If we go over the 30 gigs per month it costs us an extra $15 PER GIG used! Let me tell you that COUNTS.UP.FAST!! I have become the MiFi Usage POLICE! As the end of the billing period nears I’m monitoring every minute of MiFi usage. Because 3 of our adult children that are on our phone plan have their own home internet available, it’s never them that runs us over the 30 gigs. It’s always us using the MiFi internet access in the RV.
RV Parks Advertise “Free” Internet
Many RV parks advertise “free wifi” as part of their package of amenities. While it looks nice when reading through their advertising literature, the reality is considerably different. Our experience, through the two years we have been full-timers, has been that “free wifi” provided by the parks runs so slow that it makes memories of the old time dial up routers look speedy.
Because I write this blog and need internet (FAST internet preferably) daily, we recently revisited the options available. In addition to our research we’ve also asked various RV park residents what they use and what they’ve found to be the most beneficial for their particular needs. We’ve found many of them have, like us, chosen the MiFi through their phone plan. The Husband recently purchased a WiFi booster that is intended to boost the “free service” offered by the park. These boosters range in price from approximately $30 – $80. This product does help boost the service offered by the park but seems to work best when hooked to an individual computer via the hardwire cord. Another option researched by The Husband was WiFi Ranger. This option is more expensive. Reviews of this product sound good but it’s not an option that we are ready to choose at this time.
It pays to watch your consumption of data throughout the month so you know your own usage patterns. We have had to call Verizon several times when unrealistic usage has shown up on our bill. ELEVEN, yes, ELEVEN gigabits of usage magically appeared on our account OVERNIGHT! As you will see in this article we’re not the only ones having that issue with Verizon. Even though Verizon has “new plans” they still don’t seem to be solving the issues.
Chris and Cherie at RV Mobile Resource Center have up to date information that may be of help to you.
Today I’m writing this blog from the local library and utilizing their fast internet (and loving it btw!!) Frequenting your local coffee shop, bookstore or your local library are all good options as places that offer free WiFi to their patrons. Depending on the amount of time you need internet each day those options may be sufficient to fulfill your needs or, like us, to fill in when you’re close to exceeding the usage on your data plan.