Which Wi-Fi extenders for RVs are best?
Every holiday season many people decide to pack their RVs and head for the open road. It can be relaxing to get away from civilization every so often, but you probably still want an internet connection.
RV parks and camping grounds usually have Wi-Fi connections, but there is no guarantee that the signal will reach you, or that the quality will be acceptable. If you find yourself far away from the router, then the King Falcon KF1000 Automatic Directional Wi-Fi Antenna will be your best bet.
What to know before you buy a Wi-Fi extender for RVs
How many devices do you want to connect?
A Wi-Fi extender is really useful, but you have to keep in mind how many devices you would like to connect to the extender at the same time. There are different models available that can handle several devices, but entry-level gadgets are usually limited in their capacity.
Maximum range for picking up a signal
The purpose of the extender is so that you don’t need to park your RV right next to the campground office or coffee shop. It affords you the luxury of moving a bit further away, but it does have limits. Consider under ideal circumstances how far away from the router you will be, and what the maximum pickup range of the extender is. Without additional antennas on a traditional Wi-Fi router, the unobstructed range is about 2,500 feet. Stay within those limits, and your extender will be able to scan the signal with little effort.
The pickup range of the extender is one thing, but that can also influence the output connection speed. Together with determining how many devices you need to connect, consider a Wi-Fi extender that can provide you with the same output speed as the receiving signal. The more devices that you connect, the slower the speeds might be.
What to look for in a quality Wi-Fi extender for RVs
Easy to use or mountable
There is nothing more frustrating than searching for a good signal with an extender that doesn’t want to stay put. That is why you need to look for a device that is easy to use and mountable. Some extenders will include a special bracket for mounting on the roof of the body of the RV, while others come with a high-strength suction cup.
Secure connections and customizable
Your personal information is valuable, and cybercriminals are always on the lookout for new victims. A good quality Wi-Fi extender will have the ability to customize the Wi-Fi network’s name, password and encryption method. It is also possible with some extenders to connect another extender to it. The first extender though needs to be connected in Access Point mode.
Not all routers and Wi-Fi extenders are made the same. Inexpensive extenders might work with the router at one campsite, but fail to connect to another. A good quality Wi-Fi extender will be able to connect to a wide range of routers and boosters, making sure that you have the widest coverage possible. Also, keep in mind that some extenders might not be compatible with certain mobile phones or devices.
How much you can expect to spend on a Wi-Fi extender for RVs
The average price of a Wi-Fi extender for your RV will depend on the capabilities, range, signal band, and manufacturer. Entry-level extenders retail for between $50-$100. Complex systems with longer ranges can retail for between $200-$400.
Wi-Fi extender for RVs FAQ
What’s the difference between an extender and a repeater?
A. While the two devices do essentially the same thing, there are some differences. A Wi-Fi repeater takes an existing signal and distributes it in an area. The signal strength will also deteriorate the further it goes. An extender, on the other hand, picks up a Wi-Fi signal and extends it across a large area. Most extenders also boost the signal, unlike repeaters.
Do you need special equipment for it to work?
A. For most of the Wi-Fi extenders that are available, everything you need will be included in your purchase. On some occasions you might want to buy a high-gain antenna or booster, but that will depend on your circumstances.
What’s the best Wi-Fi extender for RVs to buy?
Top Wi-Fi extender for RVs
What you need to know: This rooftop solution will give you the best overall coverage.
What you’ll love: The KF1000 is incredibly easy to set up, as you can do it through your mobile phone. It supports 2.4GHz and 5GHz connections, making sure that all your devices can connect. The great thing about this Wi-Fi extender is that it automatically scans for networks and aims itself toward them. It has a universal fit, so it will be mountable on most RV roofs.
What you should consider: Even though it has a great range, it isn’t as affordable as other models.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top Wi-Fi extender for RVs for the money
What you need to know: Perfect if you only want to connect your computer to a network.
What you’ll love: Working a bit differently than other extenders, this one can only be used by one device. The dual-band receiver has a built-in 10 dBi directional antenna and comes with a 16-foot USB cable. It will pick up the Wi-Fi signal and only extend it to the computer to which it is connected. It comes with three mounting options.
What you should consider: It only works with Windows-based computers, and not with Apple’s Mac or macOS.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: An easy setup that allows for multiple devices to connect to the Wi-Fi.
What you’ll love: The Wi-FiCamp Pro 2 is an easy system to set up, as you only need a smartphone. The antenna is mountable on the roof of your RV or even on a boat, and is connected to a Wi-Fi router. It is this router that then outputs the signal to your connected devices. A computer can also be connected to the router through an Ethernet cable.
What you should consider: Some users have indicated that the location of the antenna on the RV or boat is critical, as interference can occur from other signals.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Charlie Fripp writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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