How to Get Internet - Wireless Router for Caravan
How do you get internet when you live in a caravan full time?
We did lots of research into wireless routers / Wifi dongles and settled for a NetGear device. Essentially it’s like a phone. It’s a small box with a sim card and even has a phone number registered to it. It’s just like your internet box at home but it is connected to an internet / phone company, we’re with EE, and it has an amount of data loaded on to it. We have 50GB of data a month that costs us £30 a month on a 2 year contract.
Currently we are locked in to EE but if you choose an ‘unlocked’ device it means you can use any SIM card from anywhere in the world, which means you can choose the lowest rates. This is great if you need a portable WiFi connection when travelling.
Benefits of a MiFi device (Mobile WiFi)
You can connect multiple devices: The benefit of the Netgear mobile router is that you can connect as many devices as you like to it and most other MiFi devices allow you at least 10. We have 2 phones, a laptop, a tablet connected and we use the router for our street food trailer so our staff also have internet access.
You can connect Wi-Fi-only devices to a mobile data connection: A tablet without a sim card can only connect to WiFi so without the internal data access, a MiFi box offers you the ability to connect your tablet to a data source wherever you can get a phone signal.
You can avoid using slow campsite Wi-Fi: If your campsite charges you for WiFi use or it is only accessible up in the entertainment area, you can get your children online in the privacy of your caravan. Better still, you can avoid using the same network as all the other guests, which can be slow and irritating for children trying to play their games or watch movies.
You can add 4G connectivity to a 3G device: If you're still using a phone that doesn't support 4G networks, a mobile WiFi router allows you to speed up your mobile internet connection. The Netgear also has a 5G option.
How much data do I need?
We were in a dilemma as to how much data we needed. Speaking to Mr.EE he said 50GB is enough to cover anyone who is into gaming, and we’re not so we thought that was plenty. If you watch a lot of movies then 50GB is a good amount of data.
We use the data for Instagram, Facebook, working online and browsing the internet so we don’t use huge amounts. Darryn watches Youtube videos of skateboarders most of the evening and it barely dents the internet.
Is the coverage good?
Yes, although it works on 4G and 5G the coverage has always been good for us.
Should I buy a Netgear?
We don’t get paid or any perks from writing these blogs. This is honest truth from our experiences to help you. No, don’t buy a Netgear. It breaks every 6 months. The battery life is half a day. It’s not really very mobile, you couldn’t carry it in your back up a full day mountain hike uploading photos to Instagram. To prevent it from breaking on it’s 4 - 6 month cycle we leave it plugged in charging ALL the time. If the battery dies then it is likely it won’t turn back on. We’re on our 3rd Netgear.
Granted, EE are amazing and send it back for repair and send us a brand new one every time. But Netgear need a better product. We stick with it because we’re in a 2 year contract with EE and they are very good at getting it fixed and always offer a temporary solution while the Netgear is with the technicians.
It is handy for the caravan. We don’t mind leaving it plugged in all the time and as said previously, the data connection is good. It is pretty quick, not as quick as normal WiFi but generally it is quick.
Can I use my phone as a data supply?
Yes, this is a great alternative. If you want internet for your laptop, hotspot your data from your mobile to your laptop to share your data with your laptop. If you have a good contract with plenty of data then this is the best alternative.