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Old 11-03-2018, 01:36 PM   #1
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Replacing the WiFiRanger Pro in the NA

I posted this information on another thread where it was clearly off topic so I decided to give it a separate thread. I have increasingly found the WiFiRanger Pro to be less and less useful. I was under the impression that MyRozie functionality was somehow tied to the WiFiRanger which is not true. The MyRozie internet connection works fine in the LAN port of my Pepwave cellular router. So I am currently deep into a project to upgrade my WiFi and cellular internet capability using only one small box.

The WiFiRanger Pro is basically a 2.5 GHz WiFi solution dedicated to only do WiFi as WAN. The 2.5 GHz WiFi band has become mostly unusable in RV's today. It is totally oversubscribed anytime there is a group of RV's together. I was in an RV park recently and the WiFiRanger Pro was picking up 3 pages of SSID's all with good signal strength. Even if you can hook up to a campground hotspot with good internet throughput, WiFi congestion will make the link usable and intermittent. There are basically only 3 clear channel, 2.5 GHz bands even though it looks like there are 11. So everyone is fighting for access over just 3 full service bands.

There is really no choice but to use the 5.0 GHz band wherever you can if you want to do WiFi as WAN. I was in several RV parks this Summer with 5.0 GHz service, so they are slowly coming on board with this capability. But for the most part there is very little 5.0 GHz WiFi in campgrounds today.

One factoid most novice RV users don't understand is that when using a cellular mobile data source (like a MiFi, cellular router, smartphone hotspot) is that they are degrading the bandwidth of that internet connection if they connect to the device using a 2.5 GHz WiFi connection in a locally congested area. That's because you are competing for those three clear channels on 2.5 GHz WiFi with all the other RV's around you. All connections must be 5 GHz to avoid contention with all the other 2.5 GHz WiFi connections in the campground and get the full bandwidth of your internet connection.

My crystal ball says that using in WiFi local campground connections will be less and less important in the future. We now have very good cellular data connections in most places and it is about to get much better for mobile data users with adoption of TMobile's 600 MHz, Band 71. Band 71 is a game changer for mobile data.

For now I am replacing WiFiRanger Pro with a new Pepwave MAX BR1 MK2 Router with a Cat 6 LTE Advanced Modem. With LTE-A this modem is really fast on Verizon. Anyone who wants fast cellular data now needs to move to LTE-A. LTE-A is basically "4.5G" as we wait for the 5G rollout.

But for RV's the neat thing about the Pepwave MAX BR1 MK2 Router with a Cat 6 LTE Advanced Modem is that it includes both 2.5 GHz and 5.0 GHz "MIMO" WiFi. It also includes "WiFi as WAN" that can be used on either frequency. WiFi as WAN is what the WiFi Ranger is doing but in the WiFiRanger Pro version there is only 2.5 GHz band available.

With the Pepwave MAX BRI MK2 LTE-A you get all the functionality of the WiFiRanger Pro plus blazing fast 4.5G cellular internet all in one very small form factor. As a bonus the Pepwave MAX BRI MK2 LTE-A has 2 SIM card slots. On Verizon you can buy another SIM card for the second slot giving 30 GB of hotspot data. A downside of the Pepwave MAX BRI MK2 LTE-A is that you need 4 antennas on the roof (2 cellular and 2 MIMO WiFi). That is my current project, running the 4 antenna leads to the roof. Note 4 wires coming out of light socket in image below. Stringing wires around the ceiling of the NA is tough work. Will report more when installation is complete and all the antennas are installed.

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Old 11-03-2018, 02:02 PM   #2
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But what about the 2.4 GHz WIFI band?



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Old 11-03-2018, 02:39 PM   #3
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EXCELLENT INFO...Thanks for taking the time to post it!

Yeah, the bands are a mess now. And, of course, it’ll only get worse including 5gig! :-(

As you know, 2.4 carries better range, but 5gig can punch through walls better.

I’m with ya, on the new band format of T-Mobile. Yeahhh! Let’s just hope we can get good coverage whenever we go.
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Old 11-03-2018, 02:44 PM   #4
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But what about the 2.4 GHz WIFI band?



Sorry typo. Substitute 2.5 ghz with 2.4 ghz in post above.
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Old 11-03-2018, 02:46 PM   #5
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Sorry typo. Substitute 2.4 ghz for 2.5 ghz in post above.


Huh? 2.5?
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Old 11-03-2018, 02:59 PM   #6
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Will the current Pepwave be able to use the new bands you mentioned above?

The T-mobile 600 MHz band.
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Old 11-03-2018, 03:22 PM   #7
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Will the current Pepwave be able to use the new bands you mentioned above?

The T-mobile 600 MHz band.
No. So far no cellular modem routers that I can find have Band 71.

The new iPhone XS, XS Max and new 11" iPad Pro have Band 71. Some Galaxy devices as well. Nothing older than 6 months will have Band 71.

No doubt Apple is sucking up all the new modem chipsets with Band 71.
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Old 11-03-2018, 03:38 PM   #8
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Here is a great resource for information about the 600 MHz, Band 71 spectrum.
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Old 11-03-2018, 03:47 PM   #9
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No. So far no cellular modem routers that I can find have Band 71.

The new iPhone XS, XS Max and new 11" iPad Pro have Band 71. Some Galaxy devices as well. Nothing older than 6 months will have Band 71.

No doubt Apple is sucking up all the new modem chipsets with Band 71.
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Old 11-04-2018, 04:34 AM   #10
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My WiFi ranger pro has 5ghz capabilities that can be turned on in settings on “mywifiranger.com”. It has been a good performer. It also has settings to combine multiple signals such as in parks to create more bandwidth. These settings are not easy to find but they are there!
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Old 11-04-2018, 06:59 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by turbopilot View Post

The WiFiRanger Pro is basically a 2.5 GHz WiFi solution dedicated to only do WiFi as WAN. The 2.5 GHz WiFi band has become mostly unusable in RV's today.
With all due respect, if you are still using a WiFiRanger Pro you are using a product that hasn't been sold in quite a few years. The current router that replaced the Pro is the GoAC which can connect to a wifi access point using the 5 GHz band and can also use 5GHz for your local network.
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Old 11-04-2018, 07:03 AM   #12
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My WiFi ranger pro has 5ghz capabilities that can be turned on in settings on “mywifiranger.com”. It has been a good performer. It also has settings to combine multiple signals such as in parks to create more bandwidth. These settings are not easy to find but they are there!
To clarify one thing, although there are settings on the WiFiRanger that will permit you to "load share" between several internet connections, at present those settings will not "combine the bandwidth" of connections to "create more bandwidth." That process, which is called connection bonding is something we are considering for a future software release.

As for the 5GHz settings being difficult to find, the basic setting to turn on the 5GHz local network can be found on the WiFi tab of the Ranger's control panel under the header "private wireless broadcast" where there are boxes to check for turning on the 2.4GHz and 5GHz local broadcasts.

FWIW, although your Ranger's control panel can be accessed by going to mywifiranger.com that will only work if the Ranger is currently online. In a more general approach the control panel can always be accessed at the following URL: http://10.1AB.CD.1 where ABCD are the last four digits of the router's serial number which has the form 7XABCD where X = 7, 8 or 9
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Old 11-04-2018, 07:34 AM   #13
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With all due respect, if you are still using a WiFiRanger Pro you are using a product that hasn't been sold in quite a few years. The current router that replaced the Pro is the GoAC which can connect to a wifi access point using the 5 GHz band and can also use 5GHz for your local network.
Model terms for WiFiRanger are a little confusing. Based on the website it looks like I have a WiFiRanger Sky Pro. This was installed in my 2018 NA on delivery.

This unit does have 2.4/5.8 GHz on the "Indoor WiFi" (ie GoAC) but the "Outdoor" unit that is used for WiFi as WAN is only a 2.4 GHz. The unit works very well in an environment without congestion. But in a typical RV park with channel contention the unit struggles. Based on the web site in order to get "Outdoor" 5 GHz band coverage in the WiFiRanger series you would need to move to the "Elite" series which costs as much as the Pepwave Max that also includes an LTE-A modem as well.
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Old 11-04-2018, 07:46 AM   #14
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My WiFi ranger pro has 5ghz capabilities that can be turned on in settings on “mywifiranger.com”. It has been a good performer. It also has settings to combine multiple signals such as in parks to create more bandwidth. These settings are not easy to find but they are there!
The 5 GHZ capability is on the internal unit (GoAC) which owing to the characteristics of that frequency is near useless to use as a WiFi as WAN source in an RV. 5 GHz is generally shorter range and does not penetrate walls.

From the WiFiRanger website:

"The GoAC is generally not designed to be relied upon as a standalone solution, unless for home or office use, as long-range connectivity requires an outdoor WiFiRanger."
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