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Old 05-16-2020, 10:23 AM   #1
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Stronger internet signal

We will be camping in a state park that doesn't have great internet. Recommendations to strengthen our signal? Thanks
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Old 05-16-2020, 10:30 AM   #2
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The problem is typically the campground wifi is of poor design or overloaded. So a wifi booster is of marginal value.

I use a connectorized cellular hotspot device with a added high gain antenna.
Vince and Susan
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Previously a 2002 Fleetwood Pace Arrow 37A and a 1995 Safari Trek 2830.
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Old 05-16-2020, 10:34 AM   #3
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There are two issues. The first is a weak signal and there are a number of solutions available, all of which involve installation of a more efficient antenna, often in combination with an amplifier of some sort.

The second, and more limiting issue, is bandwidth. If the park's internet service is overloaded, there is little, if anything you can do about it other than possibly use the internet during off-peak hours.

Rather than re-invent the wheel, check out some of these postings:
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Old 05-16-2020, 12:15 PM   #4
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I should also add I have an old Verizon air card. It works,very sparingly. We have workkamped here before so am trying to find info before heading back there. Thanks
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Old 05-17-2020, 09:15 AM   #5
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There are some good videos on the subject here:
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Old 05-18-2020, 05:01 AM   #6
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Thanks. Park doesn't have internet though.
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Old 05-18-2020, 01:09 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by lhlee14 View Post
Thanks. Park doesn't have internet though.
If the park doesn't have it's own WiFi then the only thing you can do is try to maximize the cellular signal.

You stated that the park doesn't have "great internet" but what you really mean is that cell service there hasn't been all that good (when you've been there before.)

The problem is that without a bit more information it's impossible to know if the issues were due to which carrier you were using, whether they were due to the tower being heavily utilized, or if the signal was simply too weak. There's no point to telling you to buy a cellular booster until you know the answers to at least some of these questions.

First, it's quite possible that the cell service is better for carriers other than the one you have. All carriers have weak spots in their coverage areas and it's impossible to know until you test them out or compare your results to those of others. If another carrier was much better than what you were using then it might be better to get a prepaid hotspot for that carrier rather than bother to buy an amplifier for your carrier.

If the cell service is equally poor for all carriers then the question of why is the next topic. If you have an Android phone it's pretty easy to observe the actual signal strength (measured in decibels) rather than the simple display at the top of the phone. By doing that you'll know if the problem is due to a very weak signal or if the tower is overloaded or has other issues. It's possible that the signal is strong enough but data rate is being "network managed". Just because a cell tower is out in the country doesn't mean that it has only a few users.

Finally, after you know the answers to these questions you can decide if you want to spend the money to get a cellular amplifier. Unfortunately, you may not have enough answers in advance of your next visit there!
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