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Old 11-09-2018, 10:37 AM   #1
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WiFiRanger Pro and MIFI

There has been lots of discussion about the WiFi Ranger and 2.5Ghz and 5Ghz signal. The outdoor boost of the WiFi Ranger is indeed only 2.4Ghz. The 2.4Ghz band as others have said is very congested in most any populated space.

After my discussion with a manufacturer's tech if you want to take advantage of 5Ghz outdoor band and bonus ... charge your MiFi device just tether your MiFi equipment (if your equipment allows charging through the USB port while providing data).

The MiFi tether will reroute the WiFi Ranger antenna feed from the WiFi Pro antenna (2.4Ghz limiting factor) and to the antenna of your MiFi device. In my instance a new 4 internal antenna MiFi unit that gathers both 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz bands.

Recently I purchased a Verizon 8800L MiFi device and tethered it to the WiFi Pro. Simple and works very well.
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Old 11-09-2018, 11:31 AM   #2
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Joe-

Option 1) My WiFi device connects to the MiFi radio, which routes its signal to the WiFiRanger, which sends its signal to ... what?

Option 2) My WiFi device connects to the WiFiRanger, which routes its signal to the MiFi, which sends its signal to ... what?

I believe that what you have configured does not work they way you think. Could be incorrect, though.
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Old 11-09-2018, 12:29 PM   #3
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It is my understanding from the conversation this morning that the WiFi Ranger sources the signal, 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz, from the MIFi via the tether and rebroadcasts tha signal to the RV.
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Old 11-09-2018, 06:43 PM   #4
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After a thorough review of the User Manual, typically a last resort, it confirms my understanding of the WiFi Ranger system. The WiFi Ranger Pro is the antenna which receives, as stated before, the 2.4Ghz WiFi signal and sends the internet signal to the WiFi Ranger Core unit (white box located somewhere inside the RV) which is a router. The Core unit, as does any router, redistributes (or routes) the signal it receives either through hardwire connections or through a WiFi signal or both.
If you tether a MiFi to the Core and point the WiFi Ranger Core to the MiFi (there are many ways to accomplish this with various priorities) the WiFi Ranger Core will redistribute the MiFi signal.
Regarding options the WiFi Ranger core can select the strongest signal or the most stable signal, preferred signal, etc. It is a reasonably robust router.
You have ports to hardwire to an internet source and or other devices, like any router, as well if that is what is required.

Many folks just do not understand what they have and expect something that is just not there or is not the systems fault. A WiFi signal with a narrow bandwidth typically available at many parks is not fast no matter what you do to the signal. Many parks throttle usage if you try to stream data. If you watch YouTube or Movies expect to have your bandwidth throttled. This is clearly stated in the package of information provided by many Parks.

This is why I purchased a MiFi unit. Trying to update any application on the road is exercise in frustration. Upload a moderate length file is very difficult if not impossible with a Park's WIFi.

If you need to do anything other than basic text and email, chances are good you will need to find a reliable source other than the Park's WiFi.

Hope this helps.
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Old 11-10-2018, 11:09 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeHogan View Post
After a thorough review of the User Manual, typically a last resort, it confirms my understanding of the WiFi Ranger system. The WiFi Ranger Pro is the antenna which receives, as stated before, the 2.4Ghz WiFi signal and sends the internet signal to the WiFi Ranger Core unit (white box located somewhere inside the RV) which is a router. The Core unit, as does any router, redistributes (or routes) the signal it receives either through hardwire connections or through a WiFi signal or both.
With all due respect, this is not correct and, as WiFiRanger's ambassador to the RV community, I would like to clarify things.

Both the WiFiRanger Pro and the SkyPro are fully self-contained routers. The SkyPro is not simply an antenna. Either unit could be used by itself and would be fully functional.

As has already been noted, the SkyPro is only capable of being used on the 2.4 GHz band whereas the Core can operate on either the 2.4 or 5 GHz bands.

In normal operation, the Core and the SkyPro are connected to each other via Ethernet. In most setups, the SkyPro will be used to connect to a wifi access point and the Core's radio will be used to create the local network inside your RV. Having two separate devices, each with its own radio, provides greater throughput speeds. (FWIW if the SkyPro was just an antenna it would have to be connected to the Core via a coax, not CAT6 cable.)

It should be noted that, although the SkyPro is limited to 2.4GHz operation only, it's "big brother" the WiFiRanger Elite can operate at both 5GHz and 2.4GHz so it can easily connect to a 5GHz wifi. Furthermore, the Core also has a big brother, the GoAC which has higher power, more Ethernet ports and triple chain antennas on both 2.4GHz and 5GHz.

I hope this clarifies things sufficiently. If not, please feel free to ask additional questions.

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Old 11-10-2018, 05:40 PM   #6
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Thank you for that clarification regarding the WiFi Pro feature as a router as well.

It is my understanding that using the MiFI as the only source the WiFi Pro is no longer called upon to provide a signal. Of Course I understand that the Core unit can mix and match signals based on various input criteria.

It has been a struggle to understand and use the WiFi Ranger only because there are so many unknowns that affect the quality of the signal broadcast by the Ranger.
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Old 11-10-2018, 06:30 PM   #7
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In an effort to understand the WiFi Ranger Pro pack system I went to the website once again.

The technical specs are confusing me. The WiFi Ranger Pro has one port that is reserved for Power. Yes, the WiFi Ranger Pro does 'route' its 2.4Ghz WiFi signal to the Core via an ethernet cable but does that qualify the unit as a router? Technically yes. And there are options that allows you to put a sim card in the Pro as well. However the Pro operates in a very hostel environment. I believe WiFi Ranger does not even recommend that option.

The WiFi Ranger Core has 5 ports and a USB connection, and as a layman, this is what I would expect to see in a router.

Granted I am not an expert like you and others, but in an effort to understand this equipment please help me out here.

It is not my intent to disparage anyone's equipment and yes I see that there is Elite equipment available that can capture a 5Ghz signal.

Unfortunately getting back to uncontrollable variables, if a camp is throttling the WiFi signal, 5Ghz is nice to have and would provide a more reliable signal but ultimately I am back to a narrow bandwidth. This again is not the fault of the WiFi Ranger, just the reality of RV Campground environment.

To make it clear, the whole point of this exercise is to get enough bandwidth reliably to surf the web, watch a movie, update firmware without issue, etc.

In my instance, fork over $100 to Verizon for the latest MiFi 8800L Jetpak and a have a slight increase in a monthly fee to allows me to access the cellular internet. The WiFi Ranger Core provides a USB connection with a power feature to redistribute that signal to all my WiFi devices in the RV.

This is a very nice feature of the WiFi Ranger Core. The supply power via USB to the MiFi device is a bonus. You do not have to worry if the MiFi is placed in a spot that is not convenient to quickly access.

Just trying to understand this equipment and get reliable internet on the road
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Old 11-10-2018, 10:52 PM   #8
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You left me behind at "Just trying to understand".


This going to something that I will need lots of help understanding, but I want to clarify and handle over the winter.
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Old 11-11-2018, 06:29 AM   #9
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This may help:

Code:
Internet <-Wire-> Cell Tower <-Air-> MiFi <-USB-> Interior Router <-Air-> Your Devices
                                                          ^
                                                          |
Internet <-Wire-> Park WiFi <-Air--------------------------

OR

Internet <-Wire-> Cell Tower <-Air-> MiFi <-USB-> Interior Router <-Air-> Your Devices
                                                          ^
                                                          |
Internet <-Wire-> Park WiFi <-Air-> Exterior Router <-Wire-
There are other combinations, and I can draw them if requested.

To clarify a point the OP raised, the MiFi device is designed to operate in stand-alone mode. That is, it connects on one side to the cellular world and on the other to consumer devices, either by USB or WiFi. It cannot be used to connect to park WiFi, either at 2.4 or 5 GHz. Note: An "Interior Router" is a "consumer device," the same as a laptop would be.

The exterior router is optional. It can, if designed, installed and configured correctly, improve reception of WiFi signals.

If you want to connect to 5 GHz park WiFi, you need an interior or exterior router that handles that frequency band. Or, you can use a wireless repeater that provides the same function (albeit with fewer features than a router).

Hopefully this helps. There are other issues, but I won't go into them here.
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Old 11-11-2018, 07:08 AM   #10
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Jumping in here to ask a question. I have WifiRanger /SkyPro installed on my 2019 DSDP (just taken delivery). I have not activated the installed ATT Sims card yet. If I connect my iPhone via usb to the core, can I use it as my cellular hotspot and use my internal LAN WiFi at 5Ghz? If so, is that of any advantage?
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Old 11-11-2018, 10:53 AM   #11
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Jumping in here to ask a question. I have WifiRanger /SkyPro installed on my 2019 DSDP (just taken delivery). I have not activated the installed ATT Sims card yet. If I connect my iPhone via usb to the core, can I use it as my cellular hotspot and use my internal LAN WiFi at 5Ghz? If so, is that of any advantage?
The simple answer is yes. But the different parts of your question aren't dependent on each other.

You can always connect a phone or standalone hotspot to the Core, either by USB tether or by wifi. That's independent of everything else.

You can always set the Core up so it creates a 5GHz internal network. That doesn't depend on whether or not you're using your iPhone as a hotspot or the AT&T SIM in your SkyPro. The fact that the SkyPro doesn't have 5GHz capablility is irrelevant because the internal network is being broadcast by the Core even if the SIM is physically located inside the SkyPro. The radio in the SkyPro is only used to connect to the park's wifi.

I hope this is clear; if not, feel free to ask additional questions.

FWIW, I would set up the Core to always broadcast both 2.4GHz and 5GHz signals unless you are confident that all your devices can receive 5GHz. My printer, for example, is several years old and doesn't receive at 5GHz.

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Old 11-11-2018, 11:13 AM   #12
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The simple answer is yes. But the different parts of your question aren't dependent on each other.

You can always connect a phone or standalone hotspot to the Core, either by USB tether or by wifi. That's independent of everything else.

You can always set the Core up so it creates a 5GHz internal network. That doesn't depend on whether or not you're using your iPhone as a hotspot or the AT&T SIM in your SkyPro. The fact that the SkyPro doesn't have 5GHz capablility is irrelevant because the internal network is being broadcast by the Core even if the SIM is physically located inside the SkyPro. The radio in the SkyPro is only used to connect to the park's wifi.

I hope this is clear; if not, feel free to ask additional questions.

FWIW, I would set up the Core to always broadcast both 2.4GHz and 5GHz signals unless you are confident that all your devices can receive 5GHz. My printer, for example, is several years old and doesn't receive at 5GHz.

Joel (AKA docj)
Thanks Doc,
That explanation was very clear and helpful, I appreciate that!
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Old 12-15-2018, 02:04 PM   #13
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I am a little further along with configuring my WiFi, cellular sources etc and the WFRSkypro. I would like to change the Sims card from AT&T that came with the unit to a Verzion SIMS. My plan is to tether thru my iPhone with my current at&t and have the Verizon to fall back on when traveling out west in area that ATT service is limited. What would be the best type of Verizon plan to have for intermittent usage without a purchasing a jetpack and committing to a contract.
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