Something has happened in the last few years, and that is that we no longer know how to live without the internet or technology, and the exchange of data is a central point in our lives. Satellite Internet for RV and other RV Internet options 2023 in this article. Let’s discuss What is the Best Satellite internet for RV.
Those who are younger have had the internet since they were born and cannot conceive of life without a connection.
Those of us who are young but starting to get old and up, know that there is life without the internet, but we have become so used to it that we also like to know we have a connection.
So, today I am going to try to explain the different options you have to connect to the internet from your RV and several other things that I am sure you will be interested to know.
I will also help you to choose the one that best suits you, and as always I will talk about what I use and what I plan to use in the future. Let’s start reviewing Satellite Internet for RV and other RV Internet Options 2023.
Why Have Internet in the RV?
Why Have Internet in the RV? There are many programs and applications that we use in our daily lives that without an internet connection would not be possible:
- Social networks: Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Pinterest….
- Communication applications: Whatsapp, telegram, line…
- Entertainment: YouTube, newspapers, television, Netflix, HBO…
- Information: Blogs, weather forecast, route planning…
- Online banking: Traditional banking, Fintech, PayPal…
- Telework: Countless jobs can be done online.
Who today can give up indefinitely all these things, maybe giving up some of them is easier but probably not all of them can be given up.
How To Have Internet in the RV
How To Have Internet in the RV? Let’s start with the nitty-gritty:
Basically, you can say that there are 3 ways to get internet in the RV. You can have RV Internet with any of these internet options.
- RV Internet through satellite
- RV Internet through WIFI.
- RV Internet through the telephone network.
Spoiler warning: The vast majority of campers use a mixture of RV internet via WIFI and RV internet via the telephone network like the internet via satellite is not yet well developed and the costs are considerably higher.
How Does Satellite Internet Work?
In the following paragraphs, I explain to you How Does Satellite Internet Works? To connect to the Internet via satellite you have to install an antenna on the outside of your RV. It’s an antenna similar to those used for satellite television, except instead of receiving television, you’ll get an Internet connection.
Using this RV satellite dish you will communicate in a bidirectional way with a satellite in orbit around the Earth. The purpose of this satellite is to “bounce” the signal from your RV to the concentrators of the firm with which you have contracted the connection, which then delivers the data back through the satellite to your RV.
So, instead of communicating with the cable operator as is conventional, this communication is done over the air through a satellite that acts as an intermediary. The RV satellite dish is connected to a modem.
This RV modem, which will be provided by the company with which you contract the service, works the same as the conventional cable and fiber modems. You will be able to connect your computer directly to it and use its WiFi to connect the rest of the devices you have in your RV, such as cell phones, tablets, or laptops. Just keep in mind that the latency of this connection makes it unsuitable for online gaming.
Satellite Internet for RV 2023
I start with the satellite connection as this article will explain everything you need to know to have satellite internet in your RV. With satellite internet, you will always have a connection in your RV anywhere in the world.
A satellite internet connection is recommended to use in places where you can’t get internet any other way.
RV Satellite Internet – Advantages
- It reaches any corner of the planet
- They currently offer very good speeds
- No Phone Line is Needed
RV Satellite Internet – Disadvantages
- Speed is slower (vs. home fiber optic) (I would say, for now)
- A higher price (when compared with other options)
- Medium latency.
- Only Works When Parked (if you are driving your camper, you will not have an RV satellite internet connection)
It is worth noting what is known as latency. This is the time it takes to get back a request, that is, from the time you press the Enter button until the results appear on the screen. Currently, this problem is largely solved with the new satellite technologies.
Currently, with the satellite internet for RV, you can make video calls without any problem or work from your RV comfortably.
Maybe for some very demanding video games speed will not be ideal, but it is in very few cases that you will have this problem with latency.
Internet speed is not guaranteed and depends a lot on the weather. With clear skies, it will work better than if there are clouds.
To have satellite internet, you need to have a satellite dish installed in your camper for this purpose, as it is not the same as the one used for television.
Which Companies Offer Satellite Internet for RV
Which Companies Offer Satellite Internet for RV? Depending on the region and country you are in there will be different companies that offer satellite internet for RV and they do not usually coincide with the terrestrial telephone companies.
Which Companies Offer Satellite Internet for RV in USA and Canada
In the United States and Canada, these RV satellite internet companies are available. Here are the satellite internet service providers for RVs available in USA and Canada
- Starlink Satellite Internet Service (creator: Elon Musk) promises High-speed, low latency, and an easy setup. Starlink – Connecting the Unconnected
Which Companies Offer Satellite Internet for RV in Europe
Here are the satellite internet service providers for RVs available in Europe. There are currently 5 providers.
Currently, the famous Elon Musk is developing a satellite network called Starlink to provide satellite internet around the world and promises to have low latency and an affordable price.
At the moment it is in the beta phase and it is a bit more expensive than other solutions since the antenna alone costs around $499 and around $99 for the monthly fee.
What is the Best Satellite Internet for RV
What is the Best Satellite Internet for RV – At the moment all the providers that are operating in the USA seem to be equally good at providing good RV internet service. Particularly, with a view to the future, the plans of Elon Musk and Starlink seem to be very promising and could guarantee to connect absolutely remote areas (previously unthinkable to have an RV internet connection).
The Cost of Satellite Internet for RV
How much is it to have Satellite Internet for RV? For example, the Starlink antenna costs $499 and then a monthly fee of $99 for the service.
HughesNet has plans from $59.99 to $149.99 per month. These plans have a monthly GB limit which you will have to check with the provider.
Viasat has three different plans from $69.99 to $199.99 per month. These plans also have monthly GB limits and you will need to check with the provider.
Alternatives to Satellite Internet for RV – Other RV Internet Options
Other RV Internet Options. Of course, there are other alternatives to satellite internet for RV and we will also discuss them in this article so that you can evaluate which is the most convenient option.
Let’s review internet options for RV, besides satellite internet for RV.
RV Internet Options: WIFI Internet in the RV
In the following paragraphs, we will discuss different internet options for RV.
RV Internet Options: WIFI Internet in the RV. Getting a WIFI connection is a good option as it usually has a good speed and you will be able to use unlimited data, so it is an option you should consider.
One way to be able to use the internet is to be within range of a WIFI zone that is open or that you have a password for.
If you are in a city, you can look for open networks or go near places where you know there is open WIFI such as libraries or coffee shops.
Where to get the WIFI signal
Where to get the WIFI signal. There are many places where you can find WIFI signals, although some of them are difficult to find a place where you can park your RV, it is always easier if you travel in a camper van or even a motorhome.
- Restaurants and cafeterias.
- Gas stations.
- Some towns or cities.
- The rural Internet in small towns.
There is a solution which is to download an application for the phone where the WIFI connections are in the city or town where you are, and some users have already uploaded the password of the cafe or restaurant where the connection is.
To find these programs you just have to enter the Play Store on your phone and search for something like Free WIFI, then you will find a lot of programs that will help you find a connection.
There are several applications, but the best known from my point of view is WIFIMaps.
Continue reading about internet options for RV.
Internet Via Telephone Network
Internet Via Telephone Network for RV internet. Nowadays it is probably the best and easiest way to connect to the internet since the telephone network covers almost all the places where we can put the RV and besides, everybody has a smartphone in his pocket.
Through the telephone network you can connect in 3 different ways:
- USB stick or USB stick with SIM card.
- By sharing the data on your phone.
- Through a MIFI router.
USB stick with SIM card
The first option that I am going to present to you is the USB internet stick with a SIM card.
It is a normal USB stick but with the characteristic that it is not an external memory, but it has a slot to insert a SIM card.
I only recommend this option if you travel and work with your computer on the road and even then I see it as quite limited given the other options, but it is good to at least know that it exists.
I recommend any USB stick with 4G or LTE technology. You will easily see these acronyms on the product packaging. Currently, it is possible to find some models that also offer 5G, but these are more expensive and 5G connectivity is not present everywhere.
Let’s see more internet options for RV,
Share Data from Your Cell Phone (Hotspot or Tethering)
The second option is one of the best solutions today to have the internet on all our devices and it is also the easiest to implement.
Simply sharing the connection of your cell phone through the Hotspot, tethering, or simply sharing connection, depending on your device.
Today we all carry a smartphone in our pocket (or almost all of us) so you will have no problem having internet on all your devices.
There are some small problems, and I say small because they have a solution:
First: The phone gets too hot.
If your phone is not a high-end phone and still being high end, it can also happen that when calling or receiving calls while sharing WIFI, the phone will get quite hot and I do not know if it is very good for the phone, although you see, it is not a very big inconvenience.
Second: The battery wears out fast
It will also drain the phone’s battery quite a bit faster than if it’s unused.
If you’re always sharing data, chances are that the phone’s charge won’t even last you a day.
This also has an easy solution, if you are for example on a campsite you just have to connect it to electricity, or if you are on the road you can always buy an external battery or power bank that extends the charge of your phone.
Third: High data usage
Another drawback is data usage, if you plan to watch movies or surf aimlessly for a couple of hours from your computer or tablet, you’re going to spend a lot of data. So if this is your intention, you will need a large data tariff or even an unlimited tariff.
Fourth and last: You need proximity.
Another thing you have to take into account is, for example, if you have small children who are playing with the tablet or watching a movie. If you have to leave the RV and take your cell phone with you, they will be left without connection, although to solve this there is another option which is a modem or MIFI Router.
Continue reading about internet options for RV.
Modem or MIFI Router
One of the best solutions today to have an autonomous RV in terms of the internet are the MIFI Routers.
With this router or modem installed somewhere in your RV, you can have the internet on all your devices.
It works similarly to the Hotspot function of your phone since its mode of operation is through a SIM card. This card can be:
- Prepaid card.
- Contract card.
- MultiSIM card.
Be very careful with this, I have read several websites recommending making a duplicate card. Do not do this without telling your operator exactly what you want to do, as a duplicate card, involves the cancellation of the main card, ie, the card you want to duplicate will no longer be operational and will not serve you for anything as you will be without it.
As with USB sticks, make sure the device supports 4G or LTE. There are also devices with 5G technology, but they are more expensive.
What Is the Best Way for Me to Have Internet in the RV?
This depends on several factors that only you can determine:
If your idea is to travel cheaply, spending the minimum necessary, it is best to download an application for your phone and go looking for free internet, with an antenna perhaps placed halfway with a battery is the best way.
When you have or need several devices connected to the Internet continuously or almost continuously, the MIFI router is ideal as it will always be ready to use in the RV.
If you are only one person or 2, you probably have the internet on your phone, maybe this way, sharing the data rate with your computer is more than enough.
In my case, I currently use satellite internet as I need to have a connection everywhere I am traveling with my RV.
As technology advances and new companies are appearing that offer satellite internet for RV I am constantly updating this article. If you know of any other company not mentioned in the article please do not hesitate to inform us through the contact form.
I hope this article about satellite internet for RV and other RV internet options 2023 will be useful. We recommend our article about Best Pure Sine Wave Inverter for RV and Homemade RV Leveling Blocks.