Slow Campground WiFi and What To Do About It
If you a regular RVer, glamper or connected camper you’ve likely tried to rely on the campground WIFi to remain connected. You’ve also discovered what most have, which is that campground and RV park WiFi is notoriously slow, bad or may not work at all.
There are a number of typical reasons the WIFi is so bad. We’ll explain. Just as importantly, we will also dive into some ways to can improve your connectivity the next time you go camping.
What Are Some Favorite Uses Of Campground WiFi?
If you are here you likely have a basic need for campground or RV park WIFi. ypu might be surprised to know what you could do if you had regular access to reliable internet access while camping or RVing.
- Streaming your favorite shows, sports and movies without needing an antenna or cable hookup
- Projecting your favorite shows, sports or movies with a portable projector for social camping experiences
- Bringing your smart speaker, such as a Sonos or Homepod with you
- Using Smart home devices in your RV
- General connectivity for laptops, tablets and phones
Why Is Campground WiFi So Slow?
Travel WiFi is notoriously slow. From hotels to Airbnbs to airports, and of course campgrounds and RV parks, there are more “problem” WiFi locations than good ones. So why are all of these so slow, and why specifically are camgrounds WiFi so slow?
There are a few common reasons, and they are essentially:
- Many campground WiFi networks use older technology and have slower internet connections, but are used by a lot of people at a time. The technology simply can’t handle the number of users.
- The dated technology means the range is limited. In a sprawling campground with lots of trees and elevation changes you will find many dead spots in the coverage area.
- Campgrounds are often in rural areas with limited high speed internet options. This combined with #1 means a lot of people may be using a very small internet connection.
- Campground operators may be less focused on connectivity. Given that many campgrounds are presented as an “escape” from technology, operators may be less willing to focus on high speed internet. While we all recommend and agree with cutting the cord, as recent rise in Digital Nomading, glamping and connected camping has changed how we view camping excursions.
The issues of campground WiFi are certainly similar to some of the issues we see with other travel WiFi. In most cases, lots of people meaning crowded WiFi networks combined with technology that is not traditionally core to their business keeps speeds slow.
How To Improve Campground WiFi
Travel Routers Can Make Crowded Campground WiFi More Stable
A travel router can help improve your WiFi security, and the best of them can actually help improve the connection. The Go Connect, for example, specifically helps improve the stability of connections in places like campgrounds without any special software, configuration or technical expertise.
Travel Routers Can Improve Range
Another way a router can help is if they have powerful antenna. Having better antenna, and therefore long range, can help you stay connected in those more remote camp sites where the campground WIFi may not reach. Be careful of “nano” travel routers if this is a feature you want. There very small size makes them easy to back, but they often give up range to do so.
Travel Routers Make Campground WiFi More Secure
The best travel routers also have built in security. Campground WiFi networks are generally open and accessible for snoopers. Travel routers can help you keep public WiFi secure
Travel Routers Help You Move Between Campgrounds And Get Connected Easier
Bringing smart devices like streaming sticks and smart speakers to many campgrounds, even in an RV, more challenging because you often have to clear captive portals. What are captive portals? They are those screens you see when you first connect to campgrounds or RV parks where you have to accept terms and conditions or enter information, such as last name and campsite number.
If you are moving around to a lot of different campgrounds or RV parks as part of your nomading adventure, getting setup again at each location can be a hassle. If you want to bring multiple smart devices and laptops, this means setting each one up and clearing the captive portal each time. You also will find may of your favorite devices don’t work at locations with a captive portal at all.
A travel router allows you to get connected to each new location once and then all of your devices will work. No changing WiFi networks or clearing captive portals on each network. Plus, the best travel routers have an easy to use interface that makes switching between campground and RV park WiFi networks easy.
Whether a standalone device or just the personal hotspot on your phone this is quickly becoming the top choice to solve ensure reliable WiFi when traveling. It’s a good choice for the occasional traveler with an unlimited package and low to moderate usage.
Personal Hotspot Vs. Cellular Hotspot
There are two ways you can incorporate cellular hotspots when camping or RVing. The first is to the use your personal hotspot on your cell phone. This is very easy to enable and quick to use. They are great when you have available hotspot data and you only need to use it briefly. However if you regularly use your hotspot you run into a number of limitations relaying solely on your phones personal hotspot.
- You may have limited hotspot data, or your plan may not allow hotspotting at all
- Your phone must be physically near the devices using the data – if you leave – others cannot continue to use the internet connectivity
- Phones can generally only handle a small number of devices – they really are not designed to support lots of people or lots of devices.
For many weekend campers, a phone hotspot may be more than sufficient. However, if using cellular data exclusively is becoming expensive, if you need a more permanent solution in your RV or you have too many devices for your phone to be effective, we’d recommend a smart cellular hotspot. If you still are not sure, check out our more detailed breakdown comparing phone hotspots to cellular hotspots.
A Smart Cellular Hotspot
While cellular hotspot devices are common place, most are purely for cellular use. The challenge is you are still consuming cellular data every time you use it. For long term camping or RVing this can get very expensive, very quickly. Even more so when you are regularly streaming. Also, since most companies that sell cellular hotspots actually make their money from the data, they have little reason to help you consume less.
A smart cellular hotspot, also know as a cellular hotspot router, can use both WiFi and cellular. These devices allow you to take advantage of the free WiFi at RV parks and campgrounds, but the cellular capabilities mean you can use them where WiFi doesn’t reach, when driving down the road or if the WiFi simply is too slow or is unavailable.
Plus, unlike a pocket hotspot, a smart cellular hotspot will allow you to easily keep all of your devices connected and includes the features you’d find above in a travel router.
Go Connect Travel WiFi Products Does It All
If you want a travel router that encompasses all of these benefits, and avoids all of the downsides, only Go Connect’s line of travel WiFi products does it all. We take the best of of all of these options into a single line of products. Our device allows to you create a private WiFi network when traveling that is secure, improves performance and is absolutely easy to use. No technical expertise is required.
The only decision you’ll need to make is whether you want the optional cellular version. If you do choose cellular, you won’t even need to decide between whether to use public WiFi or cellular, our device will connect to both. It even manages the connection for you so you don’t need to decide when you switch for reliability or whether to use the WiFi to save data.
Our goal is to provide a product line that focuses on getting you and keeping you connected, so you are free to surf, stream or work. And if you decide to stream instead of work, don’t worry, we won’t tell.