We now have 2 years under our belt using an EnGenius Wi-Fi signal extender. It transmits/receives Wi-Fi signals for a radius of 1.5 miles (line of site). 99% of the time we use it to boost the regular campground signal. It allows us to select and connect to the best AP in the CG. Amazing how the closest AP may not be the best AP. I have my Omni-directional antenna attached to a PVC mast that is connected to our TT's ladder. It extends about 6' above the trailer (best for signal as it is above the other TT's in the CG. You can set the dB's of the unit based on the distance from the AP. The EnEgenius Wi-Fi extender connects to a regular D-Link Wi-Fi router that all our equipment connects to. You can go to my JAYCO album and I have a Wi-Fi album you can look at along with a diagram how it is all connected with pictures.
SO WHAT DO WE DO WITH MY SETUP:
1 - I spend about 2-3 hours a day/5 days a week streaming stock information so I can buy/sell stocks to pay for our trips/toys. Yes there is still PLENTY of band width left for the other campers, most of them are on the internet at night anyway. The best AP is usually the one that has only a few campers near it.
2 - We have a MagicJack phone (VOIP) that we use that is plugged into the D-Link for dial tone, and we have a wireless hand set that we use with it. The reception is much better than the cell phone as most of the time we are in the mountains of north GA for 4 months of the year.
3 - We have a SlingBox at home that we log into so I can watch local Florida weather (for hurricanes), local sports, and things that DW records on the home DVR. All the unit needs is 4Mh to perform flawlessly.
4 - We have a VPN set up between the TT and my home server,so we can pay our bills with a little added security, so that I can get to the information on the server from where ever we are. I access the home control pc, to see if all is working as planned (AC, humidity level (important when in vacation mode so mold does not form), sprinklers, security cameras, security...)
5 - The TT's local network has my TT's solar controller connected to it so I can access the live/recorded data from our smart phones, tablets, laptops..)
Can you tell I love electronics?
There are a lot of choices that you can make when it comes to Wi-Fi signal extenders. They have USB models but the one I originally tried was not much better that the internal modem of my laptop, as the signal still has to exit the TT's metal walls, and it is below the tops of the other TT's, so it did increase the signal a little but not as much as an external mounted unit.
Examples on the road:
- Colorado: In a county CG, no Wi-Fi available at the CG. About 1.5 miles away, on a ridge, you could see the HomeDepot. So I put up the antenna, and connected to the HomeDepot public Wi-Fi. Was able to do stocks, use MagicJack, internet access, and connect to the SlingBox in our house and watch the Tampa Bay Rays. Since I drop $$$$.$$'s at Home Depot, I do not feel bad using their PUBLIC Wi-Fi.
- CG that only had Public Wi-Fi in the office. Was able to access the Office Wi-Fi and DW was happy.
- Colorado: CG had Pay as you go Wi-Fi, was able to connect to a McDonald's store's Public Wi-Fi and I was happy. Coffee and breakfast each morning there, to reimburse them for my usage.
- Setting up the unit can take time, be difficult, a few attempts, patience, and the documentation could be better. I am working with a few other JOF members and looking to set up a page to help those that buy a unit. We will have a basic data file to down load and get the unit up and running fast.
- Not all CG's have a good Wi-Fi in place, so you can only do so much with their signals.
- No Wi-Fi signals in the area (Curry Hammock, Fl Keys - I was about 1 mile out of range for free Wi-Fi)
If you are going to be using it for business, EnGenius has a line of extenders that you may want to look at.
I only mention EnGenius because I have 2 years experience with it. There are other external (outside antenna models) but I have not tried any of those. I would STRONGLY recommend purchasing a unit that has an external antenna mounting.
One last item, make sure that the unit is IEEE802.11/g/n backward compatible, as 99% of the CG's use "G"
I am sure others will add more information regarding their units.
Just my thoughts,