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Paul Pouncey

Wi Fi yes or no?

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Good afternoon all, I am thinking of getting a wifi hub in the caravan as many sites either charge for wifi or do not have it, i figured if i had to pay for wifi it woukd be my own, can anybody reccomend a good caravan wifi hub or is this a waste of money.

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Dan Trudgian covered this issue a little while ago. Try this for ideas:

 

 

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Do you mean Mi-Fi?  This uses a mobile phone signal to get the internet and then transmits a wi-fi signal.

 

Three have some good deals as they include the data and the SIM card.  http://www.three.co.uk/store/broadband/mobile-broadband

 

Is this for UK only (in light of Covid-2019_?

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Look and see if you can use your mobile phones data allowance. That’s what we do so our mobiles act as Wi-fi hubs and we can ‘tether” our iPads to the phones and surf the net.  I am with BT and I have unlimited calls, unlimited texts, 12 Gb of data per month AND I got a new smartphone (about 8 months ago now) , all for £17 per month.

 

That is by far the cheapest way to get access to the internet when away from home. You can buy Mi-fi “hotspot” devices, they operate via the mobile phone network BUT you have to purchase a data sim for them to access the phone network (you cannot use a standard phone sim in them) Usually a set amount of data that you must use in a set period of time. Three offer the best deal for pre-loaded sims. Last one I got was 24Gb data, valid for 24 months for about 40 quid. Full details on their website. I think they call it “Internet with legs” but check your phone contract first. If you are PAYG then the Internet with legs is probably going to be your cheapest option AFTER you have bought the hub of course.

 

Andy

 

 

Edited by Mr Plodd
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I got the EE mini WiFi router a couple of months ago - and although we have only tried it in a couple of locations, it has worked brilliantly.  My wife likes to watch catch-up TV and we have been able to get Netflix, Prime, and all the usual ones with no hint of buffering whatsoever.  We use an Amazon Firestick plugged into our Avtex.

It seems to pull in a much stronger signal than we get on either of our phones. Obviously, it pulls in a good enough signal for iPads etc and the blurb indicates it will service up to 24 items but I haven't tested it that far!

Entering into a contract with one provider may not be the most cost-effective way of doing things, but it suits me - there are plenty of other unlocked routers in the internet using PAYG sim cards.  It costs me £18pm for 30Gb of data and I also have the option to 'gift' a further 12Gb from my phone if we need to - but since we are away for about a week every month, that seems to more than suffice.

 

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Almost any Huawei mifi will do the trick and mifi devices are proven by many to give better reception than mobiles with the added benefit, in many cases, of connections for an aerial - a caravan is not the best bit of kit to allow struggling waves to get to your kit.  Many place their mifi in one of the rooflights where better reception is likely.

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Posted (edited)

I've got a TP-Link MiFi unit which I use with the Three Paygo sim that Andy suggested. 24Gbit/s over 24 months for around £40 (sometimes even less). The main benefit with the Three SIM is that it lasts for up to two years whereas a monthly deal is an ongoing cost whether you use it or not although Sky mobile's data rollover might suit

 

24Gbits usually last us about 18 months but we don's stream stuff. I've also got a wifi booster which we can use on sites where there's free wifi (or even the CMC for £25 a year) but as with all things "wireless" non of them will give you a guaranteed signal if there isn't one to be had.

 

As others have said there's always your mobile phone

Edited by matelodave

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Posted (edited)

Check out Plodd's advice first.

If not suitable then get a miFi device like this one. It behaves like a wireless router, but shop around for best price/service

Three MiFi Device

And buy a data SIM to go in the device when the 1GB SIM expires

12GB for 12 months

24GB for 24 months

 

Edited by onewheelonmywagon

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I have a Huwawei Mifi device (3G not 4G) if anyone is interested PM me with an offer. (It does work!) 

 

Andy

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I have a 4g wireless router that you put a SIM card in. With this I can either use the SIM card out of my iPhone with an adapter to resize it or, as using smart TV’s to watch Netflix, etc uses masses of data I have an unlimited data sim from 3 that costs £18 per month. The router that Dan Trudgian suggests are good but expensive but I use this one;

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/TL-MR6400-Unlocked-Configuration-Required-External/dp/B016ZWXYXG/ref=sr_1_3?crid=1A77AKMOQR3EX&dchild=1&keywords=tp+link+4g+router+with+sim+slot&qid=1584387842&sprefix=To+link+4g+%2Caps%2C162&sr=8-3

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A travel router is very handy if the marina/campsite has free wifi but the signal is weak or you are limited to one device.  When we had a narrowboat I could position ours in or just outside a window and broadcast a wifi signal for our two laptops and two phones. 

 

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/TP-LINK-TL-WR802N-300Mbps-Wireless-Portable-Nano-Travel-Router/303514532327?epid=17033160119&hash=item46aae039e7:g:MMUAAOSwiDRdrwL8

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14 hours ago, Mr Plodd said:

Look and see if you can use your mobile phones data allowance. That’s what we do so our mobiles act as Wi-fi hubs and we can ‘tether” our iPads to the phones and surf the net.  I am with BT and I have unlimited calls, unlimited texts, 12 Gb of data per month AND I got a new smartphone (about 8 months ago now) , all for £17 per month.

 

That is by far the cheapest way to get access to the internet when away from home. You can buy Mi-fi “hotspot” devices, they operate via the mobile phone network BUT you have to purchase a data sim for them to access the phone network (you cannot use a standard phone sim in them) Usually a set amount of data that you must use in a set period of time. Three offer the best deal for pre-loaded sims. Last one I got was 24Gb data, valid for 24 months for about 40 quid. Full details on their website. I think they call it “Internet with legs” but check your phone contract first. If you are PAYG then the Internet with legs is probably going to be your cheapest option AFTER you have bought the hub of course.

 

Andy

 

 

Correction, a 3 phone sim CAN be used in a mifi unit, I've been doing so for years but only using the data.

 

Amazon currently have a 24 month/24 GB data sim for £42.

 

The benefit of using a mifi unit over tethering is that you are connecting wireleesly.

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33 minutes ago, Supatramp said:

 

The benefit of using a mifi unit over tethering is that you are connecting wireleesly.

Eh?  Tethering is wireless!

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Posted (edited)

Using a mobile phone as a Wi-fi hotspot (tethering) is explained Here it’s a very simple process. 

 

Andy

 

p.s. And as Kelper  says it’s done wirelessly so it’s no different really to using Mifi device, other than you avoid the additional expense of buying another bit of kit. 

Edited by Mr Plodd

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15 hours ago, Mr Plodd said:

Look and see if you can use your mobile phones data allowance. That’s what we do so our mobiles act as Wi-fi hubs and we can ‘tether” our iPads to the phones and surf the net.  I am with BT and I have unlimited calls, unlimited texts, 12 Gb of data per month AND I got a new smartphone (about 8 months ago now) , all for £17 per month.

 

That is by far the cheapest way to get access to the internet when away from home. You can buy Mi-fi “hotspot” devices, they operate via the mobile phone network BUT you have to purchase a data sim for them to access the phone network (you cannot use a standard phone sim in them) Usually a set amount of data that you must use in a set period of time. Three offer the best deal for pre-loaded sims. Last one I got was 24Gb data, valid for 24 months for about 40 quid. Full details on their website. I think they call it “Internet with legs” but check your phone contract first. If you are PAYG then the Internet with legs is probably going to be your cheapest option AFTER you have bought the hub of course.

 

Andy

 

 

It can be the cheapest Plod but it all depends on personal usage and circumstance. For me it would be the most expensive option as I rarely use my mobile to any extent. Have no need of monthly data but require data at set times when away on tours. I would also need to buy a smartphone as opposed to the neat £12 mobile that I do use.

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2 minutes ago, Easy T said:

It can be the cheapest Plod but it all depends on personal usage and circumstance. For me it would be the most expensive option as I rarely use my mobile to any extent. Have no need of monthly data but require data at set times when away on tours. I would also need to buy a smartphone as opposed to the neat £12 mobile that I do use.

 

Indeed it does, but the very first line of my post said???

 

“ Look and see if you can use your mobile phones data allowance”

 

I put that at the start for the very reasons you have highlighted. That’s WHY I used the wording I did! 

 

Andy

 

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For anyone interested in getting a mi-fi unit (I'll use that name as I'm not sure that technically they are routers) have a look on the bottom shelf in you local Computer Exchange (http://www.webuy.com) as they quite often seem to have used ones - mainly on 3 - quite cheap and you get a long guarantee.

A mi-fi does have the advantage over tethering that most of them are unlocked from new so you can try SIMs for other SPs  than that powering your phone. Of the big four I <think> that VF are the only ones still locked, certainly nothing from 3 is locked, and EE will unlock at the time of purchase if requested.

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21 minutes ago, Mr Plodd said:

 

Indeed it does, but the very first line of my post said???

 

“ Look and see if you can use your mobile phones data allowance”

 

I put that at the start for the very reasons you have highlighted. That’s WHY I used the wording I did! 

 

Andy

 

And I did not disagree Andy

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1 hour ago, Woodentop said:

For anyone interested in getting a mi-fi unit (I'll use that name as I'm not sure that technically they are routers)


So called MiFi devices are routers....  ‘MiFi’ is a brand name that has become a generic term for such devices - like 'Hoover' for all vacuum cleaners and 'Sellotape' for any clear self adhesive tape on a roll.

 

In the UK, Hutchinson (Three) own the MiFi brand...  

 

Quote

MiFi is a brand name used to describe a wireless router that acts as mobile Wi-Fi hotspot.

 

Source: Here

 


 

Quote

A  MiFi router comprises 2 parts i.e. the modem and Wi-Fi router. The modem comprises of 3G, 4G or LTE based on the wireless standards and provides connectivity with wireless devices. The Wi-Fi router provides Wi-Fi connectivity. In order to connect a MiFi with a cellular network, you need a service provider and one MiFi device can connect up to 10 Wi-Fi devices at the same time. The speed of the connection depends on the capacity of the cellular network implemented in the MiFi router.  

Source:  Here

 


Best mobile Wi-Fi routers 2020
 

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11 minutes ago, ReggiePerrin said:


So called MiFi devices are routers....  ‘MiFi’ is a brand name that has become a generic term for such devices - like 'Hoover' for all vacuum cleaners and 'Sellotape' for any clear self adhesive tape on a roll.

 

In the UK, Hutchinson (Three) own the MiFi brand...  

Best mobile Wi-Fi routers 2020
 

 

Surprised at the Tp link being best in class!  I have one and it's one of the worst I've had - in a drawer in the van as backup!

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2 hours ago, ReggiePerrin said:


So called MiFi devices are routers....  ‘MiFi’ is a brand name that has become a generic term for such devices - like 'Hoover' for all vacuum cleaners and 'Sellotape' for any clear self adhesive tape on a roll.

 

In the UK, Hutchinson (Three) own the MiFi brand...  

 


 

 


Best mobile Wi-Fi routers 2020
 

To be honest looking at the specifications on these mobile broadband devices I wouldn’t say any were the “best” mobile routers from either speed point of view. The Netgear Nighthawk M1 or M2 are far superior to any of those shown.

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Our caravan came fitted with this as standard, I would not have had it fitted myself as we use our phones as hotspots each having more than  enough monthly data allowance to see us by.

 

We have used it on occasions with the '3' card it came with and it works very well so would recommend it for those going down that route.

 

20190918_214902.thumb.jpg.b80d0cd6f1db2d19ca524eef7d84cfb7.jpg

 

20190826_145814.thumb.jpg.6d686a3059961d5000fee1c7dac28146.jpg

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2 hours ago, SamD said:

 

Surprised at the Tp link being best in class!  I have one and it's one of the worst I've had - in a drawer in the van as backup!


:D with these ‘top ten’ reviews I think the ‘best’ is the one that provides the greatest advertising revenue and/or other incentives to the reviewing publication.:D

 

I have a Vodafone 4G ‘MiFi’ as my currently favoured device of last resort but we both tend to use our O2 Phone data where possible - 8 Gb/unlimited calls & texts each for £10 per month each.  It is usually quite reliable.



 

 

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22 hours ago, Mr Plodd said:

Look and see if you can use your mobile phones data allowance. That’s what we do so our mobiles act as Wi-fi hubs and we can ‘tether” our iPads to the phones and surf the net.  I am with BT and I have unlimited calls, unlimited texts, 12 Gb of data per month AND I got a new smartphone (about 8 months ago now) , all for £17 per month.

 

That is by far the cheapest way to get access to the internet when away from home. You can buy Mi-fi “hotspot” devices, they operate via the mobile phone network BUT you have to purchase a data sim for them to access the phone network (you cannot use a standard phone sim in them) Usually a set amount of data that you must use in a set period of time. Three offer the best deal for pre-loaded sims. Last one I got was 24Gb data, valid for 24 months for about 40 quid. Full details on their website. I think they call it “Internet with legs” but check your phone contract first. If you are PAYG then the Internet with legs is probably going to be your cheapest option AFTER you have bought the hub of course.

 

Andy

 

 


Completely agree, and that’s what we do.  
 

However, it seems from what some say that a mifi might pull in a stronger signal.  Like you, the mifi I have tried does not take phone sims.  Anyway it’s only 3G so out of date now.  So I was interested in what others have said that they have a mifi which does.  I will look into that.  Some mifi’s allow for an external aerial.

 

I did look into ways of boosting a phones reception.  But the devices come out at a couple of hundred pounds.

 

We both have smart phones, mine is an iPhone 7+ on Vodafone £25 with 20 gb.

 

Wife was a pay monthly sim at 4gb with EE. So this was used as a back up if my Vodafone has no signal.  Recently my son re-negotiated his Virgin TV and broadband contract.  They threw in a phone sim even though he said he had no need.  It is a totally unlimited one.  Now in my wife phone, thanks very much to the son and to Virgin.

 

If anyone knows a workable way of improving reception within the van that does not cost £200. I would be interested.  Yes we do put the phone in the skylight which does help.

 

John

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I used to use a mobile router in the caravan and boat but nowadays find that my phone works perfectly well enough not to bother. 

 

A mobile phones tethering function will do everything that a mobile router will, but the mobile router "should" have a better receiver. I say that because it is not always the case. A mobile router should also have an external antenna socket, don't buy one which doesn't as this can make all the difference in marginal signal areas. The problem for mobile routers is that over the years many mobile phones have caught up in terms of data receivers especially large screen Xperias which take the opportunity to extend the internal antenna size and will offer better reception than most mobile routers unless that router has an external antenna - that is where the mobile router still wins. 

 

Where the mobile phone wins is that the data always with you, not just in your caravan. I have an all you can eat data on Vodafone with an Xperia XL which I use for business anyway and very rarely do I not find enough data to operate the laptop and smart tv simultaneously without buffering.

 

When considering a network don't decide until you have looked at coverage. 3 claims to be the network for mobile internet and might offer some good deals but also has by far the worst 4G coverage of the major networks. Their coverage is extremely patchy east of Peterborough or west of Exeter. 

 

 

 

 

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