WiFi is a temperamental beast. You could be enjoying a good WiFi signal then you take a few steps in one way and the signal drops to one bar. Find out how to strengthen WiFi with these 4 wifi amplifier solutions.
Most campers do not want to do without the beloved internet even on vacation. Thanks to EU-wide roaming and generous data volume for mobile phone contracts, you can now get quite a long way with your own smartphone. At campsites in particular, however, guests like to log in via the campsite’s own WiFi network in order to conserve their own data volume. Below are 4 solutions what that are perfect as wifi amplifiers.
The problem with WLAN while camping
the reception often leaves something to be desired. In a number of places, the WLAN is only available in the reception or restaurant area. Establishing an Internet connection is often a game of chance, especially at locations a little further away. This is particularly annoying if you have paid extra for access to the WLAN network, but then cannot easily get into the network.
As for almost everything, there is also a technical solution here: the signal can be significantly improved with a so-called WLAN or Wifi amplifier. This improves the reception in difficult situations and you can book your dream stand by the lake with a clear conscience without worrying about poor internet reception.
TIP: WLAN and Wifi both have the same name: a local internet network. Especially in other European countries you will usually come across the term “Wifi”. The term WLAN is only used in Germany.
What is the use of a wifi amplifier when camping?
WiFi amplifiers are often referred to as WiFi repeaters or WiFi amplifiers and have one task: to increase the range of the existing WiFi network. In its simplest form, a WiFi amplifier is a small box that is connected to the power grid and connects to a WiFi router (e.g., of the campsite or parking space).
The WLAN repeater receives the router’s signal via the antenna (either built-in or external), amplifies it and then forwards it to any end device such as notebook, tablet or smartphone. This allows the range of the WLAN network to be increased by up to several hundred meters, depending on the model.
In addition to increasing the range, WLAN repeaters have another advantage: Several end devices can be connected to the repeater. At the campsite, it is enough to buy a single WiFi ticket. This can then be used for all members of the family.
It is also practical if you change location frequently that you only have to change the WiFi access on the repeater when changing the network. The access data of the respective end devices are saved in the WiFi amplifier. So, you don’t have to reconfigure the WLAN login for each individual mobile phone, tablet, notebook, etc. at the next campsite.
What are the components of a camping WiFi amplifier?
A wifi amplifier for camping vehicles basically consists of three components:
- WLAN router
The antenna receives the existing signal (e.g., from the reception of the campsite) and forwards it via relay transmission. Commercially available WLAN repeaters for use at home often use permanently installed antennas in the repeater. In the camping area, external antennas are often used, which are mounted on the outside of the vehicle.
The repeater itself picks up the signal and forwards it to the end devices. Modern camping WiFi amplifiers usually support all common WiFi transmission standards, so that it is also possible to connect to local networks abroad without any problems.
An additional criterion is the speed of the transmission rate. The standard is 300 Mbit / second, although the actual speed is often significantly lower in practice. For everyday use (surfing the net, streaming films) it is still completely sufficient.
Faster repeaters with up to 600 Mbit / s are available, but then also cost several hundred euros. Together with a high-priced external antenna and the wiring, you will quickly end up with costs in excess of 1,000 euros. For many campers this will simply not be profitable.
4 recommended camping WiFi repeaters for every budget
The following are four Wifi amplifiers suitable for camping, starting with simple repeaters for the socket up to complete systems with external antenna.
1. Simple WiFi repeater: TP-Link TL-WA850RE
The simplest solution and already available for less than 20 euros: the TL-WA850RE WLAN repeater from TP-Link. The device is simply connected to the socket of the motorhome and increases the range of the WLAN network at speeds of up to 300 Mbit / s. The end devices are conveniently managed via the app, and the router also has a LAN port that can also be used to connect wired devices.
2. Travel hotspot: ZTE MF920V 4G
The ZTE MF920V 4G mobile hotspot is not a real WLAN repeater, but a so-called “Mifi router”. The device dials into the cellular network via a SIM card and forwards the signal to up to ten end devices via a local hotspot. The advantage compared to a normal smartphone is that you can connect multiple devices to a single connection. Similar devices are also offered by Huawei and TP-Link, but they are a little more expensive.
3. Directional radio system: TP-Link Pharos series CPE210 Outdoor WLAN Access Point
The CPE210 Outdoor WLAN Access Point from TP-Link is a good and comparatively inexpensive solution when a regular WiFi amplifier is no longer sufficient. Thanks to two directional antennas, distances of several hundred meters can be bridged, and the device is also specially designed for outdoor use. A laptop connected to the access point with a LAN cable is required for setup.
4. Complete system: Alfa Network Camp-Pro WiFi Set v2
With the Camp-Pro WiFi Set v2, Alfa Network offers a complete camping WiFi system without having to spend several hundred euros. The set consists of an omnidirectional antenna, the router and all the necessary cables. Suction cups and brackets are not included and have to be bought separately, in total you end up with around 150 euros for a system suitable for everyday use, with which more distant wifi hotspots on campsites are no longer a problem.
Alternative in remote locations: LTE amplifiers
Those who leave the campsites behind and also like to travel outside of civilization cannot easily connect to the nearest WiFi hotspot. Wifi amplifiers do not help here either, because there is no point to which they can connect.
Here, too, you don’t have to do without the Internet entirely: so-called LTE amplifiers make it possible. These devices mostly work in the 4G frequency range and work similarly to WiFi repeaters, except that they amplify cellular signals in more remote locations and convert them to WiFi. External 4G LTE antennas are a good solution if you can no longer get reception with your smartphone.
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