8 Best WIFI Boosters for RVs
These days, you can install Wifi routers anywhere you want, even in a mobile home like an RV. However, when you’re constantly traveling, you’re likely to enter areas with a poor Wifi signal. In those cases, it’s crucial for you to have a Wifi booster for RVs to amplify your signals and keep you connected.
What is a Wifi Booster and How Does it Work?
An RV Wifi booster is a device that can boost or enhance the quality or strength of your internet connection. It works in combination with your Wifi router to enhance the signals it receives and ensure a connection wherever you are.
A Wifi booster works by establishing a connection between a Wifi router and a wireless device; i.e. a laptop, phone, tablet, etc. Your router needs to be turned on and sending signals to your device. When you encounter a weak signal, the booster simply captures the transmission and enhances or “boosts” it, and essentially pushes it to your device.
The strength and speed depend on several factors, including the Wifi router and the standard of the booster. The general standard used by most Wifi boosters is Wireless N, which can support a network bandwidth of 300 Mbps.
Why Do You Need to Boost RV Wifi Signals?
There are a number of reasons for getting a Wifi booster for RVs. The following are some of the most pertinent:
- Weather Updates: When you’re driving in an RV or camping, it’s important to stay updated with weather reports and forecasts. Trust me, you don’t wanna’ be stuck in a campsite when there’s a storm raging around you! The only way to make sure your camping trips go off without a hitch is to ensure you’re able to access current weather reports so you can plan your trips accordingly. With a Wifi booster, you can feel secure knowing that you’ll receive weather reports wherever you are.
- GPS Location: If you’re driving around in an RV, it goes without saying that you need constant access to accurate directions. Physical maps can be annoying to deal with and one small misread can lead you off track & let’s be honest, does anyone really know how to fold one properly? However, if you can access a GPS location or Google maps, there’s no way you’ll ever get lost. The only way to ensure you always have access to GPS locations is to get a Wifi booster so you’re never stranded without internet & can finally lose that annoying map
- Contacting Friends and Family: Those who lead the nomadic lifestyle often go weeks or months without seeing their loved ones. If you have a Wifi booster, you can always be connected to them; they’re just a video call away!
- Emergencies: Are you stranded in the middle of nowhere and it’s the dead of night? Has your engine died in? Has someone in your party been injured and you need immediate medical assistance? With any of these emergencies, it’s important to have internet connectivity so you can call for help or figure out what to do. For example, if someone is hurt or has fallen ill and you’re in the middle of nowhere, you’ll be thankful for your Wifi booster which will allow you to locate the nearest hospital, or urgent care.
- Digital Nomad Lifestyle: Are you a digital nomad? Do you carry your work wherever you go? If so, your livelihood literally depends on having access to the internet at all times, wherever you are. A Wifi booster is a valuable investment that ensures you don’t miss that deadline, or conference call with the boss.
There are a number of different devices that can be used for boosting Wifi signals. Each of them essentially perform the same function by providing you with a stronger connection, but they go about it in different ways. I have categorized them into standard Wifi Boosters, Wifi Antennas and Wifi Extenders.
Best Wifi Boosters for RVs
A Wifi booster amplifies the strength of the signals received by your router. If you are receiving internet, but the connection is weak, a booster will be useful. Wifi boosters can be further subcategorized.
There are several types of Wifi Boosters:
- Dual-Band Booster — These Wifi boosters are the strongest and provide stronger reach and strength than other Wifi boosters. They are available in stationary and portable forms, you should go for the portable booster.
- Wireless Signal Booster — This is a quick and easy solution to extending your Wifi’s range, but it’s not as powerful as a Dual-Band booster.
- Mobile Booster — These are small and compact boosters that can be carried around in your pockets. These are the most portable of all the Wifi boosters on the market.
Here are my top picks:
1. Kuma Long-Range
The Kuma Long-Range is a wireless Wifi booster that can be equipped with the popular R36 portable WiFi router, with tube series USB wireless adapters, and the ALFA network outdoor antenna AOA-2409. It weighs in at just 2.3 pounds so it’s highly portable, and it has a frequency range and distance of 2.4 GHz and 1.5 kms respectively.
This Wifi booster works with all Wifi devices and is extremely easy to set up as it doesn’t require any drivers, disks, wires, or additional accessories. It also comes with a long-range antenna that can easily be mounted on a pole outside your RV to receive even stronger signals.
The antenna base is not threaded, so if you do need to mount it, you’ll need to attach the base to an adapter using the provided straps then thread that to your flange. Straight out of the box the Kuma is designed for mounting to an existing rack with zip ties.
When connecting to local Wifi, you’ll need to enter the network password to give the booster access to Wifi. It will also increase the range of Wifi networks detected drastically. I used it in a fairly crowded park and my phone could detect as many as 20 networks whereas earlier it could only detect 4 to 5.
Though the Kuma allows you to detect additional networks, it’s not ideal for enhancing internet speed. After using this Wifi booster, my internet speed was reduced by almost half. I utilized an online SpeedTest website to check the speed before using the Kuma and after from the same location & Wifi network. Before enabling the Kuma, I was getting over 10 Mbps, after enabling it, my speed was reduced to about 5-6 Mbps. This Wifi booster is designed to enhance the range of networks, not the speed.
If you’re traveling to places where you have to access Wifi connections from several miles away, this will serve you well, but it is not ideal for enhancing the speed of an already existing and detected Wifi network.
- Increases the range of Wifi networks detected easily.
- It comes with both a DC and AC adapter which is convenient if you don’t have direct access to electrical hookups in the vicinity.
- You can connect and install it without any professional help.
- The device is highly durable, and is weather & temperature resistant.
- It can only enhance the range of Wifi connection, not the speed.
2. Alfa AWUS036NH
The Alfa AWUS036NH is another great option if you’re looking for a portable RV Wifi booster. It has the ability to both enhance the strength of your signals while also enhancing its range. It comes equipped with a hi-gain folding antenna that’s rated at +9 dBi and a 2.4GHz frequency. This ensures that your internet connection is significantly boosted, and provides a range of about 1.2 miles. It has 2000 MW output power ,so it should be attached to a 2.4GHz antenna.
It bears mentioning that Alfa AWUS036NH isn’t as powerful as some Wifi boosters like the USB-Yagi Plug and Play. Comparatively speaking, Yagi Wifi boosters and other similar, stationery boosters offer far more range & strength, and they can be connected & stacked atop each other to multiply their strength. You can’t do that with the Alfa AWUS036NH. Stationary Wifi boosters are larger in size, but the Alfa booster can easily be carried around anywhere.
This unit does come with a USB cable, but can only be hooked up to USB 2.0 ports. It also supports both monitor and injection mode as long as the user has an app and OS to support it. It is important to note that this device cannot simply be plugged directly to a power outlet, it has to be connected to a USB port to amplify signals.
Once this device was connected and installed, I found it to be extremely effective. There are a few challenges when installing this particular device. First, it’s important to create a “restore point” before proceeding since it is NOT a “plug & play” device. Secondly, it is advisable to update all Windows drivers to ensure that everything “communicates” properly. Finally, you will need to install all of the necessary drivers, then connect it, otherwise you will need to utilize that restore point, especially if you run into errors while installing the drivers.
Another pesky issue with this device is that it does not remember your password, so you will need to enter your Wifi password every time you want to connect. I also found that it will randomly drop the connection, so again you have to enter the password to establish your connection again.
- Compatible with all Wifi devices.
- Has an LED screen that displays the signal strength.
- Highly portable.
- Strong range.
- Installation is extremely difficult.
- Doesn’t remember Wifi password.
- Drops connection sporadically.
3. NETGEAR AC750 EX6100
The NETGEAR AC750 EX6100 is one of the most portable Wifi boosters on the market and it’s also extremely easy to install. You simply connect it to a power source, turn it on, turn your router on, and your signals are immediately amplified. There’s no need to connect via USB to your computer, so it’s highly portable and simple. If you do want to connect it physically to the device, you can do so using the Gigabit Ethernet port as well.
In terms of speed, this Wifi booster has a maximum speed rating of 750 Mbps, which is enough to stream a Full HD video easily. This booster has two antennas and broadcasts in dual-band, so it provides signals at 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. The 2.4 GHz frequency provides 300 Mbps speed and the 5 GHz provides 450 Mbps speed. The dual-band feature makes it ideally suited for all Wifi enabled devices.
I also appreciated the access point mode, which is a feature that enables you to connect the booster to the router directly with an Ethernet cable. This enhances the broadcast speed even when you’re far away from the booster and router.
You can also connect two separate Wifi boosters to the same router if you want Wifi connection in two different areas within a given range. You can also use multiple boosters to extend the signal by bouncing them off each other, but your Wifi speed will suffer. You cannot however, connect two boosters with the intention of doubling the range of strength.
If you want to maintain 100% speed while simultaneously extending the range, you’ll have to use Access Point mode by moving the slider from Extender to Access Point mode, then onnect the LAN cable to the booster and use the network SSID and password. Alternatively, you can also use the 2.4 GHz band to communicate with the Wifi router while using the 5 GHz band to communicate with the devices. Both these options will help you enhance the range while maintaining the original Wifi speed.
- Two antennas, both of which receive strong signals.
- Easy installation.
- Dual-band wireless signals with 4 GHz and 5 GHz.
- Can work on Range Extender and Access Point mode.
- Setting it up to extend the range while simultaneously maintaining the speed is complicated.
Best Wifi Antennas for RVs
A Wifi Antenna can be mounted on your RV to strengthen the internet signals. It helps capture signals from a distance then transmits them to your router. If you travel to remote or off-road areas, a Wifi antenna will be useful.
4. BearExtender Bearifi
The BearExtender Bearifi is a Wifi antenna meant for a single computer. It can extend the WiFi signal to a computer or device that is connected via a USB cable. It has a long range so it can capture signals from miles away and divert them to the device, making it extremely useful if you’re traveling or camping in remote areas.
It is equipped with a 10 dB directional antenna, 16 ft. USB cable and there’s no need to connect to a power outlet. You can connect this device anywhere, but your signal might be degraded if it’s set up inside your RV. Connecting it outside helps fetch the best signals, especially if it’s placed up high on a pole. There are three mounting options you can utilize; detachable tabletop tripod, mounted on a metal pole, or with a Velcro strap. It’s also IP65 certified so it’s water resistant and corrosion resistant, making it durable and ideal for use outdoors.
My biggest issue with this Wifi antenna was that it can’t be used directly to amplify connection for several devices. You can however, plug it into a computer, then connect an ethernet port to a wireless router and direct the computer to share the connection. This method will help you bypass that limitation and have the option of turning your computer’s hotspot on and sharing the connection with other devices.
Another big issue here is that this Wifi antenna is only meant for Windows PCs. As such, you can’t connect it to your Mac or Linux.
Besides those issues, I found this Wifi Antenna to be pretty powerful. While driving around the city, I could pick up Wifi signals from public places like McDonald’s, the Library, Starbucks, etc, that were several blocks away. So if you’re looking to mooch off a public Wifi network and not have to be within the radius of their network, this is a pretty useful device.
- It’s a directional antenna so it can pick up signals from all directions.
- Has a great range.
- Durable construction.
- There are several mounting options with provided accessories.
- Since it connects directly to the USB, there’s no need for a power outlet.
- Can only be used to connect to a single computer. If you want to add several devices, you have to use additional accessories or use the computer’s hotspot, a process that essentially splits the speed of the internet between the different devices.
- Only meant for Windows PCs.
5. C. Crane US3
The C. Crane US3 is a tiny 1.5 pound USB Wifi antenna for portable use in RVs. It simply connect it via the computer’s USB port and it will considerably extend your laptop’s Wifi reach. Upon testing it in my city, I noticed at least 15 new Wifi networks being detected by my computer. It can even maintain the signal strength if the USB device is located within the walls of the RV.
This Wifi booster has an IP65 certification so it can be used outside even when it’s raining. Furthermore, the “N” technology ensures that you can transfer files using the N router. It also comes with a 15-foot USB split USB cable in case you want to hook or mount the antenna far from the computer. In terms of mounting, you can use the suction cups provided to attach the device to the window or you can use the “hook and loop” strip to mount it on a wall or pole.
When using this device, I was curios to see if its reach and strength would be even further amplified if it was attached on a pole on my RV roof. I made the connection and used an additional 30 foot USB cable and I received far stronger signals. Furthermore, unlike the Bearifi Wifi antenna, this antenna is compatible with all Windows and Mac operating systems, though you still can’t use it with Linux.
I would also recommend that you keep the antenna at a vertical position because it acts as an omni-directional antenna in that case. If you place it horizontally, you’ll need to point it in the direction of the Wifi network.
One of the reasons I prefer this and other Wifi antennas over a Wifi booster is that it can take the place of a wireless card. A regular Wifi booster can pick up a wireless frequency and broadcast it over another channel. This antenna on the other hand is an amplified wireless card. As such, it can amplify and catch signals from 1 to 3 miles away and transmit them to your laptop or device without needing a specific router.
While I personally didn’t have much of an issue with installation, several users I spoke with said that they struggled with installing it. The instructions provided with the device are pretty vague so you might need to watch some tutorials online before using.
- Extremely lightweight and portable.
- Great range.
- Issues with installation.
Best Wifi Extenders for RVs
A Wifi extender is similar to a Wifi booster in a lot of ways, but not all Wifi extenders can boost your signal strength, some can only boost the distance of the signal. As such, they may be able to capture signals from farther distances but not necessarily strengthen them. If you are located in an area where the internet signals just don’t reach, a Wifi extender will be more useful than a booster as it can capture distant signals.
6. Winegard WF-3000
The Winegard WF-3000 is a powerful Wifi extender equipped with three high powered antennas to enhance its range. It’s highly secure with advanced Wifi protected access, double firewall protection, and denial of service attack prevention features. Furthermore, with this Wifi extender, you can connect all the devices you want and enhance all of their Wifi range.
I really liked that this device had three amplifiers, one for outdoors and two for indoors. The outdoor amplifier is detachable, rated at 2.4 GHz, and provides up to 450 Mbps of speed. The indoor amplifiers are rated at 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz respectively and provide up to 450 Mbps and 1300 Mbps of speed.
As a Wifi extender, this device can only increase the range of Wifi signals and not the speed. For example, if you’re parked in an RV park, it’s possible that you might not be within range of the park’s Wifi router, however if you mount the Wifi extender on top of your RV, the 3 antennas will be able to catch signals from miles away and allow you to access the Wifi. This also applies to other locations as well. You can park your RV in the parking lot of a public building with Wifi and access its internet, as long as you have their network password.
You cannot use this extender while driving because you have to be within 1-2 miles of the Wifi router in order to access it. Once you go beyond that point, you will lose the signals. If you want a network extender you can use while driving, you can use this model’s 4G version.
I do have one major concern with this Wifi extender though. I found that it works with some Wifi spots and doesn’t with others. In some areas, it can capture signals perfectly and in other cases, the network times out. This suggests that there’s a compatibility issue and that this device isn’t compatible with all Wifi systems. However, I will say that when it does connect to a Wifi network, it does so perfectly and really boosts the signals and range.
- Great at increasing range and catching distant Wifi networks.
- 3 antennas are provided for increased range.
- Highly secure.
- Easy to install.
- Extremely expensive.
- Not meant to increase the speed of internet, only range.
- Inconsistent compatibility with Wifi networks.
7. Persevere WiFi Range Extender
This Wifi extender works on three separate modes; Repeater Mode, AP Mode, and Router Mode. The Repeater Mode can be used if you want to enhance the coverage of a wireless network already being detected by your device. AP Mode allows you to covert a wired network to a wireless network. And the Router Mode allows you to create a private wireless network and give several devices access to it.
This device also comes equipped with a Media Bridge Function that allows you to use the gigabit Ethernet ports to connect wired devices to the extender for increased speed. People tend to misunderstand what this extender is designed to do so I’ll explain. The extender function creates new SSIDs that you can connect to and extends the range of the Wifi, and you can create new networks using different SSID names.
I have to say that this device does its job wonderfully. After connecting it to a Wifi router, I started walking with it in hand to see how far I could go and still retain the signal. I walked away from my house and down the street; the signals were still strong. I continued down the block and I still had signals. I eventually lost the signals altogether once I was about 3 blocks away, so that’s an incredible range. I’m very impressed.
Installation of this Wifi extender is quite simple if you follow the instructions. You will need to trigger the Repeater mode using the switch at the left, plug the extender into a power outlet, and turn it on. Reset the device by inserting a pin or paperclip into the small hole on the right. This will turn all the LED lights on and activate the device. Connect your device’s Wifi to either Wireless-N or Wireless-AC. Launch the browser and enter the address http://ap.setup or 192.168.10.1 and then enter the password “admin”. Next, simply follow the setup wizard and your Wifi signals will be amplified.
- Has an incredible range because of 4 external antennas.
- Can work in several different modes for different purposes.
- Easy installation.
- The connection can sometimes be unstable and you might have to reconnect or reset the device.
8. Halo Long Range Marine & RV Wi-Fi Extender
The Halo Long Range Marine & RV Wi-Fi Extender comes equipped with an 18” 9DBi antenna rated at 2.4 GHz and is capable of supporting a Wifi speed of up to 300 Mbps. It’s may not be the most powerful WiFi extender out there, and it’s quite expensive, but it is incredibly durable, and has a sleek design. This device is essentially a long antenna, and not much more to it, which makes it highly portable. Its dimensions are 28 x 1 x 1 inches and it weighs in at just 1 pound.
It can connect to several devices, you just have to configure it with the local Wifi network and log in using the provided username and password and installation & setup is a breeze. This Halo extender comes equipped with a 120-200V AC adapter which you need to plug into an outlet, or you can also connect it to a 12V car charger.
Even though it has just one antenna, the range is not an issue for this device. Upon testing it, I could detect over 45 Wifi networks as opposed to 10 before installation & setup. Furthermore, I could also connect to a convenience store’s Wifi which was located over 4 miles away. While this device has great range, it also cuts the internet speed in half. For example, if I use it with my personal home internet which should be providing me with 125 Mbps, I only get about 65 to 70 Mbps. You can use this to gain access to distant Wifi networks, but it is not recommended for use if the network is already within reach.
- Easy installation and instructions.
- Can connect several devices without splitting the speed.
- Highly durable and waterproof.
- Has a long range.
- Cuts internet speed by half.
FAQ About Wifi Boosters
Which Factors to Consider when Buying Wifi Booster for RVs?
When you go through reviews of Wifi Boosters for RVs, it’s important to focus on the following factors to determine if it’s right for you.
Before you purchase a Wifi booster, you need to examine your router. The booster has to be compatible with your signal provider or router. Furthermore, the booster must also be compatible with the router’s speed range, which is usually somewhere between 300 to 1300 Mbps. Most modern Wifi routers can cater to all different types of boosters now so it shouldn’t be much of an issue. You should still be mindful just in case.
As mentioned already, Wifi boosters come in various forms. Some of them amplify the strength of the internet and others can receive signals from greater distances. If you already have internet, but with poor signals, you need to strengthen your signal. If you are located in an area with minimal or no Wifi, you might need a booster that can fetch signals from a greater distance.
Wifi boosters are available in various designs, some of them have plastic blocks that can be plugged into an outlet directly. Some come with LED displays that flash the signal strength. Some look like simple Wifi routers. Some are large and some can fit into your pockets. Choose a Wifi booster that’s portable and has all the features necessary for you.
As far as speed is concerned, the higher the Mbps the better. However, you’ll be limited by your Wifi router’s capacity. So choose a Wifi booster with the highest Mbps that can also be supported by your current router.
The Wifi booster should also be designed in a safe and secure manner, ensuring both the security of your online presence and your physical space.
Ease of Connection
Depending on your skills with technology and hardware, you should also focus on the ease of installation and connection. Reminder, you will need to know your router’s network name and password, (usually written under the router), in order to connect the Wifi booster.
The easiest Wifi boosters for connection are Antennas; they need to just simply be turned on and they start amplifying the signals as long as the router is also turned on. The signals will be directly transmitted from the router to the booster for effortless connection!
There are various features that only some Wifi boosters offer because they aren’t a necessity. One such feature is the presence of one or several ethernet ports. This port allows you to plug in a device with a wired connection which can often provide a better connection, though you can’t access it wirelessly.
Some Wifi boosters also provide audio streaming and come with ports for speakers or headphones. As such, these Wifi boosters can also double as music streaming devices.
Be sure to examine the additional features available in your chosen RV Wifi booster and choose wisely.
How is an RV Wifi Booster different from a regular Wifi Booster?
The only major difference between a regular Wifi booster and an RV Wifi booster is that the latter should be more portable by necessity. Since you’ll be traveling a lot, it makes sense to get a Wifi booster that’s small and can easily be connected anywhere.
Aside from that difference, RV Wifi boosters are the same as regular Wifi boosters and can be used interchangeably.
How to use Wifi Boosters in RVs?
It’s easy to connect and install the Wifi booster in your RV; simply install the booster, then place it in a location where you can easily receive Wifi signals.
Once the Wifi booster has been installed, connect it to the power supply. Using your computer and remote devices, log into the booster and enter the network login details. You’re now able to use the Wifi booster to amplify your signals.
I hope this article has helped you decide which is the best Wifi booster for your RV and specific needs. Please consult the Buyer’s Guide to help figure out your options and learn more about Wifi boosters. Having said that, go ahead and enjoy browsing the internet!