How We Stay Connected for Work
As full-time RVers who also have full-time corporate jobs, we often get asked how we connect to the internet. If you’re interested in living in an RV and still working, here’s how we connect to the internet for a full day of work, Zoom calls, and streaming Taylor Swift on Spotify. When traveling across the country, you never know what service is going to work best (if it works at all), so we utilize solutions from the major US telecom providers, including T-Mobile, Verizon, and AT&T.
The Winegard is a standard WiFi extender that comes pre-installed on a lot of newer RVs. The basic model connects to existing WiFi networks, boosts the signal, and creates a private network within the RV.
There are a few benefits of using a WiFi Booster, opposed to connecting directly to campground WiFi:
- It creates a private network, ensuring security for activities like online banking
- Having a single WiFi network to connect to ensures that you don’t have to update your WiFi settings at each stop for things like your laptop, Alexa, and AppleTV.
We upgraded from the basic Winegard that came pre-installed to the Winegard ConnecT 2.0 4G2, which can connect to 4G wireless networks and boost WiFi. The 4G capability allows us to connect when we’re boondocking using a SIM card from Verizon, but this can be an expensive option. Few wireless providers offer a Hotspot plan that is reasonably priced or not part of a larger failure plan. For that reason, we have 30 gigs of data on a Verizon prepaid plan to use as a last resort.
T-Mobile recently launched Home Internet for existing T-Mobile customers. When you signup, T-Mobile sends you a router with a 4G LTE SIM card pre-installed –– simply plug-in the router, and you’re ready to connect to the internet. This plan is a great deal at $50 a month, unlimited data, and unthrottled speeds.
For $80 per month, AT&T offers 100 gigs of high-speed internet. Unlike T-Mobile, AT&T requires that you purchase the router ($199), and any usage after 100 gigs is priced at $10 per gigabit, which can add up quickly.
When all else fails, we go to Starbucks. Last summer we were staying at a gay campground in Georgia and there was no cell service or WiFi – so we packed up every day and drove 30 minutes to Starbucks. At first we were both annoyed with the situation but embracing it as a part of the RV adventure we ended up really liking it; we got to commute to the office and every morning got to purchase a coffee that someone else made.