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Technical Resources => Geek Squad => Topic started by: LaydBack on March 01, 2018, 11:40:39 am

Title: Wireless Internet/WiFi Solution Seeking
Post by: LaydBack on March 01, 2018, 11:40:39 am
We're looking for a solution for having wireless connectivity at our seasonal. It would be used for the girlfriend to be able to work from the campground, streaming music and movies, and maybe the kids gaming (least important).  We don't mind a reasonable monthly rate if it gets us past the throttling and low limits.  I just figured I'd ask here and see what you guys are using and how you're routing to multiple devices, etc.  Thanks

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Title: Re: Wireless Internet/WiFi Solution Seeking
Post by: Nathan on March 01, 2018, 12:34:10 pm
My truck has a hotspot with a reasonable monthly rate.  I turn it on when we're traveling as a family. of course letting it run all day at camp wouldn't be efficient....


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Title: Re: Wireless Internet/WiFi Solution Seeking
Post by: Dockside on March 01, 2018, 01:15:39 pm
We built a system that resembles the WiFi ranger system.  In a nut shell it uses two routers flashed with dd-wrt.  One router, the "external" router, is used for connecting to WiFi sources and can be fitted with different antennas (if needed) to boost the signal.  This router is set to client mode and connects to external WiFi sources (requires a little configuration in one place each time the fiver lands).  We use a Verizon MiFi as a fail over.  The MiFi isn't needed, but we need a solid connection as to not interrupt work.  The "external" router is hardwired via a network cable into a 2nd "internal" router.  The "internal" router is setup as a standard in house router with the network cable from the "external" router plugging into the Internet connection (just like a home cable box/wireless router setup).  Seems complicated, but it really isn't.

Why go through all this trouble?  A small list of reasons:  All the devices (we have 9) only connect to one router and don't need to be reconfigured with each move; Some service providers have a device limit per account.  This setup looks like a single device to those service providers;  All of the devices on the "internal" router have access to printers and file sharing within the fiver; Browsing rules setup for family members on the "internal" router are in place; Last but not least, all the devices stay behind a router based firewall for a bit of added protection.

Speeds vary with each campground as it all depends on what the campground uses to back haul the traffic out of the park.  During the daytime at most campgrounds we can get 10 Mbps up and down (plenty of bandwidth for streaming and/or working).  However that normally falls to about 1 Mbps up/down during busy times (barely enough bandwidth to surf and check emails).  That is where the MiFi kicks in and is pretty consistent between 10-15 Mbps down and 5-10 Mbps up.

Hopefully this helps and doesn't confuse the matter.  I'll be writing a more detailed article on this soon.

Title: Re: Wireless Internet/WiFi Solution Seeking
Post by: LaydBack on March 01, 2018, 01:31:37 pm
If I'm not mistaking, she has a mifi...if that's the hotspot from Verizon.  The campground offers nothing free, we can do Tengo there, I just wasn't sure if there were any other national providers.  I was figuring that whatever we use, we'd have to get a router.

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Title: Re: Wireless Internet/WiFi Solution Seeking
Post by: Dockside on March 01, 2018, 02:38:54 pm

Seems like most campgrounds use Tengo.  We use Tengo (premium plan) quite a bit, however, it comes with a device limit (this could be campground specific) which gets old if you have more devices than the limit allows.  Always have to login and switch out a device (which is always the device someone else is using at that time  :o ).

Haven't had an issue with Tengo, the slow downs are normally from the campground's back haul connection to the Internet and not the Tengo infrastructure.  Tengo gets a bad wrap over this.  Over the past 6 months, most of our traffic has been over a Tengo infrastructure (premium subscription) and I would say it's been acceptable about 90% of the time.  That 10% of unacceptable time is when the hotspot (MiFi) comes in handy.
Title: Re: Wireless Internet/WiFi Solution Seeking
Post by: chilipyro on March 01, 2018, 02:39:55 pm
Streaming music and especially movies (and kids gaming) are where you are going to have difficulty with internet connectivity that is supplied by anything other than broadband. Dockside's setup sounds fantastic. I tried to do something similar and ran in to a bunch of issues - I will have to check his out the next time we camp together :). That setup would let you tap in with better reliability to the Tengo service. I don't know if this service caps or throttles connections. Even if it does not do that, I have yet to run into a campground wifi service that is not horribly slow and congested. Many campgrounds block streaming services. The ones that don't have service that is too slow to stream anything. Then again, if Tengo doesn't charge by use, and if the campground you are parking in is not that congested, this is probably your best hope. By the way, you need line of sight to your campground's wifi antenna. If there are trees in the way, no antenna will help.

If you stream on any cellular hotspot, you will burn through your data plan after a couple of movies (and that is only if you have a beefy data plan). If you can't do this over your campground wifi, your best bet is probably satellite for movies and music.

For just work, or web browsing, you are probably fine with cellular or campground.
Title: Re: Wireless Internet/WiFi Solution Seeking
Post by: LaydBack on March 01, 2018, 03:15:33 pm
Seems like most campgrounds use Tengo.  We use Tengo (premium plan) quite a bit, however, it comes with a device limit (this could be campground specific) which gets old if you have more devices than the limit allows.  Always have to login and switch out a device (which is always the device someone else is using at that time  :o ).

Haven't had an issue with Tengo, the slow downs are normally from the campground's back haul connection to the Internet and not the Tengo infrastructure.  Tengo gets a bad wrap over this.  Over the past 6 months, most of our traffic has been over a Tengo infrastructure (premium subscription) and I would say it's been acceptable about 90% of the time.  That 10% of unacceptable time is when the hotspot (MiFi) comes in handy.
Doesn't the router get you around the device limit, or is that what requires 2 routers?

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Title: Re: Wireless Internet/WiFi Solution Seeking
Post by: Dockside on March 01, 2018, 08:05:27 pm
Doesn't the router get you around the device limit, or is that what requires 2 routers?

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Correct.  The external router is the client device and the 2nd router is for all the devices.
Title: Re: Wireless Internet/WiFi Solution Seeking
Post by: LaydBack on April 05, 2018, 10:30:34 pm
Test

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Title: Re: Wireless Internet/WiFi Solution Seeking
Post by: LaydBack on April 06, 2018, 05:49:31 am
Anyone familiar with the Winegard Connect?  There's a new version out.  The new unit is due to arrive at the dealer, if it hasn't already.  I talked with a production manager at the factory,  and he had them add some not yet released features to my unit...wifi connectivity that will allow for remote access to several things - hvac, water heater, and some other things...just debating on hardware and whether to do tengo or try adding a Winegard Connect as an additional line on our cell/data plan?????

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