How to Get Heavy-Duty Internet on the Road
How to Get Heavy-Duty Internet on the Road
Are you thinking about traveling full-time or seasonally in an RV and curious about how to get internet on the road (especially when you need a lot of internet)? We’ve got the hookups!
When we first started RVing, we did the typical Google search for how to get the best internet while on the road. What we quickly realized was that, up until recently, most full-time RVers were retirees enjoying a leisurely life on the road. They didn’t need much internet to survive because they weren’t working like we do. But with the explosive growth of WFH (work from home) opportunities, digital nomads are born every day. There are a ton of people like us out there jumping on the RV train while also running companies, working remotely, and trying to make our dreams come true. In order to do that, we need consistent, fast, truly unlimited, heavy-duty internet connections everywhere we go.
And we need A LOT of it.
Together, we own a content marketing agency that keeps us quite busy. We are always producing and editing social media videos, creating graphics, and producing podcasts, and more daily, so even an average internet service wasn’t always enough before we started traveling full time. And once we did, we found that many of the RV internet solutions still just weren’t enough. It took some trial and error, but we think we have found our internet solution, and we’ve got a few tips that we think can help you, too!
So for all of the photographers, videographers, web designers, gamers, and anyone else out there who needs a TON of internet, this is for YOU!
Before we roll out the heavy-duty stuff, we figured we would share what we tried at first. If we only needed a modest amount of internet, these options would have worked just fine for us.
This was a good option, but they started limiting our data pretty quickly. They say their internet is unlimited, but in reality, we could only get about 120 GB per month before our service was completely cut off. So, if 120 GB is enough for you, then we would recommend OTR Mobile, but if you need more than that, you might want to try a different option!
Another option we tried was Skyroam. It has ridiculously slow speeds (forget streaming), but it can basically give you internet anywhere, so it’s a great option for going international!
Now, for those of you that need wayyyy more internet, here is what is currently working for us!
We purchased a mobile router that is compatible with AT&T (here is the one we have), and bought a “grandfathered” AT&T SIM card and plan through someone on eBay (disclaimer: we don’t personally know the people we purchased from, so do your research and be careful about who you give your credit card information to when purchasing a similar plan.) If you are interested in buying something similar, try searching the term ‘grandfathered AT&T SIM card’ on eBay and see if anyone is selling an unlimited plan. AND with that mobile router, you can also unlock it and use it with whatever carrier you currently have!
Now, we have true unlimited and unthrottled data and have had no problems so far, even when using over a TB of data each month.
Our Tips for Using Internet On the Road
- Nighttime is the best time. Since we do a ton of massive uploads and downloads, we have found that internet speeds are way faster at night since everyone is using cell towers throughout the day. We set our large uploads and downloads to go overnight, and it usually works pretty well!
- Plan ahead. Finding a place with good internet is challenging, so we have been using Cellmapper to find towers with a strong signal strength that is close to our campground. All carriers are listed on there and we can see exactly where each tower is and even how far its signal reaches, so it’s a cool tool for anyone looking for internet!
- Grab a bite. When we stay in a spot that doesn’t have a good cell signal right at our campsite, we (especially Andrea) love going out to a Starbucks to get our work done. And if there are no coffee shops with wifi around, a parking lot that has a good cell signal works just fine! Bring your mobile router and you can work as long as you want in a Walmart parking lot. We have done this a few times, and while it isn’t ideal, it is helpful. Also, if you are a cheapskate (like Tyler 😆) and don’t want to always buy a coffee or some food to use someone’s wifi, we have found that if you park close enough to the building, you can usually still access the WiFi from your car! You will just have to try and guess their password, and either we are really good guessers, or they are pretty easy to figure out. 😉 (Next time you are near a Subway, try their phone number or ‘eatfresh’ and we bet you’ll get in! No, we’re not kidding.)
Everyone travels differently and will need different things to operate optimally, but this is what we have found works best for us, and we hope it might help you, too! Oh, and it’s good to keep in mind that there are a ton of new mobile internet companies coming out every day, so keep an eye on that if you haven’t found what you are looking for quite yet.
Tyler & Andrea
We are full-time adventure seekers taking on the world in our East to West RV! We have seen so much personal growth during our first year of nomad life that we wanted a way to capture all of those moments and share them with you! Our goal is to inspire everyone to chase after their dreams and always seek adventure in whatever they do.