How to get WiFi internet access in caravans motorhomes & camping 2021
It’s more important than ever to have a good reliable internet connection and most people want internet access in caravans, motorhomes or while camping. Many caravan parks and campsites have installed dedicated WiFi networks for guests but if WiFi is not available there are other options for you to consider if you want to connect to the internet.
How to get internet in a Caravan, Motorhome or Tent
Check if the campsite or holiday park has WiFi internet available
Check what average speeds can be expected and if there is a charge for access, for many people connecting to a guest network is the best option, however speed can vary greatly from one camp site to the next.
Use your mobile phone connection, and mobile data if you can pick up a good 4G/5G
A quick coverage check online enables you to find out which mobile networks are available at the caravan sites you are going to and whether there is reasonable 4G or 5G coverage.
Buy a MiFi internet device or dongle if you want your own dedicated portable internet hotspot
Buy a portable MiFi box or dongle to connect via mobile networks.
Satellite internet is also a possibility if you do a lot of camping & wild camping off the beaten track
Satellite internet services are generally quite expensive and you will need to buy some specialist kit including a satellite receiver, a satellite router and pay a monthly subscriber connection. Most satellite internet providers will have a minimum contract period of 12 months and prices start around £29.99 a month. In theory you could sign up for a home connection and buy extra kit to take with you when camping/caravanning if your provider allows this via a single account.
Campsites with WiFi guest networks
If the campsite or holiday park has guest Wifi, it’s usually fairly straight forward to sign up, you just need to connect to the ‘guest’ or ‘campsite’ network and follow the instructions. Most campsite WiFi is via a shared internet connection and most sites still charge for access due to the cost of running guest WiFi networks. Access can become slow at busy times as speeds may be capped or shared out across users on the network.
Mobile phone internet, how to make your mobile phone a hotspot
If you have inclusive or unlimited data on your mobile phone, providing you are in a location where you can pick up a 4G or 5G mobile data signal, it is often viable to connect using your mobile phone. Most mobile phones have a ‘make phone a hotspot’ feature in the settings. This allows you to turn your mobile phone into a router to share you phones mobile internet connection with other devices. By making your phone a hotspot you can connect multiple devices including laptops & tablets, all using your mobile phone in a similar way to how you connect to your wireless router at home. Connecting to the internet this way is convenient but you will be using your mobile data, if you only have a limited data plan it could run out quickly and you could incur extra data charges, especially if people are playing online games or streaming content like video or music.
What is MiFi internet and how do I get it?
MiFi is similar to mobile phone internet connectivity, you basically access the mobile data network via a MiFi router box. A MiFi router is a small portable router which provides a portable wifi connection via the mobile phone network. A MiFi box requires its own data sim card, plus a good local 4G or 5G signal. Again you will need to check the 4G/5G coverage of the locations you will be staying at to make sure there is reception. You will also need a data plan or PAYG data on the SIM card.
Once purchased you can take your MiFi box with you when you travel (even abroad if you have roaming data). MiFi boxes allow you to connect multiple devices via a single data plan and to share a wireless connection with devices like laptops, tablets and phones
Where can I buy a 'MiFi' mobile internet router?
Amazon has loads of MiFi 4G & 5G mobile internet routers and dongles. We have selected some of our favourites below, all feature rechargeable batteries so they are fully portable. Prices start at under £40 so a MiFi box is affordable, even if you only buy one as a backup plan.
NOTE: MiFi boxes require a mobile data plan or PAYG data sim card. A MiFi box or dongle will only provide good internet speeds if you are able to connect to the 4G/5G mobile network – so good local mobile network coverage is essential at each location you visit.