If you spend a lot of time in your RV or camper, you know the struggle of finding a stable internet connection. Even if the point of heading for the great outdoors is to get away, chances are you’ll need to log on at least once or twice to check the weather or send an email. Putting a Wifi booster in your RV can give you a stronger signal in those faraway places, helping you stay connected in case of an emergency.
In this article, we are going to highlight some of the best WiFi boosters for your RV or trailer.
Comparison Chart of the Best RV WiFi Boosters
Bearifi BearExtender High Power Wi-Fi Extender
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Alfa Long-Rang WiFi Network Adapter
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Opticover WiFi Extender
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WiFi Range Extender Persevere
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Netgear WiFi Range Extender
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Alfa WiFi Camp Pro 2
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C. Crane US3
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What is a WiFi Booster and How Does it Work?
WiFi boosters are devices you can use in your RV or your home. They are especially helpful if you regularly encounter dead zones or live in your camper more than part-time. Boosters latch on to a WiFi signal, such as the one between your computer and your router and make it stronger.
This enhances your connection speed so you can use your devices anywhere. WiFi boosters do their best work when you are out in the middle of nowhere and can’t get a signal. They find public connections or hotspots over a larger distance (depending on how high up they are), so you can still access to the internet. If you are always on-the-go and want to stay connected, a booster will become your best friend.
Bandwidth Numbers 101
"We keep seeing 2.4GHz and 5 GHz. What’s the difference?"
When you see numbers like 2.4GHz and 5GHz, those are just fancy terms for the bandwidth your wireless connection uses. Depending on your router, your wireless connection will use either option or both. The critical difference between 2.4GHz and 5GHz is how fast your internet will be.
Most devices work on 2.4GHz, which means it can get pretty crowded. However, it is better for long-range use – which is the idea behind getting a WiFi extender. It is slower than 5GHz, but you can still use your devices when further away from the source.
5GHz is better if you’re doing a lot of streaming and video calls, but the range on it is much shorter. This means you’ll have to be much closer to the source to get a reliable signal. This bandwidth also doesn’t travel through walls very well, so this might be a deal-breaker if you are using your device inside your RV.
Aspects to Consider Before Buying a WiFi Booster For Your RV or Trailer
WiFi boosters come in several designs, so you’ll have to figure out which type you need. Are you looking for a device that will make your signal stronger, or do you need something to help you find WiFi connections? Depending on what you are looking for, there is a WiFi booster that can help you stay updated on the outside world.
Size and Design
When choosing a WiFi booster, you should choose a design that works for the way you’ll be using it. Some models are very small – usually no larger than your router. Other designs have LED indicators that allow you to see your signal strength.
Determine how much room you have to install the booster before purchasing. Do you have enough room to store it on a table or a shelf? Do you have enough room in your outlet to plug it in? Several boosters let you plug in your device to get the best signal. Do you have enough room and a cord long enough to do that?
Although a WiFi booster will give you faster speeds, your router needs to be able to support that speed. Your booster should complement your router, so check your router’s maximum output and buy a booster that supports it. In this case, having more isn’t always better. If you get a device that needs more speed than your router has, then it won’t work at all.
Since you’ll be amplifying your WiFi signal, you’ll definitely need some encryption protection. This requires anyone who wants to use your signal to log in with your credentials. More sophisticated booster models come with multiple types of encryption capabilities, such as WEP, WPA, or WPA2. These will keep any sensitive information, such as credit card numbers, safe.
Encryption Types 101
What is the difference between the types of encryption features? Boosters with encryption protection will most likely offer more than one kind, but what kind do you need? And what do all of those abbreviations stand for? There are two main categories of encryption: Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) and WiFi Protected Access (WPA). WPA is the better of the two since hackers can still sneak into your network when using WEP.
WPA2 is the most reliable encryption service available on most boosters and is the best protection you can have against someone stealing your personal information. If you are worried about internet privacy, this is something you should look for in your WiFi booster.
Remember that your router needs to have the service for you to use it on your booster. Getting a booster with WPA2 is great, but it won’t do you any good if your router doesn’t support it. If you don’t have a router with at least WPA protection, then invest in a new model before connecting a booster to it.
Before you drop a significant amount of money on a WiFi booster, check the manufacturer’s compatibility requirements. Make sure you can use all of your devices (and their operating systems) with your new booster. Some may not offer iOS compatibility, while others work with both Windows and Macs. Depending on what you’ll be using, your booster will need to work with it to send the signal to your device.
Other User Features
Several WiFi boosters have other convenient features, such as a direct Ethernet port or the ability to use multiple devices at the same time. If you are going to work on a laptop, you should choose a model with at least one Ethernet port. The ability to use multiple devices on the same booster comes in especially handy if you have mobile devices, such as cell phones and laptops.
WiFi boosters come in different models that do different things. Some can enhance the strength of your signal in dead zones, while others can pick up a signal from long distances. Some do both. More sophisticated designs that have multiple features tend to run higher on the price point, so make sure you need all of the features before making the investment.
Review of the Best RV WiFi Boosters
Choosing a WiFi booster for your RV or camper is a great way to stay connected on-the-go, but which one do you need? We’ve narrowed down the best choices for you, highlighting the best products on the market today.
Bearifi BearExtender High Power Wi-Fi Extender
If you are bringing your laptop on your next trip, then the Bearifi BearExtender High Power WiFi Extender can help you make the most of your trip. With its 10dBi antenna, it can pick up weak signals over long distances. This is perfect for using public WiFi connections in RV parks that always seem to be out of range.
The Bearifi enhances the strength of the signal, so you can check and send emails, watch videos, or post updates on social media. Compatible with several Windows applications, the extender plugs right into your laptop with the included 16-foot USB cable. You’ll have a much more stable connection and a wider range of motion.
This extender doesn’t plug into an outlet, so you have the freedom to install it wherever you want in your RV. It even comes with three different installation methods that don’t require drilling holes into your camper. You can place it on a table next to your laptop, or you can install it with the Velcro strap or mounting band.
If you’re looking for a WiFi extender for your laptop that won’t break the bank, we highly recommend the Bearifi BearExtender High Power WiFi Extender. While it doesn’t work for multiple devices, it is perfect for using your laptop in your RV. You can still keep up on communications and work, but keep in mind that the Bearifi only supports 2.4GHz bandwidth. If you’re doing a lot of video calls and streaming, then another option will work better for you.
Alfa Long-Range WiFi Network Adapter
For more protection in a smaller package, the Alfa Long-Range WiFi Network Adapter is ideal for those who spend most of their time hooked up to their devices. This booster also only works on 2.4GHz, but you can use multiple devices on it. We love how versatile the Alfa is for your internet use.
The adapter comes with two antennas: the 9dBi antenna finds and amplifies long-range signals, while the secondary 4” 5dBi rubber antenna comes with a clip-on mount that hooks right onto your laptop. The antennas plug directly into any device with a USB port for a better connection.
The antennas are interchangeable so you can use the 9dBi on the clip-on mount, too. Suited to 802.11 b/g/n wireless standards, the Alta Long-Range WiFi Network Adapter has encryption protection to keep your personal information away from prying eyes.
Sometimes we can’t pass up the opportunity to catch an online sale, even in the middle of our road trip. If you love to online shop, you should always have encryption protection – even in your WiFi extender. The Alfa Long-Range WiFi Network Adapter doesn’t have an outdoor mount, so this booster is better for indoor use.
Just remember to switch your wireless connection to the adapter, since the Alta doesn’t amplify your laptop’s internal WiFi – that way, you can always stay connected.
Best for the Money:
Opticover WiFi Extender
Although the Opticover WiFi Extender is designed for home use, you can easily convert the benefits of an increased range and stronger WiFi signal to your RV. This plug-in booster is smaller than most other boosters on the market, so you won’t struggle to find an outlet for it. Compatible with almost all Windows and Mac devices, the Opticover increases the range and strength of any WiFi connection, eliminating dead zones in your RV.
It even works with Alexa and Echo! This booster lets you access WiFi on all of your devices with three function modes. The AP mode creates your own WiFi from a connected device, and the repeater mode extends the signal throughout your whole RV.
The Opticover even becomes its own router, letting you access WiFi on all of your devices. For its budget-friendly price tag, you’re definitely get your money’s worth.
While we love the Opticover WiFi Extender, the feedback on it has been mixed. Most travelers love that it strengthens their WiFi connection, allowing them to use all of their devices on the road. However, it isn’t that durable and it tends to last no longer than a year before you have to replace it. The Opticover might not be the best option for home use, but it should suit your RV just fine.
The WiFi Range Extender Persevere is very similar to the Opticover, but it offers more in terms of coverage. This 3-in-1 device has the same repeater, AP, and router modes of the Opticover, but it has four 5dBi antennas designed to boost your signal. Two Ethernet ports allow you to plug in a wired internet device and use it to create a wireless connection.
The manufacturer boasts that the Persevere gives you up to 1200 Mbps of speed – perfect when traveling with your children who can’t stop gaming and streaming. You can stay connected with all of your devices, with WPA and WPA2 encryption protection keeps your personal information secure. If you need to move your Persevere device to another location, the LED indicator lights help you find the place with the perfect signal.
The Opticover WiFi Extender and the WiFi Range Extender Persevere work the same way, but the Persevere has more to offer. The antennas work on both bandwidths, giving you the long-range capability of the 2.4GHz, with the higher strength of the 5GHz.
This device allows you to stay online and stream while eliminating dead zones. If you’re traveling with teens and gamers, you’ll want the extra bandwidth of the Persevere.
Another home use option that quickly boosts your WiFi signal, the Netgear WiFi Range Extender works perfectly for letting you access your WiFi throughout your RV. This extender plugs right into your devices, expanding the signal for up to an extra 600 square feet. The Netgear adds speeds of up to 300 Mbps on the 2.4GHz bandwidth.
The antennas make the signal stronger over a longer range of distance, so you can enjoy WiFi just like you would at home. You can connect ten devices to the Netgear WiFi Range Extender, including cell phones and tablets. This booster also comes with WEP and WPA/WPA2 encryption protection.
It also plugs right into the wall, staying out of sight while giving you the WiFi you need. The Netgear’s ability to increase the strength of your WiFi signal is very helpful when you are trying to enjoy the remote outdoors, but you still feel the pull of wanting to stay connected.
The Netgear is a valuable addition to any RV with its ability to extend coverage and connect to multiple devices. It is easy to set up if you have a little bit of technical knowledge. Although Netgear promises amplified speed, some users have complained the speed isn’t as fast as the company advertises.
However, if you aren’t going to be doing large amounts of streaming or gaming, the speed should be perfect for basic internet access.
If you’re upgrading your current WiFi extender, the Alfa WiFi Camp Pro 2 is an upgrade to the previous model. It still has the all of the booster capabilities, with the option to connect multiple devices. It is weatherproof for use it in your RV or on a boat.
This device is just a booster, so it will pick up any WiFi connection and make it stronger. The Pro 2 is perfect for RV parks, where getting a signal can be problematic. The USB port allows you to plug the Alfa Camp Pro 2 right into your device for the best connection or you can use the wireless connection to make your RV a hotspot.
The Alfa WiFi Camp Pro 2 is a basic booster that lets you use your devices while you are in the RV or on the boat. Although it doesn’t have all the features of other items on our list, it is weatherproof for long-lasting use in the outdoors.
You can create your own WiFi, but some users have complained that it is difficult to connect to public networks. If all you need is a booster to catch and strengthen your WiFi signal, the Alfa is great for staying connected.
The C.Craine USB 3 is another booster that works wonders for improving your WiFi connection in your RV, boat, or mobile home. It comes with WEP, WPA/WPA2, and WPS encryption protection that you need if you are going to be online shopping – or if you want to keep your information safe. The unit is weatherproof, so you can install it outside. You can also use the included suction cups and mount it to a window.
According to the manufacturer, this booster will improve your speed up 150 Mbps on the 2.4 GHz bandwidth so you can stream, upload, or check emails. The C.Craine catches any WiFi signal within range and makes it stronger, so you can still stay connected for an extra 300-400 feet. Perfect for campgrounds and other stationary areas you’ll be visiting in your RV, the C.Crane also plugs into your laptop with the Ethernet connection so you can always indulge your love of technology.
For a general WiFi booster, the C.Craine USB 3 is pretty easy to use and easy to install for those with some mild experience. However, it doesn’t last a very long time. Many customers complained they had to replace it within a few months. If you only use your RV occasionally, this booster is sure to last much longer than that.
You need the Winegard WF-4000 if you spend most of your free time in your RV. This booster and extender will make sure you always have a connection. Unlike other boosters, you can switch between WiFi and 4G connections, depending on your location.
The Winegard is perfect for those who rely on their internet connection while driving, such as for directions or weather updates. It will also keep your family occupied on their devices while you are navigating to the next location. You’ll love the strength of the WiFi you can get, even inside your RV.
This is best for those who live out of their RV and consistently have connection problems in crowded areas. With the dual band connectivity, you don’t have to worry about losing your signal.
The Winegard WF-4000 is one of the top-of-the-line booster and amplifiers for keeping WiFi access in your RV. The price tag is steep, but the product consistently delivers a stable connection. The only real complaint on this one is that it is expensive.
However, if you live in your RV, it provides the internet coverage you want so you don’t feel completely closed off from the world.
Types of WiFi Boosters
When you are browsing for your new WiFi booster, you know what you are looking for – you just have to find it. There are different models on the market and each has different characteristics. Depending on what you’ll be using your device to do, you may need a booster, an extender, or a repeater. Many items on the market have more than one capability, so you can more than likely find what you need without having to invest in multiple devices.
Can I Use a WiFi Booster That I Would Use in My Home in My RV?
Sometimes. Most WiFi boosters are designed to increase your connectivity no matter where you are, all you need is a connection to a network and (sometimes) an outlet. Most home boosters just plug into the wall, so you can use them in an RV if you have the extra outlet.
It’s always best to get a model made specifically for RVs since they usually cover a wider area and are more portable than a home booster. Choose one with multiple installation options so you can use it inside or outside your RV. Weather-resistant options are better for RV use since you can attach them to the top of your RV to get a better signal.
This takes a WiFi signal and makes it stronger, letting it cover a wider area. If you have problems getting reception in some areas of your RV, sometimes a repeater is all you need. These devices let you access your WiFi in the back of your RV, so you can get comfortable while listening to music or streaming videos.
WiFi Booster and Extender
If you are on the road and trying to catch WiFi from public sources, invest in the booster and extender option. These items not only give you access to the internet, but they also make the signal stronger. These work best if you plan on using a laptop. They allow you to access public WiFi and make the signal strong enough for internet browsing or streaming.
This takes your existing signal and makes it stronger. It doesn’t extend the area where you can use your WiFi. If you have a connection and you want to use your devices throughout your RV, and possibly right outside, then a booster has all of the strength you need. WiFi boosters sometimes come in mobile options, which are small enough to carry around with you or clip to your device. These are best if you’ll be doing a lot of moving while on your device.
This takes your existing signal and allows you to access it across a larger area. Extenders are great options for those who park in their RV and still want their WiFi access when they stretch their legs. Remember that these will not always make your signal stronger, you need a booster or a booster/extender to do that.
Benefits of Investing in a Great WiFi Booster
Although some of us use our RV to get away and disconnect, others still need some internet access. If you live in an RV, that means keeping a secure internet connection is even more important. You can stay connected with family and friends through social media or video calls or you can wind down with some good music or a funny movie.
The most important benefit of an excellent WiFi booster is access to information. We rely so much on our devices that we can take for granted how easy it is to get the information we need. It could be anything – from checking the weather, to finding directions, or navigating your way to the nearest rest stop. Planning a road trip can go so much more smoothly if you have access to the information that you need.
Another bonus to having constant WiFi access is – it keeps the kids happy and entertained! Long road trips can be pretty dull for little ones, so having access to the internet can make a huge difference. They’ll have their favorite movie, TV show, or game to distract them for long hours on the road.
WiFi boosters are a must-have in any RV. Whether you are taking a short trip or you’ll be gone for a while, these tools give you the internet access you need when you are away from civilization. You never know if you'll need internet access to get you out of a sticky situation or help you avoid one. Finding the right WiFi booster can make your RV trip even more enjoyable since you’ll have the same amenities as you would at home.