Get Answers to Your Questions
Yes. All WiFiRanger outdoor routers are designed to survive the same environment as your vehicle. All are waterproof (IP66) when installed properly, UV-resistant, resistant to vibration, and can survive the temperatures to which your vehicle will be exposed. Of course while a Converge outdoor router is weather-resistant, any drilled holes or routes for cabling must be properly sealed on the vehicle exterior. This prevents any water leakage due to improper installation.
No. WiFiRanger routers utilize a browser-based control panel that can be accessed using any internet browser (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Safari, etc). No software needs to be installed on your computer. The WiFiRanger control panel can easily be accessed from a laptop, smartphone, tablet, or desktop.
Yes. Because WiFiRanger devices utilize a browser-based control panel, they will work with any device that can support a standard internet browser including computers running the Apple, Android, Windows, or Linux operating systems. Both desktop and mobile devices and operating systems are supported.
Yes. There are two aspects of security when dealing with public WiFi. The first has to do with the security of your data going from your laptop or tablet to your own WiFi router. Then there’s the security of the data going from your router to the WiFi access point. With regard to the first part of the security issue, WiFiRanger products are designed to utilize state-of-the-art security protocols (called WPA2 and WPA3) to encrypt and protect the information on the internal network created between your devices and the WiFiRanger. As for the connection to the park’s WiFi, even if the park doesn’t have an encrypted network, a WiFiRanger can protect you by creating a Virtual Private Network (VPN) between your WiFiRanger and the WiFiRanger servers in Idaho. We call this capability SafeSurf and, unlike commercial VPN services, this one doesn’t cost you a penny to purchase or use.
WiFiRanger products are designed to be essentially “plug and play” and intuitive. We don’t assume our customers have technical expertise although we do provide “advanced” features that advanced users will appreciate. Our products are shipped with the advanced features hidden from view; if you don’t need them, you’ll never see them. All WiFiRangers can easily be controlled using an onscreen control panel that appears as a window in your browser regardless of whether you’re using a laptop, a tablet or a phone to control it.
WiFiRanger provides free firmware updates for its products. Updates continue for as long as your device can effectively use the firmware upgrade. At some point, all hardware will become obsolescent due to technology advancement. Past that point no further updates would be provided because the device’s hardware would not be able to support them effectively. Most WiFiRanger routers have received firmware updates for several years before obsolescence, and the firmware version they are locked to still provides more functionality and stability than at the original time of purchase.
If you’re like most modern families, you probably have a lot of WiFi-enabled devices in your RV. Laptops, tablets, Firesticks, Apple TV, Rokus, smart TVs, smartphones, and more, all need internet connections provided by either a campground WiFi network or your own cellular hotspot. That’s a lot of “stuff” to connect each time when you go to a new campground. With a WiFiRanger all it takes is a single keystroke to switch ALL your devices from your hotspot to a park’s WiFi. Furthermore, since quite a few campgrounds limit the number of devices that can connect to their WiFi system, the value of using a WiFiRanger to connect is that the campground’s network will only see one device (the WiFiRanger itself) and not all your other devices running behind it. A WiFiRanger can, by default, handle 200 devices logged into your network. If you have more than that number of devices in your RV you might need a tractor-trailer but your WiFiRanger can easily be programmed to include them on its network, also!
WiFiRanger’s indoor and outdoor routers both represent complete solutions in packs or they can be operated as standalone units. Both can support optional integrated LTE modems. The outdoor units offer unparalleled long distance WiFi, and rooftop cellular modems provide improved line of sight connections to the nearest cellular tower. Indoor units provide a USB port for tethering cellular devices and ethernet ports for hardwired connection of devices that require it. The WiFi range of indoor units is much less than the rooftop routers, but for many applications it is usually sufficient. Of course, for the ultimate in performance, combine both an indoor and outdoor WiFiRanger router. Separate WiFi radios in the two devices, one dedicated to the internal network and and one to the backhaul connection, provide unmatched data throughput plus all the advantages of both indoor and outdoor devices. WiFiRanger systems can be upgraded from single to dual router configuration at any time. You, the user, gets to decide what is best for you!
WiFiRanger utilizes its proprietary firmware along with a combination of custom and vendor-supplied hardware. You may be able to use off-the-shelf hardware to perform some of the same functions as a WiFiRanger, but you will not achieve the functionality of an actual WiFiRanger device. WiFiRanger products are the result of over a decade of focused development, both mechanical and firmware, to create the highest performance and most user-friendly solutions for the mobile industry. A DIY solution often poses several technical and usability issues that are unforeseen during the purchasing stage. Once purchased, several Do-It-Yourselfers have contacted us to see if they can purchase a WiFiRanger system directly to overcome the deficiencies of their DIY kits.
From its beginning, WiFiRanger has been focused on developing secure, versatile WiFi router/amplifiers designed to meet the needs of RVers regardless of their technical expertise. Our challenge was to design highly capable devices that can be operated by non-technical users who want high performance and ease of use at a fair price. That was our original market and that’s where we have continued to focus our efforts. The products are purpose-built for the mobile industry and have unique features to suit those with a mobile lifestyle.
A campground WiFi system typically operates several WiFi Access Points (AP) throughout a park. Depending on the design of the WiFi system there can be a considerable distance from your RV site to the nearest AP. Successfully connecting to the WiFi network involves both receiving a signal from the AP as well as returning a signal from your network back to it. Laptops, tablets, etc, typically have very low power (a few milliwatts-mW) WiFi transmitters in order to maximize battery life and their built-in antennas are small and not particularly effective. In comparison, a WiFiRanger Denali has a 1,000 mW transmitter with an advanced antenna that, itself, provides a substantial improvement in both receiving and transmitting WiFi signals. WiFiRanger indoor routers, although somewhat lower power, still provide far greater connection range than will the built-in receiver/transmitter in most consumer devices.
WiFiRanger devices can track LTE usage by each device in your network and can create rules to control data usage for each device. Rules can be as simple as turning off the children’s devices at bedtime or limiting the data speeds or total usage of different devices. For example, you can create rules to limit the data usage of your Roku, FireStick, or SmartTV to control data usage while streaming. Usage tracking also allows you to track and control the amount of data downloaded and uploaded through any of your internet connections.
Most often the answer is Yes. You can find the list of supported devices on our documentation page. Click on the “Supported LTE Tethering Devices Guide” for a list of aircards, MiFi devices, and smartphones that can be connected to indoor WiFiRanger routers via USB.
Most smartphones can be USB-tethered to WiFiRanger’s indoor routers. Check with your carrier to determine if your data plan includes phone tethering.
WiFiRanger routers with integrated modems are certified for use on the AT&T and T-Mobile networks. Verizon certification is in process. If your SIM is already activated on either the AT&T or T-Mobile networks and are on a hotspot data plan, it likely that it will work when inserted into an integrated WiFiRanger LTE modem. However, WiFiRanger does not guarantee that any user-provided SIMs and plans will work in its products. WiFiRanger does market data plans from both AT&T and Millenicom (T-Mobile) that are certified and guaranteed to work with integrated WiFiRanger LTE modems. Learn more about these plans here.
There are various terms used to describe public WiFi networks that require additional login steps through a web browser: captive portal, splash page, filtered network, etc. These public WiFi networks often require the user to agree to terms and conditions and/or enter a room or site number. Hotels, RV Parks, and numerous other public WiFi providers use captive portals to improve security and ensure that only validated guests use the network. WiFiRanger routers have been designed to easily deal with such situations. As the WiFiRanger connects to such WiFi systems, the onscreen control panel will alert the user that a login page has been detected, providing a link for the WiFiRanger user to click in order to be directed to the splash page. Once authenticated through this page, the WiFiRanger will be online via the filtered WiFi network. Devices connected to the WiFiRanger which otherwise could not use captive portals will also be online (Smart TVs, gaming consoles, internet-enabled printers, streaming boxes, etc). Not all mobile routers or devices support this kind of functionality, which sets WiFiRangers apart since they support captive portals.
Even if you primarily use your cellular hotspot and rarely use campground WiFi, there are lots of ways a WiFiRanger could improve your camping experience. For example, if you’re like many full-time RVers, you may have hotspots for more than one cellular carrier (AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, Millenicon, Sprint, etc.) and may need to swap back and forth to obtain the best connection. Or you might need to switch hotspot devices during the month to spread your data usage across more than one plan. Or maybe you’re staying at one of the increasingly large number of RV parks that does provide good WiFi service. In all these cases, having your network devices all connected to a WiFiRanger means that your entire network can be switched from one internet connection to another without having to enter passwords in each device. This saves time and alleviates a lot of hassle.
WiFiRanger’s Multi-WAN features allow a user to connect to multiple internet sources at the same time. Several MultiWAN operating modes are user-selectable and each offers different features. For example, in Hot Standby mode, one internet connection is active with anoter acting as an instantaneous backup for the active connection. Even multiple backup connections can be setup and prioritized using Hot Standby mode. If service on your active connection is dropped your WiFiRanger will shift to the next alternate connection with internet available. In Load Balance mode, the WiFiRanger will utilize all connected internet connections and, on a moment-by-moment basis, will switch from one to another as the speed of the connections varies. The Load Balance mode is very popular with our customers since it provides increased throughput in some circumstances (when multiple internet streams are active) and increases internet reliability by using multiple internet sources simultaneously.
Cellular networks and park WiFi are two different kinds of communications networks. The WiFiRanger’s amplification of an RV park’s wifi doesn’t improve your cellular signal, but several WiFiRanger products have, as an option, the ability to support integrated LTE (cellular) modems which may be more advanced than the modems in your phone or hotspot. Furthermore, rooftop mounting of a cellular modem can provide stronger signals in many cases.
Customers often ask this question because some manufacturers feel that this is the most effective way to tout the superiority of their products. Under ideal conditions (clear skies, flat terrain, no trees, etc.) connections can be made by many amplifier systems at distances of several miles. But that’s not at all typical of the distances you will want to connect at in a campground, or, if you are parked outside a restaurant or store and want to access its WiFi. Purely for reference purposes, under ideal conditions, the outdoor WiFiRanger products can send and receive WiFi signals at the following maximum ranges: Teton at 1mi, Denali, at 1.5mi, and Everest at 2mi. These maximum ranges are not to be expected as the norm, but rather as the rare exception.