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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.