Overwhelmed with all of the options for mobile internet?

Not sure where to start, or what to read next?

Welcome to our classroom - Mobile Internet 101.

This exclusive premium member benefit walks you through our guides & videos, and complements our textbook (The Mobile Internet Handbook).

It's presented in the order we recommend to ramp up your knowledge so that you can learn at your own pace.

Sections in this Course:

Section 1

Free Preview
Assessing Your Needs
Working, TV, Gaming

Section 2

Member Only
Data Plans
Signal Enhancing

Section 3

Member Only
Wi-Fi Hotspots

Section 4

Member Only
Tech Cabinets

Section 5

Member Only

Have Questions? While this course is self paced, we are here to help every step of the way! Here are some ways that  members can get additional guidance while going through the course:

Free Preview Below:
Section 1 (Mobile Internet Basics) is available
for a FREE Preview Below - Check it out!

Enjoy This Free Preview
of Our Guides

We are honored to be able to present the basic sections of this guide as a free preview to you - without 3rd party advertising, sponsorships or relying on selling you gear or plans.

In thanks for funding this resource center, MIAs (Mobile Internet Aficionados - our premium members) also get access to all of the in-depth content in this guide.

If you're a member, please log in above for full access to this guide and ability to comment.


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Section 1: Mobile Internet Basics

Before you decide on what gear and plans will make up your mobile internet setup - you have to assess your mobile internet needs.

What is right for you depends on what you want to be able to do online, your travel style and how important reliable mobile internet will be for you.

In this section, the lessons are meant to help you assess your own personal needs and understand the basic options out there.

Chapter: Assessing your Needs & Understanding the Basics

Free  |  Beginner

Welcome to our classroom - where we have brought together some of our key guides to work through at your own pace. You're likely found your way here because you're gearing up to hit the road and are seeking a mobile internet solution that will keep you connected.

Let’s get right to the question you're probably seeking an answer for:

What’s the best way to get online while traveling?

The answer is...
... whatever works best at your current location.

And that is the challenge of a mobile lifestyle. Your location is always changing, so the best way online may be changing too.

In other words, there is no one single “best way.” The key is striking the right balance between your needs, budget and sanity.

To do that, you need to understand the challenges of mobile internet, your specific needs and the trade-offs of the options available.

It is not our goal to give you a shopping list for the singular perfect mobile internet setup (hint, there isn't one).

Our goal here is to arm you with the information you need to research and create your own.

Go At Your Own Pace

There is no denying that at the root of it all, the content presented on this resource center covers pretty technical stuff. We try to start each topic off as fundamentally as we can, and then ramp up from the basics.

This classroom isn’t intended to be consumed in one sitting, nor do we expect that you’ll understand it all immediately. Dive in at your own pace. Come back to each piece and re-visit sections as needed.

Give your self plenty of time to work through this and really understand the challenges and potential solutions up ahead.

And remember, there's nothing that says you have to pull out of your driveway with your optimal solution fully installed. There's nothing wrong with starting simple and then building your setup as you better understand your own needs, your travel preferences and experience some of the challenges first hand.

Rule #1: Reset Your Expectations

The technology for connecting while on the go has advanced at an incredible pace over the past few years. There have been vast improvements in both data speeds and coverage, and it’s only getting better.

Meanwhile, the price for mobile internet data has plummeted, though typical monthly usage has gone up even faster than prices have gone down, so things might not feel any cheaper.

Sometimes, you can even get connection speeds while on the go that exceed what you could get via the fastest fixed-place connections.

It is downright amazing at times.

But, despite all these advancements, there are still limitations and plenty of frustrations.

The most important thing you can do to prepare yourself is to reset your expectations.

Be ready for the bad days.
The slow days.
The no days.

We’re not trying to scare you away, but we do want to make sure your expectations are realistic.

Keeping online most of the time while traveling is entirely possible, but it’s not necessarily always easy, cheap, or with the snappy fast speeds you might be used to.

Navigating mobile internet is not going to be anywhere near as easy as just plugging in a cable like one you might have had in your fixed home. And no, they don’t make a cable long enough to take your wired internet with you.

You will be battling:

  • Intermittent and unreliable connections.
  • Varying speeds - from frustratingly slow to blazingly fast.
  • Data usage limitations and caps.

If your mobile livelihood absolutely depends on keeping connected, you will have to carefully plan your mobile life around this need.

This could mean altering routes and carefully planning where to stop to get work done.

No matter how many backup plans you build into your connectivity arsenal, when you absolutely need to get online, that’s inevitably when the glitches will emerge.

No matter how much time and money you invest in ensuring great connectivity, there will be times that you can’t get a stable connection to do everything you need from the location you want to be at.

Mobile equipment can (and will) fail, firmware patches and upgrades can cause unintended problems, weather can interfere, or your exact location can influence your signal. Even something as invisible as your neighbor’s microwave oven can conflict with your Wi-Fi network, knocking you offline until their popcorn is ready.

You need to realistically set your expectations, as well as the expectations of the people depending on you being online, such as clients, co-workers, family, and friends.

There will inevitably be compromises in connectivity in exchange for your mobility.

What tradeoffs are you willing to make?

Very seriously consider the costs of assembling your mobile internet options. Decide for yourself how much it is worth spending to try to cover your bases, and how much internet access you really need.

No matter what you do there will be days that staying connected is more of a headache than it is worth.

The most important rule for staying connected on the road
is that you need to be prepared for these days.

Before Proceeding

Before you go too much further with the content in this classroom, we highly recommend you have a copy of The Mobile Internet Handbook available to reference (it's included with membership - Download it Now!).

And in particular, at this point, we recommend reading through the 'Going Wireless' chapter starting on Page 23 - so you understand more about the challenges of mobile internet.

The Glossary

You may notice as you read our content that there are several underlined words in red.

Like this one: Hotspot

Hover over them with your cursor, and you'll see a pop-up definition of the term. This is our integrated online glossary to better help you understand some of the techno-mumbo-jumbo that is impossible to avoid when talking about this stuff.

You can also head over to our Online Glossary and look up terms you might not be familiar with.

Free  |  Beginner

By far the two most common ways that RVers will be able to get online is via either a cellular data connection or via campground or public WiFi network.

But – one of the most basic questions we occasionally get asked – just what exactly is the difference?

There's so much confusion out there as to why separate antennas and booster equipment are needed for cellular and WiFi connections. Both are wireless frequency signals after all, so just how are they different?

Read the Guide:

 What is the Difference Between Wi-Fi and Cellular?

View the Video (7m):

Free  |  Beginner

Our overview guide to the basics of mobile internet options (cellular, Wi-Fi hotspots and satellite), and where we recommend anyone just starting out begin their research.

Read the Guide:

 Mobile Internet Options Overview

View the Video (16m):

Member Only  |  Beginner

There is no singular one-size fits all solution - each traveler is going to have their unique considerations. This lesson will help you understand how your own needs can impact the choices you make.. as well as help you set your expectations to realistic.

We highly recommend you take some time to answer some fundamental questions you'll need answers to going forward:

  • How much data will you need a month?
  • How critical will connectivity be for you?
  • What are your main challenges with mobile internet going to be based on your travel style & needs?


Read the Guide:

 Assessing Your Mobile Internet Needs

View the Video (43 m  - Member Only - Log In to View):

Chapter: Special Use Cases

The things you need to be able to do online will have a huge impact on the solutions you should consider in your mobile internet setup. Here are some specific common tasks travelers tend to want to do online, and the special considerations to make.

This section complements the Use Cases chapter in The Mobile Internet Handbook, starting on Page 89.

Free  |  Beginner

If you'll be hitting the road and working remotely, your internet needs will be essential. This guide goes over the specific things you need to take into consideration when thinking through your mobile internet setup.

Read the Guide:

Mobile Internet Tips for Working Remotely


View the Video (12m):

Free & Member Only  |  Beginner

It's not all campfires and S'Mores on the road - sometimes RVers like to kick back with their Netflix, or tune in for Game of Thrones or the play off games. This guide covers options for mobile TV & movie viewing.

Read the Guide:

Video Streaming over Mobile Internet

View the Video (28 m - Member Only - Log In to View):

Free & Member Only  |  Beginner

Traveling internationally as a US Based traveling and keeping connected has its challenges, but it's gotten easier and easier. These guides go over the options, including the roaming policies of the US carriers, Wi-Fi and getting around international video blocks.

Read the Guides:

General International Options Keeping Connected in Canada Keeping Connected in Mexico

View the Video (28 m - Member Only - Log In to View):

Member Only  |  Intermediate

Online gaming is entirely possible on the road, but there's a lot to understand about setting up a mobile internet arsenal to support the challenges of latency, carrier grade NAT and huge file downloads.

Read the Guide:

Online Gaming over Mobile Internet

View the Video (36 m - Member Only - Log In to View):


Section 2: Cellular Data

Cellular Data is a primary way mobile travelers stay online.

This section will go through considerations for selecting plans, selecting your gear and enhancing your signal.

Because cellular data is currently the most viable source of maintaining connectivity while traveling, we have a lot of content on this subject to share. There are 9 lessons in this section, ranging from beginner to advanced.


Section 3: Other Ways Online

While cellular data is a hugely popular, affordable and a relatively easy option to keep online while being mobile - it's certainly not the only option. Or necessarily the right option for you as a primary means online.

Alternatives might include using Wi-Fi hotspots (such as those provided by campgrounds & marinas), satellite (for those really wanting to go off the grid) or thinking outside the box for alternative ideas that might not be obvious at first.

This section will go over these options, and the trade-offs that tend to make these options not the first or primary connectivity type for mobility.


Section 4: Bringing It All Together

Once you've considered the options you'll use to keep connected - now it's time to figure out how to bring it all together to make it work as easily as possible in your travels.

This section will go over routers (the heart of your network), installation and our preferred approach to centralizing your gear for optimal performance.

You don't necessarily have to be a networking engineer to end up with a nicely streamlined setup that you can manage on your own.

Section 5: Sample Setups

While it's very rare for any two nomadic households to have exactly the same setup given all of the options and unique needs for mobile internet - we have put together a few basic samples to give you some ideas.

From basic, moderate to advanced - and everything inbetween, the sky is the limit to how your setup might end up looking. But hopefully these samples give you somewhere to start.

You can also view some sample real life RVer setups:

Want full access to the rest of this guide?

Ready for More?

We offer a ton more content here at the Mobile Internet Resource Center.  Here's some places to check out next:

Have questions?

Join our free Internet for RVers & Cruisers Facebook Group.  We cross post news articles and information there, and our staff can field basic questions during 'business hours'. It is with gratitude to our premium members that we're able to offer this free service - and for that, they also have access our private Q&A areas for more in-depth guidance.

Stay in the Know :

We're constantly tracking the industry and analyzing new developments for mobile travelers. Check out our News Center for the latest things we're tracking.

If you'd like to receive updates, we offer several ways: