Canadian Mobile Internet for RVers & Cruisers
Are you a Canadian traveling to the U.S.? You can be mobile & connected too!
While the focus here at the Mobile Internet Resource Center is helping U.S.-based nomads set up home internet replacements while maintaining a mobile lifestyle, we often field questions about similar set-ups for our friends to the north.
This guide is intended to help guide Canadian-based nomads traveling within Canada - and also those venturing south of their border into the U.S. - find solutions for keeping connected.
We closely track options for keeping connected in the U.S., and even for U.S.-based nomads traveling internationally. However, many of the options we track require you to have a U.S. billing address to subscribe. Which isn't very helpful for Canadian citizens choosing to hit the road.
We've created this overview of the options for Canadians to keep connected to help our friends to the North stay connected too.
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Relying on Wi-Fi is the simplest way to stay connected in the U.S. or Canada - although it is not always the most efficient or reliable way.
Wi-Fi works the same in the U.S. as it does in Canada, and you can use Wi-Fi equipment interchangeably between the two countries.
In both the U.S. and Canada, Wi-Fi is present in many campgrounds, marinas, and RV parks (even if only in the front office or clubhouse).
However, just because Wi-Fi is available doesn't always mean it is usable. But, if your needs are modest, Wi-Fi hotspots can often suffice for basic needs such as checking email.
Aside from campgrounds & marinas, Wi-Fi hotspots – like in most places across the world – are often accessible in cafes, coffee shops, restaurants, libraries, breweries, and more.
Many public Wi-Fi hotspots in both the U.S. and Canada are free, or free with the purchase of an amenity from the provider. You will occasionally find paid Wi-Fi sources too. Whether it's free or paid, the quality of the Wi-Fi connection can vary substantially from place to place.
If the prime issue is increasing the range between your RV/boat and the hotspot, having Wi-Fi repeating gear with you may help improve your situation. However, no amount of gear will make any difference if the bandwidth at the source of the Wi-Fi is not supportive enough. Very often it is the upstream connection itself that is very limited – especially in small remote towns, RV parks, and campgrounds.
Remember to be considerate of other people who may be using the same Wi-Fi network. Streaming video should only be attempted if you have an explicit OK from the network manager. Don't be that one person who drags the internet to a crawl for everyone. In some rural areas, there just is not enough connectivity to go around.
For in depth information on using Wi-Fi, please refer to our guide:
For in depth info on finding campgrounds with Wi-Fi, please refer to our guide:
Member Exclusive Content In This Guide
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Check out the Topics Covered in the Member Section:
Canadian Cellular Plan Options
An overview of the data plans available for the major carriers in Canada for use in Canada, as well as resellers and prepaid brands.
Cellular Frequency Bands
Getting the best cellular service means having equipment optimized for a carrier's network - this section tracks the cellular bands utilized by the Canadian carriers.
Cellular Service in the US
This section goes over the Canadian data plan roaming options for traveling in the US, options for plans direct with US carriers that don't require a US billing address and global roaming services.
Satellite Internet in Canada
Satellites have coverage maps too - this section tracks which mobile satellite services have you covered up north.
Conclusion: Canadians Can Be Connected Too!
Canadian nomads like the internet too! We assume.
While this guide is not all-inclusive of every plan available in Canada - we hope it will provide Canadian nomads some guidance in where to begin their search for a mobile internet solution that meets their needs.
For Canadian nomads heading South to the U.S. for bursts of time, there are multiple options for staying connected. From using local Wi-Fi to taking advantage of the roaming features or add-ons on their Canadian cellular plan, to grabbing a U.S. based cellular data plan - careful research into cellular plan terms and other options for connectivity can make or break your mobile internet experience on a Canadian and/or U.S. adventure.
- Keeping Connected in Canada - For U.S. Based Nomads
- Going North to Alaska?
- Guide to Unlimited Data Options - Includes more info on rental/lease options
- Considerations for Selecting Cellular Data Plans
Related News Stories:
- Coverage? App Now Includes Maps for 5G, Canadian Carriers and U.S. Cellular Posted on: December 18, 2020
- T-Mobile Launches New Data-Only Plans & Inseego 5G MiFi M2000 Mobile Hotspot Posted on: December 10, 2020
- Cricket Wireless Introduces 100GB Simply Data Plan for $90/mo for Hotspots & Routers AND Adds 5G Access to Some Plans Posted on: August 21, 2020
- T-Mobile Implements 5GB Data Cap in Canada/Mexico Posted on: October 11, 2017
- Verizon Introduces the 'New' Verizon Plan - Raises Prices, Adds Data & Features Posted on: July 6, 2016
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