Winegard has a great reputation as the leading provider of both satellite and over-the-air TV antennas designed for RV use. But despite some initial excitement, we ended up being underwhelmed by Winegard's 2016 entry into the RV internet gear market.
The original Winegard ConnecT was expensive, the cellular version was tied to a very limited and pricey data plan, and the physical unit was an ungainly beast that looked like a silly inverted stool on your RV roof - seemingly destined for a inevitable disastrous encounter with a tree branch. (Read our review)
Winegard must have been paying attention.
In November 2017 Winegard announced a completely redesigned ConnecT 2.0 model - and it at last came to market in February 2018.
The completely redesigned ConnecT 2.0 is vastly cheaper, the cellular version is no longer locked in to a single carrier and data plan, and the outdoor antennas are all now contained within a much sleeker plastic dome housing that would look right at home on an RV roof.
But the ConnecT 2.0 also gives up some of the original ConnecT's key features - meaning that for some potential customers, the ConnecT 2.0 may actually prove to be a significant step backwards.
Also, for current ConnecT 1.0 owners, there is no upgrade path to the ConnecT 2.0. The new unit is different enough that you are essentially starting from scratch.
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UPDATE: In June 2018 Winegard added one additional data plan option: 10GB of date for $65/mo - with usage limited to the US only, as opposed to coverage in the US and Canada that the original plans allow for. This is a significantly improved deal, and now (since you can change your plan at any time) it only makes sense to purchase the Winegard $80 for 10GB or $150 for 20GB plans if you are actively traveling through Canada.
Additionally, Winegard now has a mobile app for iOS and Android that can set up and configure a ConnecT and order more data.
Specifications - Winegard ConnecT 2.0
- Wi-Fi Router:
- Cellular Tethering via USB: No USB Port
- Integrated Cellular Modem & Antennas (Cellular Model):
- Roof mounted LTE modem w/ 2x MIMO antennas (this is not a 'cellular booster')
- Verizon & AT&T compatible. T-Mobile support "coming soon" (but no Band 12 support).
- LTE bands B2, B4, B5, B13, B17.
- UMTS B2 / B5.
- Mini-SIM Slot - must access roof to swap SIM cards.
- LTE Cat 4 - Peak Theoretical 150Mbps Down, 50 Mbps Up
- No LTE-A Carrier Aggregation
- Ethernet Ports: None.
- Power Source: Direct 12V power supply.
- Dimensions: 16" diameter, 8" tall.
- Outdoor Rated: Yes
- Retail Price: $209 (Wi-Fi) - $369 (Cellular)
Table of Contents
Member Exclusive Content / Review:
- Thoughts & Analysis - Pros & Cons
- ConnecT 1.0 Comparison
- Who is the Connect 2.0 Ideal For?
- Our ConnecT 3.0 Wishlist
- Hands on Testing
- User Interface Video Tutorial
We received our evaluation unit in late February and have shared our first impressions in this video:
We installed our demo unit of the ConnecT 2.0 4G, along with the upcoming WiFiRanger SkyPro LTE competitor, and included these units in our February / March 2018 round of field testing.
Our review & user interface demo video can now be found below in the member section.
Our members can also access our field testing raw notes and results in this lab report:
Cellular Signal & Embedded Router Field Testing – IBR900 | MAX-BR1 | Drive Sleek | ConnecT | SkyPro LTE | MIMO Antennas (1st Quarter 2018)
The Rest of this Review is:
Member Only Content
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NOTE: Winegard tells us that the original ConnecT is NOT being discontinued, and it will remain available for the time being. Both the new and old ConnecT models are being offered as factory installed options by several RV manufacturers, so if you are speccing out an RV be sure to make sure that you know what you are ordering - and make sure that it will actually meet your needs. Keep in mind that there is no easy upgrade path between the ConnecT 1.0 and 2.0 - they are different form factors.
Related News Center Articles
- Looking Ahead: Will 2019 Be The Year of the Smart & Connected RV? Posted on: October 3, 2018
- Now Shipping: Winegard ConnecT 2.0 Roof-Mounted Wi-Fi & Cellular Router Posted on: February 20, 2018
- 2017 Mobile Internet Year in Review & Looking Forward Into 2018 Posted on: December 30, 2017
- Winegard Announces ConnecT 4G1: Rooftop Wi-Fi & Cellular Combined Posted on: April 26, 2017
- 2016 RV Mobile Internet Year in Review & Looking Forward Into 2017 Posted on: January 6, 2017
Winegard ConnecT 2.0
Winegard's updated entry into the RV internet space has several improvements over the first generation, but in a few other ways it is a step back.