My wife and I like to retain both broadband and mobile ‘phone access whilst touring.

When we first started I subscribed to the CMC WiFi site system, but found it somewhat lacking. We then stopped on a C&CC and found that they used a different WiFi provider, and guess what, they wanted paying for their system too.

Soon after I found that I could use the internet service on my mobile phone to create a WiFi hotspot in our caravan. It’s slow on the weaker 3G network, but where a 4G service is available it is actually very quick and usable. In areas of a strong signal it’s actually quicker than the fibre broadband feed we have at home. The drawback with using the mobile phone network is that reception can be patchy, or even (horror of horrors) totally absent; so it closely matches the average site WiFi system in terms of availability! I believe inside a caravan the reception problem is worse because the signal has first to get in through the caravan’s aluminium skin.

Deciding to use the mobile ‘phone system, and in order to avoid using my mobile-phone tariff I bought a TP-Link router which takes in the mobile data signal and retransmits it as a password protected WiFi signal that all our digital appliances can connect too. This router has it’s own sim card so I was able to fit a 24GB two year sim card for the 3 network, I bought it via Amazon for £28.40. It’s called “Internet with legs”.

Unfortunately, two year later they want £45.00 for its replacement, but as I only need it while touring it still represents good value.

When placed close to a window our router works very well, but it has to be set-up and plugged in each time, which is a bit of a chore, I want it permanently set-up and always available. It seemed to me that an external aerial will allow the router to be installed away from a window, and in a more convenient location. An outside aerial will allow me to do that as well as providing the strongest signal. 

I found a reasonably priced multi-band MIMO puck antenna whose specification looked promising, (not that I’m an expert on such matter) so I bought one. It looks like it will do the job and tests confirm that it works well with my router in providing a signal at least as good as the pair of aerials that came with it.

Its installation will require a hole drilling through the roof, but what’s another hole between friends! 

For those interested, technical details may be found on the Connex Technologies website.

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