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RV Internet Connection - Keeping You In Touch While Your On The Road

The RV Internet Connection: RV Internet communication has developed from a pastime into a necessity in recent years.

RVers have many reasons to use the Internet while on the road. Besides email for staying in touch, the Internet provides weather forecasts, access to banking and investment accounts, route planning, reserving ahead for campsites and other attractions, and much more. It has become a necessary tool.

Getting online away from home has become a lot easier in recent years as well. There are many current options, ranging from dial-up connections, WI-FI services at more and more camper parks, up to satellite dishes attached to the RV. Each option has differing advantages and costs, but satellite Internet service is the only option that works from virtually anywhere.

Keep in Touch 1: Dial-Up

Dial-up service may suffice for those who only go online occasionally and who don't need higher speed service. Many campgrounds provide phone connections along with other hookups. Many also provide free or pay-per-use WI-FI connections. If you are using dial-up, you will need to ensure that your Internet Service Provider (ISP) offers toll free or local access phone numbers for the area where you are staying to avoid long-distance telephone charges.

Keep in Touch 2: The Cellular Connection

Cell-based Internet service is relatively new. It's typically not a high speed service, but it may provide connectivity from anywhere within range of your cell service plan. Besides that, it's also the only option that will let you connect to the Internet while your vehicle is in motion. Besides the service, however, you will also have to purchase either a phone cable or a cell modem card for your computer. This type of connection is still considered a luxury, so the cost for the service and the additional hardware you will have to purchase may be quite steep.

Keep in Touch 3: WI-FI (Wireless Fidelity)

With RV Internet connections fast becoming a necessity, wireless Internet is growing in popularity. Many campgrounds and some state parks both in the US and Europe now offer WI-FI access, as do some truck stops, cafe's, restaurants, hotels and malls. Wireless is a relatively high speed service, significantly faster than either dial-up or cell-based.

Wi-Fi refers to a set of wireless networking technologies more specifically referred to as 802.11a, 802.11b and 802.11g. These standards are universally in use around the globe and allow users to have a Wi-Fi capable device, like a desktop computer, laptop or PDA, to connect to the internet anywhere there is a Wi-Fi access point that is available.

The three standards that are referred to, signify the speed of the connection they are capable of producing. The 802.11b (which transmits at 11 Megabits per Second) is the most common, although it is quickly getting replaced by the faster Wi-Fi standards. Both 802.11a and 802.11g are capable of transmitting 54 Megabits per Second, with 802.11a adding additional capabilities.

Most newer laptops include a built-in wireless adapter. If yours does not have it built-in, add on adapters are fairly inexpensive. Some campgrounds include WI-FI in their base site rental while others charge extra. Quality of service can vary depending upon your distance from the site access point or antenna.

Keep in Touch 4: Satellite Internet

The optimum RV Internet connection is via satellite. Satellite Internet service is relatively high speed and available nearly everywhere. It's not cheap: equipment outlay runs from $1000 to $5000 and monthly charges from $60 to $100.

The higher costs are for fully automatic, roof-mounted systems, others must be manually set up and pointed at each camp site. Service availability is limited only by the "footprint" of your assigned satellite, something to check when signing up.

This option is not currently widely available on rental RVs, and is usually a viable proposition if you own your own vehicle and are on the road frequently. An advantage of this service is the ability, in many cases, to hook up a TV connection as well on the same link.

SO don't forget - even when you're on the road - it's easy to have an RV Internet connection, keeping you hooked up to the world and on top of things.

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