Because I work from the road, a solid WiFi connection is a must. That means that I frequently need a WiFi Booster. Additionally, one of the parks that I stayed at early on only allowed ONE device to connect to their network for free. The solution I’ve adopted solves both issues in one neat little package, for right around $100. Building this setup will allow you to connect all of your wireless devices (laptop, iPad, cellphone, Xbox, Desktop PC) to YOUR OWN PRIVATE network, and then connect that network to the world. Enter the Ubiquiti NanoStation M2!
This doesn’t mean you’ll have *faster* internet – there are a lot of variables in that equation. At the time of writing, I’m in a KOA in North Central Florida that’s connected to the world via a CenturyLink DSL connection that has 8MB downstream speed (decent, especially late at night after everyone goes to bed), but only a 256k upstream speed – which means uploading YouTube videos is a multi-hour process, if it’s possible at all! You’ll have to keep in mind that you won’t be able to change the quality of the connection from your host (whether that’s an RV park, a Starbucks, or even your own cellular phone as a Hotspot) to the world – but you’ll have the best possible connection between your equipment and your host!
…What you need…
Ubiquiti NanoStation M2 – This is a commercial grade, weather resistant piece of network gear. As such, there are no wizards or other hand-holding to configure it. Fortunately, setup is pretty straightforward.
Ubiquiti AirGateway – If you ONLY have wireless devices you want to connect, you can add one of these to your setup. It will simplify things a little, as you won’t need to find Yet Another Power Source, and you’ll only have one device inside the coach.
A wireless router of your choice – Maybe you have one you kept from your apartment, or you bought one at Best Buy. They should all work mostly the same as the AirGateway.
Two (or more) Ethernet Cables – If you don’t already have two just…around…they have 15′ cables at Wal-Mart for about $10 each. You’ll have to decide how long your cables should be. One will need to connect the NanoStation M2 to the PoE (Power over Ethernet) adapter. If you have both right next to each other inside the coach, a 1′ cable might be enough. If you’re mounting the NanoStation outside on a Flagpole Buddy or on your television antenna mast, you’ll need a much longer cable! If you’re connecting any devices with cables (an Xbox or a desktop PC, for instance) you’ll need to have an ethernet cable for that device, and you’ll need to plan to have a port on your router to plug it into.
Here’s how I configure my setup:
So far, it’s been a terrific setup for me. I can connect to all 8 Access Points at the KOA NE Gainesville in Starke, FL – and if it’s late at night (when there’s less electronic noise in the area) I can even connect to the wireless AP at Dick’s Wings over 250 yards away, on the far side of a shopping center. While I was out running errands today, I tested connecting to the same AP with my phone, and could barely manage to connect from 40 yards away in the parking lot, with a clear line of sight!
If you plan on purchasing this setup please feel free to use the links above – I am an Amazon Associate, and when you make your purchase through my links, I get a small commission from the sale – it’s a great (and free!) way to say “Thanks for the information, Jon!”
Transparency Disclaimer: This is the setup that I use in my own coach, and I purchased all the equipment for it with my own funds. If it wasn’t a stellar setup, I wouldn’t recommend it.
If you have any questions, please feel free to email me or post comments below!
Glad to have you all along for All The Adventure, None of the Scurvy!