How To Get Internet In Caravans

Getting access to the internet in a caravan can be an impossible task. You and your caravan are likely in the middle of nowhere, either on the open road or in a rural caravan park. And even though you’re enjoying time in the great outdoors, when you need Wi-Fi to contact someone, watch your favourite TV programme or check your emails, having no or slow internet speeds can be the end of the world. 

In our guide, we’ll discuss the four best ways you can get fast Wi-Fi for your caravan or motorhome. You can even use some of them on a camping trip!

A caravan park by the coast

Look out for public Wi-Fi

Public Wi-Fi is incredibly common and most often free to use. If you’re in a caravan park or on a campsite, it’s very likely that there’ll be an option for public Wi-Fi. You can also find local cafes, restaurants or libraries in the area local to your caravan that provide public Wi-Fi. This is the perfect solution if you’re not completely reliant on having the internet in your caravan, as you can go and get internet as regularly as you need. 

This type of internet may be free, but you could also need to pay per hour, day, or week. Either way, we’d recommend asking the provider what internet speeds you should expect in your caravan so you know what type of online activities you can do.  

Unfortunately, public Wi-Fi comes with its disadvantages that make it undesirable for long term internet use. It can be unreliable, unsecure, and offers much slower speeds than the internet you’re used to. When too many users connect to public Wi-Fi there can be a loss in bandwidth, leading to the slow speeds or even the network going down. And with being susceptible to hackers too, it's easy to see why public Wi-Fi isn’t the best option for consistent caravan internet.   

Pros of public Wi-Fi for caravans: 

  • Mostly free
  • Simple to use
  • Promotes socialising and productivity

Cons of public Wi-Fi for caravans:

  • Unreliable
  • Lacks in security
  • Low speeds

Use a 4G mobile hotspot (tethering)

Using your mobile phone as a 4G hotspot (also known as tethering) is the most simple and convenient way to get Wi-Fi in a caravan. It’s very similar to your Wi-Fi router at home, however in this case your mobile will mimic a Wi-Fi connection by using the data from your mobile network provider (e.g. EE or O2). 

All Android and iPhone devices are capable of creating an internet hotspot; you should be able to find it in your settings. From there, multiple devices including laptops, tablets and other mobiles can connect to the network. A hotspot is good for surfing the internet, social media and streaming of music and videos. 

However it’s important to remember that this comes out of your data plan, so you’ll need to be careful that you’re using data wisely, not going over the limits and incurring additional charges. If you have unlimited data, you won’t need to worry. 

Mobile tethering is the best solution to get Wi-Fi in a caravan without having to purchase extra equipment. It’s easy to set up whether your caravan is static, if you’ve got a tourer or if you’re a regular UK camper. All you need is a mobile phone and a good data contract.

Pros of tethering/hotspot for caravan internet: 

  • Simple to use 
  • Multiple devices can connect to the internet
  • Quality internet connection

Cons of tethering/hotspot for caravan internet: 

  • Can become costly 
  • Connections can sometimes be spotty
  • Potential data caps (check with your provider)

Get a Mi-Fi device or dongle

Mi-Fi (Mobile Wi-Fi) is a term used to describe a portable router that gives your caravan a strong internet connection for multiple devices. This is the ideal solution if you’re looking for a longer term way to get internet in a caravan. Using a Mi-Fi means your caravan internet will support up to 5-15 device connections, depending on the model you choose. 

To use this method, you’ll need to purchase a Mi-Fi device and a SIM card. If you’re using the internet at your caravan most of the year, we’d recommend that your chosen SIM card has an unlimited data contract to avoid harsh charges for overuse. But if you’re only there a couple of weeks of the year, you could easily get a pay-as-you-go contract. 

One important thing to remember is that a Mi-Fi device or dongle can be ‘locked in’ to one mobile network. This is fine if you have a static caravan, however if you have a travelling tourer, you’ll need a Mi-Fi that is ‘unlocked’ and can access multiple networks across the country, as well as having the potential to work overseas too.  

Pros of Mi-Fi for caravans: 

  • Multiple devices can connect
  • Strong connection depending on network signal
  • Storage can be expanded with SD cards 
  • Operates on batteries (avoids power outages)

Cons of Mi-Fi for caravans: 

  • Lots of users may drain the batteries quickly 
  • Can be expensive
  • Settings need changing to go abroad

Invest in FWA rural broadband (best for static caravans)

It’s common for people in the UK to have a caravan as a second home, either for the summer or for all year round except the winter months. If you’re planning on living in your caravan long term or working from home in your caravan, it might be wise to invest in a more stable Wi-Fi solution such as FWA (Fixed Wireless Access). 

FWA is all about providing permanent broadband access to a specific location, typically rural, where regular FTTP and FTTC internet options aren’t an option. A fixed wireless connection uses a small fixed antenna to connect wirelessly to a radio tower nearby, which in turn sends superfast internet to your router.

At Wildanet, we’ve had plenty of experience setting up internet connections at rural caravan parks. If FWA sounds like something your caravan, or your caravan park would need, why not check your postcode on our postcode checker. And if you want to talk more about our internet options for your caravan, please get in touch with one of our team today.  

Pros of FWA for caravans: 

  • Permanent strong connection
  • Typically cheaper than other broadband
  • Great for rural areas
  • Can be deployed quickly  

Cons of FWA for caravans: 

  • Needs direct line of sight 
  • Can be affected by weather

Final overview of internet for caravans 

There are many ways to get internet in caravans, and the best one for you will depend on your individual needs. Consider what type of internet you need, how much you're willing to spend, and how often you'll be using it. With a little bit of research, you'll be able to find the perfect caravan Wi-Fi for you.

Here are all of the methods of getting internet to your caravan that we’ve recommended in this article, alongside their advantages and disadvantages.

Type

Pros

Cons

Public Wi-Fi

Mostly free, simple to use, promotes socialising and productivity

Can be unreliable, May not be as secure as a private connection, may suffer from low speeds

Mobile Hotspot / Tethering

Simple to use, multiple devices can connect to the internet, quality internet connection

Can become costly, connections can sometimes be spotty, potential data caps (check with your provider)

Mi-Fi 

Multiple devices can connect, strong connection depending on network signal, storage can be expanded with SD cards, operates on batteries (avoids power outages)

Lots of users may drain the batteries quickly, can be expensive, settings need changing to go abroad

Fixed Wireless Access

Permanent strong connection, typically cheaper than other broadband, great for rural areas, can be deployed quickly  

Needs direct line of sight

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