Sunday, 4 December 2016

Making good use of Wifi when travelling - in praise of Motorhome Wifi


In praise of Motorhome Wifi!

A short entry this – both to extol the virtues of a bit of technical kit – and the company behind it!

As many peeps travelling in vans know, having good access to reliable Wifi can be a real boon – especially if the weather should turn pants and those fun outdoor activities seem like a distant memory… For some, having a 3G/4G SIM arrangement for euro-roaming is the answer, and for others, making use of paid-for or free access to Wifi is the way to go. We’re in the latter group and have, over the years, got used to variable (often poor) quality or expensive access prices that have driven us to look at options for improvement.

So, after a bit of hunting around we opted for the iBoost D8 from Motorhome Wifi – a small company set up by a couple of van travellers whose blog we used to follow as they travelled round Europe and Morocco. They also offer a 3G/4G SIM solution but here’s a bit of info about what we went for – a gadget that improves the signal strength of the Wifi you are accessing (often finding unsecure ones you can piggy back) which then links to a small router in the van that shares the signal with as many devices as you want (with the signal shared between them). You can see the small aerial on top of the van is this pic:



Where this is particularly good, is at locations where access is limited to one device logged on at a time (whether paid or free) – the iBoost is ‘seen’ as the single device and then shares a strengthened signal via a small router. So, if Mrs B and I both want access to the web at the same time, we can now do it – and if it’s paid for access, we only pay for one access code. As the antenna (directional in our case) can pick up signals from a good distance, this also means that a ‘local’ signal such as free Wifi at campsite reception, or a car park near a Maccy Ds, can be accessed.

The kit is not cheap (we paid £160), but it is very easy to set up and use and, having experienced a hitch at a site in Spain, I have to say the technical support is outstanding. Having failed to access our paid-for Wifi on a site we wanted to stay at for a few days, I decided to try the support page on Motorhome Wifi’s website. Easy to follow and very sensible (it suggests you send some screen captures of the iBoost monitoring screens) I got an immediate response from Adam, one of the founders, and my problem was sorted in under 10 minutes. And this late on a Friday afternoon as well!

Would I recommend this bit of kit to others? Yes I would! For tech savvy peeps there might be cheaper ways of doing it, but the iBoost is a doddle to get up and running straight out of the box – and with support like I have experienced so far, I have great faith in its continuing use as we travel in our home on wheels. As I write this we’re just coming to the end of our five week sojourn this winter and the iBoost has made a big improvement in our Wifi experience – so much so that we have really enjoyed regular face-time natters with our lovely granddaughter Ada (aka La Nieta) – a great boon when she is growing and changing so quickly!

So – a big thankyou to the team at Motorhome Wifi for their great technical product development, and excellent customer service! If you want to find out more, look here!

S.





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