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Internet in van (1 Viewer)

Oct 30, 2016
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On 3rd van so not a total newbie....
Looking for advice, I need to carry on working whilst away, and currently work online by tethering my mobile, which normally works ok, our new van only has a basic radio (poor reception) with no sat nav, so was thinking of streaming uk radio whilst away, and using a tablet for sat nav using Waze etc, which then got us thinking about using for TV when too windy for satellite, so was wondering if a Mifi would help with the signal, either with or without an external aerial. I can get 100gb data for £20pm for data sim, or do I just increase my data allowance and tether phone?
Any recommendations for kit?
 

River gypsys

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Jun 25, 2017
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I'm not sure you can use your whole internet allowance when in Europe, I have unlimited internet with 3 but can only use 12 gig when in Europe and they tell me I can't tether either, I don't need to so I've never tried ,hope this helps
 

jollyrodger

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Oct 1, 2012
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Take your pick ,
IMG_20190110_101821_204.JPG


TV ,films will eat data Radio I find not nearly as much .
Nord vpn
WiFi via fon or similar wifi hot spots
Others will be along to help I'm sure
I don't tether .
cubot phone and phablet take a data SIM ,and then stream to smart TV .
Works for me (y)
Good luck
 
OP
OP
Wh05apk
Oct 30, 2016
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On 3rd van so not a total newbie....
I'm with Vodafone, and I think they do allow use full use abroad.
Will a mifi provide better reception? Our should I just use phone to tether which will then save another contract.
 
Oct 11, 2016
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I have a 3 mifi. 20gb a month for £8. It seems to get a better signal than our phones. Worked very well in France last Sept. I think some of the 20gb is capped when abroad.

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May 8, 2011
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I'm with Vodafone, and I think they do allow use full use abroad.
Will a mifi provide better reception? Our should I just use phone to tether which will then save another contract.
I’m on Vodafone and abroad they let me use my full monthly data allowance. If you want to watch bbc or itv you will probably need a vpn as well.
 

funflair

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I tried to use the BBC radio app while in Germany and it would drop out while travelling, that was Just using the phone data on 3 not MiFi.

Martin
 
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2657

Deleted User
It depends on the signal strength, mifi with aerial will pick up a much better signal in weak reception areas, in strong areas tethered phone will be ok.

I have a 3 payg data sim, 12gb for 12months or 24gb for 24 months and a mifi as backup for my 60gb vodafone contract.

Vodafone allow full use of allowance in Europe, supposedly limited to 3 months but I and others have it in writing that this will not be enforced.

Don't need a VPN when using UK based sim to stream UK TV but does use about 800mb/hour.
 

Lenny HB

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Oct 18, 2007
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I'm with Vodafone, and I think they do allow use full use abroad.
Will a mifi provide better reception? Our should I just use phone to tether which will then save another contract.
Depends where you are, I have the Poynting MIMO aerial with a Mifi, you need to add another £25-£40 to the cost for connecting leads. Works very well, up in the mountains with no coms or data signals on our phones picked up 3g on my mifi via the aerial.

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Minxy

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Aug 22, 2007
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Depends where 'when away' is ... if UK then you won't have any issues with limits on usage with any of the providers, but in mainland Europe etc you will with some.

We have a Three mobile phone contract, 100gb a month for £20 (there's currently a deal at the moment which is unlimited gb, texts and calls for £20. When using it abroad you'll only be allowed 19gb a month for 2 consecutive months in any 4 month period before they will either cut you off or hit you with extra charges.

So, how long are the periods away we talking about?
Where is it to be used?
 
OP
OP
Wh05apk
Oct 30, 2016
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On 3rd van so not a total newbie....
Depends where 'when away' is ... if UK then you won't have any issues with limits on usage with any of the providers, but in mainland Europe etc you will with some.

We have a Three mobile phone contract, 100gb a month for £20 (there's currently a deal at the moment which is unlimited gb, texts and calls for £20. When using it abroad you'll only be allowed 19gb a month for 2 consecutive months in any 4 month period before they will either cut you off or hit you with extra charges.

So, how long are the periods away we talking about?
Where is it to be used?
We expect to be away 2-3 weeks at a time, hopefully every 6 weeks or so, at The moment just Europe.
 
Aug 22, 2017
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Both me and the other half work from the van (both when abroad and in the UK) for up to a week at a time.

We have always used a Huawei mifi device (previously a 3G model and for the past few years a newer 4G model). Make sure you get a model with external aerial connections. They are great little devices and not expensive.

To begin with we used the mifi with no aerial and we found it still pulled in a better signal than any of our phones. Whether you need an aerial depends on how and where you want to work. These devices work very well without aerials if you place them in a sensible place in the van and you are in a reasonable coverage area.

Last year (or was it the previous?) we fitted an external aerial on the roof. If fitting one, choose a proper MIMO aerial with two connections. MIMO aerials are quite expensive, but anything less is not worth it. The external aerial has greatly helped in areas with poor coverage -- UK examples we found: parts of Norfolk and Cumbria; abroad: some off-the-beaten-track places in Iberia. It also helped with using the internet while on the move (for streaming UK radio abroad or using mapping apps while driving), although most of our use is while static.

Because our connection is absolutely essential for work we must avoid 'single points of failure' so always take at least two SIMS for the mifi, and usually three (as well as a back-up mifi device) -- although that would be overkill for most people!

We tend to use UK PAYG SIMs (since the EU outlawed massive roaming charges) and sometimes buy local PAYG SIMs.

THIS week I bought

Testing Pay-As-You-Go SIMs
 
Last edited:

Happy1

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Jan 30, 2017
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Looking for advice, I need to carry on working whilst away, and currently work online by tethering my mobile, which normally works ok, our new van only has a basic radio (poor reception) with no sat nav, so was thinking of streaming uk radio whilst away, and using a tablet for sat nav using Waze etc, which then got us thinking about using for TV when too windy for satellite, so was wondering if a Mifi would help with the signal, either with or without an external aerial. I can get 100gb data for £20pm for data sim, or do I just increase my data allowance and tether phone?
Any recommendations for kit?

We are the same, use motorhome WiFi with the expensive but fab roof antenna which uploads and downloads at same time so super quick, the only problem is data see my post satelite dish v 4g and fire stick
 
Mar 2, 2011
506
986
uk
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15,500
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c.. autocruise starblazer
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8 years
Looking for advice, I need to carry on working whilst away, and currently work online by tethering my mobile, which normally works ok, our new van only has a basic radio (poor reception) with no sat nav, so was thinking of streaming uk radio whilst away, and using a tablet for sat nav using Waze etc, which then got us thinking about using for TV when too windy for satellite, so was wondering if a Mifi would help with the signal, either with or without an external aerial. I can get 100gb data for £20pm for data sim, or do I just increase my data allowance and tether phone?
Any recommendations for kit?

We are in the process of organising some refurbishing work on the van , to include a mimo roof antenna , puck style. We already have a huawei mifi so will be attaching that to the antenna. Our other needs / wants , are to have a video / tv etc streaming facility in the van , therefore another reason for the mimo antenna.

We are so far , opting for this model .... https://www.solwise.co.uk/a-puck-2 ..... at £52 .... After communicating with solwise and also Poynting ( the antenna manufacturer) this model appears to meet our needs for travel in the van .There is another puck model mimo antenna which also covers the 5Ghz wifi band , plus it has connection for gps........ its £93...... https://www.solwise.co.uk/3g-antenna-outdoor.htm .

As for the data provision while on the road , we are exploring the various sim only offerings from ..virgin media//Three// vodaphone..As per discussed in another thread which is running at the moment.
 
Last edited:
Mar 23, 2012
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sleights
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c class
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1
Looking at the other thread people are finding TV uses about 1.5 to 2 GB an hour on a firestick soon use the data up at that rate!
 
Aug 22, 2017
829
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Wildax Europa PVC
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Since 2014 -- cycle-camper before that
We bought our MIMO antenna off ebay -- seemed to be surplus stock so very cheap. Produced by these people:
https://www.ead-ltd.com/
Thanks to @MinxyGirl for finding the spec sheet for it after we bought it
 
Apr 30, 2018
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Mid Suffolk
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Motorhoming since 2018.
John Cross

3 questions please: -

1 can you use any providers SIM card
2 Can you swap between different providers SIM cards without having to reset the MiFi
3 Does the antenna have to be physically mounted on the outside of the vehicle

Many Thanks

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Lenny HB

LIFE MEMBER
Oct 18, 2007
54,092
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On the coast in West Sussex
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658
MH
Hymer B678 DL
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Since 2008 & many years tugging
Aug 22, 2017
829
1,946
Funster No
50,136
MH
Wildax Europa PVC
Exp
Since 2014 -- cycle-camper before that
John Cross

3 questions please: -

1 can you use any providers SIM card
2 Can you swap between different providers SIM cards without having to reset the MiFi
3 Does the antenna have to be physically mounted on the outside of the vehicle

Many Thanks

Most mifi devices are 'unlocked' -- which means you can put any data-enabled SIM in it. Then you use either an app on your phone or tablet or a browser to connect to it and enter the details for the SIM.

As well as external aerials, you can get ones that stick on the inside of a window. It looks like this one can be used in either way.
 
Aug 22, 2017
829
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Wildax Europa PVC
Exp
Since 2014 -- cycle-camper before that
Something not right about the spec on that atenna claiming 28 dBi gain, even the best roof mounted antenna's are only around 6dBi.

Maybe 2.8 dBi ?

If it's a MIMO aerial, gain gets a bit complicated too.
 
Nov 4, 2011
6,006
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Uk
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18,763
MH
A class
Exp
2001
We are in the process of organising some refurbishing work on the van , to include a mimo roof antenna , puck style. We already have a huawei mifi so will be attaching that to the antenna. Our other needs / wants , are to have a video / tv etc streaming facility in the van , therefore another reason for the mimo antenna.

We are so far , opting for this model .... https://www.solwise.co.uk/a-puck-2 ..... at £52 .... After communicating with solwise and also Poynting ( the antenna manufacturer) this model appears to meet our needs for travel in the van .There is another puck model mimo antenna which also covers the 5Ghz wifi band , plus it has connection for gps........ its £93...... https://www.solwise.co.uk/3g-antenna-outdoor.htm .

As for the data provision while on the road , we are exploring the various sim only offerings from ..virgin media//Three// vodaphone..As per discussed in another thread which is running at the moment.

I would interested in which antenna you get and how it performs.
 

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