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Old 06-03-2020, 06:12 PM   #1
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Brand: Jayco
Model: GREYHAWK 29MV
State: Washington
Posts: 24
THOR #17431
Rock solid WiFi configurations, plans and equipment

Hello all,

I've been searching through the wifi chats on various boards, would still like to revisit my requirements and know what the best options are.

Does anyone know by what means I could access the Xfinity mesh of hotspots and connect / authenticate with my account?

Secondly, I have a Netgear WiFi router w 4 1GB lan ports and I would still like to use this. Obviously I can't provide an internet path to it via cable modem, but it does have 2.4 and 5gz so I might could use a DD-WRT AutoAP repeater type setup to connect to xfinity or open signals on one of the bands then NET on the other band for a home network.

I'm not really interested in paying for cell coverage but would consider this as a BU plan.

Most of the WiFi boosters and antenna things offered use a USB input to a single device and I would rather try to put that signal in to my Netgear router for multiple devices and wifi rebroadcast.

Bottom line - I'm looking for a way to use an external antenna to grep wifi long range and use free or paid internet in order to reliably work from home. If you are actually DOING THIS I'm very interested in your equipment and service. This is time sensitive and I need to test some solutions in the next week.

Please let me know about your successes or PM me if you don't want to state publicly.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 06-19-2020, 12:12 AM   #2
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Brand: Jayco
Model: GREYHAWK 29MV
State: Washington
Posts: 24
THOR #17431
After 2 weeks in forums and countless hours in research and phone calls, I think I have the solution I want to try.

Essentially it would include Pepwave Max Br1 MK2 CAT-6 LTE-Advanced Mobile Router and some choice of AIO omni directions antenna or individual antennas.

This Br1 MK2 and antennas will essentially replace the cable modem and talk to the outside world in the ways I've prescribed. It will use the WiFi and cell data together for internet.

I would retain my NetGear NightHawk 7500 V2 as my wifi router and internal network with 4 1gb LAN ports and all the administration and security features I'm used to.

Between the MK2 and my own router there would then be multiple layers of firewall and filtering and NAT.

With regard to the MK2 I have to decide which type antennas to go with. Will I use the longer and more expensive antennas with higher gain or will I just use an AIO that's low profile and a single thing to mount up top.

I've looked at a myriad of products from hotspots to boosters etc and I feel like this is the best overall get it done right for my needs solution.


.
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Old 06-19-2020, 02:23 AM   #3
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Brand: Still Looking
Model: Sunstar 29VE Winnebago
State: Texas
Posts: 970
THOR #13058
I am glad you have what you sought. To be honest I have watched your threads in a couple places and still not sure if I follow what you are trying to do? I think we have similar goals, but as technical as you are, I figure my solution was too simple and would not meet what you are trying to do

With that said I will tell you what I do, and I would love to hear the functional explanation for what more you are trying to do

I got a new RV, I refuse to consider any kind of satellite, or special mobile wifi service or mobile data plan. Not familiar with xfinity at all

So I bought a Nighthawk X4 AC2200 WiFi EX7300. When we travel; 2/3rds of time I can find a local free wifi that I connect the Nighthawk X4 AC2200 WiFi EX7300 to. Every device in RV or with 300' has internet access. I have Roku boxes on all of the TVs. We stream our cable which is YouTubeTV. In some parks we can't get free wifi or the service is too far away, so I simply turn on hotspot on my phone (T mobile). I connect my Nighthawk X4 AC2200 WiFi EX7300 to it, and presto all of devices and TV have internet We watch movies with no issues. Truth be told; we don't watch a lot movies when in RV, but we can do so if we want.

Only things I wished theNighthawk X4 AC2200 WiFi EX7300 had or could do.
1. Automatically remember a previous Wifi ssid / password that I connected to. Everytime, I come back home and connect the Nighthawk in RV back to home network , I have to pull out the laptop to setup all over again.
2. Range 200 - 300 ft is max under ideal circumstances (but hotspot from my phone saves the day) I have yet had to pay a RV park their daily fee for wifi.
3. Allow a setting so the EXT extension on connected SSID defaults to use. I don't know why you want the SSID on source router and the Nighthawk to be the exact same? It can be confusing to know which you are connected too.

FWIW
I no longer have to use ethernet cord to configure for new SSID. Not sure how that happened? Maybe a behind the scene firmware / hardware upgrade?

Let me know what I am missing and thoughts.
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2019 Sunstar 29VE Sumo Springs; Safe T Plus; EC-30 AGS Nighthawk X4 AC2200 WiFi EX7300; H/W Heater / Chassis Disconnect Switches; Southwire Surge Guard 44270 & 34951 w/Monitor 40301; Jet Flo Macerator; Alpine SPE500 Speakers; Visio M21D-H8R
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Old 06-19-2020, 03:54 AM   #4
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Brand: Jayco
Model: GREYHAWK 29MV
State: Washington
Posts: 24
THOR #17431
We're a l m o s t on the same page after all. I want what you want. Wifi internet. I just want it a lot more and maybe able to get it further away.


If I can't get it then I have to use the cell date Lte I purchase and that will be a plan B. I will have two sims from different carries and even the plan B has a plan B.


The reason I'm adding that expensive router is that is will bond the wifi and cell and provide whatever is available as needed.


In order just can't use lame excuses for not being able to WFH and do conferences etc. I want things to be seamless and reliable. So if the wifi and 2 $40mth plans gets me the reliability and bandwidth I need then so be it.


What part of Texas are you out of? I romped all over Texas and went to college in Texas, so if I get tired I sound a bit tahrd and it comes through in my accent.




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Old 06-19-2020, 12:46 PM   #5
gmc
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Hurricane 32A
State: Florida
Posts: 1,871
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Iíve tried several options... at the time was doing the snowbird thing and still working. Needed a reliable solution.

I used a Ubiquiti device that pulled in the WiFi signals, fed to a Linksys router that broadcast in (and near) the RV.
The system worked great but was dependent on reliable public WiFi... which just wasnít reliable enough for work needs.

I picked up an AT&T Mobley when they had their $20 unlimited plan, and havenít used the repeater setup since...
Phone hotspot on different carrier (Verizon) is Ďplan Bí, and that combination has worked well for me.

The Mobley plus into the OBD2 port in vehicle... uses only the power connections.
I wired an ODB2 socket in my ĎIT closetí with power pins only to leave the vehicle port for other purposes... and run off coach batteries.
Also made up an AC adapter (12v wall wart transformer into an OBD2 socket) to run off house power. It provides internet to my detached shop/garage in my sticks/bricks home when not traveling.
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Old 06-19-2020, 01:37 PM   #6
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Brand: Still Looking
Model: Sunstar 29VE Winnebago
State: Texas
Posts: 970
THOR #13058
Quote:
Originally Posted by Boondock Saint View Post
We're a l m o s t on the same page after all. I want what you want. Wifi internet. I just want it a lot more and maybe able to get it further away.


If I can't get it then I have to use the cell date Lte I purchase and that will be a plan B. I will have two sims from different carries and even the plan B has a plan B.


The reason I'm adding that expensive router is that is will bond the wifi and cell and provide whatever is available as needed.


In order just can't use lame excuses for not being able to WFH and do conferences etc. I want things to be seamless and reliable. So if the wifi and 2 $40mth plans gets me the reliability and bandwidth I need then so be it.


What part of Texas are you out of? I romped all over Texas and went to college in Texas, so if I get tired I sound a bit tahrd and it comes through in my accent.




.
The concern above in RED is a goal I by chance happened into. We keep our RV at home and the Extender is in the RV. It works perfect. In fact I have faster wireless speeds and better connections per my Roku boxes outside than those in the house upstairs wirelessly connected to router in house.

I not only have WFH every day since March, but I use the RV as my home office. My wife uses the home home office. Went on for months with no issue. About a month ago Spectrum service went out. ( I am in Dallas area) No knock on Spectrum internet as they have been wonderful but that day we had no service period. I do Google hangouts / Zoom meetings all day so I was shut down and desperate. I then went to my android phone and started working emails. For kicks I was going to try to tether my phone to my laptop. As soon as I plug in my USB my wonderful Samsung asked if I wanted to create a HotSpot I was like sure. Stunned to see a actual wifi SSID, I connected not only my laptop and roku to it, stunned that all that work with no issues I went a step further and connected my Nighthawk extender to it and it broadcasted the signals throughout the RV. I was able to watch TV and continue all my video conferencing. Spectrum came back on about 6 hours later, but I have powerful new capability that I didn't even know I had.

As far as distance goes. Before I bought the Nighthawk I was about to buy this https://www.ebay.com/itm/Alfa-WiFi-C...ty!75007!US!-1

I could get no one to confirm the distance so I figure I would just see what the least expensive option would do first. I may eventually buy one for kicks to have but it involves a lot more setup and likely meant to be be permanent? I didn't want to have to fool with mounting an antenna on my RV.

Thus far, distance has not been a problem for anywhere that we have been where free wifi was offered to us legally that we could not get. In one case I can think of in Midland Texas at my son's apt complex we could not reach his wifi, they made us move the RV as we got closer to reach it So we moved back to the back and I went to my phone.
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Old 06-19-2020, 03:11 PM   #7
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Brand: Jayco
Model: GREYHAWK 29MV
State: Washington
Posts: 24
THOR #17431
Right on! I'd rather not have to spend the money if I don't need to, but I'm not sure the NightHawk I have would be sufficient even if I swapped the antennas for external ones. And I would have to swap connections between wifi and cell modem as needed. The swapping plus using a directional antenna to always aim to the strongest signal isn't on my favorites list.

I'm going to spend the bucks and drive this around the block and see how it works. I mean literally drives this around by mocking up in my jeep and traveling around observing performance and pulling packets.


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Old 06-19-2020, 04:03 PM   #8
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Model: Sunstar 29VE Winnebago
State: Texas
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THOR #13058
Quote:
Originally Posted by Boondock Saint View Post
Right on! I'd rather not have to spend the money if I don't need to, but I'm not sure the NightHawk I have would be sufficient even if I swapped the antennas for external ones. And I would have to swap connections between wifi and cell modem as needed. The swapping plus using a directional antenna to always aim to the strongest signal isn't on my favorites list.

I'm going to spend the bucks and drive this around the block and see how it works. I mean literally drives this around by mocking up in my jeep and traveling around observing performance and pulling packets.


.
My Nighthawk does not have any external antennas.

https://www.pcmag.com/reviews/netgea...xtender-ex7300

What I have done in some cases i.e. at my moms house is plug the nighthawk in at an external garage receptacle; so it is halfway in the middle of her actual router and my RV. I could get almost double the distance. It works great. I could also use an extension cord if I wanted to be extreme.

I don't do anything with a cell modem? If I want to use T - Mobile data, I simply go to WiFi hotspot created by my phone. So no swapping. My T mobile plan is unlimited data, but it does steps down at some level, but I have never reached to notice any performance issues. We stream movies or local TV through YouTubeTV through the phone with no issues (even while moving)

The Camp Alfa thing, would only be advantageous to me if I knew it would extend further than my Nighthawk (which I don't). I talked with the folks that distribute / make Camp Alfa and while they were very nice, they stayed away from giving me ANY kind of idea about range. At current, it is no need for me to try because I don't have a block right now. I can have Wifi anywhere I travel as long as their T- mobile service. A local free / public WiFi is a bonus that I always use 1st if available.

Now if you come back and tell me you can pick up Wifi 2000ft, or a mile away, let me know, but honestly, I have not had a need to pick up wifi that far. Even if I did, I suspect the quality may be poor and throughput not adequate to stream?

FWIW, Even though the Nighthawk sell for around $149, I got my brand new off ebay for about $60. I like it so much, that if the pros say Netgear has a new version of Nighthawk that overcomes a few of the things I posted above, I would buy a new one in a heartbeat. I could then use my existing to permanently use in the house, mainly upstairs.
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2019 Sunstar 29VE Sumo Springs; Safe T Plus; EC-30 AGS Nighthawk X4 AC2200 WiFi EX7300; H/W Heater / Chassis Disconnect Switches; Southwire Surge Guard 44270 & 34951 w/Monitor 40301; Jet Flo Macerator; Alpine SPE500 Speakers; Visio M21D-H8R
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Old 06-19-2020, 09:39 PM   #9
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Brand: Jayco
Model: GREYHAWK 29MV
State: Washington
Posts: 24
THOR #17431
Quote:
Originally Posted by dkoldman View Post
Now if you come back and tell me you can pick up Wifi 2000ft, or a mile away, let me know,.... <----- quote are editable btw
Heh not with the dinky all in one rooftop antenna that's for sure. I don't have a driveway to park in but I'll generally be near enough to sources in the city that I can gamble on the AIO doing a good enough job.

Since I'm buying a plastic junction box for all the cables I'll need to run I plan to just mount the AIO on the lid of the box, easy peazy.


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