How to get Free WiFi On The Road
I recently added a wifi adapter in my van and it allows me to connect to any open (no password required) wifi network without having to go into a store that has free wifi (e.g. Lowes, Starbucks, Home Depot, McDonalds, etc). Since the antenna that I purchased is a directional antenna, I have to park the backdoor of my van facing the storefront since the antenna is mounted on the backdoor. Otherwise, it may not amplify the signal. I recommend mounting a directional antenna on the roof if possible.
I went from one bar of wifi signal to full bars of wifi even though I was parked more than 100 yards from a Lowes.
- The cord on the directional antenna is only 3 feet long so I purchased an additional cable to extend the length. RP-SMA Male to RP-SMA Female Extension Cable
- This is the antenna that is mounted outside the van - it MUST be pointed at the wifi source (e.g. the location where the wifi signal is coming from) TP-Link 2.4GHz 9dBi Directional Antenna
- This is what amplifies a wifi signal from the wifi signal source (e.g. Starbucks): Alfa High Gain USB Wireless Network Adapter
The Alfa wifi adapter connects to my laptop via USB.
This setup only allows for one device to be connected (via USB) at a time.
The solution to this problem is to re-broadcast the wifi signal and allow other devices to connect through a wifi repeater (your smartphone, additional computers or tablets, etc): Alfa Wifi Repeater and Range Extender. Note: this device requires AC power.
All in this, wifi amplification system in my RV costs about $60. Not bad for some free wifi in my van!