How to Get Wi-Fi for Camping and RV

Ready for an adventure in the great outdoors? Don’t forget the Wi-Fi!
Mobile hotspot + AT&T data plan
AT&T Prepaid 100 GB Plan
4.5 out of 5 stars
  • pro
  • pro
    No contract
Starlink Mobile
Portable satellite internet
4 out of 5 stars
  • pro
  • pro
    1TB of data
Check Availability
filled red circle with the letter i cut out of the middle filled green circle with a check mark cut out in the middle
4G LTE portable internet
4 out of 5 stars
  • pro
    $149.00– $249.00/mo.
  • pro
    Choice of Verizon, AT&T, or T-Mobile data plan
Check Availability
filled red circle with the letter i cut out of the middle filled green circle with a check mark cut out in the middle

Kristin Cooke
Sep 15, 2023
Icon Time To Read9 min read

Internet options for camping and RV

While developed campgrounds are more likely to have campground Wi-Fi networks, you can't always rely on Wi-Fi hotspots if you need to connect to the internet on your outdoor adventure. Fortunately, you have options. Your best camping internet methods will usually be mobile hotspotting, 4G LTE internet, or portable satellite internet options like Starlink Mobile.

Using a phone as a mobile hotspot is the most common way people connect while they’re on the road, but mobile hotspotting has data limitations that are generally too restrictive for people who are working full time while on the road. That's where satellite internet comes in. Read on for a breakdown of your different camping Wi-Fi options.

Recommended mobile hotspot data plans

Data as of 5/12/2021. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

Why use a mobile hotspot while camping?

Plan name
Hotspot data
Get It
ATTAT&T 15 GB Prepaid Data Plan


ATTAT&T 100 GB Prepaid Data Plan100GB/mo.


VisibleVisible plan (on Verizon network)100GB/mo.$40/mo.
T MobileT-Mobile data-only plan30GB/mo.$40.00/mo.
  • Mobile hotspot devices offer more data than hotspotting off your phone and they don’t drain your phone battery. 
  • All data plans we recommend are contract free. Without the burden of a month-to-month service contract, you can buy the mobile hotspot device upfront and just activate service for the months you camp.
  • The drawback to a mobile hotspot device is that it doesn’t work in areas without cell phone reception—you have to be close enough to a cell phone tower to get a signal.
  • A mobile hotspot is usually cheaper per month than your other portable internet options.
  • Using a cell phone booster can strengthen your signal in more remote campsites and National Parks with weak cellular signals. 

If you’re planning on doing a lot of backcountry camping, a mobile hotspot device may not work. For example, if you’re boondocking in the backcountry and you’re 100 miles from the nearest cell phone tower, you may only be able to get online using a portable satellite dish like Starlink Mobile, which is more expensive but gets you connected. But if you’re content to save online activities for when you’re staying in established camping areas, a mobile hotspot device might be great. 

Travelers who rely heavily on internet access for working remotely or staying connected during long trips will benefit most from getting a mobile hotspot device. Occasional campers may not need a dedicated device for internet access while camping and could get by with hotspotting off their cell phone plan.

Other mobile hotspot options include the Verizon 5G Hotspot will deliver a steady connection in many camping areas. 

Our pick: mobile hotspot device + AT&T Prepaid Data Plan

Our top recommendation for getting Wi-Fi while camping in is getting a mobile hotspot device and pairing it with a prepaid data plan. This is the most flexible option, allowing you to buy a device upfront and then just activate service for the months you’ll be using it, rather than having a year-long contract. 

Using a mobile hotspot like the AT&T Nighthawk LTE along with one of AT&T’s prepaid data plans is a great choice for camping and RV. AT&T recently slashed the price on their prepaid plans and doubled the data—which is a win, win, anyway you look at it. If you like Verizon’s network but are looking for something cheaper, check out Visible’s $40 per month data plans, which include unlimited hotspot data.

Best mobile hotspot devices

Orbic Speed Mobile Hotspot

Carrier: Verizon

Mode: Orbic Speed Mobile Hotspot

Price: $79.99

Netgear nighthawk

Carrier: AT&T

Mode: NETGEAR Nighthawk LTE Mobile Hotspot Router

Price: $249.99

T-Mobile MiFi 8000 Mobile Hotspot

Carrier: T-Mobile

Mode: MiFi 8000 Mobile Hotspot

Price: $240.00

Data as of 5/12/2021. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

When selecting a mobile hotspot device, most people get one with the same provider as they use for their cell phone. Sometimes, you can save money by bundling plans. Mobile hotspot plans cost $5 to $150 per month, depending on which provider you pick and how much data you use. 

Although Verizon has one of the cheapest hotspot devices, Verizon’s data-only hotspot plans are the most expensive, which is why we recommend getting MVNO Visible if you want to use Verizon’s network. (Visible is much cheaper.)

To learn more, check out our full mobile hotspot review, which includes information on service plans.

Cellular hotspotting using your phone

Using a mobile phone to access the internet or hotspotting from a phone to a laptop are the most popular ways that people get online while camping. The only catch is you have to be camping in an area with cell phone service. The internet activities you’ll be able to use your phone for will depend a lot on how strong your signal is.

What is hotspotting?

Most mobile phone plans allow you to share your internet connection from your phone with another device, such as a laptop or tablet. This is called hotspotting. Be sure to first check with your cell provider to find out if hotspotting data is part of your plan. 

  • To hotspot on an iPhone, go to Settings > Personal Hotspot. Switch the button to “on.”
  • To hotspot on an Android, go to Settings > Network & Internet > Hotspot & Tethering. Toggle the button to “on.”

Data restrictions will apply—plans give you somewhere between 3 GB and 30 GB of full-speed data per month while hotspotting. After you reach the data limit, you’ll have really slow speeds—even if you have unlimited data. You can learn more in our guide to mobile phone hotspotting.

Best cell phone plans for hotspotting

Hotspot data limit
Coverage ranking

Verizon Get More Unlimited

30 GB/mo. at 4G LTE speeds, then unlimited data at 600 Kbps


#1 in US

AT&T Unlimited Extra

30 GB/mo at 4G LTE or 5G speeds, then unlimited data at 128 Kbps


#2 in US

T-Mobile Magenta Plus

20 GB at 4G LTE speeds, then unlimited data at 3G


#3 in US

Data as of 5/12/2021. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

4G LTE internet

If you want to bring your home internet connection with you wherever you go, 4G LTE internet is a great option for camping in an RV. It doesn’t require complicated installation of a satellite dish or data monitoring, and you can get a signal in the same places as you can get cellphone service. Some carriers have better coverage in rural areas. You can use your 4G LTE internet service for your home internet provider and for your RV internet service, which is a big perk. 

Also known as wireless internet, 4G LTE internet service delivers data using cell phone towers—the same way you get data on your smartphone. Most 4G LTE providers offer download speeds of 10–25 Mbps, which might not be fast enough to play fast-paced games like Fortnite or Diablo online, but it’s ample speed for browsing, emailing, fetching directions, making reservations, making video calls, and even streaming  movies or TV on Netflix or YouTube. 

To take your 4G LTE internet with you on the road, you just need to carry your modem/router out to your RV and plug it into a power source and you’ll have internet access for your devices on the go. And you don’t have to be going far—you can use it in the barn, in a workshop, or anywhere you have access to power. When you plug your modem/router in, you’ll have the same network name and password that you set up at home.

Perfect for rural areas, vacation spots, and RV campgrounds, 4G LTE internet service offers portable internet service that’s also great for RVers. There are dozens of small 4G LTE internet providers around the country. Here are a few worth checking out.

Best 4G LTE internet providers for camping

Details• AT&T, T-Mobile, or Verizon
• $149–$249/mo.
• Ask for a mobile hotspot when you sign up

Get it

Data as of 5/12/2021. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

Like cell phone service, 4G LTE internet depends on proximity to cell phone towers to get a signal. It won’t work well in extremely remote areas, canyons, or in heavily forested areas. Lakes and swamps can also interfere with cell signals. 4G LTE works best when you’re in an open area and you’re located close to cell phone towers.

For heavy data users or seasonal RVers who travel extensively, 4G LTE internet might be a better way to get internet than cell phone hotspot. With 4G LTE internet, you can use the same plan for home internet and Wi-Fi on the road—and it delivers a lot more data than mobile hotspotting. If you’re cruising around the country in an RV for months on end, you might need more than the 15 GB of data per month that you’ll get from hotspotting off your cell phone. 

Do you like to escape the city during your travels? Plenty of campers and RVers like to stay close to popular beaches, resorts, and cities while they travel, but not everybody likes the crowds. You can venture a little farther off the beaten path if you use a signal booster, which will help the 4G LTE modem/router pick up a signal from a little farther away. 

4G LTE home internet

Both Verizon and T-Mobile offer 4G LTE home internet and 5G home internet solutions, but you won't be able to take these with you one the road or to the campground. They're what's called fixed wireless internet options, so even though they run off cell phone data networks, they're designed to receive it in a single, fixed spot. Stick with a hotspot if you want to keep your 4G or 5G portable. 

Starlink Mobile

We didn't use to recommend satellite internet for casual RVers because the equipment costs were high and the speeds low, low, low. Fortunately, Starlink for RVers has developed into its own special service: Starlink Mobile. And it's resolved most of our issues with portable satellite internet. It's still expensive, but $150 per month that you can pause whenever you want is a far cry from previous satellite RV options, and even if you do experienced slow speeds compared to Starlink residential users, 50Mbps on the daily is a welcome speed in comparison to the 1Mbps options you had before.

Check out our full Starlink Mobile guide to learn if it's the right camping solution for you.

For the records, neither Hughesnet nor Viasat (the major residential satellite internet companies) offer portable satellite internet service. 

Data as of 5/12/2021. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

Boosting campground Wi-Fi

The most obvious internet option while traveling in an RV is trying out campground internet or getting internet at restaurants, coffee shops, and libraries. Sometimes you may luck out and camp in a site with decent Wi-Fi. But most campground Wi-Fi is weak, slow, and unreliable, so we don’t recommend that you rely on it for anything important. 

When you check in, go ahead and get the sign in info from the camp host for the campsite Wi-Fi. It won’t hurt—it’s free in most cases. And if it’s a cold night in the middle of February and you’re the only camper, you might get enough bandwidth to stream a few YouTube videos (if you’re located close enough to the main office).

Most campground Wi-Fi networks have two problems: they’re overcrowded with too many users, and the router and modem are too far away from the campsites. You can’t fix the first problem, but you can use a booster or extender to fix the second problem.

Light Bulb

If you want to use campground Wi-Fi for casual use, or use roaming Wi-Fi on your cell phone, a booster or extender will help you get a better signal. For more details, check out our guide to Wi-Fi boosters and extenders for RVs.


Best Wi-Fi boosters for RV

Bearifi BearExtenderAlfa Camp Pro 2 KitWinegard ConnecT 2.0
Bearifi BearExtender
Alfa WiFi Camp Pro 2 Long Range WiFi Repeater RV kit
Winegard ConnecT 2.0
Details• Roof (pole) mount or use on portable tripod • Windows/Android only • Connects to 1 device

• Roof mount• Dual function: boosts Verizon and AT&T cell signals and campground Wi-Fi

• Roof mount • Dual function: boosts Verizon and AT&T cell signals and campground Wi-Fi
Get it

* pricing as of 5/12/2021. Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. utilizes paid Amazon links.

If you’re familiar with boosters and extenders, you know that they work to amplify an existing Wi-Fi signal so you can pick up signals from farther away. Boosters made for home networks won’t work because they’re designed to be placed as close to the router as possible. A booster or extender made specifically for RV use will work best. There are a lot of good options for RVs, so we’ve created a guide to help you get the best booster or extender for your RV

Final takeaway

If you need an internet option that’s reliable enough to work remotely or watch Netflix around the campfire, opt for a mobile hotspot device or 4G LTE internet service. Both of these options offer service to areas with cell phone coverage, although they won’t work in areas without cell phone service.. 

Most casual RVers won’t need portable satellite internet, which is a good thing since it’s so expensive. So, we recommend satellite internet only to extreme campers and RVers who work or live fulltime in highly remote locations.

Camping Wi-Fi FAQ

How can I get Wi-Fi at a campground?

If you’re camping you can get Wi-Fi with a mobile hotspot device, by hotspotting from your phone, or by boosting campground Wi-Fi signals into your RV. If you’re camping in an area with cell phone service, you can turn your phone into a personal hotspot (which shares your phone’s data with a laptop or other device) or sign up for 4G LTE internet service from Blazing Hog Internet or Ladybug Wireless (which is a great idea if you’re going to spend a lot of time camping). If you will be in extremely remote areas, portable satellite internet may be your only option, but it may require setting up or repositioning a satellite dish every time you make camp.

What are the best internet options for camping?

The best internet option for your camping trip depends on how much you want to spend and where you’ll be. If you’re going to be traveling frequently and need reliable data, we recommend a mobile hotspot device (which only works when you’re camping in an area with cellphone service). For casual internet use, you can also use campground Wi-Fi or use your mobile phone as a personal hotspot (which has data limitations). You can also check out our Internet and Cell Service Guide for National Parks.

Kristin Cooke
Written by
Kristin Cooke
After graduating with a degree in English from the University of Utah, Kristin learned to geek speak while working as a technical recruiter, interviewing software developers and tech companies. For over 20 years, she has created award-winning content for technology, health, and finance companies. Kristin is an advocate for affordable internet for all and writes about rural internet solutions, satellite internet news, and tech products at Her work has been featured in New York Post, PCMag, Forbes, Business Insider, Telecompetitor,, and The Benton Institute for Broadband & Society.