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Home 4X4 What’s the best Internet access system for vehicle-based travellers?
What’s the best Internet access system for vehicle-based travellers?

What’s the best Internet access system for vehicle-based travellers?

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Want Internet access when travelling? Or maybe you need it but don’t want it?

Back in the day, a mere 15 years ago or so, we didn’t have powerful mobiles phones with always-on high-speed Internet. We had to stop at Internet cafes, or use library facilities, or disconnect phones and connect  modems.

Today of course Internet access is far easier, but travelling makes most things in life more difficult and Internet access is no exception.  And given the way the world has gone digital, especially over COVID, you really need Internet access to live your life.

You can just use your phone, and many do, but even then you might want service in places you can’t get it. And you may well carry a laptop – again the phone can work as a wifi hotspot, but that approach has limitations too.

Some of the options you have are an external wifi 4g/5g hotspot, possibly with a directional or omni-directional antenna to get you coverage in remote areas. There’s also Cel-Fi, and if you really want high-speed Internet anywhere, then Starlink may suit. You do see some satphones offering Internet access such as Iridium, but that’s so expensive and slow it’s simply not worth it.  And then there’s satellite text services which don’t use the Internet at all – but then we’re getting into emergency comms, not remote-area Internet. Of course, every service costs money so while it’d be nice to have one of each, it’d cost a fortune.

I’m writing this blog post on a beach in NSW, as you can see from the title image. There is service on my phone, but it’s quite slow…so I’ve popped my Netgear Nighthawk on the roofrack for a little extra height and that’s working much better for Internet access.

In the video below I talk to David from RF Shop about Internet access on the move, how it works, what the options are, and what might be best for you. And check out my other videos on emergency comms systems, and Starlink.

Robert Pepper Automotive journalist specialising in 4X4s, sportscars, camping and future tech.

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