Campground Internet Report 2
Updated on September 10, 2019 — Methodology added.
We’re at our last stay in our West Coast trip. It’s our 43rd campground in 8 states and Canada.
We’ve been keeping track of our Internet use since we started our journey a little over three months ago on April 1st.
I published first Internet report in June after we had visited 16 campgrounds.
MY FINAL CONCLUSIONS
Again, I’ll repeat what I said previously in June: any conclusions are tentative as 43 campgrounds is just not enough data. That said . . .
- “Satellite Internet isn’t necessary because cellular reception is available at the vast majority of campgrounds” – this is a common statement found on web RV forums. I only had to use my HughesNet Gen 5 dish in 3 of the 43 RV parks we stayed because there was no Verizon and AT&T cell service and no campground WiFi available. Would I sign up for HughesNet Gen 5 service again? I’m not sure now.
- “Campground WiFi is crappy” – another popular web forum notion. Though I wasn’t expecting much, I found campground WiFi to be much better than I thought it would be. For example, 67% (29 of 43) of the campgrounds we visited had at least “usable” WiFi, that is, you could use it for web browsing. In addition, 42% of those 43 campgrounds had WiFi fast enough for streaming video on a regular basis.
- “Verizon is better than AT&T” – I’m not finding that to be true. Based on these 43 campgrounds, I would not drop my Verizon plan (unlike what I said in my 1st report) because Verizon service was much more available than AT&T (91% compared with 77%).
NOTE: The “Streamability” percentages in this 2nd report are “stricter” than in my 1st report. In my 1st report the percentage was based on total availability. The 2nd report is based on the total number of campgrounds. For example, in this report Campground WiFi Streamability is 42% (18 of 43). In my first report, Campground WiFi Streamability would be calculated as 62% (18 of 29).
Equipment: VM6200 (AT&T Mobley) and a USB730L Cat 6 LTE modem (Verizon) with 2×2 internal MIMO and Carrier Aggregation connected to a Cradlepoint MBR 1200B router. No exterior antennas or cellular amplifiers were used.
Testing: Internet speed was measured once when we arrived at a campground, typically between noon and 3 pm. Speedof.me was used to measure Internet speed on a 2017 iMac using the Chrome web browser. For each Internet source (AT&T, Verizon, campground WiFi, and HughesNet Gen 5), two Speedof.me tests were done. The 2nd test results were used.