Keep reading to find the best internet connection type for RVers. Also, find some of the best plans available to suit your needs.
I stayed in RVs for a while, and I don’t want you all to suffer the same fate as me—crappy internet. Thus, I put together this guide to help you find the best internet for your family.
Once you finish reading, you’ll find the following:
- Best RV internet packages
- RV internet connection types compared
- Internet buying guide
- How to speed up your RV Wi-Fi
- Starlink’s expensive, but offers the overall best internet service for RVers
- Mobile hotspot internet plans are worthwhile alternatives to consider if you don’t stream much online video
- RV owners who frequently move around won’t have access to fiber, DSL, cable, or fixed wireless access internet
- Consider public Wi-Fi hotspots to perform data-heavy tasks (like downloads)
Best RV Internet Plans
Here are the best RV internet packages compared:
|Provider & Package||* Starting Price||Max. DL Speeds||Allotted Data||Best For|
|Starlink||$135/mo.||80–100 Mbps||1.0 TB before reduced speeds||Best Overall for RV living|
|Verizon Mobile Hotspot Pro||$40–$60/mo.||1.0 Gbps||50–100 GB||Remote work & Gaming in RVs|
|AT&T Prepaid||$55/mo.||NA||50 GB||Short-time RV traveling|
|T-Mobile Magenta MAX||** $85/mo. (1 line)||72–327 Mbps||Unlimited||Best mobile internet|
|Nomad Internet||$129–$149/mo.||200 Mbps||Unlimited||Unlimited data & streaming|
* Does not include taxes and other fees. These will vary by region. Actual internet speed will vary by connectivity method (e.g., Wi-Fi vs. Ethernet) among other factors.
** The price will lower when adding more lines. Price differences by line (e.g., 2 lines vs. 3 lines) will differ. So I can’t provide an example of price increases.
Internet and data providers for RVs compared.
The following sections will cover each plan’s perks, pricing, and other relevant information. To help you determine whether it’s worth getting.
Starlink for RVs: Best Overall Internet for RVing
|Max. Speed||80–100 Mbps (DL)1.0–2.0 Mbps (UL)|
|Equipment Installation Fee||$599|
|Why It’s The Best||1.0 TB soft data cap|
|Does It Work in Canada in Mexico?||Yes|
Starlink’s stationery home satellites aren’t ideal for in-motion vehicles. However, for an extra $35 a month, you could access low(ish) latency internet with reasonable download speeds.
Starlink’s RV solution is only available in select markets. Here’s a map that shows their satellite internet coverage and whether you’ll have slower speeds during peak hours. I couldn’t find any sources suggesting speeds you’ll get during peak hours.
I have found sources that you’ll get between 20 and 40 ms of latency . That’s good enough for competitive online gaming and lag-free video calls.
What can you use Starlink for?
Anything that doesn’t require upstream bandwidth. 80 Mbps download speeds would allow the following uses simultaneously:
- 1 device streaming 4K video on Netflix
- 1 person gaming online with a laptop
- 1 person watching 1080p YouTube videos on a phone
- 1 person browsing social media on a phone
I don’t recommend 4K video streaming, though. Because it’ll take 170 hours of content to use all your data.
While there’s no hard data cap, once you use 1.0 terabytes (TB) of data, you’ll have slower internet. Sources suggest Starlink will throttle your speeds to 1.0 Mbps . I don’t think your family would find themselves pleased with 1.0 Mbps speeds.
Before I finish, where are HughesNet and Viasat?
Neither satellite internet provider offers packages for moving RVs. Rigs in fixed locations would benefit more from fixed wireless access plans. Hence, I don’t feel comfortable recommending them.
Verizon Mobile Hotspot Pro: Best Internet for RV Remote Work & Gaming
|Max. Speed||Up to 1.0 Gbps|
|Connection Type||5G cellular data|
|Why It’s The Best||Decent speed after surpassing data allowance & great coverage|
|Does It Work in Canada in Mexico?||Only through TravelPass ($5.00/day)|
Whether Verizon’s the best option for remote workers depends on whether you have 5G Ultra Wideband access available in your work area.
Pass the data allowance when using 5G Nationwide, and you’ll have mobile hotspot speeds of 600 Kbps. Pass it when on 5G Ultra Wideband, and you’ll have 3.0 Mbps to work with.
3.0 Mbps will accommodate most online work. For instance, you could make a one-on-one Zoom call in 720p HD without issues . The speeds should also accommodate using Google Docs, apps like Slack, and checking emails.
3.0 Mbps isn’t ideal for downloading files, though. At that point, you may want to find a public Wi-Fi hotspot.
Pay $60 for 100 GB of data or $40 for 50 GB. The amount of data you’ll need depends on your usage. If browsing for research and references, expect to use at least 1.0–2.0 GB of data daily.
Verizon’s 5G frequencies could have an average latency of under 30 milliseconds . The lower latency makes it better for gaming than competitors. And for online video calls.
Since latency, or ping, plays a vital role in determining whether either will have lag.
The 3.0 Mbps download speed (after the data allowance) also gives you enough speed to game online. Whether on mobile, PC, or console. I wouldn’t rely on Verizon’s 5G speed or latency for rank-determining online matches, though.
Because if you’re in an area with spotty coverage, anything could happen to your in-game character.
AT&T Prepaid 50 GB: Best Internet for RV Traveling
AT&T doesn’t provide much information on their RV internet products. I recommend getting Verizon mobile hotspots over AT&T. You’ll get better 4G LTE coverage and pay less for more data.
AT&T also doesn’t provide much information on its plan compared to its competitors.
The best perk of this plan comes from having an alternative to Verizon. And not bounding yourself to a contract. That perk provides flexibility if you want to go out for a weekend and don’t want to subscribe to a carrier.
T-Mobile Magenta MAX: Best Mobile Internet for RVs
|Max. Speed||Mobile hotspot speeds72–327 Mbps (DL)8.0–35 Mbps (UL)|
|Perks||1-year AAA free, free Netflix, 1-year Paramount+ free|
|Connection Type||5G cellular data|
|Equipment Installation Fee||Unlimited data for cellular devices|
|Why It’s The Best||Mobile hotspot speeds72–327 Mbps (DL)8.0–35 Mbps (UL)|
|Does It Work in Canada in Mexico?||Yes (through Mobile Without Borders)|
T-Mobile Magenta MAX works best for anyone who doesn’t intend on using a mobile hotspot often. Because you have 40 GB of data to use. Afterward, you’ll have 3G speeds (600 Kbps) .
You can’t do anything worthwhile online with 600 Kbps speeds. Except for maybe checking emails. Meaning, I wouldn’t recommend T-Mobile Magenta MAX’s data for families.
Solo RVers, van dwellers, and others who ride rigs and primarily work on their phones will benefit the most from this package.
Nomad Internet: Best for Unlimited Internet & Streaming
|Max. Speed||200 Mbps|
|Perks||7-day money-back guarantee|
|Connection Type||5G cellular data|
|Why It’s The Best||No throttling & provides coverage through Verizon and T-Mobile|
|Does It Work in Canada in Mexico?||No|
In addition to a Nomad Internet package, you’ll need to buy a 5G-enabled modem. It’s a one-time fee of $299–$499 for a modem that supports speeds up to 1.0 Gbps. $499–$699 for one that supports up to 3.3 Gbps.
Opting for a 1- or 2-year contract will lower these prices by $100 per year.
Nomad’s modems receive their signals through partner networks provided by Verizon and T-Mobile. Meaning you’ll have optimal 5G coverage throughout the United States.
Their sales page says modem fee plus a router and the $99 subscription cost. The modem has router features. Technically, it’s a network gateway.
Let’s move on to part 2 of this section. Why Nomad is best for video streaming.
Here are the required download speeds for major video streaming platforms:
|Netflix||3.0 Mbps: 720p|
5.0 Mbps: 1080p
25 Mbps: 4K
|Disney+||5.0 Mbps: 1080p|
25 Mbps: 4K
|Hulu||3.0 Mbps: Hulu’s Streaming Library|
8.0 Mbps: livestreaming television
16 Mbps: 4K
|Peacock TV||3.0 Mbps: 1080p|
|YouTube||2.5 Mbps: 720p|
5.0 Mbps: 1080p
20 Mbps: 4K
200 Mbps max speeds could support 8 devices simultaneously streaming 4K video on Netflix. Upload speed won’t matter when streaming online videos. Unless you’re livestreaming.
I can’t find information regarding their upload speeds. You probably shouldn’t livestream on Twitch using Nomad.
Nomad is the best for streaming media, since you don’t need to worry about soft or hard data caps. The former data cap throttles your speed once you exceed a data allowance. The latter incurs data overage charges.
Since you’ll have unlimited data, watch online videos to your heart’s content.
Best RV Internet Options
Here’s a brief comparison of different internet types for RVs:
|Internet Type||Pros||Cons||Best For|
|Satellite||Portable satellite offers internet access anywhere||Slow, expensive, & doesn’t offer much data||Checking emails & basic browsing|
|Public Wi-Fi||Unlimited data usage & decent speeds||Unsecure||Video streaming|
|ISP Hotspots||Decent speeds & doesn’t count against your data limits||Crowded networks will result in slower speeds||Video streaming|
|Mobile Hotspots||Faster than satellite internet||Not viable for media streaming without unlimited data||Basic online tasks|
|Fixed Wireless Access||Speeds accommodate all online tasks||Only viable for fixed addresses||Long-term RV living|
|DSL, Fiber, & Cable||High speed & lower latency||Only viable for fixed addresses||Long-term RV living|
The following sections will dive deeper into each internet connection type. I’ll cover the pros, cons, and give brief descriptions. You’ll also find tips on how to overcome some downsides associated with each internet option.
Pros of satellite internet for RVs:
- No hard data cap
Cons of satellite internet for RVs:
- Not the most reliable: could have spotty connections during bad weather
Only one satellite internet provider offers a solution for RV owners (Starlink). HughesNet and Viasat don’t provide options for RVs in motion, which is probably for the best.
The high latency and low data allowances customers receive from both providers wouldn’t make it viable for any online use.
Starlink offers an excellent solution for online gaming, video streaming at 1080p FHD, and most other online tasks. But it’s expensive.
$599 for an installation fee and $135 a month for the plan itself.
Pros of public Wi-Fi internet for RVs:
- Unlimited data
Cons of public Wi-Fi for RVs:
- Unsecure: leaves your information vulnerable to eavesdroppers
- Throttled speeds
- Must stay in one spot to use Wi-Fi
- Whether your connection works will vary
- Not reliable: could randomly kick you off the network
Many RV parks offer free public wireless network access points for guests. While nice, there are various caveats. First off, you never know what speeds you’ll get.
You’ll likely, at best, get 25 Mbps download speeds at best. And that’s if the Wi-Fi network works. Let’s say it does work.
Now that everyone else is using the Wi-Fi simultaneously, everyone will have less bandwidth to work with. And even if you have the bandwidth and decent download speeds, assume you’re not alone on your Wi-Fi network.
What if there’s a hacker who’s eavesdropping on your Wi-Fi activities? They could snag your account login information and see everywhere you’ve been.
You have various options to protect yourself:
- Virtual private network (VPN): helps anonymize your IP address
- * Wi-Fi repeater: create a private network
- DNS resolver: encrypts your browsing activities
- Use 2-factor authentication on all accounts: make it harder for people to break into your accounts
* Doing this may violate the public Wi-Fi provider’s terms of service. Ensure you read through their agreement before doing this.
A VPN will lower your internet speeds by up to 20% . Your network’s speed loss will vary by encryption type and server chosen. Speaking of.
I recommend Surfshark or Mullvad VPN as viable virtual private network options. And for DNS resolvers, Cloudflare 220.127.116.11 is my go-to. It’s free.
One more thing before I proceed. Don’t log in to banking websites on public Wi-Fi networks. Unless you’re feeling extra risky.
Internet Service Provider Hotspots
Pros of ISP hotspots for RVs:
- Unlimited data usage
- * A bit safer than public Wi-Fi networks
- Most reliable option without broadband internet
Cons of ISP hotspots for RVs:
- Only available in cities & towns
- Same cons as public Wi-Fi hotspots
* Fewer people will flood the public Wi-Fi networks. Since it requires an ISP to use it. Thus, you’ll have fewer chances of someone eavesdropping on public Wi-Fi.
Many internet service providers (ISP), such as Xfinity, offer customers free wireless hotspots. Log into these access points with your ISP online account login information.
Millions of homes and businesses throughout the country will host these. The biggest issue here lies in availability. Because you’ll likely find these hotspots in cities.
Take advantage of your unlimited data if you’re in an RV park or are stopping by somewhere with a Wi-Fi network attached to your ISP.
Download offline versions of shows, patch files and updates for video games, and security updates for operating systems.
Speeds for these networks will vary by location. And the number of people using the access point simultaneously.
Mobile Hotspots & Cellular Data
Pros of mobile hotspots for RVs:
- Secure connection
- Can bundle with cell phone plans
Cons of mobile hotspots for RVs:
- Not much data to work with
- Low upload speed
- Data overage surcharges
- Reliability will vary: bad signals will leave you without internet
Mobile hotspots allow you to transform phones or travel routers into Wi-Fi hotspots. Then connected devices could access said mobile hotspot and access the internet.
Most cellular providers that offer a certain amount of gigabytes of premium data, then you’ll suffer from lower speeds. Yet, they’ll label the hotspot plans as “unlimited.”
Typical speeds upon meeting the data threshold have been 600 Kbps. What are you supposed to do with those speeds?
Fixed Wireless Access
Pros of fixed wireless access internet for RVs:
- Almost all providers don’t require contracts
- Reasonable latency
- High download speeds
- Unlimited data
Cons of fixed wireless access for RVs:
- Requires a fixed location
- Low upload speeds
- Not the most reliable option: trees could block your internet’s signals
Fixed wireless access (FWA) internet is when ISPs deliver services through antennas to 4G or 5G gateways at customers’ homes. This requires the customer to remain in a fixed location, though.
It’s not a viable internet option for most RVers. But if you parked your RV on property and lived there for a while, consider FWA. Almost all providers don’t require contracts, meaning you jump in and out of a plan.
And speeds from these plans should accommodate all online tasks.
Cable & DSL
Pros of DSL and cable for RVs:
- Low latency
- High speeds
- Most reliable option
Cons of DSL and cable for RVs:
- Only viable if you’re living in a fixed location
- Many providers require contracts
DSL and cable internet are only accessible to those who live in a fixed location with RVs. As it’s impossible to use either connection type when you’re mobile.
Say you park your RV somewhere and live in your rig. The land you’re residing on must have supporting infrastructure. Cable will require coaxial cables. And DSL will require copper telephone lines.
But if you’re in such a situation, you don’t have many DSL options. Many providers are shifting away from digital service lines and focusing on other products.
Regarding DSL providers. Check CenturyLink and Windstream’s websites to see if they support your RV’s address. Other than niche cable providers, you’ll likely have access to Cox, Spectrum, and Xfinity.
I recommend picking Spectrum first. They’re the only major cable provider that doesn’t enforce a hard data cap. If not them, then try Xfinity. You could pay an extra $25 monthly to remove their data cap.
How to Choose the Best Internet for RVs
Consider these factors when shopping for an internet provider as an RVer:
- Budget: what are you willing to pay?
- Data usage: how much data you intend to use monthly
- Boondocking frequency: where & how long you’ll stay at campgrounds
- Speed needed: how much internet speed do you need for online tasks?
Research the internet speed you’ll need to perform online tasks. For instance, to watch 720p videos on YouTube, each device will need 2.5 Mbps download speeds . Having the right speeds ensures you don’t run into buffering in videos.
Or have slow-loading pages.
Gamers will want internet with an average latency (ping) between 40 and 60 milliseconds . This helps reduce the chances of lag during online gaming sessions. And while video chatting with people.
Most providers don’t disclose their average latency. Actual latency will vary by location and internet connection type. For instance, 5G internet will have lower latency than satellite internet.
How to Make Your RV Wi-Fi Faster
Here are some tips on ways to speed up your RV Wi-Fi:
- Disable background tasks: e.g., background syncing for Google Photos
- Cellular signal booster: give your cellular signal a boost
- RV internet booster: may increase your Wi-Fi signal
- Don’t connect too many devices simultaneously: may slow down your network
- Connect devices to router using an Ethernet cable: will bypass Wi-Fi’s weaknesses
- Use a DNS resolver like Cloudflare 18.104.22.168: affects how fast a web page loads on your devices
- Turn off your VPN: this software slows internet speed up to 20%
If you’re not using unlimited data, you’ll need to micromanage your data usage. Doing so will prevent you from breaching your provider’s soft data cap. Which will lead to overall faster speeds.
Disable automatic updates on your devices. Ensure no apps use background data. And practice caution on what resolution you watch videos in.
Watching a video in 480p will use around 700 MB in an hour . Watching 1080p video for the same duration will result in 2.50 GB used. And 4K UHD will demand 5.85 GB.
If 480p resolution isn’t good enough for your eyes, legally download videos for offline viewing from your streaming service provider in a higher resolution. Then watch them during your trip.
FAQs: Best Internet for RV
Keep reading to find frequently asked questions about internet usage in RVs.
How Can I Get Wi-Fi When I Live in an RV?
You can get Wi-Fi when living in an RV if you subscribe to an ISP or carrier who offers services for your location.
How Do You Get Wi-Fi in an RV Remote Area?
To get Wi-Fi in an RV while camping in a remote area, you’ll need to pay for a satellite internet or cellular data package.
How Many GB Do I Need to Work Remote?
Without considering file transfers and video conferencing, you’ll need at least 1.0-2.0 GB of data to work remotely per day.
Can You Get Portable Wi-Fi for a Camper?
To get portable Wi-Fi in a camper, you’ll want to get on a mobile data or satellite internet plan.
The only viable options you have as an RV owner camping in a rural area include satellite and mobile hotspot internet. The former costs an arm and a leg. And the latter restricts your online usage with data allowances.
Unless you shoot for Starlink, you’ll need to micromanage everyone in your RV’s internet to conserve data. Otherwise, you’ll burn through your data quickly.
If you’re parking your RV in a more permanent residence, consider one of the many other internet service providers we’ve compared.