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WiFiRanger SkyPro or EliteAC


Yarome

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I have been looking into WiFiRanger boosters, but I'm rather new to the booster scene. Joel (DocJ) posted the general specs for their new line up.. which was incredibly helpful, but I'm still not savvy enough to really determine if the SkyPro Pack or the EliteAC Pack would be best suited for my needs.

I like the GoAC over the Core, but I'm not sure if the dual-chain 2.4Ghz outdoor antenna or the single-chain 2.4 & 5.8Ghz would give me the best end result. I guess I'm leaning more toward the EliteAC simply because I would be able to extend it higher as needed for better capture (?).

I don't really run more than one device at a time (windows laptop) so multiple devices/platforms is not a major concern. My laptop is dual channel capable, but isn't that more important on the indoor antenna vs. the outdoor.. or should the outdoor antenna be 5.8Ghz capable as well?

Normally I would do my own research, but I get a bigger kick out of new tech when I can get a good deal on it and want to take advantage of their current 10% off pre-orders.

 

Any thoughts/recommendations/considerations? Not looking at the price tags.. which would you choose? Are there any clear pros/cons to either one?

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I installed the Sky2 kit on my MH and it has worked good at any campground I have been at. It has a 2,500' range.

I also got it at 10% off discount. Or 50% off the Elite price. :)

 

The 5.8GHz is a new product that has just came out for them. If money is no problem. Then I would go for the $700 EliteAC pack.

As the SkyPro antenna is not 5.8GHz ready. Only the router for it is.

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The new Elite AC is designed to connect to wifi access points operating in the 5GHz band in contrast to the SkyPro2 which only connects to those using 2.4GHz. At this time I doubt you will find all that many 5GHz AP's to connect to. Personally, I think you'd be well served with the GoAC connecting to a SkyPro2 at a lower cost. Unless you really connect to distant wifi sources you probably will never need the range capabilities of the Elite.

 

You might also want to consider the somewhat less expensive indoor unit that WFR is marketing as "the core". It is less powerful than the GoAC but still provides essentially the same capabilities. Used with the SkyPro2 it should provide all the capability you need and the pair are sold as a bundle.

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As the SkyPro antenna is not 5.8GHz ready. Only the router for it is.

 

The SkyPro2 is a router that has an attached antenna. All WiFiRanger products are complete, full-up routers. Lots of people seem to think that the rooftop devices are simply antennas; they are not.

 

Making a device operate at 5GHz is a lot more than having antenna capable of operating at that frequency. Neither the router, nor the antenna in the SkyPro2 is capable of operating at 5GHz.

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So you say WiFiRanger is advertising false info? For their SkyPro2? Saying that the router is 5GHz

 

Skypro2 info for Indoor core(router) and outdoor SkyPro(antenna)

 

Eliteacpack both router & antenna is 5GHz by the advertised info

 

If you look at the technical specs in the table, you will see that the "core" device has antennas for both 2.4GHz and 5GHz. The SkyPro2 has only a 2.4GHz antenna.

 

The way the system works, the SkyPro2 is the device that connects to wifi access points operating at 2.4GHz. It sends the data it receives down the Ethernet cable to the "core" which then broadcasts it to the devices on your network using either 2.4GHz or 5Hz or both bands.

 

There is no "false advertising".

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Yarome,

 

Before considering any booster, are you sure that campground Wifi or other Wifi sources will meet your internet needs? Most discussions of campground Wifi seem to have most participants agreeing that campground Wifi does not work for them and they rely on cellular for their internet needs. I don't stream or download video, so park Wifi will usually do the things I want like email and bill paying. Many park systems will slow to less than 1MBS during peak hours. Others are throttled or will disconnect high volume users. We have stayed in 31 different parks since January and I can not recall seeing a single 5ghz installation.

 

More and more businesses seem to be going to secure systems or at least a login screen where you need a password. I believe that Verizon did away with access to their Wifi hotspot network for cellular customers and only provides it to their high speed internet customers. It is my understanding that the Xfinity Wifi hotspots are also only available to their cable internet customers.

 

Even the best Wifi capture device will not do much good if you can not log in or the system is too slow to do what you want to do.

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We published our overview of the new WiFiRanger line up at:

WiFiRanger Revamps Entire Product Line – Embracing 802.11ac Wi-Fi

 

Perhaps some of that might help you in making a choice.

 

We actually have all of the equipment inbound for evaluation and will be doing head-to-head performance on them (as well as the newly released Pepwave SOHO - Pepwave Launches Next Generation Surf SOHO, MAX BR1 Mini).

 

Our members will have first access to those results as we have them (it'll be a couple months at least - we test things thoroughly). Our members also don't have to worry about getting their order in time for the pre-sale discount :).

 

- Cherie

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I appreciate everyone's input so far.

 

are you sure that campground Wifi or other Wifi sources will meet your internet needs?

 

That's a good question. I don't really "CG". What I'm looking for is an easy in-between destinations/travel days solution for simple internet access from any source available. Mainly to research a route or to google earth a location I might be interested in.

Without going into any detail about my current setup or considerations against cellular.. I've just been thinking that a long range WiFi booster might help fill the gap from my main internet source. If it's a real PITA to try and find an open signal or I have to go out of my way to try and find a signal then that kind of defeats the purpose. I was hoping that.. in the normal course of a grocery/fuel run.. I could just pop my antenna in a couple of locations and pick up whatever might happen to be in the area without having to actually locate and drive into a business known to offer WiFi. Also thinking that using either the SkyPro2 or the EliteAC would have the best chance of pulling in any surrounding signals.

Is that un-realistic?

I don't know if 5Ghz equipment is going to become more prolific in the future or not.. it would be nice if I was already prepped for it, but the main selling point for me on the EliteAC is the range and ability to elevate it.

However, be it true or not I don't know, but I've read that the SkyPro2 will perform more reliably over the 1.5 mile (rated) range and shorter distances than the EliteAC. Does that mean the Elite is just "mediocre", but has the advantage of greater range or is it still fully capable?

I don't mind the price tag. You get what you pay for and it's a one time pay-out. Cellular would be an ongoing monthly obligation that really wouldn't see much use. At least with a WiFiRanger it will have paid for itself after the first year. One and done!

We published our overview of the new WiFiRanger line up at:


Our members also don't have to worry about getting their order in time for the pre-sale discount :).

 

Of course, Cherie! That's where I went first and enjoyed reading through the preliminary write-up on the new product offerings. As always.. thank you! (And pinch Chris "hello").

Wait a sec! Did you just say that if I go MIA I can still get the 10% discount.. not the standard 5% from the link??

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... I don't really "CG"... What I'm looking for is an easy in-between destinations/travel days solution for simple internet access from any source available. Mainly to research a route or to google earth a location I might be interested in...I was hoping that.. in the normal course of a grocery/fuel run.. I could just pop my antenna in a couple of locations and pick up whatever might happen to be in the area without having to actually locate and drive into a business known to offer WiFi...Is that un-realistic?...

From your previous posts, I knew you boondock a lot. That is why I asked the question.

 

In my experience; Walmart, Lowes and some large grocery stores like Publix may be your best shot at open Wifi with lots of parking for the truck and trailer. McDonald's and Hardee's have free open Wifi, but not parking for large rigs in many locations. The hotel/motels that I have encountered recently all required a WPA password or have a login screen. The last Wifi at a Petrostop I tried took me to a login page for a pay for service site. I have not tried Flying J in a while, but in the past it was also a pay service.

 

We rarely try to shop or sightsee with the trailer hooked up. If we are in an area with no cell service and need to access the internet, I grab a laptop and head into town in the truck. A walk down even a small town main street with the cellphone will usually reveal lots of Wifi, but most of it will be secured. I have encountered some visitor/tourist information centers and rest areas that have open Wifi.

 

Other's experiences with finding free Wifi that is accessible from their RV may be different.

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In my experience; Walmart, Lowes and some large grocery stores like Publix may be your best shot at open Wifi with lots of parking for the truck and trailer.

 

Agreed. You've got my situation pegged. I have reliable internet while camping, and grocery/fuel runs aren't an issue. It's mainly when I'm under tow from one location to another (I pretty much "plan" on the fly) and don't want to tow all over town looking for a signal or try and shoehorn my rig into somewhere it just doesn't belong.

 

I was hoping the WiFiRanger might be able to pick up those McDonalds/starbucks/library/etc. open wifi's from a comfortable distance.

 

I don't know if it depends on what type of hotels/motels you stay in, but the few times I've needed to rent a room I've never had one that didn't require a login.

 

At the moment, I basically just use the big box stores with my laptop and a little $30 Alfa usb booster w/external antenna.. which is fine for short range if you're sitting in their parking lot, but big box stores can be few and far between on the back by-ways. Just about everywhere has some coffee shop or fast food place I think "might" have open wifi, but there's no way I'm going to try and get in close enough to take advantage of it.

 

It's not a necessity, per say, but if it's doable.. and a one time cash outlay.. it would make life a bit simpler. I'm all for the simple life. ;)

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...I was hoping the WiFiRanger might be able to pick up those McDonalds/starbucks/library/etc. open wifi's from a comfortable distance...I don't know if it depends on what type of hotels/motels you stay in, but the few times I've needed to rent a room I've never had one that didn't require a login...

Based on my experience with a system similar to this, if you can get within a hundred yards or so with no obstructions in the way, you may be able to get a usable connection. My comments about hotels/motels was not based on staying in them but on the Wifi signals that I often pickup when at campgrounds in more developed areas.

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