It's kinda too bad, but more and more we all feel a need to stay connected. If you are just headed out for a weekend in the woods, that's great! The purpose is to get away. On the other hand if your job or business requires a connection to a computer most of the time, what do you do?
We measure speed using the app Speedtest or online at speedtest.net. Knowing how many bars will tell you how good the signal from the cell tower is but it will not give you the measurement of bandwidth (speed). That's because you can have good signal but poor throughput because the tower has lots of traffic or your bandwidth is throttled (slowed down) by your Internet Service Provider (ISP) or many other possibilities.
Depend on the campground Wi-Fi? We have universally found that there are no campgrounds with provided WiFi that have the speed needed for our purposes. We conduct a lot of Zoom meetings which require not only a high speed download but a high speed upload as well. With high speed download, you will see the meeting fine but unless the upload is fast, the meeting won't consistently see you. We find that 5 Mbps down and 2 Mbps up are the bare minimum for holding a decent meeting.
Hot-spot from your phone? This is a much better choice usually than the campground WiFi. The only time you may need to do this is to connect your computer and/or router to the Internet.
Use a router? MiFi? We are Verizon users and so we use something called a MiFi which is basically a router. It takes the cell signal and creates a hot-spot that all our devices can use at once. This is a definite improvement over the hot-spot from our phones.
Mimo Antenna To help the MiFi deliver an even better signal, we use an antenna called a Mimo antenna. With this plugged into our MiFi, the signal is greatly improved over just using the MiFi on it's own. The Mimo antenna is a very inexpensive way to boost your signal avoid the expense of a powered signal booster with antenna. It is also very easy to set up by just plugging it into the MiFi and sticking it to a window with the provided suction cups.
Hub? A hub is a device that can take a signal from a single hot spot and be a issue signal for multiple other Internet devices. Why would you need this device? See below how we use ours.
Cell signal booster? As signal booster is a device and usually an antenna that can boost a weak cell signal. Many areas that are more rural will not have a strong enough signal to handle much more than email and would certainly not support video. If there is any signal at all, a signal booster may help. However, if there is no signal from a cell tower at all, the signal booster cannot work.
Here is what we use: We operate with several different systems. Verizon MiFi - We use the Verizon Mifi device attached with a Mimo antenna. This is our go to system when we need the best signal possible for Skype and Zoom. The downside is once we use up our allocated bandwidth, we are no longer able to use it for the remaining billing cycle as it then is throttled to a very slow bandwidth. Verizon Cell Phone Hotspot - This is our go-to for when we don't have a critical signal need and is used primarily for web work and entertainment. Nearly all cell phones have the ability to be a hot spot provided there is a decent bandwidth available. Again, use enough of the monthly allotment of bandwidth and it will slow to a crawl. Visible Cell Phone Hotspot - We use this primarily for entertainment although if a good signal is available it can be used for all other purposes. This system is throttled to begin with and if cell towers are busy with traffic, we get the lower tiered bandwidth. Most of the time this can work for even video entertainment but with a slow upload speed is not useful for video conferencing. The best reason to use this system is that there is no limit for how much you can download and upload. You could watch movies 24/7 if you chose to although probably this is not good for your physical or your mental health. How we use Visible - Using Visible on an inexpensive cell phone works great with one problem. You can only use the hotspot on one device at a time. So if Susan is using the hotspot on her computer, it won't work with any other devices until she is done and off line. Here is where the Hub comes in. We connect the hub to the Visible phone hotspot. The hub can now be a resource signal for many devices. We leave the hub on all the time and thereby alway have a connections for multiple devices. Warning, if you are not partial to technology, the Visible may not be a solution for you as it does require some patience to get it all to work.
StarLink in your future? Supposedly StarLink can give you the fastest speeds from anywhere you might travel. Thousands of satellites will populate the earth's orbit so the most remote locations can have high speed, unlimited bandwidth. The setup cost as of this writing is $499 and the monthly cost is $99. This sounds like the ticket for most of us -- except those who camp where there are trees. Yes, trees can block the signal causing temporary outages depending upon how thick the forest canopy is. And as I roam about, I find that most places we go -- except the desert -- have so many trees that completely depending on StarLink might not be an option for us. As more and more satellites are launched this could be less of a problem, but in my opinion, it is too early to tell.
Internet Resources There are many resources you can depend on for Internet success. Our primary source is Technomadia. These guys know remote Internet like nobody else and share much of what you will need to get the best setup.
We find that wrestling with computers and the Internet require some brain power. We use "Slay the Day" gummies to keep focus as we work.