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Darrell asked: “We’re going to FL for the winter and the park we stay at offers free wi-fi. The wi-fi requires us to input a username and password. I get good signal on my laptop, but not on my phone or tablet. I’d like to set something up to receive the park’s wi-fi and send the signal to the phone and tablet or the laptop. Would I need to hook up an external antenna to this system? It would need to log on to the park’s system via a web page.”
Darrell, you don’t have to use an external antenna if you don’t want to, though most antennas for RVs are meant to be external.
CCrane has a few systems based off a USB antenna that we’ve successfully used, they go for around $150 and they are meant to be internal solutions.
You would probably benefit from a directional antenna that you can point to the source of the WiFi and leave it alone for as long as you’re parked there. Those are the ones that are usually meant to sit outside, but you can buy internal ones that won’t take up nearly as much room.
As for the login page, each of your devices can handle that, these setups will just be more sensitive to the signal, hear it better, and relay it to the devices around it, but they don’t have to take care of logins locally. The WiFi router is like a powerplant, your devices are like the meters the electric company has at your home, these antennas are just the cables connecting the two. If you’re not paying your electric bill the cables don’t care, if you don’t have the WiFi login info, the antenna doesn’t care.