Tips and Tricks for Finding Internet on the Road

Guest Contributor | November 7, 2018

Hey there, we’re Jayme and John from Gnomad Home! We live, work, and travel fulltime in our 1996 Chevy Express campervan – and we want to share with all of you digital nomads out there our tips and tricks for finding beautiful, secluded camp spots where you can get your work done.

Internet on-the-go with an Unlimited Data Plan

First and foremost, we have Verizon’s unlimited data plan. This allows us to hotspot our phones whenever we have cell service so we can work on our computers. We don’t have to sketchily hang in someone’s parking lot, or buy a scone we don’t necessarily need to justify bumming some bandwidth from an establishment with wifi. We just hit that “on” switch and we’re ready to rock and roll!

Extending Our Range with a WeBoost Drive 4G-X Cell Booster

While Verizon helps us not be tied down to wifi networks, we’ve found that it’s still very difficult to find incredible wilderness camp spots with usable cell service. That’s where our WeBoost Drive 4G-X cell signal booster comes in handy.

The Drive 4G-X is a miracle worker that helps us get our work done where there’s spotty cell service – meaning we can roam further from civilization, and stay longer in those secluded camp spots that we love. The Drive 4G-X can’t create service out of nothing, but it can take a spotty signal and amplify it enough so that it’s usable for basic internet.

As long as we have at least a sliver of service, we can kick on our Drive 4G-X and it will boost the signal dramatically. We’ve also seen it drastically increase the speed of very slow connections, allowing us to get work done without waiting ten minutes for a page to load. We can’t necessarily stream episodes of The Office or Game of Thrones, but we can easily surf the web and accomplish what we need to.

Another great feature of the Drive 4G-X is that it works while you’re driving, too! Because of that, we look at long drive days as prime opportunities to get some work done. One of us hops behind the wheel while the other flips on the WeBoost and gets to researching, typing, editing, or any other task we need to do. We don’t have to worry about staying on the interstates or populated routes – we have freedom to adventure down the more scenic paths and catch some beautiful views while still completing the day’s agenda.

Finding Awesome Camp Spots with Cell Service Using Open Signal

Here’s our biggest trick to finding awesome, scenic, secluded camp spots with cell service: we use an app called Open Signal. Open Signal provides very detailed coverage maps for all major carriers that shows you exactly where you can find cell coverage, what kind (2G/3G/LTE, etc.), and how fast it is. Imagine a weather radar with all of the greens, reds, and yellows – but instead of weather, it shows cell service. These apps can also help with locating the nearest cell tower

We take the coverage maps from Open Signal and overlay them with boondocking resources like freecampsites.net or the iOverlander app. We can then filter potential camp spots by the availability of cell service in the area. And even if the service is only spotty around a great-looking spot, we know that we can use our WeBoost to bump the signal.

We’ve found some incredibly beautiful spots, and since we had cell service we were able to be uber productive. For the 2017 eclipse, we found a peaceful lakeside spot nestled in the forest in Montana, and we had it all to ourselves. We stayed there for almost a week, enjoying the magic of nature and knocking out some big work projects at the same time.

Conclusion

There are a ton of great, untouched camping spots out there that do have cell service – and with these tips and tricks you can go out and find them! With an unlimited data plan, a useful app or two, and a cell signal booster, it’s entirely possible to be a digital nomad on the road without being chained to coffee shops and other places with wifi.