4 easy ways to get Wi-Fi while camping

March 13, 2024

Many of us go camping to disconnect from our busy lives, reconnect with nature, and spend some real quality time with friends or family.

However, there are times when having Wi-Fi is simply a necessity, whether you have work obligations, need to stay in touch with loved ones or want to provide some nighttime entertainment.

In today’s world, it’s understandable why going completely off the grid can in some ways be more stressful than it is relaxing. So, if you're looking to get Wi-Fi for your next camping trip, we've got you covered. We’ve created a simple guide with four easy ways to help you access the internet on your next outdoor adventure.

How do I get internet when camping?

If you want to stream movies, check your emails, find directions, or share photos with friends, here's how to access Wi-Fi – even in the wilderness.

1. Bring a mobile broadband device

Using a mobile broadband device with a data plan is one of the best ways to access the internet whilst camping, especially if you want to share the connection with others.

Also known as mobile internet, a MiFi device is a small, wireless router that allows you to create a portable Wi-Fi hotspot. It taps into 3G, 4G or 5G mobile phone networks and creates a Wi-Fi connection that can be shared with smartphones, laptops, and tablets on the go.

When it comes to getting a reliable internet connection for camping, our portable 4G MiFi provides fast, stable Wi-Fi that supports multiple devices,  allowing plenty of campers to get online easily wherever there is a 4G mobile signal.

Additionally, thanks to its pocket-sized design, it's small enough to fit in your rucksack and carry with you on the move. What's more, using a MiFi device instead of a mobile phone hotspot will also help conserve your phone's battery while you camp out under the stars.

Whether you're a regular camper or going on a one-time glamping trip, we have a range of MiFi plans with various contract lengths and data allowances so you can find exactly the right deal for you. If you have a last-minute emergency, we offer the convenience of next working-day delivery when you order by 8pm, ensuring you can get your MiFi device in time for your excursion.

Tip: Before heading out, always use our coverage checker to check your campsite has a 4G mobile signal. Our 3G & 4G network already covers 99% of the UK outdoor population, meaning you should be able to get online from almost anywhere.

2. Use a 4G or 5G-connected tablet

Using a 4G or 5G-connected tablet is another good method of accessing the internet when camping.

You can enjoy the full benefits of mobile Wi-Fi wherever you camp by inserting a SIM card into a tablet that comes with built-in cellular connectivity. With 4G and 5G tablets, the internet is always at your fingertips, meaning you don’t need to use a hotspot or rely on public Wi-Fi. Instead, you can stream your favourite shows or check up on work tasks straight from your tablet while enjoying the outdoors, as long as you have mobile coverage.

At Three, we offer a fantastic range of cellular iPads and Android Tablets that will be the perfect companion on your next camping trip. We recommend picking one up with a Pay Monthly Data Only SIM to get online whenever you like.

3. Connect to campground Wi-Fi

One of the most common ways of getting internet access is to connect to your campground’s Wi-Fi network.

Many campsites offer their guests free Wi-Fi access, allowing you to get online without using the data on your mobile phone or portable device. Although campground Wi-Fi can be a convenient option, there are a few potential downsides to consider:

  1. Limited bandwidth: There are usually many campers using the same Wi-Fi network on a campsite, which can lead to slower internet speeds and poor-quality streaming.
  2. Unreliable coverage: Some campgrounds may have limited mobile coverage, resulting in inconsistent Wi-Fi signals. Internet access may also be restricted to specific locations onsite.
  3. Usage restrictions: Campsite Wi-Fi networks can implement usage restrictions and data caps. These limitations can impact your ability to stream shows, play online games, and download large files.

If you want to avoid patchy public Wi-Fi and get uninterrupted internet access, we recommend using our 4G Mi-Fi router.

4. Mobile phone tethering

Using your phone as a mobile hotspot is one of the easiest ways to get Wi-Fi while camping. In campsites where you have a mobile signal, simply turn on your hotspot feature, and you can share your phone's internet connection with other devices. Though the internet speeds can vary, it's generally sufficient for light usage, such as browsing online and scrolling through social media.

When it comes to using your smartphone as a hotspot, there are two main things you must think about. Firstly, you'll need to watch your data usage to ensure you don't run out. At Three, we've made it easy for you to boost your allowance with our data add-ons. The second thing you’ll need to consider is your phone battery. Hotspotting consumes a lot of battery, and you will want to avoid running out of charge if you’re on a multi-day camping trip.

Staying connected while camping has become easier with portable Wi-Fi options like our 4G MiFi router, 4G and 5G-connected tablets, and mobile phone hotspots. Now you can enjoy the freedom of getting online from almost anywhere, as well as choosing when it’s time to disconnect.