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The best internet for vanlife and digital nomads

The best internet for vanlife and digital nomads

After travelling, living and working in in our van fulltine for over a year we think we've finally find the best internet for vanlifers and digital nomads who are planning on roaming around Europe, and beyond. Since moving into our van full tine we've tried numerous different routers, external antennas, SIM cards and internet providers to find the best value, and more importantly, most reliable internet for life on the move. In this post you'll find a bit about our previous setup and other providers we have tried in order to reach our conclusion that ConnectPls is currently the best service for us.

The best campervan internet

When we first moved into the van, we used a WiFi system from Motorhome WiFi. We found with a low end Huawei router and being in the UK that the external antenna made a big difference to the overall performance of our WiFi. We used a mix of SIM cards (Vodafone/Three/EE) and eventually settled on EE for the best coverage. After 6 months of being in the UK we decided to head to Ireland, and knew that from there we would later head to France and eventually South East towards Türkiye. Around the same time as leaving the UK we decided to upgrade our router to one capable of working on 5G networks. We swapped our Motorhome WiFi packaged Huawei router for a ZTE MU5001 unit. We've been extremely impressed with this router and several of our friends and other vanlifers we've met have since picked it up. One benefit of this router is that we've found the signal to be far better than our previous model and actually find it works better not plugged into the external antenna, we believe this is due to the carrier aggregation ability in the router. In April 2023 this router can be purchased for around £300 in the UK.

Just before heading to Ireland In the summer of 2022 a company called Tiekom was offering a SIM only option with good EU roaming. The Tiekom SIM used the Vodafone network and we used this with great success from Ireland all the way to Greece. Unfortunately at the start of 2023 Tiekom pulled their roaming SIM only data offering from the market which left a lot of vanlifers in need for a new internet provider.

Around the time there were rumours of Tiekom pulling this SIM we bumped into Beth and Jake from 'SheIsTheLostGirl' and 'OurWildHorizons' on a beach in the Peloponnese, Greece. They were using an all in one internet service from a company called ConnectPls. We hadn't heard of the company before but were interested to hear that Beth and Jake had been using this service all over Europe, and in Türkiye which is where we were headed next. Beth and Jake work on the road and also upload regular YouTube videos and content to their social platforms so we knew reliable internet was super important to them. We hopped over to ConnectPls on Instagram and checked them out. Specifically, we were looking for an internet option with unlimited data. After chatting for a bit online ConnectPls kindly sent us a router and SIM card to test whilst in Greece. We used this setup for over a month and were really impressed with the service and signal. We agreed to trial the service and share our findings only but specified that we didn't want to do this until we'd given it substantial testing, and travelled with their connectivity between multiple countries.

Campervan Internet for Europe
Unlimited Data SIM Only

Currently, we both work Monday-Wednesday each week and Marcus' role involves a lot of large files, video calls and sharing data with clients so reliable and fast internet for us is crucial, and not a nice to have. Jess is supporting multiple companies and individuals in creating and publishing social content and other admin tasks which also requires a lot of downloading, and uploading of assets. The package that ConnectPls sent out was part of their no hassle all in one service. ConnectPls provide both the router and the SIM card so you just have to turn it on and connect your devices. This is a great option if you don't have any of your own hardware or just want a no fuss option to stay connected whilst travelling. The routers they provide seem to vary (we've had two different types) bit we had no issues connecting 2 iPhones, 2 MacBooks, 1 iPad Pro and some internal van sensors to it. Because the routers are so small and light you can easily take them with you when away from the van. A couple we were travelling with didn't have data on their phones so would often take their router/mobile hotspot out with them in a backpack and both connect their phones, if you plan on doing this then it's worth keeping the router on charge whilst in your van so it's always got a full battery when you want to roam with it.

During the transition from Greece to Türkiye we decided to try the ConnectPls provided SIM in our own router (which had been sat in a drawer) Since we'd invested in our own hardware we wanted to see how the performance was. We were pleased to find that the overall performance and signal only increased when we moved to our ZTE MU5001 router, using ConnectPls purely for connectivity. We fed this back to ConnectPls and suggested that they provide a SIM only option for users like us who already have their own WiFi systems and just need the contract for the internet. Prior to arriving in Türkiye we were sent a new SIM card ready for when we hit the border and left the EU. The SIM provided from ConnectPls was on the Turkcell network and it worked perfectly during our 3 month trip. Not only did we receive good speeds for working and streaming content but we only ever lost signal once, and that was inside a very tight valley surrounded by rock faces. At the time of writing, we are nearing the end of our trip to Türkiye and will be making our way back towards Greece.

We are excited to share that since starting our relationship with ConnectPls they are now providing a SIM only internet option for vanlifers like us! We plan to spend the foreseeable future exploring Europe and will be maintaining our internet connection with ConnectPls and will be using their SIM only roaming plan.

If you're interested in trying ConnectPls you can receive 50% off your first month with the promotional code: 'THEROADTWOSPOONS' Just add it in the basket when you place your order.

If you want to try the SIM Only option you'll find it below - There are no contracts and you can get 50% off your first month to test the service using the code above. Unlimited data SIM only with EU roaming.

We do not, and have not received any payment for this post or when you use the discount code.

Update: Since the summer of 2023 we upgraded our router to a later model with a newer 5G modem inside. We are now using the ZTE MU5120 for connectivity with our ConnectPls SIM.

We also have some information on Mobile Hotspot vs MiFi vs Starlink for Vanlife

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