The majority of tiny homes are designed with mobility in mind and are likely to be in remote locations. This means that direct access to a high-speed internet connection is unlikely.
While some tiny homes are close enough to civilization to tap into a neighbor’s WiFi, most will require a more creative solution.
We’re here to dive into six different tiny house wifi options. Let’s go.
Disclaimer: We hope you find value in the products we recommend! This article may contain affiliate links where we collect a share of sales or other commissions. We really appreciate it if you use our links, it helps us keep Cozy Architect running.
Can you have WiFi in tiny houses?
As the entire world becomes increasingly connected, access to the internet is easier than ever. Many tiny houses now have wifi available.
Many networks are continually developing their reach to offer services to remote locations, which is excellent news for tiny homeowners.
Instead of requiring fixed phone or fiber connections, WiFi allows people to tap into the internet using radio waves from existing networks. This means that it is possible to get WiFi in your tiny house.
Tiny house wifi options
If you’re lucky enough to live close by a neighbor with an unlimited internet connection, see whether they’d be interested in sharing it. If you offer to contribute towards the bill each month, many people will happily give you access to their internet.
This solution also works well if you have a group of people in the same area who are struggling to afford the cost of tiny house WiFi. By grouping, internet access becomes more affordable, and you all get a share of the data.
Using a WiFi booster
If you’re based within campgrounds and RV parks, there’s a good chance that WiFi will be available in some areas of the property. Purchasing a WiFi booster will allow you to tap into these connections from a wider range of the grounds.
Unlimited data and hotspots
Mobile phones have access to a steady stream of data throughout most of the country. Your handheld device can often access a 3G or even 4G signal with speeds of up to 17 or 18 Mbps. In general, there are two options for utilizing unlimited data.
Firstly you can enable mobile tethering, which allows you to share your phone’s connection to another device such as a laptop. Your other option is to buy a purpose-built mobile hotspot to function as a tiny house WiFi router. These devices accept 4G SIM cards and allow all devices in your home to connect to the mobile.
Satellite and cable
We’ve all seen houses with a huge satellite dish on the roof, a device that allows homeowners to access the internet from remote locations. And you can do the same in your tiny home. While traditional satellite is slow, some companies advertise up to 25 Mbps of data transfer (faster than a 4G network)
A wired cable network is pretty much like every other house out there and is a good option if your tiny home remains in one location. Some companies will not be keen to install this type of connection in a tiny house, but if you have a permanent fixture in a built-up area, you may be able to find a provider who is willing to supply this to you.
If you cannot get a physical cable to your tiny home, the next best option may be to go wireless. This can be costly but is an excellent option if a reliable connection is a priority.
Use a local shop or cafe
To consider this option, you first need to weigh up how integral internet connection is to your lifestyle. If the idea of minimalistic living applies to you, then this could be a great option. Many coffee shops and cafes offer their patrons free internet, which is the perfect way to access a few hours of free internet each week while you enjoy a tasty beverage.
In addition, some internet providers offer public WiFi hotspots all around towns and cities, which allow you to connect if you are a customer or sign up for one of their packages. Some cities offer free WiFi, but your time and data will be limited.
WiFi in tiny homes: the verdict
Choosing which one is right for you with so many options can be challenging, but different setups bring different features and drawbacks.
Sharing the internet with your neighbors is an excellent solution to save you a few dollars. Many people will be happy to reduce their living costs so that the arrangement can be mutually beneficial for both parties. It gives you a chance to get to know your neighbors better and provides an ongoing source of WiFi.
However, this solution does come with its drawbacks. You need to trust the person will uphold their end of the deal when making a financial transaction.
Otherwise, they could take your money and still refuse to give you access. Additionally, shared internet may not be the most reliable source.
You might be too far away from the modem to get a decent signal or have to fork out additional costs on purchasing a booster. And this option can be tricky for people who are constantly moving, as you have to figure out new arrangements and rely on other people. Plus, you won’t have any internet access while you’re on the road.
Unlimited data is an expensive but efficient option.
Many phone providers will not offer unlimited data packages, but you can always purchase add-ons if you need to.
Mobile data is one of the most reliable and steady network connections, which you can access almost anywhere in the country, and you’ll be able to use it whether you’re on the road or pulled up for the night.
The main drawback of this option is the cost – it’s likely to be the most expensive option on the list and could significantly cut into your monthly budget.
The problem with tethering is that it’s generally designed for use on only one device at a time and may not support multiple laptops/tablets.
Plus, a device such as a TV won’t detect a tethered network – if you want Netflix, you’ll need another solution. A mobile hotspot combats these problems but is the priciest option of all.
The other flaw of the hotspot is that it’s not compatible with ethernet connections, so it won’t work on non-WiFi devices.
If you opt for a satellite dish, not only will you have to accommodate the physical dish somewhere on your home (which could add inches to the height or width of your vehicle), but you may end up with a very slow internet connection.
While some companies offer faster, more reliable satellite internet, it remains to be one of the slowest forms of data transfer on the market, and its connectivity is affected by poor weather conditions.
Additionally, many satellite companies don’t provide unlimited packages, so you’ll have to settle for somewhere in the region of 10-50GB per month – not a lot if you want to stream content each evening.
But there are positive elements to the satellite dish because it provides internet to pretty much any location and allows you to use a standard internet router.
Plus, internet speeds are constantly improving and evolving, including satellite connections. And this option will be less costly than an expensive mobile hotspot.
Wired cable is the most reliable overall option, which experiences the fewest lags and outages. It offers fast internet speeds and plenty of unlimited data packages; plus, it will carry the cheapest price tag of the bunch.
But, many of these companies will tie you into a yearly contract, so you need to have a fixed abode for at least 12 months to reap the benefits of this package. The other “hidden” cost is installing wired cable, which you’ll need to factor into your budget.
Wireless data is available in pretty much any location, and you may be able to source a package from your current mobile provider to get yourself a package discount.
However, this is less reliable than a cable connection and an expensive option if you’re on a budget.
Using a local cafe is a cost-effective option if you only require a few hours of internet each week. However, this provides you with a minimal amount of internet that is not secure.
Another option is to hook up to a public WiFi hotspot (though you will need to be close to a town or city to access this)
If you’re living in a fixed tiny home, then the wired cable is your most reliable option as with any other home, but if you’re constantly on the move, then it’s a little bit different.
A mobile hotspot is probably your best option when the internet is one of your main priorities.
Still, if you’re happy with minimal online access each week, then local cafes and public WiFi are a great, low-cost alternative.
- Oklahoma Tiny Homes | How much does it cost to build a tiny house in Oklahoma?
- Minnesota Tiny Homes | How much does it cost to build a tiny house in Minnesota?
- Michigan Tiny Homes | How much does it cost to build a tiny house in Michigan?
- Maryland Tiny Homes | How much does it cost to build a tiny house in Maryland?
- Colorado Tiny Homes | How much does it cost to build a tiny house in Colorado?
- Arkansas Tiny Homes | How much does it cost to build a tiny house in Arkansas?