We’ve just tried Nomad Internet in our RV.
We tested Nomad Internet for about a month. The company has specialized in providing reliable, highspeed cellular Internet service to rural areas all across America.
They’ve now expanded and, using a Nighthawk router/modem/slash Internet hotspot, it is now providing unlimited and unthrottled 4G LTE Internet access to RVers.
They have several different membership plans, depending on how much bandwidth you need. and what network you are on, either the Sprint/T-Mobile cellular network or the AT&T network. Verizon and the others are apparently not available at the present time through Nomad. The unit we tried out was on the AT&T cellular network.
Verizon (and other carriers) Dirty Little Secret about “unlimited Internet”
Let me start by saying our favorite network is Verizon and that we have been using it as our primary cellular carrier in the RV for years.
We use a Winegard ConnecT 2.0 Wi-Fi extender and 4GLTE cellular antenna mounted on the roof of our RV. It was installed by the manufacturer of our Wonder RTB Class C RV, Leisure Travel Vans and I have a Verizon SIM card in it for Internet connection.
But there’s an annoying little catch, that isn’t really so little.
While the Verizon plan we are on says we get unlimited data, they do throttle (slow) my speeds when I exceed 25 GB every month.
All of the carriers do this, though their cap limits may vary and change.
Data is unlimited but if you read the fine print, you’ll see “high speed” data is capped. In other words, after you reach a limit, the high speed isn’t so high speed.
That data for me can be gobbled up pretty fast. My video, audio, and photo posting uploading and downloading needs, coupled with data-intensive livestreaming like we do every Sunday night on our YouTube RV Lifestyle Channel, has to be carefully planned around that cap and the speed throttling that happens when I reach it.
It can be a real pain sometimes when we are on extended trips.
Technically, Verizon (and other carriers) can get away saying unlimited because if you exceed the cap, you won’t pay overages, and you’ll still have access, but your data will slow to a crawl if you go over your limit.
The bottom line for me is that with Verizon, as great as their network is – I still think it has the best nationwide coverage – I don’t have truly unlimited high-speed Internet, at least unlimited high speed for my needs.
Nomad Internet offers unlimited Internet, with no throttling
Nomad Internet is specifically designed to provide unlimited high-speed cellular Internet via Wi-Fi for EVERY connected device in your RV including laptops, smart TVs, gaming consoles, and other Wi-Fi connected devices like your smart watches.
By unlimited they mean there is no cap, though I suppose if you played online video games 20 hours a day or used BitTorrent to distribute data and electronic files all day and night you would be considered a problem user and either be kicked off or throttled.
But watching a couple of online movies a day, live streaming a couple of times a week, and uploading my YouTube Videos and my Podcasts is not a problem, says Nomad Internet, and I should have no worries.
The plan I tried is called the Very Blue plan, named I supposed for the blue that seems to be AT&T’s color. It cost $129 a month when we got our trial unit in early August.
But on Sept 1, the company – with no notice – abruptly raised that rate $50 a month to $179.
That’s for accessing the AT&T Network. for unlimited bandwidth with no throttling. You can upload and download all day long, steam Netflix, do live streams, whatever.
And as noted, I have used it to do very bandwidth-heavy video livestreaming, which demands high speed and stable connection to transmit audio and video.
At $129 a month we thought it a good bargain. But at $179 a month now, I think that’s pretty high for most RVers. For fulltimers and those who use a lot of bandwidth like Jen and I do, I still think it’s expensive but jistifiable because it is unlimited and unthrottled.
In testing it out, I used it for live video that I did the other day on our RV Lifestyle Facebook Group and when I asked folks to tell us how we sounded and looked, the comments were all excellent;
“Excellent sound and audio”… “Looking and sounding great”…”Video looks super”… those were common responses from our Facebook Group members from literally all over North America.
Nomad Internet uses the Nighthawk Router
Now to use the service, you also need this Nighthawk Modem. You pay a one-time fee of $349 for it. But you DO NOT own it, even though you can buy the unit for the exact price on Amazon. Nomad essentially “rents” you the Nighthawk for that amount. When you end your service, the fine print says you have to return the unit.
After you pay the one-time Nighthawk “rental” fee there are no more charges from Nomad Internet for the Nighthawl, except for the $179 a month subscription for monthly service. As I said, that’s a lot of money. But if you are full time on the road, you may find that an acceptable price for unlimited and unthrottled high-speed connectivity.
We have found the service to be very reliable, as it should be at that cost.
If you do have a sticks and bricks house, you could conceivably cut that service and use your Nomad service and the Nighthawk router.
You’d take it in the RV when you travel and bring it into your house when you are home.
My biggest concern: Arbitrary carrier changes
Now late last year, I had a bad experience with AT&T changing rates when used a service called Togo.
And that’s the problem with buying cellular data from a reseller like Nomad.
The carriers can impose changes, add restrictions and increase the rates whenever they want and the reseller has no choice but to go along or have their plans pulled out from them by the carriers
On the other end, since Nomad is a month to month service – there are no long-term contracts or commitments with Nomad – you can pull out whenever you want. But, according to the exisiting terms of the agreement, the Nighthawk router has to be returned.
I used the Nomad service for about a month in our RV and found the service to be very fast. I uploaded videos, photos, podcasts and streamed movies and experienced no slowdowns. The service was solid and reliably performed as advertised.
Bottom line, though, I think it is too costly and since you don’t get to keep the Nighthawk, not a great choice for most RVers.
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