Review of Nomad Internet for RV travelers

 Review of Nomad Internet for RV travelers

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

Photo of the Nomad Internet website
The Nomad Internet website

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.

Photo of Nomad RV Internet... perhaps the best Internet for RV
We use Nomad Internet for RV to stream movies and had no issues

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. 

Speed test of Nomad Internet

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

photo of Nomad Interview Nighthawk router
Our Nomad Internet uses a special router – the Nighthawk

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.

CLICK HERE for a story about that fiasco

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.

Get more RV travel ideas, tips, news, and perks and info on the latest RV teach!

Each Monday Mike and Jennifer Wendland publish the RV Lifestyle Newsletter, where they share weekly articles about RV travel that inspire and inform. As soon as you sign up, we’ll send you for free the RV travel checklist that Jennifer and Mike use. You can save it to your computer and print it out for every trip like we do. No more forgetting things!  Plus, besides the insider’s newsletter each Monday, you’ll get lots of special perks and RV discounts. 
Enter your info below and you are in!

Get a free Packing List for your next trip when you join our RV Lifestyle community and subscribe to our weekly newsletter. Plus free perks, discounts and exclusive RV travel tips!

Curious about the gear, gadgets, accessories, and RV products Mike & Jennifer use and recommend?

On this RV Lifestyle Travel blog, our RV Podcast and our RV Lifestyle YouTube Channel, Mike and Jennifer mention all sorts of RV-related products and gear that they use, So they created a special page that lists all the different items they talk about and show. CLICK HERE to go to it directly.
 
 

Mike Wendland

Mike is a veteran journalist who, with his wife, Jennifer, travels North America in a small motorhome, blogging about the people, places, joys and adventure of RV life on the road. He enjoys camping (obviously), hiking, biking, fitness, photography, kayaking, video editing, and all things dealing with technology and the outdoors. See and subscribe to his RV Lifestyle Channel on YouTube, where he has hundreds of RV and travel related videos. His PC MIke TV reports, on personal technology are distributed weekly to all 215 NBC-TV stations.

15 Comments

  • Great info! I have been looking for what service to get for my new LTV unity that is on order.

  • I am curious as to why you didn’t just buy the Nomad plan for $900/yr ($75/month) and use the AT&T sim in your Winegard Connect 2. I would think the performance would be close, if not better, with the Winegard solution you already have. Could you do a comparison — there is a free trial with the sim card only plan? Select the “Blue” plan for AT&T — the other plan is with Tmobile. Offer is here:
    https://nomadwholesale.com/plans/ You could probably just take the sim you have and try it in the Winegard.
    Thanks!
    Ray

  • Hello,
    I am confused about the Nighthawk unit you use. First you say “ Our Nomad Internet uses a special router – the Nighthawk. Then, farther down you say it is a Modem. Do I need BOTH a Router and a Modem to connect to Nomad? This is a very informative post!
    Thank you for your time,
    Dena

  • Hello,
    I’m a little confused about the Nighthawk product. At first you say “ Our Nomad Internet uses a special router – the Nighthawk. Then later you say it’s a Modem. Do you need both? And secondly, do you have to have the Winegard unit to run the Nomad system? Very informative post!
    Thank you for your time,
    Dena

  • This article is incorrect on a few facts.

    First, the $349 on-time fee is a membership fee. You aren’t buying the device. It must be returned when you cancel.

    Second, you can buy the same device at many stores, like Best Buy, for less….$100 less. It costs $249. Then you can sign up with Nomad, and get the monthly unlimited data plan for $129.

    Third, the Nighthawk LTE Mobile Hotspot isn’t new. It’s been around for over 3 years. It’s unlocked, so you can put in any proper sized SIM card from any service you want.

    Why anybody would pay a one-time membership fee, when you get actually buy the device for less….is beyond me.

  • I read the information on the nomad website…it specifies unlimited 4g Ltd data. So is it limited when you are connected to 5g?

  • Have you ever tried running a VPN to stop or block ISP Throttling??

    https://www.vpnuniversity.com/learn/isp-throttling

  • We just ordered the SIM card with Nomad internet to put into our Winegard +. Hoping it works as well.

    • How is the SIM working?

  • “We just ordered the SIM card with Nomad internet to put into our Winegard +. Hoping it works as well“

    Were you able to test this out? How does it perform?

  • Nomad has been having issues lately, users beware.Check their facebook group of tons of current members getting disconnected…

    sometimes when its too good to be true – it usually is…

  • I am checking for updates on how the new internet service with Nomad is, and looking through comments, disappointed that you don’t respond to them. Great questions being asked, but no answers. I am very interested in possibly getting this set up as I will be start full-timing in my 2012 LTV Unity RTB soon and need a fairly affordable solution to work. May have to look elsewhere for answers.

  • I am 30 days in with Nomad Very Blue Service SIM card only.
    First, my service is provided by AT&T, the cost is $129.00 per month.
    I purchased Netgears Nomad mobile hotspot from another electronics provider, instead of through Nomad.
    Everything worked really well. WiFi was fast, four devices were connected at one time with no problems. Then the SIM card failed. Nomads chat line for customer service failed. I spent 12 hours trying to get help. Extremely frustrating. The CEO of Nomad reached out. Customer Service reps sent a new SIM card but we were without WiFi/ Internet for 6 days.
    Today the new SIM Card arrived but the speed is definitely slower. I tried customer service chat for help but it’s still not working so I emailed the CEO. He responded that AT&T has new rules. I was offered a refund but I need WiFi even if it’s slow…it’s better than none.
    Recap…great solution for Internet when it’s working….tweeks must be made to the Help Chat/Customer Service.

  • I am 30 days in with Nomad Very Blue Service SIM card only.
    First, my service is provided by AT&T, the cost is $129.00 per month.
    I purchased Netgears mobile hotspot from another electronics provider, instead of through Nomad.
    Everything worked really well. WiFi was fast, four devices were connected at one time with no problems. Then the SIM card failed. Nomads chat line for customer service failed. I spent 12 hours trying to get help. Extremely frustrating. The CEO of Nomad reached out. Customer Service reps sent a new SIM card but we were without WiFi/ Internet for 6 days.
    Today the new SIM Card arrived but the speed is definitely slower. I tried customer service chat for help but it’s still not working so I emailed the CEO. He responded that AT&T has new rules. I was offered a refund but I need WiFi even if it’s slow…it’s better than none.
    Recap…great solution for Internet when it’s working….tweeks must be made to the Help Chat/Customer Service.

  • Just tried both Nomad (Very Blue) and AT&T Wireless Internet. Nomad is supposedly on the AT&T network. Using both Routers from Nomad (Nighthawk) and AT&T (Their in-house router), found little to no signal from Nomad. Nomad’s service was running at less than dial up speed again, supposedly on AT&T’s network. The actual AT&T Service run circles around Nomad Internet. Run several speed test – Nomad: Down .28, Up .008. AT&T Service: Down 26, Up. 5.6.

    Trying to get Nomad support was non-existent. The Nomad Router is going back and have already canceled the service. Going to stick with AT&T Business Wireless Internet. It cost less and it works.

    Stay away from Nomad Internet. They are having issues.

    Stay a

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.