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Rogue Wave by Wave WiFi

September 26, 2011 by Chris Guld · 22 Comments  
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Review by Jim Guld www.geeksontour.com

DSCN1360-1If you’re an RVer looking to improve your Internet connections, take a look at the Rogue Wave Wireless Bridge and Ethernet Converter.  I have been working with WiFi equipment almost since the beginning of the technology. I have an arsenal of devices, large and small, that I have collected over our years of RVing.  The Rogue Wave is the latest and I like it.

The Purpose of the Rogue Wave

Of the three ways to connect to high speed Internet on the road, WiFi, Satellite, and Cellular, WiFi can be the best. WiFi is available in many places and is reasonably priced and often free. WiFi was never designed to cover large areas or go long distances. It was made for small and home offices and Starbucks. Advances in technology and innovative designs can enable communication over much greater distances and over or through obstacles.

The Rogue Wave is a device to extend the effective range of a WiFi Hotspot . It works exceptionally well and is easy to set up and use. 

Here is a typical scenario for an Rver: You are in an RV park that advertises WiFi, but your computer cannot connect reliably to the Access Point. You can take your computer closer to the AP, and it works fine, but you want to work from the comfort of your own rig. The WiFi built into your laptop is not good enough.

A better radio and a better antenna will give you a better connection. One solution might be a USB WiFi adapter. USB WiFi adapters require device drivers and are limited to about 15’ of cable from the computer because they get their power from the computer.

What Exactly is the Rogue Wave?

The Rogue Wave is an Ethernet Converter. It takes a wireless signal and converts it to wired Ethernet. Ethernet Converters have been around a while. Ethernet Bridges and Game adapters are other terms for similar devices. They were typically difficult to configure and not very user friendly, especially for travelers.

The Rogue Wave is a high power 800mW radio connected to an 8.5dB high gain Omni-directional outdoor antenna. You can get even better range with a directional antenna. The Rogue Wave is powered through the Ethernet cable (PoE) using a 120V block transformer or a 12V power plug.

image
    Picture from Land and Sea WiFi which currently sells the above for $350

As shown in the first picture, I mounted my Rogue Wave antenna on my rear ladder using the included hardware. The radio screws into the base of the antenna and I drop the RJ-45 connected Ethernet cable through a window near my router location. A 25’ CAT-5 Ethernet cable is supplied and that is plenty for my application.

You can plug the Ethernet cable directly into your computer, open up a browser, connect to an available hotspot, and be surfing the Internet in minutes. You will be able to connect to access points that your built-in Wi-Fi can’t.  Below are screen shots showing just that:

With the built-in WiFi, I can see the signal but I cannot connect.Computer can't connect

The Rogue Wave can connect, and it can see many more possible connections. from the same location.
Wave Rogue successfully connected to RVTSouth

 

Connecting Multiple Computers

Using the Ethernet connection is fine if you only have one computer. What if you have 2 or more computers, a wireless printer, and a tablet or e-reader you need to connect? That is not so unusual these days.

Here is the real beauty and advantage of the Rogue Wave and why it was designed. You plug the Ethernet cable from the Rogue Wave into the WAN port of your own local WiFi router. You connect your computers, printers, and other WiFi devices to your local network ONCE. Then connect the Rogue Wave to an available WiFi Hotspot. Now when you move to a different RV park, you only need to configure the Rogue Wave to the new Hotspot using the easy web-based tool. Your local devices stay connected on one network and all use the single connection to the Internet.

Many travelers now carry a mobile cellular hotspot device like a MiFi or use a smart phone to wirelessly tether their computers to the Internet. You can also use the Rogue Wave to connect to a cellular device like a MiFi. The MiFi is normally limited to 5 device connections. You can connect more devices using a local router connected to the MiFi through the Rogue Wave.

This screenshot shows the Rogue Wave connected to our Verizon 4g Mobile Hotspot:
image

Then all our other devices can just connect to the ‘Geeks On Tour’ signal provided by our Router.  With the Rogue Wave as input to my local router, I’m online.
image

The Rogue Wave is great for RVers. It is also a good choice for boaters who have similar connectivity needs. A good WiFi signal will go a long distance over water and a boater anchored off shore can easily connect.

Check out the Wave WiFi website for more specifications and information. Land and Sea WiFi Products is the dealer for our Rogue Wave.

Geeks On Tour is Jim and Chris Guld. They have been traveling the US in their RV for the past 8 years. They teach fellow travelers how to use computers and technology to plan, preserve, and share their travels. They have both been involved in professional computer support and training since the early 80s. They maintain a family of websites including www.wifisavvy.com containing hundreds of articles.

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Comments

22 Responses to “Rogue Wave by Wave WiFi”

  1. Ham Radio on September 26th, 2011 8:47 pm

    Given that every 3db gain essentially doubles the signal, this device’s 8.5db gain should give you 7-8 times effective wi-fi signal to work with. That’s very good “bang for the buck” for effective communications.

  2. Brad Fuller on September 27th, 2011 9:55 am

    This sounds like something that I could use. Many times I have had very week signals at some campgrounds. It is frustrating not to be able to get a good connection in the rig. I will take a closer look at the Rogue Wave.

  3. Lindsay Richards on September 27th, 2011 5:10 pm

    I have an earlier version of the Wave and love it. I have a set up with a telescoping paint stick that goes onto my awning extension. Takes just a few minutes to set up an really bring it in,. I have been known set it up on my truck antenna in a shopping center parking lot.

  4. Jon on September 27th, 2011 5:11 pm

    Went to the recommend web site looked at the price and it seems to be over priced to me. Don’t need wifi that bad to pay that kind of price.

  5. Montana Mike on September 27th, 2011 5:23 pm

    And I also went to the website. They made no reference to a directional antenna. Could you elaborate on that, as it could make an even better connection.

  6. Teri B on September 27th, 2011 11:55 pm

    Thanks for the product review. Sounds like it could be a great help in places where the lay of the land is hilly or the rig is a little too far from the WIFI source.

  7. Craig on September 28th, 2011 6:08 am

    Land and Sea wants $350 for the Rogue Wave! I agree with Jon, that’s too pricey for the average user.

  8. Geoffrey Pruett on September 28th, 2011 8:25 am

    The only sticker in the plot is price. Idea is fine, just needs to spread start up expenses over a wider number of units. Coming from a precision measurements background the claims of gain are possible but seldom reached in real world conditions. Even 5 db would take the signal enough out of the noise to create solid lock on with most WiFi systems. Amplified antenna systems were in the pipe dream area before digital signals became standard as with analog signals the noise is amplified as much as the signal but digital allows signal processing to bypass this.

  9. AzYooper on October 3rd, 2011 8:50 pm

    Last year you did a review of a drectionl wi-fi antenna that I don’t have in front of me, but it worked very well for about $50 as I recall.

    Maybe you could review and refresh us on that one.

  10. Bob Higgins on October 4th, 2011 2:35 pm

    I cannot stress enough the importance of adding a good proxy server. When in an airport, library, park or whatever, the temptation to latch onto the nearest hotspot is there, but at what price? Logging on through a proxy server like coccoon (www.getcocoon.com) protects your data, hides a lot of the pop up spam stuff, and also has a built in virus scanner (for all those FB malware things). By using a proxy server, anyone “sniffing” your data only sees the cocoon service, not your computer. Excellent for frequent travel in modern day digital pirate country.

  11. Don Peterson on October 15th, 2011 4:00 pm

    Thanks for this information. I purchased a Rogue a couple of weeks ago and am completely satisfied. Even though I am only 50 yards from the RV camp’s WiFi pole, my reception was poor and I had frequent dropouts. Others have this problem at the park, too, and I think it is not only a weak signal from the antenna, but the connection to the Internet itself is poor. This Rogue WaveWifi amplifies the signal enough to eliminate the dropouts. I can watch a complete Netflix movie without interruption. This is a great investment that saves a lot of frustration.

  12. Don Peterson on October 15th, 2011 4:28 pm

    I don’t understand the WiFi Signal to Noise Graph. Since I am apparently unable to upload a picture here, I’ll do my best to describe the graph that Wave WifFi provides for my system. The graph consists of coordinate axes. There are two signal lines on the graph, one red, one green. Both run horizontally. The red line is near the top of the graph and is mostly flat. It describes the noise at -95 dBm. The Green line is below and jumps up and down in somewhat of a square wave between -25 and -35 dBm. The vertical axis is labelled from bottom to top at 0, -25, -50 and -75 dBm. The horizontal axis is time. The average noise reading is -95 dBm. The average signal reading is -33 dBm. Can someone please tell me what this means? Thank you.

  13. Barney on October 15th, 2011 5:33 pm

    Don,
    From your description, it sounds like the -95dBm line is signal drop-out point. The closer your received signal (green line) is to the red line, the more errors will be detected. Your signal has a 62 dB margin which is very good and the bit error rate should be extremely low.

  14. Don Peterson on October 17th, 2011 8:52 am

    Thanks, Barney. I appreciate the information.

  15. Jules on October 31st, 2011 11:34 am

    We ordered this unit from Land and Sea. Shipping was really fast and tech support was great. (most people could set it up without the tech support, but I’m tech challanged). I gave the unit a trial at out at the barn on my farm.

    I was able to pick up the wifi from my home,(which is normally way too weak to reach outside my back door) as well as several of my neighbors’ wireless networks. Yes, it’s expensive, but I chose to spend my money on this rather than a satalite system for my tv, because you can now get most shows over the internet, anyway.

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    Great article! Well-written and nicely presented. Thanks for sharing, I found it valuable.
    Alberta Business Internet

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