Lone Star Corral has WiFi distribution towers with 2.4/5 GHzAccess Points (APs) scattered throughout the park to make free limited-bandwidth Wi-Fi available to all our members and guests. The towers require a password to connect to the park system and, once connected, our gateway itself requires an Access Code to get through it and on to the Internet. The tower password and gateway Access Code are available from the office. Each tower’s network name includes the lot upon which it’s located so the best tower for a given location can be selected.
Unfortunately, battery-powered laptops, tablets, and cell phones contain only low power (for OSHA safety and long battery life) WiFi transmitters that are reliably useful only out to about 50 feet or so from a hotspot, access point, or tower. For best speed and reliability with our outdoor towers, we recommend using a small low-cost wireless WiFi Router with external antenna(s) inside a window of your RV to isolate and enhance the signal to and from all of your WiFi devices. Tested and recommended models include the inexpensive GL-AR150 (2GHz only), the faster GL-AR300M (2GHz only), or (best) the GL-AR750S-Ext (both 2 and 5GHz). The WiFi Committee has a small supply of the GL-AR150 at cost ($35 with power supply and cable) and can assist in the setup. In the past we recommended the PepWave Surf OTG, but it is no longer made. Most “Range Boosters” or “Range Extenders,” such as sold at WalMart, don’t work well or at all with the outdoor towers of our system, and may even cause problems to other users.
Our system is controlled by an Internet gateway that attempts to equitably distribute the available bandwidth as well as block Internet activities that would incur liability on the part of the park, such as the illegal downloading of movies. Due to the excessive bandwidth required by streaming HD video, the gateway limits video streams to SD speeds to avoid slowing down others who are web-browsing or using email. If you wish to use streaming HD video, you should obtain your own DSL line on your lot from Southwest Texas Communications (830-683-2111). A single smart TV or streaming video service will need at least a 10 Mbps ($59.99/mo + taxes) connection; multiple users will need a larger plan. The line can be suspended while you are gone, and reconnected for $12.