Without getting into the technical and other aspects - in our extensive experience sailing up and down the eastern Caribbean
we have never been without wifi or a good skype access. Most times we can get it while on the boat using a powered external wifi antenna
. But for short stays it is cheaper and sometimes free to just go ashore with our little netbook computer and use it in a cafe or patisserie or even laundry
place. Lots of places are using the "free wifi" to draw in customers.
- - There is even an outfit called "Hothotspot" in the eastern Caribbean
which offers wifi both onshore and in anchorages
on most all the islands from St Martin
for one monthly fee. So you get to "use" your month in many places.
- - Also GSM phones (be sure to get a "Quad-band unlocked") work everywhere and either on "roaming" (somewhat expensive) or by buying
a cheap Sim card which gets you a new local telephone number. This is really good if you are going to spend a month somewhere and/or need to call local services/stores/shops. Otherwise I use up the leftover minutes after I left the particular island with roaming calls.
- - Communicating home or elsewhere is light-years ahead of where it was 5 or more years ago. It is not even a worry anymore - so long as you have the equipment
especially a high power (1 watt/1000milliwatt powered external USB antenna
for your computer while onboard, or a little netbook (like Acer or others) to take ashore.