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Old 02-12-2015, 12:22   #31
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Re: 20 gig a month?

Yes, it's looking like we'll just have to 'limp along' on the mobile hotspot for this season and maybe next. Slight change of plans, but we can do it by just hanging loose in the Bahamas until Iridium system is up. There are worse fates.

I've plotted the lat/longs of 32 BTC tower locations in the Bahamas, and just put them on Google Earth. I think there are a couple more I don't have positions for, yet. South Long Island would be good. We can plan ourlegs to take place when she's not working, which gives us from mid day Thursday through Sunday every week to change locations if we want. That should work okay. I'll go find some of Marks hogfish. Or take some of those empty conch shells and wrap them with wire like soup can directional antenna...

Here's what BTC plotted on GE looks like:
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Old 02-12-2015, 12:23   #32
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Re: 20 gig a month?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
Am and SSB systems will, in real life, send data transmissions at 300 baud. Rarely 1200 on a clear day.


So if you figure 20 gigabytes of data at a rate of 300 Baud....that's gonna be some electric bill. Faster to mail it on a tape.(G)
If I did the math right, it will take more than two years of continuous transmission to move one month's 20 gigs.
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Old 02-12-2015, 12:29   #33
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Re: 20 gig a month?

Well, an envelope sent international first class into the USPS might get there in less than two years, but you might have a point there, the mail might need a few weeks longer than that.(G)


Canibul-
Do check out the ERP rating of your WiFi setup. In the States, I think that is limited to 6 watts for "Civilian" use (as opposed to 100 watts for amateur radio) but cell phones are all capped at 600mW these days. The old "bag phones" and car phones did 6 watts, but now you need either a booster or a directional antenna, or both, to get it that high.
If you can push your signal into 6 watts, loosely aimed at the tower, AND if it is allowed in that country, you'll get better throughput. Not all US equipment is legal to operate everywhere else. Motorola got spanked by France for exceeding power limits back when they were a big player. And several WiFi channels are not allowed in all countries. So, caveat emptor. With that much traffic you'll also be a target if there is a problem.
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Old 02-12-2015, 12:37   #34
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Re: 20 gig a month?

Quote:
$100 for 5 MB? did you mean 5 GB?
No ....

Fleet One Airtime

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Old 02-12-2015, 12:45   #35
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Re: 20 gig a month?

Quote:
Do check out the ERP rating of your WiFi setup. In the States, I think that is limited to 6 watts for "Civilian" use (as opposed to 100 watts for amateur radio)
Not true (I think) ....

WiFi in the US is max. 4W EIRP (1W output plus a 6dBi antenna) afik .
Same is true if you hold an amateur radio license (because the license does not allow you to transmit on 'WiFi frequencies).

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Old 02-12-2015, 13:35   #36
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Re: 20 gig a month?

I had great luck with my Wilson wi-fi extender in the Bahamas.

The trick is to dump the cheap small antenna that comes with it and install (or raise above the mast when needed) a much better antenna. They mix and match.

Even better is the use of a directional cell antenna attached to the Wilson. If you really want to make it work with that scenario you could stick out a stern anchor so that the boat doesn't swing, that way the directional antenna stays pointed at the BTC tower.

I was getting 4G where people were telling me it was impossible to do so.

Here is the Wilson:

https://www.wilsonamplifiers.com/web...er-kit-470510/

Here is an omni directional:

https://www.wilsonamplifiers.com/mar...a-male-318430/

Here is some info on directional antennas:

https://www.wilsonamplifiers.com/blo...yagi-antennas/
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Old 02-12-2015, 17:44   #37
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Re: 20 gig a month?

Is there some requirement that she has to remote in to her desktop ?

When I first started at my current employer to work remote I used a Citrix VPN client on my work laptop and then RDP'd into my desktop VM sitting in the office -- this chews a lot of bandwidth since the mouse moves, keyboard clicks, screen paints, etc. all get sent via RDP back and forth.

A couple of years ago they started offering a device made by Aruba networking that sets up a true VPN tunnel through my provider into the corporate network. The device is always on and always tunneled to my employer, it presents a wireless hotspot on this end, just like work does. I use my work laptop on this end just as if it were sitting in my cube onsite.

The BIG difference is the second method uses a LOT less bandwidth, since only the true network traffic (like traffic to/from the Exchange server for mail) actually goes over my wire.

I would suggest looking into something like this -- if the company is somewhat progressive (guessing they might be since they are letting your wife work from the Bahamas), you may be able to work with IT on a better solution.

Remember satellite bandwidth is very limited, hence why it is very expensive. Cellular is literally everywhere almost.
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Old 02-12-2015, 19:06   #38
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Re: 20 gig a month?

Lots on the interwebs about Aruba Networks, an HP partner. Thanks for thr tip
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Old 03-12-2015, 05:13   #39
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Re: 20 gig a month?

I work while sailing. We are currently in the Caribbean, as we were last winter. My advice is to buy an unlocked broadband/mifi device and buy SIM cards wherever you go. We did not buy an unlocked device before leaving the States, so ended up with Digicel. It's not bad and can be used in all the islands. The other thing we did get this year was a T-Mobile phone. There are no roaming charges and you can get internet on the phone, but can't us it for a hotspot. Also, phone calls are usually less than .20 per minute.


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Old 03-12-2015, 05:17   #40
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Re: 20 gig a month?

sigh.
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Old 03-12-2015, 07:40   #41
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Re: 20 gig a month?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Enchantress View Post
Is there some requirement that she has to remote in to her desktop ?

When I first started at my current employer to work remote I used a Citrix VPN client on my work laptop and then RDP'd into my desktop VM sitting in the office -- this chews a lot of bandwidth since the mouse moves, keyboard clicks, screen paints, etc. all get sent via RDP back and forth.

A couple of years ago they started offering a device made by Aruba networking that sets up a true VPN tunnel through my provider into the corporate network. The device is always on and always tunneled to my employer, it presents a wireless hotspot on this end, just like work does. I use my work laptop on this end just as if it were sitting in my cube onsite.

The BIG difference is the second method uses a LOT less bandwidth, since only the true network traffic (like traffic to/from the Exchange server for mail) actually goes over my wire.

I would suggest looking into something like this -- if the company is somewhat progressive (guessing they might be since they are letting your wife work from the Bahamas), you may be able to work with IT on a better solution.

Remember satellite bandwidth is very limited, hence why it is very expensive. Cellular is literally everywhere almost.
Aruba is awesome from an IT Corporate Security standpoint as it creates a secure endpoint that is tightly controlled by corporate security that is virtually plug and play. It does not solve the bandwidth issues when the available networks are over-provisioned or technologically incapable.

Logging into Citrix and then RDP is an awful way to do it as twice the bandwidth is needed to pass the commands and screen draws back to the client. A single RDP or Citrix environment that is bandwidth optimized is the best overall solution and far easier to manage daily bandwidth requirements. or Citrix environment with published resources.

Yes, with RDP, every move and screen draw is sent and received by the client and that gets pretty fat when trying to duplicate the screen on the other end. But, if the environment is optimized and reliable low speed bandwidth is available, it works nicely. Out of the box, even MS RDP can be set to lower the screen colors to 8 bit, not pass DDE (cut and paste), not attempt to map printers, etc.

Again, that is based upon reliable low speed bandwidth as a lot of carriers are turning to burst and throttle technology that increases the bandwidth when say, you are downloading a file, but then throttles you back during regular browsing. With a non-optimized RDP connection, there are many more short bursts of large packet requests that are too short in duration to signal the burst throttling. This is the carriers solution to streaming video and your RDP session looks the same to them, thus they end up screwing the customer they are trying to protect in the first place.
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Old 03-12-2015, 10:05   #42
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Re: 20 gig a month?

Canibul, and everyone,
{FYI, I've made my living in commercial sat com for > 30 years now...}

Forgive me for starting off blunt....but, I don't know of anyone cruising on a budget that can afford hi-speed/broadband sat com or VSAT systems....
Everyone says that they want this, and many say that they need it....but once they see the costs involved, they realize that they cannot afford it!!
Terrestrial-based data services (Wi-Fi and Cellular/3G/4G/LTE) are what 99.99% of cruisers/sailors will use for most of their data / internet needs....(some will have Fleetbroadband or Pilot systems, for use when away from shore-side infrastructure, and a VERY small few might have VSAT systems....but these are typically folks with larger yachts, with crews, business managers, etc....and are not the ones posting on Cruiser's Forum...





When it comes to sat com, and sat com data, there are a few facts of life that must be understood as facts...no matter what the advertising makes you think, these are the facts now, and quite honestly for the foreseeable future over the next few years...


{I know that many say, "it will be cheaper in the future"...or "once they launch xxxx satellites, it will be cheaper / easier"....BUT...
But, the facts are that even when new sats are launched and new services are available, sat com data is going to be WICKED EXPENSIVE!!! At least for the next 5 years, or more!!}

1) Speed / Bandwidth / Data Usage, costs money...

2) The more speed, bandwidth, and data, that you need....the more money you will spend!!

3) The commercial/maritime sat com equipment and services are mature and reliable, and work very well...


Once you understand these facts, you will see that for most sailors, use of terrestrial-based communications systems (Wi-Fi, Cellular/3G/4G/LTE) for their internet / VPN / broadband / hi-speed data needs is an almost necessity!!



Perhaps some number$ will show what I'm talking about??

If you can afford the costs of a KU-Band (or even Ku/C-Band) VSAT system ($12,000 - $75,000) and the associated data / airtime costs ($0.49 / MB is the cheapest, with some paying from $1 to $2 / MB), then you CAN have excellent hi-speed (2Mb/s) service in almost every locale you could want!
But, most sailors just cannot afford this type of expense!!!
Actually, unless you've got a Mega-yacht, etc., these are pretty rare....but they are available, and are reliable!

Also, available are INMARSAT FB and Iridium Pilot/OpenPort, which are L-Band/Mobile systems (which work VERY well worldwide, rain or shine), and have MUCH lower equipment costs ($4000 - $5000), but have MUCH higher data / airtime costs (typ. $15 - $20/MB)...



Please take note that these airtime/data rates are per MB, not GB!!!

And, you know that there are 1000MB in 1GB....

So, the cheapest sat com airtime per GB is about $490/GB....

Which would mean Canibul's wifes' 20GB/month data usage would cost almost $10,000 per month (if their entire usage was thru sat com)!!!

This is a staggering sum of money....and lest you think some don't actually pay this much, I heard of one guy whose first month's bill was for >$2000, and have heard that some charter Mega-yachts have monthly sat com bills >$10k as their normal operating expenses!!




Further, I think some here may be mixing-up the INMARSAT (and Iridium Pilot) systems with VSAT systems.....yes, they are both sat com systems, but are VERY different systems, with vaery different costs involved...


You may wish to have a look here for descriptions, capabilities, specifications, coverage, and costs...

VSAT systems and Iridium Pilot systems:
Mini VSAT Broadband


Iridium Pilot systems:
https://iridium.com/products/details/iridiumpilot
Iridium Pilot | Satellite Phone and Broadband Data | Global Marine Networks


INMARSAT FB systems:
Inmarsat FleetBroadband

FleetBroadband



INMARSAT Fleet One system:
Inmarsat Fleet One

Fleet One


Detailed VSAT Airtime costs:
mini VSAT Activation Process




VSAT and Iridium coverage:
miniVSAT Broadband Airtime Service


INMARSAT Fleet One coverage:
Inmarsat Fleet One Coverage Map


INMARSAT FB coverage:
FleetBroadband



Quote:
Originally Posted by Canibul View Post
My wife develops medical software. She essentially spends about 30 hours a week, during the business day, connected to a VPN in New Jersey.

We've been using various mobil hotspots to do this, but would love to be able to sail more while she works. Get to some remote areas, without having to be within cell phone range. Cruising area is from the Bahamas to the Caribbean and Central America. She basically needs about 20 gig a month.

Fleetbroadband people tell me it's about $13K in hardware costs, and another $4k a month for a data plan. Is that still the only option?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Canibul View Post
We did track it all summer while on a Verizon mobile hotspot for four months in the Rockies. We upped it from 10 to 20 gig after running over the first couple of months, but 20 gig worked out well. No video teleconferences, nor video chats.
As you can see from the above information, most sailors are going to be well serviced by terrestrial-based data / internet systems....as sat com is very expensive!!

And, this is why having an excellent external Wi-Fi system (Bullet or Groove) and hopefully properly installing an external cellular system (such as Wilson, etc.), is going to pay off big time for most cruisers!!
{please take note of the "properly installed" term....as getting as much RF separation as possible between the internal cellular antenna and the external/mast-mounted cellular antenna, is the single most important piece of the puzzle in making a "cellular booster" actually work properly....remember, fiberglass cabin tops / acrylic hatches / teak decks / etc. all pass the cellular signal pretty well....so it is keeping the vertical antennas exactly inline (above / below each other) and separated by as much distance as possible (25' - 65') is what allows the system to work well...I've even seen some that place the interior antenna in the bilge or engine room, and the cellular phone/modem is only a few feet away, with the external antenna at the masthead or spreader, in order to improve performance...}



I do hope this helps...

Fair winds..

John
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Old 03-12-2015, 11:11   #43
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Re: 20 gig a month?

Forgot to mention BGAN....sorry...

INMARSAT BGAN is basically a "non-marine" version of Fleet Broadband (FB)....typically a "portable sat com terminal"....

Equipment costs are lower than FB...($2000 -$3000), with airtime costs also much lower (depending on your plan and usage, from ~ $5/MB to $7/MB)....

BUT....

But, remember that these are L-Band Geostationary sat com systems, that must have their antenna pointed directly at the satellite....and if anchored with fore and aft anchors these will work....and if motoring in fairly calm waters, they can also work (but do require aiming / reaiming, and patience!)....
But, for most maritime users, BGAN isn't really an option....
Especially because if you're anchored or motoring along a coast, you probably will have some terrestrial-based system that will be MUCH LESS COSTLY!!!




Fair winds...

John
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Old 03-12-2015, 11:55   #44
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Re: 20 gig a month?

OpusCalifornia, MYTraveler, Canibul, et al,
Most look at equipment pricing, and think sat com is really expensive (and it is)....and then see a less expensive unit advertised, and think that the prices are coming down (and they have)....BUT...
But, they fail to see the limitations of these new systems/devices/terminals....although, for some, they will provide what they need..

But, the real issue is the data/airtime costs....and unfortunately, for the lesser expensive systems the data/airtimes costs are quite high...even higher than for the more expensive VSAT systems...

If you look at the pricing for data/airtime, you'll b surprised!!!
Quote:
Originally Posted by OpusCalifornia View Post
I have been contemplating the very same issue. I run my own company and to cruse remotely I will need Satellite Internet. I saw the Cobham Sailor Fleet One is now available for $2500, and I'll need about 5GB/Mo which using Fleet One prepaid is $100 for 5mg/Mo. Frankly it's still prohibitively expensive. Any better options and I'd like to hear about it...
Quote:
Originally Posted by MYTraveler View Post
$100 for 5 MB? did you mean 5 GB?
Sat com data / airtime is VERY expensive!!
And, the costs vary widely, depending on what "plan" you choose and on how much usage you actually have, as well as on the speed you require....

Here are some real-world, current prices...as of Dec 2015..

Fleet Broadband, standard rate is about $21/MB
Fleet Broadband, Prepaid, is about $9/MB...
Fleet Broadband, Postpaid can be pretty low (<$1/MB), but only if you sign up for a BIG ($2000 - $4000/ month) plan...but can also run you from $5/MB to as much as $20/MB....

Fleet One, is about $6/MB...

Iridium Pilot/OpenPort, costs range from $0.97 to $14/Mb
(a BIG range....but most are paying close to $8-$10/MB)

And, as I wrote above, VSAT data/airtime rates are actually quite reasonable, at $0.49/MB...for standard metered plans...
But, if you can afford a bigger VSAT system (~ $25,000 - $75,000), you can get "speed-based data/airtime" for as little as $0.05/MB....
(kind of oxymoronic....if you can afford tens of thousands of dollars for a BIG VSAT terminal, you can get less expensive airtime....)


Just thought some here might want to see the actual figures....and if you're wondering what all the fuss is about, multiply these prices by 1000....and that's the cost per GB....and then multiply that number, by the number of GB's you use monthly....

Now, after you get done counting all those zeros, you'll understand why when some folks say that costs will be lower in the future, even if their crystal balls are accurate, and even if the costs come down by half, hi-speed/broadband sat com for the masses is still going to be very expensive!!!

Think about how much you're willing to spend....and then think about how much data you can get via sat com, today in dec 2015, for that amount....then double or triple that amount of data....and that's the best you can hope for, for the foreseeable future....and even that is wildly speculative and unlikely to actually be attained...



I do hope this helps....and, that many now have a better understanding of what the costs/capabilities are...

BTW, about 10 - 12 years ago, I had a good friend who lived one mile from the telephone company central office, in a medium-sized city (100,000 people) in the US....and he had an ISDN line installed (giving him 64k/128k internet speeds), cost him $125/month....and there was NO 3G/4G cellular service available, so that is what he had for internet....
And, as another poster here wrote....it wasn't that long ago that we paid $1/min for cell calls, and cellular data was slow and expensive too....

So, take a breath....enjoy sailing....and forget about "hi-speed data" for a while!!

Fair winds..

John
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Old 03-12-2015, 12:32   #45
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Re: 20 gig a month?

Okay, this posting is mostly just for fun....


Well, since you cannot get "internet" thru HF radio (neither ham or maritime), only low-speed data and e-mail connectivity, this suggestion will not work...
Quote:
Originally Posted by reed1v View Post
You did checkout using ham or ssb systems?
But, if you really want to look at the time it would take to send 20GB of data via your typical cruiser's HF radio system (ham or maritime), let's look at PACTOR III or PACTOR IV....and let's assume good signals and an average thru-put of 5k baud (about the fastest P3 connection and below-average for a P4 connection)...[the figures of 300 baud apply to an FSK/SITOR/Pactor I connection....with 1200 - 2400 baud a Pactor II connection....all well superseded by P III and P IV...]

So, let's do the math...

5000 baud x 200 = 1MB x 1000 = 1GB x 20 = 20Gb....

So, that's ~~ 4,000,000 seconds = ~ 66666.66 minutes = ~ 1111.1 hours = ~ 46.3 days....

So, that one month's worth of Canibul's wife's data (20GB) would take AT LEAST 1111.1 hours / 46.3 days, if transmitted via a PACTOR IV modem, on a 24/7 HF connection....
Actually not bad!!



Just thought some might want to see the real world thru-puts / math....

Fair winds..

John
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