Marine WIFI onboard Ever After
I thought I would share my research
and testing so that others may have a slightly less stressful time researching and deciding on which route
to go to get online onboard.
Let me start by saying that my family
moved onto our 44í Ketch
to start cruising full time. I am not wealthy or retired, as a matter of fact quite the opposite. I have to work but I donít have to go to an office. I only need a reliable phone
and internet connection and Iím looking for something that is simple, affordable, and reliable.
Hereís what I didÖ
I started by searching all the forums
trying to see what others had done and what I found was very interesting.
I first decided on the IslandTime system from Bob in Florida
. $ 250.00 plus shipping
Marine WiFi Systems
I purchased it and got it installed on a ďtestĒ install. I STRONGHLY recommend you do the same with whatever you decide on buying
. I simply mounted the antenna and ran cables
and cords on the floor and hooked it up. Iím pretty computer literate and got it up and running but the user interface was more than many would be comfortable with Iím sure. The really nice thing about this system is it worked with my router that I brought from home so it was WIFI on the boat
and all the little electronics
including my phone
worked. It worked well for a few days and then I couldnít access the interface. I called Bob who was VERY patient and after about 45 minutes of tech support I got it working again. The following day I installed the system permanently meaning that I drilled holes, waterproof fittings, crawling into places I had no business being. I was stuck upside down and fishing
the cable up to the navigation
station and Iím sure you get the visual on that one. The next day it was down again and Bob sent me another bullet to see if the first one was defective. Three days later I get it, install it and it worked for a day and then no go again and Bob went on vacation
. No tech support available for 3 weeks and I couldnít work. I decided that the Island Time system wasnít for me but the support was great until Bob went on vacation
and I know that allot of people really like his product.
Next I looked at the WaveWIFI Rogue and it was the same components as IslandTime. $ 350.00
WaveWiFi Rogue- Land and Sea WiFi Provides Long Range Wifi Boosters for Boats, RVs, and Marinas
I already knew how the bullet worked and for some reason they wanted $ 100.00 more for the EXACT SAME THING so no. I also found other vendors selling it for 495.00 and on sale
Wave Wifi Rogue Pro Ultra Small Wifi Access System
Next I looked at LunaWLANnet and once again it was the exact same thing as the two above.
LunaWLANnet — lunatronic
Next I looked at the Rogue Wave
same bullet2 as the others above
If you want to use the Bullet2, you can find the bullet 2, the POE-15, and the Engenius antenna for 72.01 plus shipping
Amazon.com: Ubiquiti BULLET2 AP or CPE Outdoor 802.11b/g: Computers & Accessories
I then looked at the Radio
labs CaptiFi but at a 1 mile advertised rage I decided against considering it. The reviews
I read didnít sell me on this product even though it was only $ 139.95
Next was 5MileWIFI and it was super straight forward. $ 400.00
No user interface just allot more points to pick from, SUPER SIMPLE to use but the one downfall is that it is plugged into my computer and I havenít been able to figure out how to use a router with it. I just bought a 20.00 USB hub and a couple long cables
and everyone can use it at the same time, you just need to have the 1 USB cable plugged in. When they make a router version this will be clearly the #1 product on the market in under $ 500.00 price
The bullet2 system is affordable and many people like it. Bob at IslandTime has great customer support and it works with a router. Personally it didnít work well for me and maybe it was because Iím using Windows 8 and that was the problem?
For me, the 5MileWIFI is a plug
and play, no interface and works amazingly well and flawless. Didnít need customer support, it just works. The cost of $ 400.00 didnít break the bank and the ONLY downside is it doesnít work with a router to be completely wireless on the boat. Iím still working on that one though!
I hope this helps because if you are looking like I was, I spent a very long time looking for good information.