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Old 02-03-2014, 11:06   #1
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Help with Wifi Adapter

Hey you guys,

I am having problems with the wifi signal from the house. Its too the point that I currently go to the house to use the internet and practically live up here instead of down on the boat.

Right now the modem is in my parents place and I use a Alfa wireless adapter to get signal. While I do get signal, It constantly goes in and out. I do have access to using my phone's data to get on the internet but I would really like to maybe strengthen our signal enough to get on the internet without the constant in and outs.

Do you guys recommend any type of gear that would get internet better, or strengthen the signal? Like, a better adapter, or a strong antenna for the medem. Etc. I am not entirely sure what I have other than the alfa wireless adapter.

I know I will never have high speed internet but it'd be nice not to loose the internet every five seconds.

Link to my adapter:
ALFA AWUS036H 1W 1000mW USB Wireless WiFi G Adapter + 7dBi Panel Antenna Kit | eBay
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Old 02-03-2014, 15:45   #2
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Re: Help with Wifi Adapter

I'm looking for a similar setup for my boat as well. I have heard good things about this system:

Marine WiFi Systems

Uses an antenna that mounts to either the stern of the boat or the top of the mast (or anywhere for that matter).

I have not used this system personally, just have heard good reviews.
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Old 02-03-2014, 16:24   #3
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Re: Help with Wifi Adapter

Hy,
I installed Bad Boy antenna last year (different name, but it looks exactly the same as the Bullet). In the beginning I used it with the Ethernet cable connected o the laptop at the chart table and using the pc's wifi antenna to relay signal.
Last fall I connected the Bad Boy Ethernet cable to a domestic (not marine grade) Access Point, so I was able to create my own wifi net. Furthermore I can controll the Bad Boy via every device I have..
Anyway this antenna works very well, sometimes you can get signal more than a mile far from the hotspot.

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Old 02-03-2014, 16:31   #4
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Re: Help with Wifi Adapter

You might try a usb powered cable. I found one on ebay for $29 its 33 ft long with a very small 2 port hub in the plug. I have my wifi adapter plugged in and taped on good and i clip it to my flag halyard and haul it up the mast. A lot better signal. At one port i frequent i can barely use my laptop from the dock farthest from the office but get %100 connect with the same adapter up the mast 1/4 mile away in the middle of the cove. Plus every house with wifi around the cove.
Google usb powered extension cable. There are longer ones too.

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Old 02-03-2014, 16:34   #5
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Re: Help with Wifi Adapter

I'm using the Bitstorm Badboy Xtreme right now in English Harbour, Antigua. Without it "what we would have here, is failure, to communicate".
Really does work well for me.
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Old 02-03-2014, 16:51   #6
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pirate Re: Help with Wifi Adapter

It annoys me that we can't use the available secured netwoks in the area.

I'm thinking the WIFI adapters, I have a Bullet, are too little too late. The mobile hotspot is a better, but more expensive mouse trap. Am I missing something obvious?
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Old 02-03-2014, 17:55   #7
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Re: Help with Wifi Adapter

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Crab View Post
It annoys me that we can't use the available secured netwoks in the area.
Whaaa? That's why they are SECURED--so you can't use them. They are not "available" at all. The owners don't want strangers snooping thru their data and eating up bandwidth.

And unless the law has changed recently, it is also illegal to access the unencrypted/unsecured WIFI access points without the owners express permission. I disagree with the law to the point of civil disobedience, but it is still the law, and I am prepared to suffer the consequences if apprehended.

I think this ought to start some discussion.
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Old 02-03-2014, 18:08   #8
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Whaaa? That's why they are SECURED--so you can't use them. They are not "available" at all. The owners don't want strangers snooping thru their data and eating up bandwidth. ...
Yeah but I reserve the right to be annoyed.
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Old 02-03-2014, 18:26   #9
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Re: Help with Wifi Adapter

I have not verified this myself but have been told its the responsability of the one paying for the connection to prevent "unauthorized" access. So i dont think using an un-secured connection itself is wrong if the owner didn't enable a password.

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Old 02-03-2014, 18:28   #10
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Re: Help with Wifi Adapter

And with sometimes 20 or 30 to choose from depending on location, someone usually has no password.

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Old 03-03-2014, 03:55   #11
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Re: Help with Wifi Adapter

I have started a new thread to discuss the Open vs Secured WiFi issue:
Using an unsecured WiFi system - Cruisers & Sailing Forums
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Old 03-03-2014, 05:10   #12
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Re: Help with Wifi Adapter

Quote:
Originally Posted by DDabs View Post
I'm looking for a similar setup for my boat as well. I have heard good things about this system:

Marine WiFi Systems

Uses an antenna that mounts to either the stern of the boat or the top of the mast (or anywhere for that matter).

I have not used this system personally, just have heard good reviews.
I have a Marine WiFi Systems and have recommended it to at least 10 people who bought it...everyone of them thanked me for recommending it.

Bob Stewart, owner of IslandtimePC, was a cruiser and understands everything we need to know better than anyone I know. Write him at rstewart"at"islandtimepc.com...tell him Bill @ BeBe told you about him...he will probably tell you some stories!

Bill
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Old 03-03-2014, 05:28   #13
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Re: Help with Wifi Adapter

If you want to get good wifi from the house to the boat get a pair of Ubiquiti NanoStation Locos, put one on the eave of the house and one on the boat. Set the house as an AP with WDS and the boat as a station with WDS.

You need a clean line of sight for maximum results. Trees and other shrubbery cause major disruptions in the signal.
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Old 03-03-2014, 05:40   #14
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Re: Help with Wifi Adapter

Check out the Open Mesh OP2M router/APs. 2 of them for $80 each from Amazon would fix you up and the software setup is pretty simple and logical.
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Old 03-03-2014, 06:56   #15
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Re: Help with Wifi Adapter

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ttfr View Post

Right now the modem is in my parents place and I use a Alfa wireless adapter to get signal. While I do get signal, It constantly goes in and out. I do have access to using my phone's data to get on the internet but I would really like to maybe strengthen our signal enough to get on the internet without the constant in and outs.

Do you guys recommend any type of gear that would get internet better, or strengthen the signal? Like, a better adapter, or a strong antenna for the medem. Etc. I am not entirely sure what I have other than the alfa wireless adapter.

Not familiar with the Alfa, and the Bullet might be overkill if the distance is short.

We just use a Wave Magnum USB-powered adapter from Radio Labs. Relatively inexpensive, much better antenna than one inside a laptop, easy interface, etc. They may also have some newer/better options by now...

A 10' USB-extension cable gives you even more flexibility to better locate the antenna/adapter within or on top of (temporarily) your boat.

-Chris
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