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Old 04-08-2013, 02:47   #16
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Re: Internet Troubles

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Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
The EU is forcing data plan harmonisation and all EU roaming as in effect local networks so hopefully this issue will disappear.
EU is forcing data roaming tarifs down to 0.20/MB as of next july 1st, however there are already providers out there that charge less then that.
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Old 04-08-2013, 02:55   #17
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Re: Internet Troubles

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post

In France, it was all much, much worse, as the local data plans don't allow you to stick their sim cards into something like the Globesurfer. How they know, I don't know, but none of them works.
It could be that the problem is your sim, or your Globesurfer. Is your Globesurfer unlocked? OTOH, could be that the sim cards they sell in France are indeed limited. You can do all kind of things with Sim cards.

For example, buy a PAYG Datasim from Swisscom, put it in a iPad and it installs a extra profile in the configuration making it possible to buy data bundles trivially easy. I had something similar in Australia. Seems that some providers at least get the whole PAYG data access for a reasonable price for tourists right.

I'm looking in to trying this out for my travels:
Uros Ltd – the roaming-free Internet provider
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Old 04-08-2013, 04:11   #18
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Re: Internet Troubles

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I just have to figure how to switch it on and haul it up the mast each time I want to use it.
The little MiFi units are idea. They are available vey cheaply on some prepaid plans ( the last one cost $40 with 1 month 2 gig sim included).
They are involved to unlock, but if you don't want to spend the effort doing this there are unlocked versions reasonably cheap on eBay.

In bad signal areas I haul mine up the flag halyard in this water proof box I made out PVC pipe off cuts.

They will connect up to 5 computers to the Internet with a battery life that very dependent on usage, but about 8-10 hours is typical.
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Old 04-08-2013, 04:29   #19
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pirate Re: Internet Troubles

Every place I've been since 2004 has had good enough access to log on and annoy you lot...
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Old 04-08-2013, 04:32   #20
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Re: Internet Troubles

May I say that obviously you have never let an opportunity go by either.

Coops.
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Old 04-08-2013, 04:45   #21
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May I say that obviously you have never let an opportunity go by either.

Coops.
Well they do say... "If you are still alive... your mission on Earth is not yet complete..."
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Old 04-08-2013, 05:35   #22
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Re: Internet Troubles

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Originally Posted by boatman61 View Post
Well they do say... "If you are still alive... your mission on Earth is not yet complete..."


You happy, just until You happy

in 90% case - it's work
- in mostly case we have good signal
- in mostly case we have not long passages - less than 2 week
- in mostly case we have average traffic

but ...
but if we can't understand how all this work, and how we can manage this, we find problem when:

- slow signal and modem reduce sped, from 3G to Edge or GPRS and with MiFi on mast we not always can saw signal level
- we come to region where provider have permanent problem - all summer our local 3G from Melita has not more than 50kb(!) speed.
- it's time of global updates, and 5 notebook fresh You 2Gb plan very easy :-)

And You can't understand - why You can't receive Your mail?


We can:
- physically switch modem "On" just for 5 min per day :-)
- have separate sim card for boat mail and weather
- or we can configure all correctly :-), but Yes - in many case we don't need this
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Old 10-08-2013, 08:04   #23
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Re: Internet Troubles

Just installed an Island PC WiFi system with a Bullet and onboard wireless router. As an IT guy I may have been able to piece this together myself (with a few headaches) but Island PC sends everything as a package with great instructions. Love it.

It works great. There are an increasing number of paid WiFi networks. Marina networks tend to have signals too weak unless you have a strong external antenna. With a strong antenna they are usually OK. Currently using the NYC Park System WiFi for 0.99c/day while on a mooring ball in the Hudson River. The nice thing about the Bullet/wireless router solution is you only need to pay for one connection for the whole boat. Previously I had a external USB antenna that only worked on one machine at a time, so you had to pay per machine.

We also have Verizon 3/4G that we can use if there is no WiFi connection available. If we use Verizon all the time we max out our data limit.
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Old 10-08-2013, 09:05   #24
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Re: Internet Troubles

For ~$30 you can buy software that will turn your laptop (with the 3g/4g stick) into a router, that you can then pick up with your range extender, which the rest of the vessel can use.
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Old 10-08-2013, 10:57   #25
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Re: Internet Troubles

Ah, Auto updates. On a Boat with limited bandwidth, I would disable all auto updates and also disable ads, etc. Lots O bandwidth in the ads and updates.

I've turned off all auto updates, stopped video from running and disabled ads adblocker+. Smart phones and tablets gets lots O ads and its harder to block on them too.

A 3 or 4G air card/hot spot with 3 gigs, gets me through the month. I also have a alfa wifi extender thingy. While the hot spots can have "up to" five devices at one time connected, at many anchorages the signal may be limited depending on how far away the tower(s) are. Plus I find rush hour, here in the US anyway, can degrade bandwidth as the cell network gets saturated.
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Old 10-08-2013, 13:25   #26
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For ~$30 you can buy software that will turn your laptop (with the 3g/4g stick) into a router, that you can then pick up with your range extender, which the rest of the vessel can use.
Most Android 3g/4g phone work as a routers too. They use less power than laptops so are easy on your energy budget.

We tried about half a dozen software routers but none work as well or use as little power as a dedicated 12v hardware router.
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Old 10-08-2013, 14:33   #27
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Ah, Auto updates. On a Boat with limited bandwidth, I would disable all auto updates and also disable ads, etc. Lots O bandwidth in the ads and updates.
There are lots of free software bandwidth monitors. The one I use runs as a widget so it is easy to see if anything is using bandwidth.

Got the bandwidth usage on my primary laptop to practically zero when need it to be that way. Updates, Google Drive and DropBox are turned on manually bandwidth permitting.
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Old 10-08-2013, 15:35   #28
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Re: Internet Troubles

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Originally Posted by noelex 77 View Post
The little MiFi units are ideal. They are available vey cheaply on some prepaid plans ( the last one cost $40 with 1 month 2 gig sim included).
They are involved to unlock, but if you don't want to spend the effort doing this there are unlocked versions reasonably cheap on eBay.

In bad signal areas I haul mine up the flag halyard in this water proof box I made out PVC pipe off cuts.

They will connect up to 5 computers to the Internet with a battery life that very dependent on usage, but about 8-10 hours is typical.
That's ingeniously simple!

Wish I'd thought of that. Will definitely put that in my bag of tricks.


I have a Globesurfer III, which is a great mobile router, but it does not have an internal battery. It is unlocked and usable with any system (except French), but you can't just haul it up a halyard. Looks like I'll be looking for one with a battery. If it had a socket for an external antenna, then it would be perfect.

Or I suppose I could rig up a battery power supply for the Globesurfer . . . . hmmm.
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Old 10-08-2013, 16:36   #29
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Re: Internet Troubles

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
Five people on board, and everyone with at least three devices needing Internet access -- laptop, tablet, smartphone. That's 15 (count em) nodes on the boat network -- bigger than my first office network not that many years ago -- I think I might need an IT department on board
There are usually two of us [plus the baby] onboard, but have 9 devices connecting to internet between us, plus whatever our family brings when they visit us. We use RedBox (British co.) and are very happy with it - the bullet, 3Gs, and Sat are plugged into it. You just choose whatever you connection you need by going to the local server page. And it gives you an option to choose whether to throttle bandwidth per connection and by how much. There is a bunch of other functionality that we haven't explored yet, but we can already recommend it. [not associated with the company, only a happy customer] Plus it's a simple setup which is mighty nice.

Quote:
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In France, it was all much, much worse, as the local data plans don't allow you to stick their sim cards into something like the Globesurfer. How they know, I don't know, but none of them works. Besides that, mobile phone SIM cards are treated like gun sales in France, allowed only in certain shops in bigger cities, so it was a real job to find a place to buy one in the first place. I went back to one such shop one day after acquiring such a card to inquire as to how I could possibly have used up 500mb of data in one day, only to be told that i had the wrong plan, and the right plan can't be bought in the official shop. Now you tell me! Only in France.
Spent 3 months in south of France and also found that their data SIMs worked only with their own dongles. And we also got caught with the wrong plan for a cell phone - expensive lesson, eh?

About 3G recharge: in France you can buy recharge in every Tabak shop (state owned), just have to know what plan to ask for. And then you can enter the recharge by inserting the data SIM into your phone and going through the prompts. OR you could just insert the data SIM into your phone and recharge it using a credit card, which was more convenient.

About 3G coverage: we started with TMobile. However, it doesn't allow Skype calls, so we also got SFR. Surprisingly for us, 3G coverage on Cote d'Azur was worse than 3G coverage on the West Coast of South Africa (go figure). So, even having a nice setup with the RedBox we were back to days of going to shore or going in circles with the dinghy trying to find a decent 3G signal. Very frustrating.

Did you know that in France McDonalds offers free WiFi? And you don't need to buy anything there.

We're now in Croatia having sailed through Montenegro and I have to add that 3G coverage in Montenegro was great, even in deserted bays. In Croatia 3G is also not bad. And imho Croatia wins because VIP offers a 1.4 EUR/1Gb/day plan. So we have finally caught up with pics, blogging, online courses and even some movies.
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Old 10-08-2013, 17:29   #30
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Most Android 3g/4g phone work as a routers too. They use less power than laptops so are easy on your energy budget.

We tried about half a dozen software routers but none work as well or use as little power as a dedicated 12v hardware router.
At least in Mexico and other CA countries you have to use a USB modem stick on a windows machine.
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