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Old 27-08-2015, 08:49   #1
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Onboard Internet

Has anyone installed satellite internet on a sailboat less than 50'? What brand did you buy? Also, what was the price and your achieved internet speed? I am soon to be purchasing an Island Packet 38 for a circumnavigation and would like the benefits of internet, if feasible. Thank you for your responses.

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Old 27-08-2015, 08:53   #2
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Re: Onboard Internet

We use a series of myfi boxes on Silver Penny. Much less expensive than sat internet.

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Old 27-08-2015, 09:06   #3
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Re: Onboard Internet

Active Captain did some good wifi on boats writeups, if that's what you're looking for.
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Old 27-08-2015, 09:30   #4
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Re: Onboard Internet

Search the archives -- there is tons of information.

To briefly summarize --

1. Satellite Internet is very costly or extremely slow. I don't know of anyone using it other than real superyachts.

2. Mobile telephone Internet is the main way of connecting for most cruisers. Use a mifi device or router and buy local SIM cards in every country, and Bob's your uncle. In Europe, LTE is now widespread and in many places we get speeds comparable to home hardwired broadband -- 10mbs and more download speed. Cost varies, but in some places it is as little as 1 euro per gigabyte and even less. Coverage in many areas is nearly seamless and up to some miles offshore.

3. When crossing oceans nearly all cruisers forgo having an actual Internet connection in the normal sense. Satellite data devices like DeLorme InReach, or data over sat phone will let you send short text messages or short text emails or social media updates from the middle of the ocean economically.

4. You can also use data over HF radio (Winlink or SailMail) if you have the equipment (HF radio preferably with Pactor modem) and necessary skills, licenses, and patience. Suitable only for text only email; not Internet browsing. Works in the middle of the ocean.

5. I note that although most cruisers disdain marina wifi as being poor quality, costly, and usable only in a specific port, this year I have noticed a dramatic improvement in quality of marina wifi in many, many ports in Northern Europe. It's usually free or included in berthing and I've started to use it more often. Might be worth even getting my Bullet working again.
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Old 27-08-2015, 11:00   #5
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Re: Onboard Internet


As Dockhead alludes to, satellite internet quality is directly related to how much you want to spend. A relatively cheap slow connection is available the a price range most can afford, but if you want to watch movies in the middle of the Atlantic expect to spend tens of thousands on the hardware and more on the data.

This is why even Megayachts tend to install massive digital libraries of movies, tv shows, and music. It is cheaper to buy everything on land even the stuff you will never watch than to try and stream it mid ocean.

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Old 28-08-2015, 10:52   #6
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Re: Onboard Internet

We use iridium go... Not to surf...its to slow... But for all other purposes...

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