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Old 11-07-2018, 15:53   #31
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Re: Portable mobile wifi hotspot for cruising

We're making our way up the coast now from Fort Lauderdale to points north. Currently in southern South Carolina. We have an AT&T Pixel XL, T-Mobile Nexus 5, and Verizon MiFi.

The AT&T phone has by far had the best reception, followed by Verizon, followed by T-Mobile.

It may be due to the hardware, but honestly I think AT&T's coverage can't be beat. Our phones are each provided by employers and we got the Verizon hotspot as an alternative because internet is critical for our work.

This weekend I'll have a Pepwave MAX BR1 MK2 to install, and then (eventually) run cable up the mast and install a nice big antenna up on the first spreader. I don't anticipate that it will give us more range, but definitely better signal at the existing range.
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Old 11-07-2018, 17:25   #32
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Re: Portable mobile wifi hotspot for cruising

A lot of choices available. I can speak to Sprint (been with them for 20 years) and Android. The basics:
I tether approximately 145 GBs per month.

Note 8 unrooted.

Native Hotspot turned on via APN settings change (no root or MSL number required)

I don't know whether my connection is throttled. I don't care if it is because the 15-30 MBPS through-speeds I get at home are more than adequate for my needs.

My unlimited plan costs $80.00/ month plus all of the miscellaneous charges bringing it to around $92 and change.

I have never heard so much as a peep from Sprint on my usage. I do not use data roaming. I have had no need to do so in many years. Sprint's coverage is excellent.

https://coverage.sprint.com/IMPACT.jsp?

The phones matter. The newest Samsungs use newer radios with a ten-fold increase in data speeds over phones without them.

Good luck!
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Old 11-07-2018, 18:04   #33
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Re: Portable mobile wifi hotspot for cruising

I have a Verizon mobile hotspot. Works well if cell service is available.
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Old 11-07-2018, 20:28   #34
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Re: Portable mobile wifi hotspot for cruising

I have an AT&T hotspot. It works for my laptop, phone, and all my guests wifi needs.
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Old 11-07-2018, 20:42   #35
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Re: Portable mobile wifi hotspot for cruising

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Originally Posted by Peregrine1983 View Post
My issue is not with T-mobile's coverage. In my experience (NY-New England) it's been fantastic and fast. It's even faster than the cable internet at home that I pay $$$ for (another issue altogether.)

My issue is with the laptops not seeing the wifi network that my iPhone claims to be broadcasting. It often will not show up as an available network even though I have "mobile hotspot" turned on in the iPhone's settings. I have to toggle wifi on and off several times on the laptops and phone before the laptops see it.


How old is your iPhone and your laptop? Could be that one of the devices is using an older WiFi protocol and thus the drops in coverage.
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Old 13-07-2018, 13:34   #36
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Re: Portable mobile wifi hotspot for cruising

When we were cruising the US East Coast, we used a T-Mobile wifi box. It worked well, allowing us to stream movies and shows.

Maje
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Old 13-07-2018, 21:19   #37
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Re: Portable mobile wifi hotspot for cruising

Freedom Pop is extremely limited data (2gb) and $20 gb extra.
Verizon is the best I've used. When cruising from Astoria to Alaska and paying for the Canadian coverage I have near constant coverage until I get to Johnson Strait. At sea or in remote areas, if I'm line of sight (no mountains in the way), I can connect 25 miles away. More with a Wilson antenna depending on the ocean conditions. I've connected at 40+ nautical miles. Verizon has unlimited plans.

Another I've used is: https://cyberonic.com/ It's not sold as moble, but they use various cell company towers - Verizon, T-Moble, AT&T, and others. They supply a modem and Wilson antenna. The modem is configured to only one of the major cell companies, but if you pick a common one near your "home" you can use it up and down the coast. The modem alone is good for 10+ miles. With the Wilson antenna 40 miles if you steer a straight course. Anywhere that company has a tower, but not Canada. True unlimited. I dropped my dishnet after I got it.
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Old 17-07-2018, 16:18   #38
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Re: Portable mobile wifi hotspot for cruising

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peregrine1983 View Post
Hi all,

My iphone has the ability to create a mobile hotspot, but it drops connections constantly. I'm thinking about a dedicated wifi hotspot to run the laptop to watch movies.

Has anyone tried Freedom Pop or similar? - https://www.freedompop.com/

We currently have T-mobile on our phones. This is for East Coast US cruising.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions.
Bought a Samsung phone, enabled tethering (not hotspot), hooked it up to a Asus 56u router, and have great wifi, two TVs (40" Samsung smart TV), radio etc. all connect via WiFi.
Additional benefits: have a Samsung Smarthub (home automation device), and can monitor the boat, turn things on or off, get alarms, etc. It uses z-wave devices, and sends info back via messaging.
As well, I can access the cameras on board using a VPN connection back to the router.
Using T-Mobile unlimited data plan, and have no issue with bandwidth.
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Old 10-08-2018, 06:44   #39
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Re: Portable mobile wifi hotspot for cruising

I have had the best experience with Verizon's hotspot.
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