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Old 12-06-2011, 19:15   #1
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Satellite Broadband ?

Just wondering if any of you have any real world experience using satellite broadband internet service on your boats and who you get it from? I'm most interested to hear from anyone who has experience with the global service, but would like to hear from people using a domestic service also.

I'm building a business that is mostly web based with the goal of being able to travel and work from my next boat. And having a good reliable connection will be an integral part of making this happen. I've seen some systems from Sea Tel and KVH, but don't really know much about them and have never spoken to anyone who has used them.

I'm sure there is a good solution out there, and I would love to hear what people are using.
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Old 12-06-2011, 19:32   #2
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Re: Satellite Broadband?

Welcome to CF!
if you search "Satellite" here on this site, I'm sure you'll find a lot of info!
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Old 12-06-2011, 19:34   #3
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Re: Satellite Broadband?

Thanks been doing lots of searching and have found info on people connecting through sat phones and pulling a little data at a time. And saw your thread about your friend's connection as well, can you tell me who he is using?

But haven't found any good information about people using a more broadband type service...will keep searching though. Thanks for the welcome
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Old 12-06-2011, 19:43   #4
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Re: Satellite Broadband?

For just general mobil stuff right now I use a program that tethers my Android to the laptop and I'm good to go and that will be fine so long as there is cell service. But the idea is to be able to get some work done on the hook in fiji.

I'm sure these solutions would be expensive, but I'm wondering how good they are.

A system like this seems like a solution that would work. http://www.mobilsat.com/marine-satel...usat30-MST.pdf
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Old 12-06-2011, 19:46   #5
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Re: Satellite Broadband?

I have a KVH FB500. I haven't used it yet as I need 6 more months to save up enough to activate it
Actually, I just found a company that has a pay as you go for the Sailor and KVH broadband systems. The plan costs about 10% more for usage but your not locked into month to month charges. I have my sim card and will test it out in a month. My friend has used the FB500 and pretty much swears by it. Very fast, VOIP, and reliable. He gets twice daily weather updates when doing ocean crossings. They pretty much are the gold standard for broadband. But you need a pretty big platform for one.
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Old 12-06-2011, 19:50   #6
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Re: Satellite Broadband?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Palarran View Post
I have a KVH FB500. I haven't used it yet as I need 6 more months to save up enough to activate it
Actually, I just found a company that has a pay as you go for the Sailor and KVH broadband systems. The plan costs about 10% more for usage but your not locked into month to month charges. I have my sim card and will test it out in a month. My friend has used the FB500 and pretty much swears by it. Very fast, VOIP, and reliable. He gets twice daily weather updates when doing ocean crossings. They pretty much are the gold standard for broadband. But you need a pretty big platform for one.
Thanks for the feedback.
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Old 12-06-2011, 19:54   #7
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Re: Satellite Broadband?

I use HughesNet on land and pretty much hate it. It's what you use when there is absolutely no possible alternative. The customer service is about the worst I have ever experienced anywhere. Other than the poor customer service, the to operational problems are

1) The very long latency (ground to sat and back again) makes real life performance quite poor despite large quoted bandwidth numbers. Web browsing is pretty painful, and anything with HTTPS is basically dial-up speed. VPN is also pretty much unusable. And forget about VOIP or Netflix.

2) There is a daily download limit of somewhere between 300 and 500 MB, and if you exceed it, the speed throttles to a crawl and becomes completely unusable for the next 24 hrs until it resets. If someone attached to your network and forgets to turn off auto updates you can find yourself without internet for 24hrs.

But that said, if you are out of range of 3G or 4G or whatever, it's right back to "it's what you get where there are no other alternatives".

I've looked briefly at the marine service plans, and I was shocked to see how much more expensive they are, and how much more limited they are in download limits. I recall limits like 50MB, which wouldn't go very far in today's internet world.
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Old 12-06-2011, 20:29   #8
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Re: Satellite Broadband?

Inmarsat FB250 here, it works very well, but is also very expensive read $2500 per month. But to date Inmarsat is the only company to offer full global coverage with good data speeds, the rest tend to offer scattered coverage in areas they consider profitable.
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Old 12-06-2011, 21:14   #9
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Re: Satellite Broadband?

Holy Crap, your scaring me!!
I mean, how many kb's does it take to load one of these pages? I was thinking it would be less then $400/mo max.

http://www.kvh.com/Pages/Inmarsat-Ai...es%200411.ashx
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Old 12-06-2011, 22:19   #10
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Re: Satellite Broadband?

I appreciate the info. Yea...that $2,500 number is pretty intimidating. But it is at least another provider worth looking at. And being that this would be a cost of doing business, it makes the price a little more tolerable.

I've got some time before this is going to be a need, and hopefully will have a pretty good idea of exactly the amount of bandwidth I will need by that time. And I've got to imagine that the $2,500 number would be lower with a cap. But good VOIP will be pretty important, so latency issues would be a problem.

Palarran, that is a very useful link...thanks.

Again, I appreciate all the info.
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Old 12-06-2011, 22:24   #11
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Re: Satellite Broadband?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Palarran View Post
Holy Crap, your scaring me!!
I mean, how many kb's does it take to load one of these pages? I was thinking it would be less then $400/mo max.

http://www.kvh.com/Pages/Inmarsat-Ai...es%200411.ashx
I think it's about 300kb for an average webpage? But it may be a little more.. We get 900mb per month, it used to be 750 but we get more now than before.
Another option would be perhaps to plan out a trip and look at the coverage areas of the different sat networks and see which falls within your parameters, Mini V-sat might work out a little better for you, but it has massive holes in it's offshore coverage, most of the Pacific isn't covered. Since we need global coverage Mini V-sat wasn't and still isn't an option for us, I'm using out Inmarsat connection to write this post from, we are in the Marshall Islands right now.
The main purpose for us is the kids school work and my Forex trading, in places we have 3g coverage which is fantastic when it's available for Skype and the like but we will often go for weeks at a time with no 3g.

You also should look at what you want it for, if it's just some small text emails then a low capacity Inmarsat plan might work fantastic for you, but you would probably need to swear yourself off all web browsing. Just for Email a 50mb plan would probably work quite well
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Old 13-06-2011, 15:20   #12
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Re: Satellite Broadband ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Soft_Deck View Post
Just wondering if any of you have any real world experience using satellite broadband internet service on your boats and who you get it from? I'm most interested to hear from anyone who has experience with the global service, but would like to hear from people using a domestic service also.
SoftDeck,
There is a wealth of info here and on the SSCA disc. boards about all of this.....it comes up every 6 to 12 months.....
Most often people never do much with the info, so you may not get too much detail here.....but...

But, I've posted significant detail before, and will refer you to those threads.....
In a nutshell, it WILL be EXPENSIVE!!!! but it will also work very well....

(Although NOT on my boat, I've used INMARSAT and Iridium before, and found them to both be very reliable.....and as for VSAT systems, if you can afford this stuff, give Sea-Tel a call....they'll get you what you need....
But between the INMARSAT FB500 and a T-1 VSAT connection, in my opinion, you'll have more bandwidth available than some entire 3rd world countries!!!, and you'd be better off saving your $$$$ and spend what you can now on the boat, etc....and go.....but, who wants to hear that, when you can spend $20k++ on hi-tech goodies.......)


Have a look at these 5 threads.....you'll find all the info you need there.....
Internet on Sailboat
SSCA Discussion Board • View topic - Satellite Internet Service?
Internet at Sea
Trans-Atlantic Internet Connection
Satellite Email / Internet / Phone


Good luck and Fair winds....

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s/v Annie Laurie
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Old 13-06-2011, 18:24   #13
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Re: Satellite Broadband ?

John,

That is a wealth of knowledge! Thank you very much.

Ross
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Old 15-09-2011, 10:06   #14
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Re: Satellite Broadband ?

I had the service called WildBlue and it was a satellite internet also (lived deep out in the sticks), the only thing that might turn you off of the satellite net is that they have download limits each month. Mine was at 2GB, but some of the higher ones were 7 or 8GB. It is fast reliable service with good download time, but surfing sometimes took awhile. When you can't get any internet service where you want it, satellite internet is deff. the way to go. Hope you have good luck with your business bud 8)

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Old 15-09-2011, 10:27   #15
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Re: Satellite Broadband ?

Quote:
. But good VOIP will be pretty important, so latency issues would be a problem.
Nothing on a boat will be cost effective for VOIP. Just using a sat phone for voice will be much cheaper.

Dave
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