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Old 31-08-2016, 13:24   #31
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Re: Satellite broadband internet, now and in the near future...

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Originally Posted by did-g View Post

- broadband fleet isn't good enough on a small boat if you have to do interactive work (ssh/telnet, whatever) and in your case it's likely too expensive.

not good enough? why do you say it is not good enough? satellite visibilty? bandwidth? latency? when we were willing to pay for the airtime our Sailor 250 system was reliable and, while not blistering fast, was suitable for an ssh connection (I think it was running around 256Mbps). latency was significant, though -- so I prefered scp / local edit / scp to running an editor over the link. still, it would've been viable for much work.

as for the cost.. yeah, very expensive. i find that of my time on the boat, less than 10% is out of sight of land. that's a small amount of time for such an expense.
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Old 01-09-2016, 08:57   #32
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Re: Satellite broadband internet, now and in the near future...

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Originally Posted by Davidhoy View Post
Greetings all!

I had a very interesting chat with my boss yesterday about working remotely. Looks like, as long as I have a reliable internet connection for VOIP conference calls, email and connecting to a corporate VPN, I can work from just about anywhere. I can keep my job, and go cruising :-). This could allow me to significantly accelerate my current 5-year plan to get my boat and myself ready to head out.

So what are the options currently available, and also what is coming in the next 2-3 years? Since I'm not looking for a solution right away, I can wait if there's something better coming. I've heard of Iridium Next, which sounds promising. Are there any other cool new systems on the horizon?

What type of equipment and voice/data plan is needed for a doing real work, more than just calling home or posting to Facebook? I know a lot of that depends on actual usage, which I have no way of determining yet, so just looking for ideas at this stage. Any and all comments are welcome...

Regards,
David
I know people doing this now and I ran my company taking orders and fielding customer service calls from my boat at anchor in Mexico for two years. Will you need to somewhat limit where you go to make sure you have internet and phone reception, sure. And that is location specific some area will have great local coms...others will have ****. So you just avoid the **** spots. Will you be doing a South Pacific crossing while working...of course not. But from some of the responses here it's an all or nothing game of fantasy care free Cruising or being a corporate slave tied to the dock. You want to know the dirty little secrete about most cruisers anyway....they seek out the Big City hang outs with easy provisions, Marinas, Internet and phone service anyway (if this wasn't true then the Marinas wouldn't always be packed in those types of places). So you can say hello to the majority of the naysayers while you are there to earn money to fund the dream...what's their excuse?

One thing that is true and I think you saw a little of it here.
You will be resented by both the landlubbers because you are "living the dream" from their eyes and then also from many in the Cruising Community because you somehow cheated. You are not supposed to figure out a way to Cruise AND Work. It's almost like you are not a "Real Cruiser" to many unless you sold everything and turned your back on the evils of Capitalism and the need to earn money. Damn it...they had to wait until retirement to go cruising so who's this punk out here that thinks he can shortcut what's generally accepted as the "way you do it".

But congratulations and my advice would be to not pass up this opportunity. Even if it means cruising in a location with better internet and phone service as apposed to desolate locals you are still cruising my friend, something most dreamers will never actually pull off...so do it and make it work.

Oh and as an example of how it worked for us. A $40 to $60 per month Telcel Internet service in Mexico and a Mexico call plan added on my Verizon cell phone that cost a few hundred dollars a month. We were in plenty of anchorages with no one around in sight and I was "working" aboard. More than once I had the wife just circle the anchorage while I finished up a tech service or sales call because I didn't want to mess with working the anchor winch in one hand and the cell phone in the other...that's how you lose a finger...ha ha
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Old 01-09-2016, 09:02   #33
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Re: Satellite broadband internet, now and in the near future...

Quote:
Originally Posted by SV THIRD DAY View Post
I know people doing this now and I ran my company taking orders and fielding customer service calls from my boat at anchor in Mexico for two years. Will you need to somewhat limit where you go to make sure you have internet and phone reception, sure. And that is location specific some area will have great local coms...others will have ****. So you just avoid the **** spots. Will you be doing a South Pacific crossing while working...of course not. But from some of the responses here it's an all or nothing game of fantasy care free Cruising or being a corporate slave tied to the dock. You want to know the dirty little secrete about most cruisers anyway....they seek out the Big City hang outs with easy provisions, Marinas, Internet and phone service anyway (if this wasn't true then the Marinas wouldn't always be packed in those types of places). So you can say hello to the majority of the naysayers while you are there to earn money to fund the dream...what's their excuse?

One thing that is true and I think you saw a little of it here.
You will be resented by both the landlubbers because you are "living the dream" from their eyes and then also from many in the Cruising Community because you somehow cheated. You are not supposed to figure out a way to Cruise AND Work. It's almost like you are not a "Real Cruiser" to many unless you sold everything and turned your back on the evils of Capitalism and the need to earn money. Damn it...they had to wait until retirement to go cruising so who's this punk out here that thinks he can shortcut what's generally accepted as the "way you do it".

But congratulations and my advice would be to not pass up this opportunity. Even if it means cruising in a location with better internet and phone service as apposed to desolate locals you are still cruising my friend, something most dreamers will never actually pull off...so do it and make it work.

Oh and as an example of how it worked for us. A $40 to $60 per month Telcel Internet service in Mexico and an Mexico call plan added on my Verizon cell phone that cost a few hundred dollars a month. We were in plenty of anchorages with no one around in sight and I was "working" aboard.
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Old 01-09-2016, 09:25   #34
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Re: Satellite broadband internet, now and in the near future...

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Originally Posted by SV THIRD DAY View Post
A $40 to $60 per month Telcel Internet service in Mexico and a Mexico call plan added on my Verizon cell phone that cost a few hundred dollars a month.
Yawn... $$$$$$$$.

Very boring, but of course credibility doesn't past the sniff as he lives in MORON PAY, CA.
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Old 01-09-2016, 09:30   #35
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Re: Satellite broadband internet, now and in the near future...

Ignore the person with a burr in their bum.


We've been doing it for 10yrs. Heck even back in the office, they got rid of the phones recently and use Skype (large company over 40k employees).


Getting coverage on the open ocean is expensive but a combination of cell and wifi will do well in near shore situations. We are at the point that clients don't typically know we are traveling unless we tell them.


Yeah, remote work takes some adjustment but I'll take it over a cubicle any day. Plan on being adaptable and it's great. What's your worst case scenario, you wander the US coast for a few years until you are ready to fully retire?
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Old 01-09-2016, 09:32   #36
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Re: Satellite broadband internet, now and in the near future...

My experience in Tortola has been pretty positive. Nanny Cay Marina Wifi is acceptable for internet searching and low band work but is limited just at YouTube download speeds. There is a service there called mifi available from the internet providers which allows 4,7 or 13 megabit/s download speeds for moderate cost which would allow you to work within range of their towers through a number of the Islands that they service. Contacting a human at these providers is very hard from the states. Apparently all you need to do is go to the store and pickup the receiving device and sign up for a plan. I will be doing that next month when I arrive to begin. Google Wifi Tortola for more info. Good luck.
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Old 01-09-2016, 09:33   #37
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Re: Satellite broadband internet, now and in the near future...

David,
I am currently doing what you are considering. I live on a boat on St Thomas USVI. I have been here for nearly a year. I work an IT job in an environment similar to yours where nearly all of our team work remotely from their homes. I work for the Gov. so I have to stay in US territory to log on. It is possible and can work well if you have the right gear and connections. You need backup solutions, for example I have my cell, magic jack, and skype for voice comms. I have broadband.vi, Bullet, and my cell hotspot for internet. I have had to use all of these on different situations for different reasons. For power I have a shore connection, 2 different generators, and batteries. The power goes out allot in the islands. This affects computers, air conditioning, and communications. Due to my requirements to connect in US territory I am tied to the USVI and PR but hey I still get to live in the Caribbean. On long weekends I get to visit all the placed others have to fly to. Not a bad gig.
So it is possible and very livable.
The goal is to keep the job just long enough to finish clearing my debt and upgrading the boat, solar, watermaker etc. It is actually cheaper to live here than it was in the DC Metro area.

Good Luck, if you have any questions PM me.

Ed
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Old 01-09-2016, 09:37   #38
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Re: Satellite broadband internet, now and in the near future...

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Originally Posted by SaltyMonkey View Post
Yawn... $$$$$$$$.

Very boring, but of course credibility doesn't past the sniff as he lives in MORON PAY, CA.
What did I tell you David...
There is a bitterness, an envy anger at people who make it in our society. You see it in the war on the "evil 1%-ers" and don't make the mistake to think that the envy anger doesn't seep like a gooey slime into the world of Cruisers or Liveaboards. Friends will be jealous, Coworkers will be resentful and I've even had some family members turn to the dark side, envy/jealousy is powerful force. Our good friend SaltyMonkey gives us all a good reminder. So use his comment like a vaccine to help you prepare for what will come your way when you "make it". There are always negative people, you so feel sorry for them, but don't let them get in your way.

We started the business from an anchorage in Mexico, built the company website from an internet cafe in the Northern Sea of Cortez, and successfully ran it for 2yrs before returning to Morro Bay, CA so the kids could goto normal high school. But as soon as they graduate (1 more year now) we will head back to Mexico and continue to run the business with as good of phone and internet as I have here in California. I'll even send a post card to SaltyMonkey, it's the least I can do to try and cheer him up.
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Old 01-09-2016, 09:38   #39
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Re: Satellite broadband internet, now and in the near future...

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Originally Posted by valhalla360 View Post
...but I'll take it over a cubicle any day...
A boat IS a cubicle.
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Old 01-09-2016, 09:51   #40
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Re: Satellite broadband internet, now and in the near future...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Davidhoy View Post
Greetings all!
... I can keep my job, and go cruising :-). This could allow me to significantly accelerate my current 5-year plan to get my boat and myself ready to head out...
...What type of equipment and voice/data plan is needed for a doing real work, more than just calling home or posting to Facebook? I know a lot of that depends on actual usage, which I have no way of determining yet, so just looking for ideas at this stage. Any and all comments are welcome...

Regards,
David
Depends on your definition of heading out. I've been a live-aboard IT consultant for ~ 5 years now. When I'm not on the road for work, I am either in a Marina or in an area where Karma Go is available... truth is work email and application systems don't eat that much bandwidth. Seems like most companies have made significant improvements in mobile access in last 5 years... It's streaming video that sucks bandwidth.
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Old 01-09-2016, 09:53   #41
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Re: Satellite broadband internet, now and in the near future...

I've done remote IT work that involved video conferencing / screen sharing all day long from a boat. The main constraint there is that you need a very stable connection with at least 3-5 Mbps OUT. A dock in a marina with direct connection to a cable TV modem did that.

Not cruising per se, but at least you get the crucial "fixing boats in exotic ports" experience, mix with other boating types and get to live just a few feet from what becomes your favourite fishing spot.
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Old 01-09-2016, 09:56   #42
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Re: Satellite broadband internet, now and in the near future...

If going to follow the LTE cellular route there are a couple of ways to make things easier.
Equipment:
I have bought 2 of these Huawei mifi devices through Amazon (unlocked so can take any data sim)The link is for the second I bought. The previous had a much larger battery which was useful. These also have the connectors for the external aerial. You can put any EU sim in it and it just works. For the UK I carry a Vodafone and an EE sim card and there are very few places that it does not get reception on one of the sims. I know EU data sims work and I cannot see why other regions would not also work as there is a facility to manually put in the connection locations.
https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00OZLP6...497511_TE_dp_2

An external aerial (Updated edited link)
https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00L57AL...497511_TE_dp_1

Using the external aerial almost invariably gets me 2 more bars than I had without the aerial. It also means that only the aerial is outside in inclement weather.

VOIP services & Apple updates: Be very cautious of Skype and Apple. Because the device connected to the mifi device only knows it is connected to Wifi, then when using skype, skype thinks you are on "normal wifi" with no real bandwidth or data cap issues and keeps upping the connection quality till it gets to HD. This can mean a tenfold difference in the amount of data a call uses. I have found that facetime and google talk are much more frugal with your data allowance even when they "think" you are on normal wifi.
A similar thing happens with Apple devices that will automatically download updates if there is space on the device. If you have 3 apple devices and they put out a large fix, you will suddenly find you have used 3GB of your data allowance.
If you are good at firewalls you can limit the bandwidth for skype and block apple update services but it is a bit like whack-a-mole. The technique on apple devices other than firewalling is to ensure that you fill all the spare space on the device with files (audio or video are good for size) so that there is insufficient space (less than 500MB free space is normally good enough to block the big updates) to download the update which will prevent it chewing through your data.
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Old 01-09-2016, 10:13   #43
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Re: Satellite broadband internet, now and in the near future...

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Originally Posted by SV THIRD DAY View Post
What did I tell you David...
There is a bitterness, an envy anger at people who make it in our society. You see it in the war on the "evil 1%-ers" and don't make the mistake to think that the envy anger doesn't seep like a gooey slime into the world of Cruisers or Liveaboards. Friends will be jealous, Coworkers will be resentful and I've even had some family members turn to the dark side, envy/jealousy is powerful force. Our good friend SaltyMonkey gives us all a good reminder. So use his comment like a vaccine to help you prepare for what will come your way when you "make it". There are always negative people, you so feel sorry for them, but don't let them get in your way.

We started the business from an anchorage in Mexico, built the company website from an internet cafe in the Northern Sea of Cortez, and successfully ran it for 2yrs before returning to Morro Bay, CA so the kids could goto normal high school. But as soon as they graduate (1 more year now) we will head back to Mexico and continue to run the business with as good of phone and internet as I have here in California. I'll even send a post card to SaltyMonkey, it's the least I can do to try and cheer him up.
Thanks, Rich! It's good to hear that people can and have done this. Sure it takes some planning and flexibility, but most things are achievable with the right attitude. Having a job while cruising will allow us to save up a hefty nest egg for when we inevitably crash back to earth again. I also have some good retirement investments that are not being touched to go cruising.

As to SaltyMonkey, he's entitled to his opinion. I may not agree with him, and don't appreciate his belittling of you and others, but it's a free country. If we were all smiley and positive all the time, it would get very creepy!

BTW, I looked up your website, you make some cool stuff that I will be in the market for over the next year or two. You just ensured that you will be very high on my list of potential vendors. I will be upgrading my refrigeration, water maker, and looking at solar/wind power. I saw your company name listed as an exhibitor at the Miami Boat Show next February - I'll definitely swing by your booth!

Regards,
David.
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Old 01-09-2016, 10:17   #44
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Re: Satellite broadband internet, now and in the near future...

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BTW, I looked up your website, you make some cool stuff that I will be in the market for over the next year or two. You just ensured that you will be very high on my list of potential vendors. I will be upgrading my refrigeration, water maker, and looking at solar/wind power.
And that my friend is exactly why he is on this thing. He'll make up deflects to contrary my say, but aha...you've fallen right into his trap.

Now quit getting permission from everyone and just go and find out for yourself about working remote...

btw he isn't in IT and doesn't know the sophisticated needs. He makes water toys.
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Old 01-09-2016, 10:21   #45
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Re: Satellite broadband internet, now and in the near future...

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not good enough? why do you say it is not good enough? satellite visibilty? bandwidth? latency? when we were willing to pay for the airtime our Sailor 250 system was reliable and, while not blistering fast, was suitable for an ssh connection (I think it was running around 256Mbps). latency was significant, though -- so I prefered scp / local edit / scp to running an editor over the link. still, it would've been viable for much work.
.
I agree you can do a lot of work this way but then it's not interactive anymore.

For me the killer was latency jitter, I needed the network for troubleshooting and doing it in batch mode was a lot harder.

I tested broadband fleet on a 60 feet monohull, on a rainy day but in not too heavy sea it was madness.

Reliable? yes it was and I don't mind 2 sec latency but 2 sec here then 10 seconds for the next key or the reply...

I haven't retested with mosh though.
Maybe Kymeta antenna is an answer for small boats but it's not yet there.
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