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Old 14-02-2013, 13:12   #1
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What is the cheapest way to do email in remote locations?

Can someone please tell me what the cheapest way is for me to do email in remote locations? I've seen BGAN receivers used on eBay for sale about the size of a laptop computer and understand you can buy pre-paid time/data cards. Is a little BGAN receiver with a pre-paid card the cheapest way to do email?

Thank you.

Steve
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Old 14-02-2013, 23:13   #2
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Re: What is the cheapest way to do email in remote locations?

Full email or short messages?
Look up the DeLorme inReach.
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Old 14-02-2013, 23:31   #3
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Re: What is the cheapest way to do email in remote locations?

You'd have to do the costing yourself, 'cause all our equipment's dinosaur age, but for text messages, we use ham radio e-mail through winlink.org. Obviously, you have to be a licensed ham operator, and have the appropriate license and radio and antenna. Not free, but the winlink service is zero cost to the ham, once he or she has the equipment which most of us would, anyway.
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Old 15-02-2013, 00:10   #4
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Re: What is the cheapest way to do email in remote locations?

Reasonably short emails strictly without commercial purpose - fre through Winlink, but you need ham license, and you need costly equipment $2000 to $5000 and major PITA to install.

Very short emails with commercial content if needed, $240 a year, limited connect time (30 minutes a week), no ham license need, but you need the same costly equipment (HF radio, Pactor modem, antenna, ground system, power supply, etc).

SMS messages very cheaply with great plan terms (you don't pay monthly while not using; messages $0.12 each) - Yellow Brick. This is a hot tip - if you can express yourself in a few dozen characters, this is the cheapest and easiest way BY FAR to keep in touch.

DeLorme In Touch - same service but much worse plan terms.

Data over Satphone - varies, but mostly you pay a high price per minute for very slow data connection.
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Old 15-02-2013, 05:24   #5
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Re: What is the cheapest way to do email in remote locations?

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Steve.
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Old 15-02-2013, 09:13   #6
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Re: What is the cheapest way to do email in remote locations?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
Reasonably short emails strictly without commercial purpose - fre through Winlink, but you need ham license, and you need costly equipment $2000 to $5000 and major PITA to install.
I send e-mails over ham frequencies using about $600 worth of equipment. That includes everything--radio, tuner, antenna, adapters, and even the laptop. You do have to be able to make some of your own bits and pieces, and be willing to buy used, to accomplish this. But I am not any sort of electronics engineer, and some hams would probably tell you that I shouldn't even have a license, since I don't really know how all of the capacitors, inductors, and transistors inside the radio work.
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Old 15-02-2013, 09:31   #7
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Re: What is the cheapest way to do email in remote locations?

We bought an Isatphone for around $400 and with text being $.50 and free incoming, that is the way we plan to stay in contact. Haven't tried to send email with it, but I heard this phone doesn't do data well.

Edit: Just checked, and text are now billed at $.33 an outgoing text.
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Old 15-02-2013, 10:59   #8
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Re: What is the cheapest way to do email in remote locations?

Internet cafes. Stolen wifi, where exists.

b.
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Old 15-02-2013, 13:00   #9
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Internet cafes. Stolen wifi, where exists.

b.
I boot my laptop up with Backtrack 5... Anyone who knows what that is will see what I mean.

What? Who said that? Damned talking parrot.
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Old 15-02-2013, 13:09   #10
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Re: What is the cheapest way to do email in remote locations?

BGAN on boats underway will not work , in fact Inmarsat actively tries to detect BGAN outside land areas and disconnects then, then you have the Antenna lock problem.

Even at anchor lock is extremely hard to maintain.

In my view the cheapest way is text via sat phone, in terms of overall balance of initial costs, ongoing costs and near worldwide coverage.

Next to that , assuming you have coverage is mobile phones.

Unless you are a HF radio enthusiast, using them to achieve reliable and regular communications is a PITA.

Dave
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Old 15-02-2013, 14:52   #11
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Re: What is the cheapest way to do email in remote locations?

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Originally Posted by Tomm0 View Post
I boot my laptop up with Backtrack 5... Anyone who knows what that is will see what I mean.

What? Who said that? Damned talking parrot.
I can only imagine it is something used to find exploit gaps in hotspot security. But using it for anything else, like e.g. exploiting the gaps will be illegal in most places.

I only use hotspots that offer open networks - public places, universities, etc.. Nearly anywhere we have visited there was either this or else we could use wired Internet in local libraries, schools, etc..

b.
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Old 15-02-2013, 14:54   #12
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Re: What is the cheapest way to do email in remote locations?

Tomm0 BackTrack , quite the little hacker are we

Its up to r3 now I see
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Old 15-02-2013, 16:47   #13
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Re: What is the cheapest way to do email in remote locations?

Sailing is one of my passions and sorry I didn't mention this when I started this thread... But instead of sailing a boat, I'll be surfing and fishing my way through Mexico and Central America in a small Toyota motorhome. I asked my question to you cruisers because if anyone knows how to deal with communications out in the middle of nowhere then it would have to be you guys.

Instead of buying expensive equipment like Ham radios and satellite phones, have any of you used a regular Android phone through Mexico and Central America and bought sim cards along the way?

Thanks
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Old 15-02-2013, 16:54   #14
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Re: What is the cheapest way to do email in remote locations?

The cheapest and easiest is definitely to use Internet cafes, which are just about everywhere there is electricity. Every country has cell phone service and local Sim cards can be purchased, but I'm not sure about how the data plans work. Myself, I would stick to a cheapo phone that does voice and text, and use WiFi for sending and receiving the emails.
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Old 15-02-2013, 18:09   #15
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Re: What is the cheapest way to do email in remote locations?

I was in Moorea - Tahiti (French Polynesia) for a 10 day vacation/holiday. During the first 5 days, I didn't get any calls from anyone back home (USA). I inquired at the front desk, if I have been getting any phone calls. The clerk said...yes, you've been getting many calls but it's the hotel's policy to "lose them", i.e. not forward them to your bungalow. He added: You are on vacation in Tahiti, nothing else matters...hence no phone calls from anybody that might disturb you. Enjoy! I had to call the US and do some explaining! Mauritz
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