If you are going to be living aboard
, that means typically you will be in a marina. Most marinas
have WIFI at reasonable rates. In my opinion it is not wise to use cell phone web connections unless you plan on spending a lot of $'s for general poor service.
Last month we took on a wireless carrier that offered wireless cards for my employees that are on the field within southern California
and Souther Florida
. My tech department did the research
and brought us into a commercial
plan so that my guys who are on the field could stay in contact with the office.
What we have found in the last 30 days is that the connection can and is sporadic at best. When you do have a connection, the upload speed is minimal at best, download is quick. There are all kinds of things that can be done to ensure that your time on line is minimal.
When you leave the service area you are charged for it, when you run into a network that is exceptionally slow, you are charged for it. The list goes on and on. When we contacted the carrier over the excessive charges, poor connection speed, lack of connection etc. that were not clearly set forth when we bought into the plan the wireless carrier has offered a few solutions as well as the solution of allowing us out of the contract
Typically it takes time for this type of service to iron out the glitches, and is typically stronger in places where cell phone service is a way of life. An example of this is several years ago when Nextell came out with the two way radio
cell phone that was advertised to work Nationally. I did not have a problem with New York
, and San Francisco
. When we took on a contract
in Los Angeles, I was amazed at the poor coverage of the network. It was so terrible at that time that I was forced to take on another carrier for that area. Today the coverage is up to par with other carriers.
I am sure that in time it will get better, considering the cost, the convenience is not worth the expense. We will be switching back to use of wirelss PDA's until a provider has ironed out the bugs.
On the International cruising front,
I started a search for the best solutions for connection during extended voyages, during that search I found a lot of possibilities available to keep me in connection. All of these possible ways of staying connected involved a lot of equipment
that was astronomically expensive, the up load and down load speeds are beyond unreasonable. The majority of providers charge you not by time on line but amount of information exchanged.
I recently had a an house guest who lives aboard her boat in the Carribean. She has a charter
company, all of her reservations are taken over the web. I asked her about what the secret was to her ability to respond to emails daily when aboard.
She told me how in recent years the cruising area of the Bahamas/Carrib has become wired with various hi powered WIFI providers. She has installed a high powered receiver/antenna on her mast
to grab these signals and subscribes to one of the larger WIFI providers that is available over several of the islands.. She uses a WIFI map that is constantly updated by cruisers in the area. I am looking forward to receiving a copy of this from her!
I have read this before somewhere else on this board and I am sure it can be found in a search. I am sure that this will remain a hot topic until a cost effective solution is found.