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Old 25-01-2012, 12:59   #16
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Re: WIFI amplification, Feb 2012: how far, how fast, how much?

Last winter we were up and down the Bahamas, this winter we're in the BVI. I've been up and down the East Coast two years ago.

In the Bahamas the Cell Service Provider sells their own Blackberries for dataphones, while the Caribbean has a mix of providers, and data roaming is VERY expensive. I seriously doubt 4G is coming soon because the longer distances and the much smaller number of data addicts paying the bills will make it a poor investment. Remember, a steady supply of clean WATER has only recently arrived....
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Old 25-01-2012, 13:12   #17
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Re: WIFI amplification, Feb 2012: how far, how fast, how much?

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Originally Posted by Hannah on 'Rita T' View Post
There are fewer and fewer unlocked networks. But, the Wirie helps when you get a password from a bar or a bakery or even when you pay the $5 or $10 to access by making the signal stronger and creating a wifi network on the boat for all the gadgets we seem to find necessary. And, yes, I use unsecured networks when I find them, but I did secure our own wifi network on the boat. Feels a little hypocritical.
Thanks!

I bought a bullet last year and have my network set-up on the boat. Like you, I have my wifi secured on the boat too. It's more for my protection than not wanting anyone else to use it.
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Old 26-01-2012, 13:48   #18
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Re: The Wirie vs Ubiquity Bullet

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Originally Posted by Wellington View Post
Thank you Nick, Zydeco and Capt. Chuck for your precious feedback.
I can see on the website of Ubiquity that their products are so advanced that they are subject to US Export Controls - in theory, can't be used if sailing in Cuba), and have to be bought from and installed by licenced agents (through many sites offer them directly). The Wirie seems to be much easier (plug and play)

Pricewise and performance wise, it seems to be a no brainer: The Bullet claims "over 50 km, antenna dependent" (hard to believe, a tenth of that distance would already be amazing!), draws only 4 watts (+ 12 watts for the Picostation: in your experience, is electric draw that low?), and the whole system costs about:
- $79 for Bullet
- $59 for Picostation
- $20 for Ubiquity 15V power injectors
- about $60 for Antenna (is it worth taking a 24V grid V 12V omni?)
Total +/- $220 and "more than 30km"
Can a layman easily intall this system? That would be the icing on the cake

On the other hand, The WirieAP is plug and play, you only have to bring 12V power with a switch and 2A fuse to the unit.
But it costs over $100 more, for a (claimed) much lower range

Again many thanks for your input!
Take a look at Amazon, a ALFA 15dbi Antenna, Power injector and Bullet $136.??
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Old 26-01-2012, 16:13   #19
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Re: WIFI amplification, Feb 2012: how far, how fast, how much?

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Originally Posted by Hannah on 'Rita T' View Post
Everyone withthe Ubiquiti praises the customer service of Bob and Dalton for help in setting up; everyone with the Wirie doesn't need help because the Wirie is practically plug and play.
I've never had to use them - I just know they are there. I've talked to Bob ONCE, before I purchased, looking for general advice. He gave me his cell phone number and said "call anytime". That sold me on his product. If everyone has to call him for help, there's no way to make money. The product really is "plug and play" as well. It's been up for over 2 years in a nasty environment, and still working fine.

As for the other post regarding a "hotspot" or network, that's exactly what we have on the boat with the islandtimepc product. We use a very inexpensive wireless router, and not only do we have the hotspot, so do all of our neighbors.
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Old 26-01-2012, 16:40   #20
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Re: WIFI amplification, Feb 2012: How Far , How Fast , How Much ?

It is not quite true that a second wifi AP is needed to share the internet connection with wifi on the boat : it is possible to set up APs to be repeaters. In this case the local devices connect to the local AP which in turn is connected to the remote AP. Unfortunately the stock Ubiquiti firmware doesn't support this, but different firmware can be loaded which will enable repeater mode. The DD-WRT.com firmware works great for this, and adds other functionality, for €20. I'm a little reluctant to recommend this route to a non-computer person, but for the rest it is not all that hard to install/configure.

I have a Bullet M2 with 12dB omni antenna. I took the power wires of the ethernet cable to a 5.5mm socket, to work with most 12V power warts. With a mating plug I can connect directly to the boat's 12V DC instead. I don't have a lot of devices so I just connect the laptop directly with ethernet; I also have a "green" (i.e. energy efficient) gigabit ethernet switch if I needed to share the connection. I don't personally have a need for a repeater.
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Old 26-01-2012, 16:42   #21
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Re: WIFI amplification, Feb 2012: How Far , How Fast , How Much ?

I've got a wirieAP that works great. I love the installation, the fact that it's hardwired in, and that we don't need any gadgets on the devices onboard. So far so good with it.
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Old 26-01-2012, 20:33   #22
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Re: WIFI amplification, Feb 2012: How Far , How Fast , How Much ?

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It is not quite true that a second wifi AP is needed to share the internet connection with wifi on the boat : it is possible to set up APs to be repeaters.
Oh no.... no repeaters!! There is a reason Ubiquity is trying to exterminate that, please don't spread that dark side of Wifi and let's just pretend the subject never came up. Only bad things happen when repeaters become involved....

ciao!
Nick.
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Old 26-01-2012, 22:47   #23
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Re: WIFI amplification, Feb 2012: How Far , How Fast , How Much ?

Aw, c'mon Nick, don't be shy, tell us what you really think...

I don't recall ever using a repeater to avoid connecting by ethernet - kind of silly as a wired connection is needed for power anyway. For the rare times someone else is aboard and wants to connect then my compact switch works just fine.

I have used a wifi repeater with both a directional and omni antenna, the directional for connection to a distant AP and the omni to share the connection with adjacent boats. It works superbly. The (small) downside is that any bandwidth limit is shared, but it isn't about being selfish, is it? I would not recommend using a repeater in a large marina, as it adds duplicate transmissions to a crowded channel. (In fact, a lot of marina wifi problems are caused by too many APs interfering with each other.)

I see nothing wrong with repeater technology when used appropriately. In fact, an advanced version of it called mesh networking is becoming quite popular.

Instead of sliming the idea, how about making a logical case?
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Old 27-01-2012, 10:58   #24
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Re: WIFI amplification, Feb 2012: How Far , How Fast , How Much ?

Once you have a cellphone on a 4g network that can also function as a wi fi hotspot, all of this other hardware hardware is going to go the route of the TV antenna and the buggy whip. I'm not investing a dime in it or cluttering up my boat with it.
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Old 27-01-2012, 11:25   #25
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Re: WIFI amplification, Feb 2012: How Far , How Fast , How Much ?

There is nothing wrong with repeaters, often it's even better instead of nat-ing the nat-ed connection that is already nat-ed But not when the boat is networking machine with it's own intranet anyway.

It can also be a bit more hassle, especially for those not so technologically inclined.
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Old 27-01-2012, 12:32   #26
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Re: WIFI amplification, Feb 2012: How Far , How Fast , How Much ?

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Once you have a cellphone on a 4g network that can also function as a wi fi hotspot, all of this other hardware hardware is going to go the route of the TV antenna and the buggy whip. I'm not investing a dime in it or cluttering up my boat with it.
Good luck with that 4G network once you leave Boston!

However, I do agree that, in general, cell networking is, and will continue to, catch up with wifi as a preferred connection method for cruisers. However, much of the favored cruising grounds are a very long way away from this being a broadband service. Marina's and the like will be offering good wifi AP's for the time being. It is kind of silly to forgo such small, simple and inexpensive equipment just because it will go away in a few decades.

And TV antennas made a big comeback with digital broadcasting!

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Old 27-01-2012, 12:43   #27
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Re: WIFI amplification, Feb 2012: How Far , How Fast , How Much ?

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Good luck with that 4G network once you leave Boston!

However, I do agree that, in general, cell networking is, and will continue to, catch up with wifi as a preferred connection method for cruisers. However, much of the favored cruising grounds are a very long way away from this being a broadband service. Marina's and the like will be offering good wifi AP's for the time being. It is kind of silly to forgo such small, simple and inexpensive equipment just because it will go away in a few decades.

And TV antennas made a big comeback with digital broadcasting!

Mark
As fast as the 4G networks get, they're regulated just as quick and more and more is pushed across the wireless networks. Netflix, amazon streaming, cloud storage, and cloud apps are more and more popular, but the cellular network providers are still holding tight to absurd data limits.

The big advantage that I think will continue to exist with wifi is that you can push *a lot* more data for the same price as 4G.

$50/month will get you a ~5GB plan (on a contract), or $40/month will get you a fiber optic connection where you can download 300GB/month. Piping that over an N class wifi costs a couple of hundred dollars in hardware.

And the distance isn't all that amazing of a difference. Sure, it's a mile versus a couple hundred yards, but at least with me I'm either close enough for wifi or offshore completely.

Wifi is also completely international. Wifi in Peru operates the same way as wifi in Kansas. My friend who is now in New Zealand told me about the six different phones he bought because of different local carriers so he could use their data networks (Mexico, Central America, South Pacific, Oceania).
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Old 27-01-2012, 12:47   #28
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Re: WIFI amplification, Feb 2012: How Far , How Fast , How Much ?

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Good luck with that 4G network once you leave Boston!

Mark
IMHO 4g wireless networks will proliferate rapidly, and not only in the U.S. The devices have already arrived.

And I expect the price of satphones (and associated data plans) to drop and for data transfer speeds to increase.

In the meantime, my $15 portable D-Link antenna is fine in most of the anchorages I frequent.
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Old 27-01-2012, 12:55   #29
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Re: WIFI amplification, Feb 2012: How Far , How Fast , How Much ?

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IMHO 4g wireless networks will proliferate rapidly, and not only in the U.S. The devices have already arrived.

And I expect the price of satphones (and associated data plans) to drop and for data transfer speeds to increase.

In the meantime, my $15 portable D-Link antenna is fine in most of the anchorages I frequent.
I've been working with satellite providers for ten years; that industry is about as cheap as it's going to get, especially for truly "global" coverage. To have speeds close to a 14.4 modem from 1995 you're paying 50k a year if you want near global coverage. And those prices are the lower ones.
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Old 27-01-2012, 12:57   #30
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Re: WIFI amplification, Feb 2012: How Far , How Fast , How Much ?

I've been using a "MiFi" device along the west coast of Florida and the AL coast. It connects to the cell towers for data of course and via wifi to my laptop. $50 per month, 5gb, and that's good for all my surfing for weather and forums but not enough to stream Netflix of course. It's also a wifi hot spot for five computers if needed.

No problem connecting near shore, if my cell phone has a signal, that tells me the MiFi should hook up, too.

Using the marina wifi, sometimes the low tide causes a weak signal (I'm out in the cheap seats) so I use the MiFi instead. (I guess I could make good use of wifi antenna on the rail or mast.)

Very useful, just lays on the nav table, press a button when I need it, and it works anywhere a cell phone connects.

An valuable aid while cruising up from St. Pete to my new location. Plus when I go back up to my cabin in the woods I use it there for the internet.
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