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Old 04-04-2016, 22:49   #1
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WiFi Antenna Comparison

I've read a lot of threads on this forum and some outdated magazine reviews, but haven't found exactly what I am looking for.

I'd like to hear from people with hands on experience comparing if possible the following products.

The Groove by Island Time
The Wirie
Bitstorm Bad Boy
Rogue Wave
I haven't seen any reviews comparing The Groove to any of the above mentioned systems. I have heard it performs well, but is hard to set up and generally less user friendly.
I am not a techie and want something that is plug and play and easy to use.

We are planning on travelling to many different countries and am looking for one that will be internationally wifi compatible as well.
A DIY antenna is of 0 interest.

Thank-you anyone in advance for sharing your experience.
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Old 05-04-2016, 00:10   #2
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Re: WiFi Antenna Comparison

These folk gave me a plug-n-play system. Well okay... sold one to me. 15 dbi gain ant really reaches out across the harbour. Bullet m2Hp. Ethernet. Router. 12vdc power.

No affiliation, just very happy, I am I am.

Maybe contact them and make enquiries?

IslandTime PC Marine WiFi Systems
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Old 05-04-2016, 00:26   #3
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Re: WiFi Antenna Comparison

You may also should have a look on the ubnt bullet M - I use this device since long time and it works great allover Europe.....
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Old 05-04-2016, 00:50   #4
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Re: WiFi Antenna Comparison

Another +1 for island time. I have the groove and once you read the 5 page manual it is fairly easy to navigate and setup. I think it takes me all of about 20 seconds to search for nearby signals and start using the Internet.

The best part is the customer service. I had installation questions and called island time at 8pm my time (pacific) only to leave a message for a call back the next day (it was 11pm in Florida). Well they picked up and spent a good hour going over everything and answering all my questions. Now that is customer service you can't find anywhere else.

You can always build the same thing for less but I like the fact that if something goes wrong, I know there is someone there who can help me diagnose and fix.
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Old 05-04-2016, 02:50   #5
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Re: WiFi Antenna Comparison

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Originally Posted by lifgun View Post
You may also should have a look on the ubnt bullet M - I use this device since long time and it works great allover Europe.....
Interesting little radio.. which antenna did you couple it with?. Its price is low enough for an impulse buy in 3..2..1..
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Old 05-04-2016, 03:32   #6
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Re: WiFi Antenna Comparison

Bought the Wirie. Never did preform like advertised. Finely sent it back. They said I wired it up reverse polarity. Now it ran ok just did not preform. I do not think it would run if wired up backwards. Bought a EnGenius for a lot less and it does a better job.
Bob
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Old 05-04-2016, 03:42   #7
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Re: WiFi Antenna Comparison

we have had a bad boy for 3 years, very happy with it.
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Old 05-04-2016, 04:45   #8
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Re: WiFi Antenna Comparison

Love our wirie, just got back from 2 months in the Bahamas and was very satisfied with its performance.

Sent from my PLT1077G using Cruisers Sailing Forum mobile app
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Old 05-04-2016, 05:03   #9
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Re: WiFi Antenna Comparison

Quote:
Originally Posted by Onemoreproject View Post
I am not a techie and want something that is plug and play and easy to use.
I have a "TurboWifi v2" antenna (can't link directly to the English translation, but there's a language switcher above the product info) which is plug 'n play and as simple as it gets.

Used it when I was in a marina that had horrible and expensive wifi to connect to the free and pretty decent wifi the marina on the other side of the lake offered. Distance according to Google Maps is a little over 1,700 feet. Worked like a charm

Here in Rotterdam, it easily doubles the already impressive list of networks my laptop finds ... but they're all well protected (WPA2) so it's pretty useless here. I have used it to share internet between boats tho.
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Old 05-04-2016, 05:12   #10
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Re: WiFi Antenna Comparison

Wirie AP+ US$399 on their website hmm... I just bought the Grove 52HPN and a 9dbi Antenna on Amazon for US$75. A little PoE Adapter was a couple of bucks extra.

I am not sure what the extra $$$ would get you. Transmit power and antenna gain for all these gadgets seem to be around the same ballpark (from 500 to 600mW and 8 to 9dbi antennas). Yes.. I am aware it is not just about numbers and dBs are a logarithmic scale and spectral patterns and blah blah.. but I find it hard to justify the price difference.

You could even get away cheaper at least here in Europe with an Alfa Tube 2H + their 9dbi Antenna for US$64 .. I "splurged" on the Grove since it appears to be widely used and liked. I also considered the Ubiquity Bullet M2 for a few bucks extra but what swayed me towards the Grove was that you can switch between 2.4 and 5GHz so I can get another Antenna later and be all set. The Bullet was 2.4 only.

I'll let you know how it all works once it arrives
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Old 05-04-2016, 07:00   #11
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Re: WiFi Antenna Comparison

I should add that when we are on the boat we need to be able to communicate with clients. We have an Alpha and it is very frustrating. The Wirie upgraded to the bullet in 2014 and supposedly it works well now, so I am looking for -post 2014 user experiences.

Bitstorm encourages users to place the antenna on top of the mast for better reception.
Wirie says anything above 8' is good, but they have a manual reset button and if you have 4G and travel to different countries then replacing the simm card will be necessary, so climbing the mast would be a PITA. I am not sure if the mast placement issue is self serving BS to subtlety put down the other product or create a unique selling point by Bitstorm.
Island Time is highly regarded, and well supported, but the boats getting complicated and I don't need another piece of labor intensive electronics.
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Old 05-04-2016, 07:44   #12
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Re: WiFi Antenna Comparison

have a look at this site
http://www.pendanablog.com/pendana-nordhavn-62-blog/2015/11/27/Local-Data-and-TV
I agree with just about everything except the $200/month for unlimited, I don' watch that much TV.
Gerald
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Old 05-04-2016, 07:59   #13
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Re: WiFi Antenna Comparison

Quote:
Originally Posted by crankysailor View Post
Interesting little radio.. which antenna did you couple it with?. Its price is low enough for an impulse buy in 3..2..1..
We paved 6000km2 of Papuan coastal forest with the Bullet2-HP using
a HG2415U-Pro fiberglass antenna - maxpowered can be illegal anywhere you dock,
so be warned to tune it down a notch if you get one.
Cheap and ridiculously reliable, and we had one measured link at 35km.
That was a few years ago, their newer products may be of more interest, of course
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Old 05-04-2016, 08:07   #14
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Re: WiFi Antenna Comparison

I have had my Island Time Groove and am very happy with it. This is the second system I have bought from IslandTime and can't say enough about Bob's customer support.
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Old 05-04-2016, 08:13   #15
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Re: WiFi Antenna Comparison

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Originally Posted by Onemoreproject View Post
Island Time is highly regarded, and well supported, but the boats getting complicated and I don't need another piece of labor intensive electronics.
I can confirm that the Island Time is extremely easy to install and set up. Of course you can buy the bits and pieces online but you need both the knowledge and time to do that. The Island Time package makes it quick and painless.
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