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Old 05-12-2010, 06:43   #16
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Internet accounts in the UK now come with various monthly usage limits, 10, 20, 40 Gb or unlimited. Clearly if you were on a low Gb level and lots of folk suddenly used you Wifi it wouldn't take much to exceed your monthly limit and then the bill really does go up. Oh and you wouldn't know until its too late.

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Old 05-12-2010, 06:56   #17
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Originally Posted by grunzster View Post
Now, West Palm Beach, easily 2-3 dozen networks, but...most are secure, and the few that aren't seem to have pretty weak signals, and the rest seem to work very intermittently. Sometimes decent speed, other times, no internet connection at all. Could it be a bandwidth problem? Every boat in the anchorage connecting to the one decent signal that actually has an internet connection.
We're anchored in the north end of Lake Worth and have a Bullet 2HP based device. We've got the same results here as you. Most of the connections are secured, the few that are open drop easily or don't have a good internet connection. There is an excellent signal from the marina, but it is a paid service and expensive.

We have a great 3G signal here through an aircard that is almost as fast as a decent wifi signal.

In the past couple months along the west coast and east coast of Florda, we have gotten lucky a few times and found a good open wifi signal, but its hit and miss. We have found that 3G is much more reliable in the US.

The long range wifi device works really well in anchorages where the signal is broadcast out to the anchorage like at the mooring field in Stuart or Ft. Myers Beach.

If you are still in the area, stop by and see us. S/V Zydeco it the NE corner of the anchorage.
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Old 05-12-2010, 07:30   #18
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Verizon's 4G network is scheduled for roll-out this month. They already have 4G phones on their website. Unlike Sprint, it is supposed to be a nation-wide system immediately. Tethering a 4G phone is probably the best way to connect in th US and Verizon has not started charging for use yet (maybe they will on the 4G network).
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Old 05-12-2010, 07:41   #19
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VZW is rolling out 4G in 38 cities this month. More will follow with time. As far as I know, only data devices and no phones are available now.
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Old 05-12-2010, 08:59   #20
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It's really amazeing that the internet even works!

My internet provider, Comcast. offers three different speed options for internet access. Modems have a wide range of options for transfer of data and WiFi routers come with several different options. When I had Comcast deliver their WiFi router, by BSing with the techie, he went into the Router via his laptop and altered code to enable the router to handle more data faster.

You have no idea what combanation of equiptment and its effect on your proformance is when you use a free internet connection.
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Old 05-12-2010, 13:16   #21
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"Now, West Palm Beach, easily"
Be careful about using someone else's WiFi in Florida. IIRC about three years ago they passed a specific law making that a crime in Florida, with a significant penalty.
In most states, it would be something similar to trespass and theft of services, but Florida added a specific law about glomming someone else's signal without permission.
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Old 05-12-2010, 14:28   #22
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Not to mention all the perils associated with open unencrypted Wi-Fi. Firesheep has just made session hijacking too easy.
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Old 05-12-2010, 17:36   #23
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I've been using Sprint 4G for about a year, ever since Sprint invented 4G. Anywhere there is a cell signal you got a connection, worse case is you drop down to the old Sprint 3G network that most of the other providers use
I use the modem that plugs into a USB port on my computer, not a cell phone connection
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Old 05-12-2010, 18:40   #24
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Your only hope is some kind of highly directional antenna. And swinging at anchor makes that unworkable.

Cellular 3G is the painless way to go. It's worth the price.
Yes! And one of the reasons it's worth the price is that I don't let wifi reception dictate where I'm going to anchor.
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Old 05-12-2010, 18:41   #25
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I guess I'm just lucky.

I've yet to be skunked in NY (Long Island, 79th Street, e.g.), NJ (Highlands, Atlantic Highlands, Sandy Hook, Cape May, Atlantic City Barnegat Light, e.g.) all up the east coast, up the Connecticut River, on all three of Martha/Block/Nantucket, south down the east coast, including all over the Chesapeake and Delaware and the canal, and the ditch, and in the Bahamas. I haven't been to the EC yet, but friends suggest it will be similar.

Yes, I see lots of encrypted sites - but all I need is one open. Crowded areas are worse due to channel overlap and data collisions, but if you anchor out from those (such as in the sea of Abaco, rather than in Marsh Harbour proper), that goes away. I connected in Normans Cay, Staniel and surrounds, despite Sampson and Staniel having gone to pay sites, Black Point, all of the places I went in Eleuthera, Cat, yada yada (see my recent logs in the sailors' logs section for commentary), Nassau, Long Island, etc. Other than the Jumentos, where nobody lives, I'm never without a signal.

I routinely connect 5-7 miles offshore while under way, and the sites I used when I was in Marsh Harbour (Abacos) were 6, 8 and 12 miles away, due to all the data collisions from stations in the harbor. Here in Georgetown, I have 4 to choose from in Kidds Cove, and several at each of Hamburger, Monument, Volleyball and Sand Dollar beaches. My presence here (in this forum) is testament to that.

When I move, here in Georgetown, I look like the Pied Piper as folks follow us around because I leave my local router open, sharing my signal.

I don't expect any problems finding a signal anywhere I expect to cruise...

Quit messing around and buy what we have. I have no financial interest in this, just an insanely satisfied customer. My mention of my system here in the previous couple of seasons has generated a couple of dozen other users of the same system from the same vendor, with identical reports.

Go to Marine PC's & WiFi by IslandTime PC. Mouse over the wifi section and you'll see my installation as well as several Bahamas scans; click on it for a view of how we mounted his system on our boat. Click on the other and you'll see a different installation. Click on the "considerations" and you'll see a guy who called me from Cleveland, reaching me on the boat on my Vonage VoIP when I was anchored somewhere's installation.

Bob Stewart (rstewart@islandtimepc.com) is the owner, a previous full-time cruiser who moved ashore to care for his aged mother in Birmingham, but recently moved to the Pensacola area. He is the absolute king of customer service; I met him before I was a customer and he fixed (advice by email about a crap pile of junk sold to me by someone who clearly didn't understand my objective) my problem even with junk gear. Needless to say, when I wasn't satisfied, because while I could get on with it, I couldn't distribute my signal using that gear, I bought from him - and went further with my PC, which is also 12 V Boat Powered but another thread so I'll quit about that :{))

I'm here to tell you it CAN be done, and not expensively. Buy it from him, put it on top of your mast for best results, and acceptable results using the other means shown on his website.

If you'd like a detailed look at mine, you'll have to wade through several other projects going on at the same time, but click my gallery link and navigate to 2009 refit, upgrades, electronics...

L8R

Skip, with my wife on video Skype, and three other boats connected through me (it's early in the season here) as I type...
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Old 05-12-2010, 18:43   #26
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PS I forgot to mention great signals in Lake Worth, Ft. Lauderdale and Miami...
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Old 06-12-2010, 12:52   #27
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Hey what do you expect for nothing?
Nothing. As others have pointed out, I'm talking about just lack of available Wi-fi in general. If there was a pay service at a reasonable price, I'd have no problem using them on occasion. But as Jeff pointed out, there seems to be a lot more networks then there were a few years ago, but at the same time less that are actually usable.

pressuredrop - Now that's funny! I'm surprised no one aboard that big ship heard that, and called them out. I'm so close to Rybo, I could almost run a cable.

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Originally Posted by Zydeco View Post
In the past couple months along the west coast and east coast of Florda, we have gotten lucky a few times and found a good open wifi signal, but its hit and miss. We have found that 3G is much more reliable in the US.

If you are still in the area, stop by and see us. S/V Zydeco it the NE corner of the anchorage.
So are you saying, outside of the US Wi-fi is more reliable? Hmm, maybe another reason to keep heading South.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
Be careful about using someone else's WiFi in Florida. IIRC about three years ago they passed a specific law making that a crime in Florida, with a significant penalty.
In most states, it would be something similar to trespass and theft of
Oopsie!

Quote:
Originally Posted by night0wl View Post
Not to mention all the perils associated with open unencrypted Wi-Fi. Firesheep has just made session hijacking too easy.
Currently running Blacksheep, which detects if someone on the same network is using Firesheep.

skipgundlach - How is your system going to help me? My problem isn't lack of signals. I'm seeing a TON of networks. Problem is very few of them are usable. Changing my hardware won't fix that. Yeah, sounds like you're getting better range than me, but still sounds like my problem is location more than anything else.

Quote:
Originally Posted by skipgundlach View Post
PS I forgot to mention great signals in Lake Worth, Ft. Lauderdale and Miami...
SEE! Once again, continuing South seems like the answer.

Everyone keeps mentioning cellular and 3G. So are you all using air cards or tethering? Worth the price REALLY depends on who your service is with. I know of at least one provider, who charges a ridiculous fee for tethering, with an even more ridiculous usage cap. Guess I'll just have to wait for a certain software upgrade for a certain device to come out.
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Old 06-12-2010, 13:37   #28
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Speaking of cellular, I read an article a coupe of weeks ago that mentioned the world standards for "3g" and "4g" are set by the ITU, like most other "radio" standards. And according ot those standards, both 3G and 4G must handle simultaneous voice and data, which means Sprint and Verizon simply don't offer 3G or 4G. TMob and ATT will do the simultaneous part--but not at ITU required speeds.

So we're all being ripped off. There apparently is not 3G or 4G service on the US market yet. Anyone wanna clue in the FTC on this? I'm tired of living in a third-world country run by corporate slumlords. I say, keelhaul 'em all, and then run the survivors out of town on a split rail. (And no, they didn't let 'em ride on the round side.)
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Old 06-12-2010, 14:04   #29
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All the way down the coast of Europe, with the exception of France, we managed to find free WIFI (non encrypter or password pretected) 99% of the time while anchored out.

This includes Sweden, UK, Spain and Portugal.

Easiest and best when in a place frequented by tourists. Bars, hotels and cafés tend to provide hot spots easily picked up by our NanoStation 2.

In Algarve, the south coast of Portugal, Algarve Digital provides free wifi in practically every town.

Currently in Mexico, but not yet on the boat, we don't know how it works here. these lines are transferred from a LAN net at our friends house.
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Old 06-12-2010, 14:15   #30
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Gonna put my two cents in... last year the internet was half decent down the east coast. This year... the word awful is the most polite word I can think of. My better half works online daily and has no problem with using his verizon wireless card, but I didnt buy one.... yet. Even when we stay at the marinas the internet is worse than dial up. I would never use an unsecured service. In today's computer savvy society you are asking for trouble. If you cant afford the 58 bucks a month for a wireless card, Panera, Publix cafe's, and coffee shops are your only hope. We are in Lake Worth and the internet is crap. Even if you pay for the local service..... it kicks you off constantly. We are now looking to make a "hot spot" on the boat soon. It doesnt cost as much as you think it might
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