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Old 18-08-2011, 15:31   #1
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Wifi Routers - Can I Use for World Cruising ?

A boat neighbor in Puerto Vallarta has a Ericson W3 router and a Wilson Cellular Amplifier on board and has amazingly powerful wifi.
(We both use a telcel 3G USB laptop plug-in otherwise, which he must also have to get the initial signal, but then w/ his addtl. equipment he has really really fast internet.)
I'm considering making the purchase of this router and amplifier (not cheap) but am wondering what happens when I cruise south later this year, out of Mexico, to Costa Rica and Panama, etc.??
What does one use down there for internet connectivity?
Anyone know? I don't want to buy this equipment and then not be able to use it!!
Thanks!
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Old 18-08-2011, 15:39   #2
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Short answers - yes. If no WiFi, there are a million Internet cafes.
There are cheaper equipment solutions available as well, a search of CF threads will have tons of information. Not to mention build your own.
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Old 18-08-2011, 18:10   #3
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Re: Wifi Routers - Can I Use for World Cruising ?

You say World Cruising but then you say Mexico and Panama.

If you mean world cruising you will find that WiFi is very much out dated. USB on G3 and soon G4 is what you will be using.

I laugh (bitterly) at the crap offered in the Caribbean. They can't get the islands together to do anything with 3G so its the lowly, slowly and only in the bay or bar WiFi.
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Old 18-08-2011, 18:21   #4
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Re: Wifi Routers - Can I Use for World Cruising ?

I use a G-Sky 802.11g High Power Wireless USB Adapter Model GS-27USB with their stick antenna which looks like a powerboat vhf antenna. Range is about 6 miles and cost was about 120.00 for the whole system. Adapter is very small and antenna comes with about 30 ft on coax cable. Has been working very well for me so far.
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Old 18-08-2011, 18:50   #5
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Re: Wifi Routers - Can I Use for World Cruising ?

Geoff, it is at best confusing to call that ERicson "a router". A router only routes signals to different computers, but the Ericson is also *converting* from 3G GSM wireless to WiFi, which makes it a "bridge" as well as a router.

You can't use it unless you obtain local GSK cellular service, which will mean buying a SIM card in each country, or paying cellular international roaming rates for your internet connection. Parlez-vous "OUCH!" ?

It sounds like a nice way to go if you need and have cheap cellular data service and want to use that to connect multiple devices to the internet. In the US those devices are typically called "mobile hot spots" and sell for about a hundred bucks from multiple sources.

If you want to try picking up a free wifi connection to the internet as you travel, then no, it is the wrong equipment. Something like a Ubiquiti Bullet or other "pure" Wifi solution will do a great job of grabbing whatever wifi signal is available to you as you travel.
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Old 18-08-2011, 19:50   #6
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Re: Wifi Routers - Can I Use for World Cruising ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by clsailor View Post
I use a G-Sky 802.11g High Power Wireless USB Adapter Model GS-27USB with their stick antenna which looks like a powerboat vhf antenna. Range is about 6 miles and cost was about 120.00 for the whole system. Adapter is very small and antenna comes with about 30 ft on coax cable. Has been working very well for me so far.
It's nice to go to a cafe or bar, buy a drink, get their password and use their internet. It's also nice to find that their network can be picked up on-board in the anchorage a couple of miles away.

I had the same small G-Sky unit that I bought duty free in St. Martin. Works great in the Carib, but my mini-usb connecter broke off the circuit board. G-sky no longer makes the inexpensive version because there are too many cheap copies being mass produced. I won a $15 bid (shoulda bid lower) on e-bay for a replacement by WiFiSKY with free shipping from China. (I was quoted $20.00 to get my G-sky resoldered.) WiFi booster antennas start at about $5 on ebay, so you can get set up with similar gear for $20.00 give or take.

Dave
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Old 19-08-2011, 02:34   #7
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Re: Wifi Routers - Can I Use for World Cruising ?

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Originally Posted by clsailor View Post
I use a G-Sky 802.11g High Power Wireless USB Adapter Model GS-27USB with their stick antenna ...
AKA Alfa AWUS036NH
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Old 19-08-2011, 19:14   #8
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Re: Wifi Routers - Can I Use for World Cruising ?

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Originally Posted by Geoff H. View Post
... wondering what happens when I cruise south later this year, out of Mexico, to Costa Rica and Panama, etc.??
What does one use down there for internet connectivity?
Anyone know?...
El Salvador - marina WiFi *also available to anchor outs), although some got locals to sign for 3G modem cards
Costa Rica - marina, hotel, bar street WiFi fairly common and often available in main anchorages. Only one cell company and they would not sell 3G service to non-residents
Panama - once in Panama City area, i.e. Las Brisas anchorage free government supplied WiFi is available in the anchorage. Movistar or Claro 3G modems are also very reasonably priced.
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Old 22-08-2011, 13:28   #9
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Re: Wifi Routers - Can I Use for World Cruising ?

THANKS very much for all comments. I've actually learned a good deal here.
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Old 31-08-2011, 22:34   #10
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Just in case, the prepaid is now available in costa rica, everybody can get the 3G cards, including tourists.... And the signal is available almost through the whole coast. Hope this helps!
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Old 01-09-2011, 09:26   #11
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Re: Wifi Routers - Can I Use for World Cruising ?

Maxsoto,
Yes, this is good news, thanks. Wasn't sure. Now just have to order a good amplifier/antennae to boost my boat's range for picking up a signal; trying to figure out which to get.
Geoff
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Old 01-09-2011, 10:11   #12
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Re: Wifi Routers - Can I Use for World Cruising ?

We are very happy with the Wirie. There is also here a logn thread onthe bullet, with which we had no luck.
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Old 01-09-2011, 10:14   #13
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Re: Wifi Routers - Can I Use for World Cruising ?

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Just in case, the prepaid is now available in costa rica, everybody can get the 3G cards, including tourists.... And the signal is available almost through the whole coast. Hope this helps!
When did you get the prepaid 3G in CR? I tried in Libertad in June and they would not sell it to me as non-resident.
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Old 01-09-2011, 17:10   #14
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Looks like we're ordering the wirie, looks just right! Thanks for the tip!
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Old 01-09-2011, 17:21   #15
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Re: Wifi Routers - Can I Use for World Cruising ?

I just installed the Island Time WiFi system with small 12V wireless router for multiple devices onboard. Hooked it all up and it seems to work great. Pretty happy with my purchase. You can check them out here:
Marine WiFi Systems
Good luck.
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