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Old 13-11-2010, 05:08   #1
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What's the 101 on Wireless and Sailiing ?

We'll be mostly off shorelines, however it will be international. The ol' ball and chain does web design, so internet is pretty crucial for our survival. We've looked into a few options: droid with tether, wireless USB modem, satellite...

All of them have their major downfalls though. Satellite is really pricey, droid/USB have limits on usage (and charge you the price of your first child if you exceed it).

I was wondering what other sailors find the most practical?

Thanks in advance!

Cheers!
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Old 13-11-2010, 05:21   #2
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A high power, long range wifi transmiter/receiver will give the most bang for the buck as long as you are within a mile or so of a hotspot. Island Time PC has a good system, easy set up. Other good systems are available or you can DIY if handy (and computer geeky) for under $100.

Up to a few miles offshore a cell phone connection, either by tether or a dedicated data line will work. As is systems about the best you can get will be 4-5 miles offshore. With a cell booster system a bit further. Internationally cost will vary a lot depending on country and local plans they offer. If you use a tetherer phone make sure it is a model that uses a SIM card and is unlocked so you can buy a local SIM. Some countries will not allow tethering or at least require a special plan and shut you down if you use the system for data.

If you are offshore or in an isolated spot and need any kind of bandwidth at all the satellite systems are pretty much your only option. Get your big wallet out if you go this route. If you can live with just email text speeds the SSB or shortwave with software and/or Pactor modem will do it much more cheaply.
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Old 13-11-2010, 05:27   #3
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Web Design + Satellite = + $$$$$$$$ (even at the most optimistic)
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Old 13-11-2010, 06:01   #4
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Just in the last few days I anchored out and had good internet connection. You might want to do a seach for Long Distance WiFi threads.

Here are some starting points:

Long Distance WiFi

Long Range WiFi Antenna Tests

Long Distance WiFi Device

Good WiFi Thread for Beginners

Keep in mind that technology can change pretty fast. Check out the ends of any long threads, not just the beginnings.

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Old 13-11-2010, 06:23   #5
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How is that working out?

Hello Janae,

This thread caught my eye because this is what I hop to do in a couple years. I want to build my web businesses up enough to be able to quite my full time job and cast off.

Do you find this brings in a couple bucks to help the sailing kitty out?
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Old 13-11-2010, 19:32   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Captin_Kirk View Post
Hello Janae,

This thread caught my eye because this is what I hop to do in a couple years. I want to build my web businesses up enough to be able to quite my full time job and cast off.

Do you find this brings in a couple bucks to help the sailing kitty out?
Well, I'd say go for it. Granted, we're capable of living on a very small budget (probably more so than most people). Nonetheless, web designers can charge $20/hr and up (usually not exceeding $150). It really depends on how good your are and what services you're capable of. The best part of web design is that you really can do it anywhere. Overall, we do alright with this, and really its a part time job for my hubby.

Even in the midst of a recession, people need web pages. Research, always learn new techniques and technology, and be creative. I wish you the best of luck in all your endeavors!
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Old 13-11-2010, 20:34   #7
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Wireless? This is not the 90's anymore. Simply cruise in an area with proper 3G cell service. Works great for miles and miles with no fussy antennas. Countries that regulate their cell providers (Mexico, Malaysia, for example) have excellent 3G service even in remote areas...Unlike the backwards U.S.A. providers that provide the lowest possible service for the maximum possible financial gain.
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Old 13-11-2010, 20:42   #8
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We simply took our computer ashore for wireless connections when we wanted to update our website.
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Old 14-11-2010, 07:33   #9
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You could reduce your need for Internet connectivity by including a small computer that runs the server software you support -- that may mean two machines if you build for both Windows IIS and Apache on Linux unless you are quite good at cross-platform development. Then you only need a connection when you have a build to release either direct to operational or to a test environment depending on your customer.

If you use a good development environment you can also post only differences, greatly reducing the amount of stuff you have to move. That's easier on Linux than Windows.

If you have shell access it doesn't take much bandwidth to maintain an SSH connection for loading tarballs previously loaded. You could start a transfer when you go to bed and do the install when you get up.

It's important to really understand the connection management software on your computer. I use IBM Access Connections because that is what came with my Lenovo laptop I use for development - you want to be able to manage what happens if you temporarily lose a WiFi connection so the link will re-establish and your transfer pick up where it left off. Similar capabilities work for 3G cellular connections. I can only speak to AT&T, my provider of choice since the quad-band hardware works pretty much everywhere. Verizon has better coverage in the US but their technology isn't supported much except in the US, China, and North Korea. Some high tourist areas have CDMA towers to support US tourists with Verizon in the Bahamas and parts of the Caribbean.
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Old 14-11-2010, 15:18   #10
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I just use a normal wireless modem. It works almost all the way from Sydney to Brisbane all along the coast. But some spots are dead. I am sure a better aerial would help. Does anyone have any tips for getting the most out of a wireless dongle? Its cheap at $130 for 10G and a year.
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