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Old 23-07-2007, 22:39   #1
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We are closing in on preparations for traveling the ICW this fall to the Bahamas. I have a laptop computer that is wi fi capable. However, the cost of the air card is a little high and would like suggestions on how to enable my computer, use another form to access the internet, etc. Looking forward to any suggestions. Thanks,
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Old 23-07-2007, 23:51   #2
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It really depends on your wants. Just sending email on where you are you could use the cell phone (for USA) or Sat phone or SSB. If you need more then you would stay at a place that had WiFi. Enough of those around to not be much of a problem.

The other options are a little expensive still. This may change in a few years.
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Old 24-07-2007, 05:29   #3
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centerboard,

The most economical way to do email on the ICW is to go to local libraries. They nearly all have computers that you can use or take your laptop as they're mostly wifi now. Next is "borrowing"- war driving, as there are unsecured signals along the way. In most harbours you'll be able to get a stray signal, and if you go ashore you can visit free hotspots. Many marinas have wifi and there are a couple of companies that claim they have signals up and down the ICW, cost about $10 a day. It's cheaper if you sign up for a monthly pass but I am not sure of their coverage claims.

In the Bahamas, Starbucks in Nassau has free wifi if you buy a coffee. There are a couple of internet cafes too. In the Exumas, wifi at Sampson Cay and Staniel Cay is free. In Georgetown there is a pay service that covers most of the harbour but for good reception at anchor you'll need a good antenna. There's a couple of other services ashore, one of the better spots is at Eddy's Edgewaters where you can have a beer and do your mail.

The coverage in the Abacos is pretty good. Marsh Harbour and Green Turtle being very good. Just take your laptop and the other cruisers will tell you where the hotspots are. It's not unusual to see a cruiser sitting on the curb in South Beach catching up on email.
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