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Old 11-02-2014, 14:16   #1
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Question I work from home - Internet at sea??

My boyfriend and I currently both work from home & we want to buy a sailboat soon and start cruising about (living the dream). We've done some research online in regards to having daily access to email, phone/text & internet from anywhere (which we will both need to continue working from home & bringing in those paychecks). It seems we need to purchase a fleet boradband satellite system (about $6k+) & then would essentially pay by the minute for connection time. EXPENSIVE!!!! We aren't rich (middle incomes both of us), so that isn't going to work for us ... we will easily need about 4-5 hours connected each day. We don't plan to spend A LOT of time doing passages accross the ocean, we will be finding spots we like and anchoring for a bit, bumping around and mostly staying along the coast lines. Hoping some of you have experience with trying to keep connected online while sailing and can give us some pointers for getting cheaper access? I've heard wifi is easy to connect to as long as you stay within 10 miles from the coast pretty much anywhere in the world ... but not sure how true that is.
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Old 11-02-2014, 16:44   #2
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Re: I work from home - Internet at sea??

You don't say which country / coastline you plan to live / cruise along. Your choice also depends on if your usage activity is time dependent or data hungry.
You might get a mobile broadband signal 10 km off a major urban or population center of a developed country but not always a developing country or an under populated region.
Then you have to have a local SIM card, difficult if you are not planning to stop and checkin.

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Old 11-02-2014, 17:02   #3
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Re: I work from home - Internet at sea??

hmm, that is a LOT of connection compared to most international cruisers. Most use Sat ph or pactor/HF radio. Most do only emails, no attachments. no HTML. TXT only. You can do that cheaply. However, for a proper connection with browsing capability fast enough to actually use, I'm not aware of a system that could do what you want for less than several thousand a month! Wifi 10k off the coast is a pipe dream in most of the world at the moment. Cellular is available in many places - more than you would think. Things are changing fast though, let me know if you do find a solution!
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Old 11-02-2014, 17:09   #4
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Re: I work from home - Internet at sea??

Wifi does not work offshore.
You can get cell connectivity offshore, but my experience was 2nm at most that was workable.
You can not do commercial work via HF radio.

I work remotely now, but I use a cable modem at the dock.
I used to use a cell modem which did work for 2nm off shore, but mostly I used it at anchor and not while making way.
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Old 11-02-2014, 17:11   #5
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Re: I work from home - Internet at sea??

We use a JetPack from Verizon as a hot spot 4G/3G but its limited to 10gb a month at 60.00, prepaid. We have used it as far out as 12 miles here on the Coast of Oregon, it fails beyond that.
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Old 11-02-2014, 19:54   #6
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Re: I work from home - Internet at sea??

mausgras is right - it all depends on where you plan to sail.
I know of a group of sailors that are anchored in Simpson Bay in St.Marteen getting basically unlimited high-speed internet for $70 / month from the cellular network - you can't beat that - it's what we pay for internet at the house. They are doing Netflix at night !! You can get smaller packages as well.
In the Bahamas, including the Exumas, you can get reasonable WIFI speeds for Free or $10 / day (so $300 / month if you really want to connect every day).
I looked at the Satellite offerings with $6K-$10K worth of Hardware, but given all these other options, could not justify it.
MarkJ is trialing a new service that spans all the Caribbean islands based on the cellular network which has promise if they can get their offering lined up with the typical cruiser's needs.
Anyways, first is to understand what your navigation area is
Claude
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Old 11-02-2014, 20:07   #7
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Re: I work from home - Internet at sea??

Malaysia is great. $1 a day, unlimited via cell.

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Old 11-02-2014, 21:01   #8
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Re: I work from home - Internet at sea??

Quote:
Originally Posted by ReMetau View Post
You can not do commercial work via HF radio.
By HF radio I assume you mean HF Ham bands? Commercial use is banned there but you can use marine HF bands for commercial purposes.
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Old 11-02-2014, 21:04   #9
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Re: I work from home - Internet at sea??

Short summary.

- If you are close to civilization then you can usually get high speed connections via wifi or cellular.

- If you are more than a few miles offshore or in remote areas the only high speed option is the satellite system.

- If you can live with txt based emails then you can get a much cheaper satellite system.
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Old 12-02-2014, 03:56   #10
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Re: I work from home - Internet at sea??

2Ripples
Which IP dongle are you using? We will be there soon and need one.
Bob
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Old 12-02-2014, 04:00   #11
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Re: I work from home - Internet at sea??

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, boobookitee.
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Old 13-02-2014, 12:26   #12
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Re: I work from home - Internet at sea??

svadagio,
I have not used it, but friends in St.Martin are using this service Scarlet Curacao - Wireless Internet, VoIP, Dial-Up, Voice Services
and are happy with it. They are spending several months there, so the $150 for the dongle + activation + $55/month for unlimited internet (but at 0.5Mps) made it acceptable for them.
Don't know if other dongles would work with a subscription.
They also have a Bullet, which is what I will be installing on my boat next week.
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