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Old 08-05-2014, 16:40   #1
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Internet

We are not far from finally living aboard. The house will go on the market in autumn, which is prime sales time for us. My last remaining question, for right now, concerns an internet connection. We will not be at a marina. A few weeks ago I met a couple who live aboard and they use an international broadband modem for when they are near shore. They have different SIM cards for wherever they happen to be. My question is does anyone know of a reliable way to have an internet connection when sailing and not spend an arm and a leg?

BTW I am a published author and have to have it for work, so doing without for any length of time over a week or so, would be difficult.

Thanks for any help.

Maje
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Old 09-05-2014, 21:19   #2
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Re: Internet

I think Iridium could get 6 kbps or something like that. Five years ago. That's where I would look. I used a company called roadpost.com

I haven't heard much about internet over HAM frequencies, maybe someday.
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Old 09-05-2014, 21:29   #3
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Re: Internet

We use a KVH mini vsat unit.

The system wasnt cheap, and the service isnt either.

That aside I get 2 mbps download speeds and business grade telephone pretty much anywhere in the world.
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Old 09-05-2014, 21:36   #4
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Re: Internet

If your going to be in anchorages or close to shore within cell tower reach you could consider mobile Wifi.
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Old 09-05-2014, 21:44   #5
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Re: Internet

"within cell tower reach"

I have an antenna from a company called radiolabs.com. Specifically this model :

WiFi Antenna - Backfire 802.11 Antenna

I haven't had a chance to test it out yet, but I would like to make it adjustable for direction and to how much degree it points up or down.
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Old 09-05-2014, 23:19   #6
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Re: Internet

Quote:
Originally Posted by delmarrey View Post
If your going to be in anchorages or close to shore within cell tower reach you could consider mobile Wifi.
We have that.

If we are within cellular range our network uses that source.

If we are out of cell range it automatically switches over to satellite.
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Old 10-05-2014, 07:30   #7
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Re: Internet

Thanks everyone. I love this forum. Before I got on line here this morning, I found this. This initial start up is a little pricey, but they seem to have a plan for every cruising kitty. It doesn't go live until June. Iridium GO! - Wi-Fi Hotspot Equipment & Service I think my dream has finally come true, if I'm reading it correctly.

Maje
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Old 10-05-2014, 09:10   #8
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Re: Internet

Quote:
Originally Posted by robert644 View Post
"within cell tower reach"

I have an antenna from a company called radiolabs.com. Specifically this model :

WiFi Antenna - Backfire 802.11 Antenna

I haven't had a chance to test it out yet, but I would like to make it adjustable for direction and to how much degree it points up or down.
That is for wifi access point connections, not cell tower connections.

Mark
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Old 10-05-2014, 10:16   #9
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Re: Internet

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom and Maje View Post
Thanks everyone. I love this forum. Before I got on line here this morning, I found this. This initial start up is a little pricey, but they seem to have a plan for every cruising kitty. It doesn't go live until June. Iridium GO! - Wi-Fi Hotspot Equipment & Service I think my dream has finally come true, if I'm reading it correctly.

Maje
Looks good. I wonder what they'll charge per GB. I use around 11 GB of high speed (3-4G) per month with my portable at home and running around town.
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Old 10-05-2014, 10:24   #10
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Re: Internet

The IridiumGO! offers 2.4 kbps service, however it is unlimited for $139 a month.

BGAN service is 492 kbps @ $6.50 / MB (Inmarsat)
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Old 10-05-2014, 10:24   #11
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Re: Internet

we don't have a huge need for internet access. where we can, and in the usa, we use a cell tower hotspot. in the bahamas, either paid or free internet services are available.
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Old 10-05-2014, 10:36   #12
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Re: Internet

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom and Maje View Post
Thanks everyone. I love this forum. Before I got on line here this morning, I found this. This initial start up is a little pricey, but they seem to have a plan for every cruising kitty. It doesn't go live until June. Iridium GO! - Wi-Fi Hotspot Equipment & Service I think my dream has finally come true, if I'm reading it correctly.

Maje
I don't see this as a workable solution for anything but emergencies.

We all know that internet providers routinely advertise data rates which are never achieved in the real world - will the geologically slow speeds they're touting as "realistic expectations" turn out to be even slower?

"Internet Connectivity - Realistic Expectations
At 2.4 Kilobits per second, the Iridium Go! is not a solution to those looking for workable connection for normal Internet use. Email attachments of any size will take minute[s] or hours to transfer, and a single webpage would take 5 to 10 minutes to load. Connectivity to the Internet with the Iridium Go should be considered an emergency backup solution. Having more than one connected device would create an even worse bottleneck (it allows up to 5 connected devices). The good news is that applications like SMS text messaging and text only email messages (using their email app), use far less data, and are the real shining heroes here. Let's not forget it's also capable of making/receiving a voice call from anywhere the sky can be seen."
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Old 10-05-2014, 12:44   #13
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Re: Internet

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom and Maje View Post
Thanks everyone. I love this forum. Before I got on line here this morning, I found this. This initial start up is a little pricey, but they seem to have a plan for every cruising kitty. It doesn't go live until June. Iridium GO! - Wi-Fi Hotspot Equipment & Service I think my dream has finally come true, if I'm reading it correctly.

Maje
A great idea (the device). Looks to be a Sat version of a MiFi cellular device. 2.x kilobytes a second. How can they even do voice over that little bandwidth?

Maybe if you had SailMail + Iridium GO?

I do not believe regular eMail would be feasible. Things like iCloud or GMail or whatnot with images embedded would just stop as you waited for even the smallest image to load. They say a 100kb (hard to even compress an image down that small) image takes 5.x minutes to load...maybe a small logo is about this size. Most smartphone photos are 1-3mb ... talking hours for only just that image and nothing else.

..I'm trying to just putting perspective to it here...

Games, youtube, netflix, iTunes...don't even think about it with this device. I am still scratching my head how they do voice at that speed. Am I missing something?

Skype: 100kbps recommended
Voice over IP (VOIP): 64kbps for G729 or 128kbps for G711

Maybe they have a different channel for voice that has more bandwidth or something.

Now I do wonder what if you bought 2, 3, 4 of these and found a way to get them working in parallel. I guess at that point just buy satellite Internet systems...

Anyone have one yet? I know it's not June but sometimes sample units end up in the field early.

I have to just wonder though do sailors really need to send/receive emails when they are far offshore? Isn't this when we should be reading a book, watching DVDs, looking out on the horizon pondering the vast expanse of it all?
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Old 10-05-2014, 14:26   #14
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Re: Internet

2.x kbps, which is kilobit not kiloBytes, was quite adequate for many things for many years when "2400 baud" modems were the state of the art. I don't remember if I paid $300 or $600 for my Hayes 1200 baud modem before that, but it was a necessary business tool.

Email can still function very well at 2400 baud. First you cut the crap out and stop using HTML when plain text will do, and that cuts out 80% of the message size immediately. And then if it takes a minute to send a "letter" ? So what? It takes the post office three days and sometimes that's even fast enough.(G)

There's a lot that can be done with a lean system, as opposed to a bloated or expensive one. Sounds like a great option for someone who needs to be in touch, is on a budget, and understands how things really work.
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Old 10-05-2014, 14:38   #15
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Re: Internet

We get honest 2 mbitps download speeds from our KVH satellite system, and the service costs $.99 per mbyte Plans start at $50 per month

It is the only workable world wide system we found for providing real business quality internet service at sea.
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