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Old 13-08-2014, 23:42   #1
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Internet from Anywhere

So, I'm a computer consultant by trade but have started sailing a lot lately. My goal is to get into a boat in the next year or two or perhaps start sailing around the world with someone else. My only concern at this point is being able to do what I do, professionally, from a boat, from anywhere in the world. I have a contract that I do from home, working 40 hours a week remotely. I live in California and my contract is in Texas. I've talked to a few people about consistent and reliable internet from anywhere in the world and I've actually been told it's possible, "but it will cost you." I'm willing to pay quite a bit of money per month to give the facade that I'm actually still working from my home office. Like $1000 per month. My questions to this forum (hopefully I picked the right forum) are 1. Is it possible? 2. How much is it going to cost me? 3. What equipment will I need? I'm actually toying around with the idea of purchasing all the equipment now and just setting it up in my tent trailer and start going to remote locations and see if it works. Is my idea a pie-in-the-sky idea or is it a realistic possibility? Keep in mind that I'd like to be able to take calls from my customers and remotely control their computers from anywhere in the world. If I can do that, then there's no need to find alternative ways of financing my boating/sailing desires. If it's just a fairy tale, then maybe I'll become a yachtmaster and start chartering, but I sure would love the "freedom" of doing my own thing. Thanks. This is my first post. Any resources/advice/suggestions you can provide would be fantastic!
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Old 13-08-2014, 23:52   #2
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Re: Internet from Anywhere

It is possible.

Just google "satellite broadband". At least $15K install for what you want and for your requirement significantly more that $1000 pm away from land broadband.

If you are near land then no problem, but away from land I suspect you will be surprised at the cost.
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Old 14-08-2014, 00:03   #3
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Re: Internet from Anywhere

Not possible to have reliable internet in remote locations without very, very deep pockets.

Most of us have to get by purchasing internet by the GB via cellular service, and even that is unreliable. I know several people who've tried to do what you describe who have given up after 6 months to a year and returned to their job or business in frustration.

I just purchased 8 GB here in Sardegna for 55 euros, and feel like I died and went to heaven because now I have internet 50% of the time on my iPad Air, 3G speed... But forget about video or music downloads while inboard.

Internet wifi locations at cafés don't really exist anymore in a useful way. None of the locations have upgraded their systems since the cellular data systems have taken over. So anyplace that offers free wifi... Is basically offering free crap service... Basically useless. So special antennas etc to bring in signal... Just brings in crappy signal.
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Old 14-08-2014, 00:31   #4
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Re: Internet from Anywhere

The hardware Buy Satellite Broadband with Sailor FleetBroadband/ Shop | MailASail

Sit down for this one, the connection contract pricing http://www.mailasail.com/w/uploads/C...e-Contract.pdf
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Old 14-08-2014, 00:49   #5
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Re: Internet from Anywhere

It is possible (as others have said $1000 per month buys you nada), at least while at anchor or in a marina.

If you want to be ablet o do this while at sea (say a 3 or 4 week passage), you haven't got enough money, not to mention a big enough boat to carry all the equipment.

You did say you needed to be able to remotely control your customers computers? so you need what realtime a couple of hundred MB per sec connection?

As they say, "Anything can be done if you throw enough money at it" - but this will cost you
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Old 14-08-2014, 02:47   #6
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Re: Internet from Anywhere

Quote:
Originally Posted by carstenb View Post
You did say you needed to be able to remotely control your customers computers? so you need what realtime a couple of hundred MB per sec connection?
Depends on if you are controlling their desktop session or RDP'ing to a remote session. Something like joinme with VOIP can be 1Mbit/s to be smooth where an RDP session to a server might only be 80Kbit/s.

Problem in part with controlling a user session is desktop size and even backgrounds make it very intensive (e.g.: blue background of a server is easy to compress as opposed to a background picture a user has).

Latency also is the issue here, it isn't going to be a problem if you wait while a sat connection picks back up when you are connecting to a server but is going to be fairly confusing for controlling a user desktop.
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Old 14-08-2014, 04:19   #7
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Re: Internet from Anywhere

I can't comment on the anywhere in the world part, but I've seen interviews of a web developer living aboard on moorings in the US:



Maybe with some high power WiFi transceiver and cellular modem you could get by. I don't know. It would depend on what level of latency you can deal with I guess. For the WiFi, I'd look at something like this:

Amazon.com: Alfa Awus036H Upgraded To 1000Mw 1W 802.11B/G High Gain Usb Wireless Long-Rang Wifi Network Adapter With 5Dbi Rubber Antenna And A 7Dbi Panel - For Wardriving & Range Extension *Strongest On The Market*: Computers & Accessories

I think there is a Verizon MVNO with 20GB for $90/month.

Good luck!
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Old 14-08-2014, 05:36   #8
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Re: Internet from Anywhere

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, mraymush.
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Old 14-08-2014, 09:11   #9
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Re: Internet from Anywhere

The best thing you can do for yourself is measure your current consumption. More description of your near term (say two years) plans. Then we can better line up the possible solutions.

Disclaimer: I install and maintain KVH satellite data and TV systems.
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Old 14-08-2014, 09:18   #10
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Re: Internet from Anywhere

Cross your fingers and pray for Google's wifi balloons.

Loon for All ? Project Loon ? Google
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Old 14-08-2014, 09:23   #11
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Re: Internet from Anywhere

You know they do it on commercial airliners, so it must be possible.

That is my entire knowledge on the subject though.
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Old 14-08-2014, 09:31   #12
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Re: Internet from Anywhere

If you can modify your plans a little, here's a way to maybe start in that direction. IF you can start working four ten hour days and give yourself three day weekends, you gain some room to move from place to place during those three days. If you start your cruising life in the Florida keys and Bahamas, you can use those weekend windows to move from spot to spot that has internet. Don't even plan on using marinas at all for internet. Buy up all the Mobile hotspots you need for where you're cruising. A combination of Verizon and AT&T will cover you until you get into the Bahamas. Then buy a BTC sim card and mobile hotspot. You can spend a week in a place, while working and planning your next stop. Then on a three day weekend when you have the weather, you dash off to the next spot and set up camp there. You can do quite a bit of sailing this way, between Florida, the Bahamas, the Caribbean, and Central America. Just takes a willingness to compromise and to plan ahead.

As for the idea of getting reliable internet at sea or in very remote places, you've already heard the bad news on that. The people who do that run heavily funded research ships, basically, and need internet. And even they don't work with VPN or remote desk top type setups.

We keep thinking that affordable world wide internet to moving platforms will happen in our lifetime, but meantime, we've managed to make a few trips under those conditions I described. We took 40 days to get our old boat from Jacksonville to the TCI, and my wife was able to work her software development consultancy for most of the way with the combination of wifi mobile hotspots. We traveled on weekends.
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Old 14-08-2014, 09:32   #13
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Re: Internet from Anywhere

Quote:
Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
You know they do it on commercial airliners, so it must be possible.

That is my entire knowledge on the subject though.
My experience (as a passenger) is that commercial aircraft use land based services, leaving you without connectivity offshore. Their own corporate coms are somewhat limited offshore and not very capable.
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Old 14-08-2014, 09:33   #14
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Re: Internet from Anywhere

They have radio with line of sight, don't they? Different scenarios at FL35 and sea level.
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Old 14-08-2014, 09:40   #15
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Re: Internet from Anywhere

not that is really solves the problem but...

idk how you are paid today but if yo are not a w2 then this would be a business expense as part of the cost of doing business as would your boat (home office) berthing, electricity etc.

I often bake these types of expenses into new contracts (travel, T&E elevated levels of insurance).

there are some lightweight RDP protocols available but none (that i know of) that would enable you to reliably manage a remote workstation but you could likely RDP to a wired workstation . server and instantiate the workstation management session form that machine which would dramatically reduce the bandwidth requirement down to your boat.

last thought... wind and solar and generators and hydro and 49857353 D8s!!!!!!!

you are gonna have some pretty major electrical draws. i know i could not sustain 8 hours a day of computers + wireless etc.

def let us know what you find as i know many of us have the same thoughts.

personally, i need to be within proximity of an airport and would love to spend more time onboard than off.

gl.

-steve
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