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Old 05-10-2016, 13:38   #1
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KVH Satellite Mini-Sat Broadband

Hi everyone, will be moving on board the boat next June and need reliable internet to continue to work for my company.

Im looking into the KVH TracPhone V3ip satellite system and it looks pretty promising.

Does anyone have any experience with this or similar systems? Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

I plan on cruising the Bahamas and south it seems like I would get good coverage.
bill
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Old 15-12-2016, 07:13   #2
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Re: KVH Satellite Mini-Sat Broadband

Just thought I would repost this. Anyone have any experience using KVH's minisat broadband service?

I searched the treads and cannot find anything on it.
thanks again
bill
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Old 15-12-2016, 07:20   #3
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Re: KVH Satellite Mini-Sat Broadband

Take a look at Iridium GO as well:

Iridium GO Airtime
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Old 15-12-2016, 07:22   #4
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Re: KVH Satellite Mini-Sat Broadband

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Originally Posted by bfiegener View Post
Just thought I would repost this. Anyone have any experience using KVH's minisat broadband service?

I searched the treads and cannot find anything on it.
thanks again
bill

Likely because of the price of using the things, you have priced what it would cost monthly?

Several of us have the KVH TV systems, seems to be good kit
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Old 15-12-2016, 07:30   #5
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Re: KVH Satellite Mini-Sat Broadband

Looked at Iridium Go, wont work for my application. KVH's V3ip will run about $399 per month on a 3 year lease. Data plans start at $49 for 50mb. Im looking at the 250mb per month plan for $249. I can go up to 500mb per month for $499. if needed.

They claim download speeds of up to 2Mbps which should work for me to allow remote desktop connection to the home office for me to work on.

Really would like to hear from someone out there who has real use experience on the this system.

KVH will not provide any recommendations so its hard to find anyone using it.
bill
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Old 15-12-2016, 07:34   #6
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Re: KVH Satellite Mini-Sat Broadband

I'm curious if anyone has used these in a practical application. I assume this is an asynchronous bi-directional network connection. What is the upload/download speeds?

I'm also curious about the feasibility of being able to work from the boat as well. Obviously, sustainable power is also going to be a concern.
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Old 15-12-2016, 07:35   #7
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Re: KVH Satellite Mini-Sat Broadband

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Looked at Iridium Go, wont work for my application.
What are the limitations you're encountering??
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Old 15-12-2016, 07:42   #8
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Re: KVH Satellite Mini-Sat Broadband

Shrew, Iridium does not have the speed that KVH's systems have. They advertise 2Mbps download and 128Kbps on the upload side.
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Old 22-12-2016, 11:38   #9
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Re: KVH Satellite Mini-Sat Broadband

500MB sounds like alot, but I can do that in a day easily without youtube or anything like that. $500 a month is easy for you I am sure, but be sure to turn 'automatic updates' off. If it's even possible. I read a story about a guy who ended up with a bill for 8 grand because his MacBook updated overnight, even with the 'automatic updates' turned off. I pay $10/GB and if I leave my windows tablet on accidentally it can very well burn through $50 in a night easily.

Iridium Go and it's like are limited to 2.4kbps max. That's the best you can get, not what you would actually get. Also the V-Sat is a mechanical device which tracks your satellite. If you are moving about quite a bit, at anchor or whatever, it may have difficulty keeping connection. It's meant for large, stable platforms. Also you are forced to use their CommBox device as well.

I recommend the Iridium Pilot. No moving parts in the antenna, high speed (not as fast as V-Sat), and smaller equipment footprint. The modem can run on 12VDC, whereas V-Sat's CommBox needs 110, and is big, like a piece of rack-mount hardware.The pilot's modem is about the size of a large home WiFi router.
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Old 22-12-2016, 11:53   #10
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Re: KVH Satellite Mini-Sat Broadband

Hi there, I use two of the KVH V7 systems on my commercial boat. This is a 170' trawler, operating in the Bering sea. We get tossed around big-time, and the system maintains connection in the worst storms.

We have the bigger system, the V3 antenna's probably not as good, but I don't think that you'll be spending that much time online when the weather's crappy enough to impact the antenna.

Each of our systems are on the 'unlimited' plan. We are using F0 for the crew wifi, and I have a system on F2 for the bridge/officers.

Pricing is $1000 per month for the F0, and I belive $2500/mo for the F2.

The 'unlimited' is handled by throttling, KVH calls it bandwidth management. It runs on a rolling 2 hour clock, with the full advertised speed when not in BM, and then it's slashed by about half. Still, if you're the only user, even when the F0 is in BM, it still provides serviceable internet.

if you opt for a metered connection, you have to be VERY careful to set up a firewall. Automatic updates of any kind will kill your data plan in short order. Like, a couple of hours.

Here on the sailboat, we have a Fleet Broadband 150. This is run through a redport optimizer, which only allows traffic that you specifically ask for to pass. This is coupled with GMN's 'x web', which will strip out graphics, or re-size them as you specify. I don't think that FBB's a good deal at all now that they've ditched the prepaid SIM cards. We are fortunately grandfathered, so we're paying $8/mb for data for as long as they honor the prepaid sim cards.

Anyway, bottom line for me is that I would probably recommend to you that if you really need reliable internet offshore, and you intend to be away from shorebased internet for long periods, you will probably wind up better served by going with the F0 plan. You'll get a hell of a lot more data than you will on a metered connection.

If it's in the budget and necessary, anyway.

I don't know about terms for leasing. We bought our V7's outright. Unlimited on a lease might be upwards of $1500/mo.

I'll check back from time to time if you would like more detail.


Edit: I agree with Robert above that the iridium pilot is worth looking at too. Once our FBB fails, or we lose our prepaid program, that will be our likely choice for our personal boat, unless something better is out by then.

TJ
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Old 22-12-2016, 11:55   #11
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Re: KVH Satellite Mini-Sat Broadband

If you're looking to be able to use data at anchor and not while under way maybe see if Google Project Fi is something that would work. $20 a month for unlimited phone calls, texts, voicemail, then $10 per GB. Some countries have different rates for data but none of it is anywhere near the prices you are talking about. Maybe worth a look.

https://fi.google.com/about/rates/
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Old 27-01-2017, 09:28   #12
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Re: KVH Satellite Mini-Sat Broadband

I have no experience with this particular setup, but I have used Hughes Net which I think is similar in speed and technology, and tried to use VMware View PCoIP, TeamViewer, and RDP and it was painful. The problem is the back and forth of all these products. It is doable, but I experienced a lot of dropped connections, or if it didn't drop, you had to learn to move the mouse slowly and click or double click and wait for the screen to repaint. As an IT consultant it was a no go for me. Inmarsat is too slow to even think about, and Bgan with a Thrane terminal is to expensive. I sent a Thrane with the president of a company I was working with to Africa, and it was blazing fast, but his group was there for 10 days and I think the bill was over 20k for the data they used. Granted they didn't care, because they were closing a big deal while they were on safari, but that is out of my price range.

If you are going to be in the Bahamas and close to shore you might think about BTC Bahamas they have internet packages that would possibly get you the speeds you need (4G) and from what you described above would be price competitive.

No matter what you choose I hope you come back and let us know what your experience is, I am planning on taking the plunge too, and am curious what works to sustain connectivity onboard.
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