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Old 27-12-2013, 13:07   #1
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Staying Connected?

Can someone give me the quick low-down on staying connected while cruising? My husband and I are will be full time cruisers but want to stay connected to our friends and family, including aging parents, back home. I am completely ignorant about how to make this happen. I'm assuming you would have to use some type of satelite phone/TV/Internet system.. right? anyone have any insight on a reliable system?

And, as always.. cost?
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Old 27-12-2013, 13:18   #2
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Re: staying connected?

how often do you need to stay connected? We just used internet when it was available, meaning we were off the grid for several weeks at a time. When in an anchorage with wifi or near a bar with wifi we'd be social with the outside world.

But if you need to be connected every day you'll need to start looking at the more expensive options and decide if you need data, voice, etc....
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Old 27-12-2013, 13:28   #3
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Re: staying connected?

Well.. Ideally, I'd like to do as you do... However, with 3 sets of aging parents.... I think I need to be able to be reached at anytime... how much are these "expensive options" and what are they?
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Old 27-12-2013, 14:06   #4
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If voice is your only concern, then look for satellite phone service. There are packages that can be paid for just like cell phones. If you reserve it for emergencies it won't cost all that much, you can even use it to talk a bit if you're conscious of your minutes used.

http://www.iridium.com/default.aspx
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Old 27-12-2013, 14:22   #5
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Re: staying connected?

That would certainly be a viable options.. what about internet service.. because with that we could email.. pay bills.. talk via skype (face to face).. and have TV/news/weather access as well... do they make such a thing for marine use?
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Old 27-12-2013, 14:24   #6
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Re: staying connected?

If you don't mind just a text message you can use the inReach SE anywhere in the world at any time. It has other map options as well so people at least know where you are.

https://support.delorme.com/WebHelp/inreachse/
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Old 27-12-2013, 16:52   #7
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Re: staying connected?

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Originally Posted by scarlet View Post
That would certainly be a viable options.. what about internet service.. because with that we could email.. pay bills.. talk via skype (face to face).. and have TV/news/weather access as well... do they make such a thing for marine use?
You can do all of those things for a price.......the internet speed won't be stellar, but better than dial up. The equipment is expensive and so is the service.

This is the typical equipment for phone/internet
Satellite Phone & Satellite Internet from KVH Industries

This is the typical equipment for television
Marine Satellite TV From KVH Industries
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Old 27-12-2013, 17:11   #8
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Re: staying connected?

> what about internet service

Two options: SSB radio with modem or Satphone with modem. Both are very slow (think - early days of dial-up and fax/analog modems) so forget about high bandwidth apps such as Skype/TV.

Satphone is very inexpensive expensive per MB. SSB is quite technical.

(Edited following Stu's request.
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Old 27-12-2013, 17:14   #9
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Re: staying connected?

Panbo: The Marine Electronics Hub

They have a forum, too.

Good luck.
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Old 27-12-2013, 17:17   #10
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Re: staying connected?

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Originally Posted by StuM View Post
> what about internet service

Two options: SSB radio with modem or Satphone with modem. Both are very slow (think - early days of dial-up and fax/analog modems) so forget about high bandwidth apps such as Skype/TV.

Satphone is very inexpensive per MB. SSB is quite technical.
ummmm...
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Old 27-12-2013, 17:52   #11
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Re: staying connected?

> Satphone is very inexpensive per MB

DOH!!! Sorry, too late to edit. That was, of course meant to be very EXPENSIVE!!!

(Mods - Con you fix? Pretty please?)
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Old 27-12-2013, 19:03   #12
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Re: staying connected?

Gee for what it cost's for KVH to have slow internet, I would stay home or tell em to wait till ya get to wifi !! We use the SSB and send e-mail that way once a week or so ! But our kids grew up on a boat so don't get all shook up like shore folk do when they don't here from us everyday !! Just our 2 cents
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Old 27-12-2013, 19:25   #13
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Re: staying connected?

Quote:
Originally Posted by scarlet View Post
Can someone give me the quick low-down on staying connected while cruising? My husband and I are will be full time cruisers but want to stay connected to our friends and family, including aging parents, back home. I am completely ignorant about how to make this happen. I'm assuming you would have to use some type of satelite phone/TV/Internet system.. right? anyone have any insight on a reliable system?

And, as always.. cost?
Where will you be cruising? That can have a significant impact on your options.
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Old 27-12-2013, 19:45   #14
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Re: staying connected?

For some perspective:

Inmarsat fleetbroadband service will give you a 0.5 megabit/second internet connection (most cable internet is 20.0 - 50.0 megabits/second). The antenna is about 2 feet in diameter by 2 feet tall. The system is about $16,000 and monthly unlimited service is about $2,800 per month. In the next year, you will be able to upgrade to a service that is up to 50 megabits, but the cost is unknown at this time. Also, with the unlimited service, the terms of service stipulate that they may limit the connection if you are using skype, youtube, or other high bandwidth consumption activities.

The effort required for internet access away from terrestrial antennas is significant, so the cost is also significant.
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Old 27-12-2013, 19:53   #15
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Can someone give me the quick low-down on staying connected while cruising?
First you need to tell us your cruising plans and where the old folks live.

Unless you are doing a transatlantic or the like you're rarely out of range of a cell phone tower. High speed internet is widely available ashore for skype and email (we use skype almost exclusively). Depending on where you go you may find communication not much different than back home.

So give us an idea of your itinerary....
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