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Old 28-05-2023, 19:13   #1
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Itís time for big boy internet

Some work I am doing outside of the boat work requires a better Internet connection than my phone. I need less limits on data before throttling.

So, what about that T-Mobile home Internet? Does anybody use them out on their boat?

Looks to be pretty good to me.

What are people in the USA using right now aside from starlink? I wonít pay that type of monthly fee. Just simply is not worth it to me.
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Old 28-05-2023, 19:20   #2
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Re: Itís time for big boy internet

I've got a T-mobile plan for the Pepwave router we've got on the boat and we've been happy with it. The only reason I didn't go for their home internet plan is that you're forced to use their hardware. If that's ok for you, from what I know they don't care if you move the device around, so it's fine to use on a boat.

Exactly what you'll want depends on how much you need a connection anywhere and everywhere with minimal risk of interruption. In my mind, at this point the holy grail for coastal connectivity would be Starlink feed through a Pepwave or similar router with a cellular plan for backup and the ability to pull in outside WiFi when desired as well. That should guarantee that you'll pretty much always have a connection.
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Old 28-05-2023, 19:36   #3
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Re: Itís time for big boy internet

I have both T-Mobile and Starlink. The trouble with T-Mobile is they promise unlimited 5G but in reality many marinas are not serviced by more than one tower and speeds are lucky to approach 3G speeds.
Starlink is phenomenal imo...high speed pretty much everywhere from Ocean Falls BC to La Penita Nayarit.
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Old 28-05-2023, 20:45   #4
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Re: Itís time for big boy internet

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I have both T-Mobile and Starlink. The trouble with T-Mobile is they promise unlimited 5G but in reality many marinas are not serviced by more than one tower and speeds are lucky to approach 3G speeds.
Starlink is phenomenal imo...high speed pretty much everywhere from Ocean Falls BC to La Penita Nayarit.

I am cruising up the inside to Alaska right now, and I have T-mobile, I am wishing I went with Star Link!
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Old 28-05-2023, 22:58   #5
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Re: Itís time for big boy internet

Hmmmm. I’m just doing the North America east coast and maybe Bahamas in the near term. Boat is not done so more work ahead.

So figure mostly USA from Miami to Canadian border. Occasional jumps outside to Bahamas or Newfoundland as treats.

WiFi ability would be good as well to pull in from the local coffee shop and whatnot.

I’m not sure if I will be keeping the RV, but it would be nice to grab whatever item we are talking about and bring it with me. Just grab one thing and bring it. Then also grab it and throw it in the motorcycle.
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Old 29-05-2023, 06:30   #6
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Re: Itís time for big boy internet

T-mobile doesn't charge for the hardware on the home internet plan. So it's easy to try it, and if it's not an adequate solution, cancel the plan and send the box back.
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Old 29-05-2023, 09:01   #7
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Re: Itís time for big boy internet

Hi Chotu, I would suggest getting a netgear nighthawk hotspot to start with an netgear omnidirectional mimo antenna. I think this is the best bang for the buck.

I did a write up on my whole internet setup if interested: https://www.clevermariner.com/post/o...i-would-change
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Old 29-05-2023, 15:06   #8
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Re: Itís time for big boy internet

T mobile does well for us. We moved to land while boat is getting finished. Reliable fast
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Old 29-05-2023, 15:11   #9
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Re: Itís time for big boy internet

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chotu View Post
Some work I am doing outside of the boat work requires a better Internet connection than my phone. I need less limits on data before throttling.

So, what about that T-Mobile home Internet? Does anybody use them out on their boat?

Looks to be pretty good to me.

What are people in the USA using right now aside from starlink? I wonít pay that type of monthly fee. Just simply is not worth it to me.
We just got a bunch of Verizon 5G UW hotspots at work for field work. We get over 200Mbps download speeds. Monthly cost would depend on your plan and if you move your phone to Verizon as well.
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Old 29-05-2023, 15:14   #10
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Re: Itís time for big boy internet

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Originally Posted by Chotu View Post
Hmmmm. I’m just doing the North America east coast and maybe Bahamas in the near term. Boat is not done so more work ahead.

So figure mostly USA from Miami to Canadian border. Occasional jumps outside to Bahamas or Newfoundland as treats.

WiFi ability would be good as well to pull in from the local coffee shop and whatnot.

I’m not sure if I will be keeping the RV, but it would be nice to grab whatever item we are talking about and bring it with me. Just grab one thing and bring it. Then also grab it and throw it in the motorcycle.
In 2023 wifi as internet source for boats is next to useless. Any open hotspots you find are going to be crippled under massive load from every other free loader. You might get lucky from time to time but don't plan on it being consistently useful.

If you stay limited to only TMobile service area it is a pretty good deal. If there is any chance you need service offshore or anywhere T-Mobile doesn't have coverage SL is hands down better.
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Old 29-05-2023, 17:01   #11
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Re: Itís time for big boy internet

A pretty tough decision overall. Verizon has better coverage than T-Mobile everywhere. So that might be a factor.

But I don’t know if that Verizon is unlimited.
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Old 29-05-2023, 19:10   #12
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Re: Itís time for big boy internet

Anything that contemplates using a public or marina WIFI connection should not be considered "big boy Internet". Let's take that one off the table right away.

That leaves cell or satellite based systems.

Keep in mind that any cell based solution is only going to work when you are in range of a cell tower. Even when you are close to shore there is no guarantee that you will have good coverage. Those towers were not put up with boats in mind (as a rule). Some find it gives acceptable coverage and performance; some do not. I've had great cell service 20 miles offshore and I've had one bar within sight of a tower a mile upriver (inshore). It is not overly expensive to try it and later abandon it if it does not work for you.

If you want a fast connection that is reliable both near and far from shore then you are probably going to be on a satellite link. Right now Starlink seems to have that market locked up. This is the more expensive solution but it will probably work regardless of where you are.

Once you have the outside half of the link sorted out, you have almost unlimited flexibility as to how you consume it on the boat. WIFI, Ethernet, even fiber if you want to get really wild. It's all on the table.
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Old 29-05-2023, 19:21   #13
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Re: Itís time for big boy internet

Chotu,
I have an unlimited Verizon plan on my cell phone; so does my wife. I've never felt like I've been throttled; she has. Take that for what it is worth.

I make my living designing networks. All networks have limits. Once traffic reaches a certain point something will have to give. Sometimes some judicious traffic management can untangle a problem. Sometimes you have to throw more resources (read:money) at the problem.

If your data is caught in the crosshairs of either situation you may feel like you are being throttled even if that is not what is technically happening.
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Old 29-05-2023, 19:23   #14
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Re: Itís time for big boy internet

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Originally Posted by Chotu View Post
A pretty tough decision overall. Verizon has better coverage than T-Mobile everywhere. So that might be a factor.

But I donít know if that Verizon is unlimited.


I think Verizon has better cell phone coverage where T-Mobile has the best 5g internet coverage.
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Old 29-05-2023, 19:24   #15
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Re: Itís time for big boy internet

it’s probably important to mention that I don’t really need help with networking inside the boat or anything like that. Or understanding what the different technologies are.

I have a masters in physics and a minor in computer science. I was a software developer. I know how to throw together and network at any time. I think I have some sort of Microsoft Networking certification somewhere in my rťsumť as well lol even though I was a software guy.

what I am more concerned about is what products I can get. And I guess they are all now in this thread aren’t they?

starlink sounds great. But I’m not paying $200 a month. Unless someone knows how to crack it or share their password with me and split it, I am in no way paying $200 a month for as n internet connection. And moderators don’t need to delete this post because that was basically a joke I’m not proposing actually cracking starlink though I should probably look into it ha ha

that leaves terrestrial based Internet. Cell phone Internet works pretty well for me now. The only problem is I get throttled over 20 gigs. I have an unlimited plan on my phone that throttles.

What I want to be able to do is watch a good amount of videos, use MatLab which is a local software product anyway and not necessary for the Internet connection, and do a bunch of simple text stuff with AI. I still have some software development to do as well. And I run a small business remotely, but am looking to acquire another one.

that’s about the extent of my Internet use. Oh yeah. And almost 10,000 posts on some Internet forum. Haha

By the way, I’m glad nobody likes Wi-Fi because more for me. I don’t find any problems using public Wi-Fi. Lots of businesses have a very fast connection. McDonald’s. Starbucks. Lowe’s home improvement is blazing fast. Walmart. You name it. There are tons of open networks if you have a high gain antenna. I would not mind adding that to the mix. But, if the cellular provider has unlimited band with as it pertains to the above paragraph with what I plan to do with it, there would be no reason to use the Wi-Fi anyway.
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