Originally Posted by BigAl.NZ
We are looking to do a 10 day passage
in the S.Pacific from NZ to Fiji and need email for gribs etc. I am weighing up the options in terms of mail clients (no starlink available).
Our hardware is Iridium Extreme and PactorIII.
SailMail : Can use with both PactorIII and iridium Extreme
XGate: Can use with Iridium - not sure about PactorIII?
XGate certainly talks a good game
about being optimised for email (compression), and blocking big files etc. Could not find any information on how much if any SailMail also compresses data?
Does anyone have any real world comparison of the two? With costs starting to mount (Sailmail $200 or so USD) and the various bits for the Iridium I am tempted just to go with one or the other (rather than having both, with one as a backup).
Finally has anyone bothered with a RedPort? Did it make any difference on top of the Xgate compression?
1.) Redport is the company that made the Optimizer AND Xgate. You should use an Optimizer or something like it if you are using a handheld phone, an Iridium Pilot or Certus, Inmarsat Fleet, etc. The Redport Optimizer is basically a wifi
router/firewall that knows how to control a satellite devices connection status. It works with Xgate but each does a different thing, ie: they complement each other.
Xgate provides the Email service, email client software
, email address, etc. It also has bigmail management, and performs the compression, checkpoint restart, and other advanced features useful for transferring data over slow, unreliable connections.
Redport Optimizer blocks ALL data connection through it that isn't specifically allowed, and out of the box it only allows specific satellite optimized services, namely Sailmail, Xgate, and Predictwind. (you can configure it to allow other services). By blocking normal connections and only allowing special services like Xgate you end up ONLY using satellite data when you intend to, you get the best performance you can since there aren't a bunch of things trying to use a slow connection at the same time, and you use less data for your email and weather because the allowed apps/software do compression. The router itself does not do any compression with one exception. The Optimizer has an Xgate client built in, so you can configure it to make a periodic connection, download new mail, and send any new mail you wrote, and those transfers will be compressed. Then you can sync email to your computer/tablet directly from the Optimizer over WiFi
or access a built in webmail. Most users don't use the built in Xgate client, and just use the Xgate software
on their PC/Mac/iOS/Android device.
Mailasail box, OCENS Sidekick, etc are all more or less the same as Optimizer. The email software and service does the compression, the box restricts what connections can go through the satellite connection.
2.) Sailmail works over Pactor, Iridium Go, Iridium Handheld, and other Internet connections.
3.) Xgate works on ANY internet connection EXCEPT Pactor. So its good for satellite, wifi, cellular, home broadband
, slow coffee shop networks, etc.
4.) Xgate is $20/month or $240/year, Sailmail is $275/year.
5.) Sailmail only allows specific types of file attachments, namely weather related. Xgate will allow any attachment of practically any size and will do compression (when possible) and checkpoint restart. So if you download 10% of the message during a connection and the connection fails, the next time you connect it resumes from 10% and doesn't have to start over. This means you WILL eventually get the file even when the connection is unstable and slow, and you won't use excessively more billable minutes or data to get it.
6.) Iridium GO is slower than PACTOR4, but Inmarsat Fleet, Iridium Pilot/Certus, etc are significantly faster.
7.) Many services like Inmarsat and Iridium Certus have high $/MB rates, but the reality is you don't use much data on Sailmail/Pactor, Iridium Go, or Iridium handhelds. At those speeds you transfer (at best) about 1MB per hour. A "unlimited" Go! data minutes plan is $155/mo. While a 10MB Certus or Fleet one plan is $130/mo or less. It would take 10-20 hours of actual connection time on a Go! to consume 10MB. So if you put an Optimizer in front of a Fleet One, Pilot, Certus 100, or Certus 200 device, or a KVH V30 for that matter, used the same apps like Xgate and Predictwind as a Go!, you'd download data 100X faster and spend less money
each month. Plus have the ability to download massively larger files IF you needed them, and have higher quality voice calling, etc.
99% of Go! users consume 5MB or less per month on their highest usage months. (There are of course always exceptions to every rule).
8.) If you have an Iridium Extreme, you can add an Optimizer to that with USB cable and use Xgate and PredictWind with that. Or with Sailmail. Before the Go! was popular, most cruisers using Iridium used a handheld phone, a prepaid SIM card, an Optimizer, and Xgate, or a similar setup from another email provider like OCENS, Mailasail, etc.
That said, if you have PACTOR4 and it works for you, you don't *need* something else.