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Old 19-06-2021, 13:05   #1
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WIFI extenders

I need to install a wifi extender on my boat, for use with my marina wifi and while on anchor outside of town when traveling. I have looked at Winegard, Redport Halo, Rouge, etc. A bit overwhelming with too many choices and competing claims of "best, simplest, easiest to use software". What systems do you actually use and would you recommend it? I'll use a wireless router for distribution through the boat. Thanks
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Old 19-06-2021, 13:31   #2
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Re: WIFI extenders

Why wouldn't you simply use mobile data hotspotted from your phone?
Data these days is so incredibly cheap, at least it is here in Australia and South East Asia
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Old 19-06-2021, 13:43   #3
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Re: WIFI extenders

I use the Ubiquiti M2 Bullet . The software and setup can be confusing, but once it's up and running, it works well.
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Old 19-06-2021, 14:05   #4
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Re: WIFI extenders

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeanneau 45.2 View Post
I need to install a wifi extender on my boat, for use with my marina wifi and while on anchor outside of town when traveling. I have looked at Winegard, Redport Halo, Rouge, etc. A bit overwhelming with too many choices and competing claims of "best, simplest, easiest to use software". What systems do you actually use and would you recommend it? I'll use a wireless router for distribution through the boat. Thanks
I use a Bear Outdoor Extender. It is a ridiculously inexpensive and easy to use directional antenna which is perfect in marinas where the access point is always a single bearing from your yacht. You get strong signals there and back and the directional aspect cuts out multi path propagation which is the source of many of the problems in marinas (the signals bounce off of and are scattered by the masts). I've had it for several years and it was a game changer for us. We plug it into the laptop USB port, set it outside on the deck, and use Connectify software to distribute Internet connectivity throughout the boat. There is no other power required, no other cables, or installation, simple!

This directional antenna however is not as useful at anchor because as your boat swings on the hook you have to re-aim the antenna. We use it anyway and put up with the re-aiming which is needed sometimes three of four times a day. We get good WiFi from restaurants up to 3/4 miles away. (After we went in for a drink and got the password.)
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Old 19-06-2021, 14:33   #5
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Re: WIFI extenders

Our Alpha works well, is dual band and inexpensive.

https://www.amazon.com/Alfa-Long-Ran...ronics&sr=1-18
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Old 19-06-2021, 15:01   #6
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Re: WIFI extenders

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Our Alpha works well, is dual band and inexpensive.

https://www.amazon.com/Alfa-Long-Ran...ronics&sr=1-18

Interesting you mentioned that unit. I have a $20 Alfa from about 10 years ago - 2 antennae, 2.4 G only, USB out... but it works surprisingly well, pulling a multitude of APs from almost a km away. It's only real downsides are that it's not weatherproof, and limited to the length of USB run. But a great temporary/portable rig.
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Old 19-06-2021, 17:05   #7
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Re: WIFI extenders

You are correct, not waterproof. When raining we use it inside/under the dodger and still works well.

Most of the time we are using a hotspot, so unless we randomly find an open signal or get a marina password, the Alpha isn't used too much. We use a usb extension cable and still seems to work well enough. Haven't done it yet, but will make a rpi into an access point to eliminate the extension cable.
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Old 20-06-2021, 00:40   #8
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Re: WIFI extenders

I use Hotspot, WiFi’s kept local, turned off when not needed. Definitely times the wifi signals better, so be it. I don’t connect thru public access points.
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Old 21-06-2021, 05:39   #9
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Re: WIFI extenders

Mikrotik makes a device called a Groove.

https://mikrotik.com/product/RBGroov...#fndtn-gallery

It lets you make a longer-distance connection to a shore WiFi network. If you've already got something on-board for networking then this would plug into your wired WAN port.

Ubiquiti makes something similar.

Understanding, of course, that free wifi doesn't mean it'll have any kind of decent throughput. Especially not on weekends, as everyone else tries to use it too.

Eventually it leads to using a cellular data connection, and for that devices like those from peplink, mofi, cradlepoint and others come into play.
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Old 21-06-2021, 08:16   #10
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Re: WIFI extenders

Iíve gone from tethered phone
To microtik groove
To peplink
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Old 21-06-2021, 08:43   #11
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Re: WIFI extenders

I use this dirt cheap wifi extender. Marina wifi in my cabin is iffy, a few feet higher it is ok so this works great and very cheap.
https://www.amazon.com/TUOSHI-Extend...=tuoshi&sr=8-3
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Old 21-06-2021, 09:36   #12
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Re: WIFI extenders

We have used a Mikrotik Groove for about 6 years. It was reasonably inexpensive ($60) and works very well. The initial set up however is not intuitive but once it is up and running connecting to different/new networks is relatively simple.

The documentation is not great but there are enough users globally that someone will have solved nearly any issue that a new user might encounter.

A major strength is that it uses POE to power the antenna and the base unit will run on 12V. At the time this feature was unusual in a low cost device. It allowed us to pull in networks from a greater distance than previously tried and abandoned cheap passive systems.
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Old 22-06-2021, 04:12   #13
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Re: WIFI extenders

We built our wifi system based on this write up:

mv.VikingStar: WiFi Repeater for the boat - An Update

works really well but the larger problem is the (generally) really bad bandwidth at most marinas we've been at!
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Old 22-06-2021, 16:18   #14
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Re: WIFI extenders

We've used the unit from Island Time for years. Great support. That being said, most every WiFi is now secured. It's pretty much useless.
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Old 22-07-2021, 08:02   #15
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Re: WIFI extenders

Which peplink do you use?


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Iíve gone from tethered phone
To microtik groove
To peplink
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