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Old 20-05-2017, 21:26   #1
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Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Cape Coral, FL/Annapolis, MD
Boat: Too many and they’re all for sale
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Great Phone, Internet, TV option for liveaboards

I've been meaning to post this for a while. When I was living aboard a dock queen I scoured the internet for suggestions for Internet at the dock.

I was living in the Baltimore Harbor which has a great local company that provides Internet... but not to my dock!

All the speeds and hotspots were laughable, and the amount of data was horrendous! So I dug further.

T-mobile I found out has an "unleashed" plan where many apps don't count towards your data, I thought this is too good to be true! So I confirmed, Hulu, Netflix, Pandora and Spotify (along with like 20 other apps don't count towards your data) WHAT?!? What else could anyone need data for at this point.

My original idea was to stream my phone to my Apple TV, then realized I couldn't do that with a network. So I dug more and found an HDMI attachment for iPhones (they're cheaper for androids, I think there are others out there but it was a $50 adapter)

I signed up with T-mobile, got an iPad too for extra hotspot data usage and 90% of my "computer" processes. When I really need an actual computer I plugged my phone or iPad into my laptop.

Sure I don't have access to new shows right off the bat unless they're available on Hulu, and they eat your data, but you can get a satellite dish if you want, I had one and never used it.

If you're looking for primarily TV I think AT&T has a plan with direct tv that you can watch your recorded shows without using data. I primarily wanted Internet, music, and TV so I went with T-Mobile.

Cons:
-T-mobile service is shitty in non-metropolitan areas, before switching make sure it works at your marina!
-If you are using it as a hot-spot often you'll burn your 4G LTE data quickly.
-DO NOT stream movies off the Internet and expect your data to last. Average movies use 1.5 GB, my plan is combined 16GB 4G LTE data for comparable price to what I was spending for 4GB on Verizon before. Think about your Data like your 12v. Don't run your hair dryer off your inverter when you're on the hook!
-T-mobile has shitty phone payment plans. You have to "lease" your phone and pay for them over time because they don't have "contracts"
-if you only have a phone for your TV it has to be wired in and if you get a call during a show it cuts out (that's why I got an iPad too, it can be used as an "entertainment control" also you can set up keyboards to iPads through Bluetooth so it can pretty much replace a laptop!)
-Major network apps are not unleashed! So my precious HBO app cost data, during GOT I used almost 1/2 my high speed data on streaming when I didn't watch it at someone else's place (fortunately my girlfriend had a nice house with HBO and heat)

Pros:
-PRICE! I think my plan costs $120ish/mo with upgraded full speed data and extra hot spot (I don't even come close to using it all because I only use Hulu, Netflix, Pandora and Spotify. ($18 more a month for Hulu and Spotify) my overall bill is closer to $180 with phone and iPad payments, and insurance on both, I could pay off the phones, and I keep the insurance because I'm always scared I'll drop my backpack in the water
-Your internet rolls with you! If you move to a different marina or spend the night on the hook in cell service you're still golden
-1 bill, I don't have separate cell phone, hotspot, tv, etc...
-I drive a TON for work, and I have Internet radio at full speed all the time. My service cuts out in rural areas, but never for too long.
-it's simple! No confusing equipment to buy, no wires to run, just a lightening->HDMI adapter (it charges your phone/iPad while playing too so your phone/iPad doesn't die)
-less things to plug in, you'll want to charge your phone or tablet anyway, I know those outlets are as precious for you as they are for me. Keep them free!

Hope this helps someone fix their internet woes, and high speed issues! I know streaming movies and music was a MAJOR concern of mine when I was living aboard. I spent days researching options and this was the best I could come up with. I'm sure there are some other options now, but this was by far the best I could come up with.
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