Originally Posted by Skylarks
Internet on board, I need good solution to maximise internet on board. I wish to maximise marina signal as boat
will be marina based for a year. We then plan blue water sailing
. It it best to get a WiFi booster now and 4 g booster added later . Is there a lossless combined option? Can anyone recommend an experienced good company to provide advice
and to purchase
solution. Uk or South African expertise preferable. I seem to just be reading and reading and not finding the optimum solution. # getting more confused.
For over one year we have been using a Bear Outdoor WiFi Extender. This device plugs into a PC with a USB plug
. It is DIRECTIONAL! It is simple and remarkably cheap
In our marina and elsewhere we've been the multiple signals bouncing off of masts makes most use of wi-fi difficult. We fought it for four years trying various systems all with omni directional antennas. The Bear, however, is a directional antenna
and works great. It cuts through the clutter. It also has very good range. We used it when anchored outside of several marinas
. If we had a password we could usually get a good connection. For example, in Barra De Navidad we got connection good enough for Netflix at over 1/2 mile from the marina building. There is no external power requirement, no other pieces, just the bear antenna
plugged into the computer. It is portable, not permanently mounted on the railing. Of course the Bear must be pointed towards the access point. When anchored we frequently have to go outside and turn the bear towards the shore antenna. With a 12' cord going out of the main hatch
we can reach the mast
or the boom, and right now it is tied to the mast
with a sail tie.
We use Connectify application on the PC to create a hotspot for other devices on board.
When away from a WiFi source we use cellular service with a USB cellular modem
. A prepaid SIM card with a good data plan is inserted into the USB Modem
(dongle). A 9' USB extension cord allows this USB modem to also be plugged into the PC and placed outside the boat however it does not need line of sight to the cell tower. This solution works well but data plans vary in cost. Some US based unlimited plans (ATT, T-Mobile) get cut off when they figure out you are based outside of the USA instead of simply travelling.
With these two solutions we generally have (except while on passage
away from the shore) full time Internet. We always use Connectify to share the Internet connection to other devices.
we used SSB
modems connected to Sailmail. it is not for Internet browsing. but good for email
and selected web page downloading (text) via saildocs.