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Old 28-06-2019, 11:40   #16
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Re: WiFi Range Extender vs MiFi Hotspot vs etc

always a good topic to bring up with technology always evolving.

We're full-time liveaboards in Washington State and I still work virtually from the boat while my wife does a lot of streaming.

I tried to keep it simple. We have two phones with hotspots on the T-mobile unlimited plan for $110/month. Each phone gets 55gb of data and we use a WeBoost sleek if we're not close to the cell towers.

For wifi when close to town or in a marina, I have a Bearfi outdoor range extender I run up the mast if I need to.

Both solutions are quite simple, inexpensive, hassle-free and non-permanent installs, so it's easy to stow and go.

The WeBoost can be had for $199 on Amazon and the Bearfi is about $70.

Neither of these is workable offshore, although I have had pretty good cell service up to 15 miles off the coast of Oregon and Ca even without the WeBoost.

Regards,

Doug
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Old 29-06-2019, 22:05   #17
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Re: WiFi Range Extender vs MiFi Hotspot vs etc

following.
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Old 01-07-2019, 13:54   #18
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Re: WiFi Range Extender vs MiFi Hotspot vs etc

It really depends on where you are. For us, we use a MiFi with a Digicel SIM card in the english-speaking islands of the Eastern Caribbean. We tether to a phone (either t-Mobile or Google Fi) on the French-speaking islands. On occasion we use our wifi booster to connect to a shore station of the cell coverage sucks. Or, going ashore to a restaurant with wifi provided works if all else fails. You have to be flexible.
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Old 11-07-2019, 04:59   #19
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Re: WiFi Range Extender vs MiFi Hotspot vs etc

As a follow up to the thread...

I upped my data plan to unlimited, which included 15 gb of hotspot. My step son gave me his old Galaxy S6 phone. I added it to my plan for only $35/month. Between the two phones, we now have 30 gb of hotspot coverage. The hotspots on both phone are named the same so we can turn one off when it reaches the limit, turn the other on, and all of the devices that were configured to connect to one should be able to connect to the other (though we haven't tried that part yet).

Yesterday, I worked from the boat. I started off connecting the work laptop to the wifi range extender but the signal kept dropping. Out comes the cellphone, activate the hotspot, and connect the laptop to it. Back in business and it was stable all day, including audio/video conferencing, screen sharing, etc. My wife was also using the hotspot to connect her iPad. With all of that activity, at the end of the day, only .5 gb was used.

I think we've found our solution. The S6 will remain onboard as the permanent wifi node.

Thanks for all of the input.

John
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Old 14-07-2019, 06:32   #20
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Re: WiFi Range Extender vs MiFi Hotspot vs etc

Ivanvet. So to clarify this device is the is purely a wifi booster and from it's specs, it's mounted internally. A number of devices I've been researching appear to need external or mast installations for better signal boost. Is that not an issue w/ the MOFI4500?

You're wireless was cable based. So if I want both a wifi and 'mofi/mifi' booster, I'd need a additional device (wifi booster)?

Preferably the setup I'm trying build would be default Wifi booster that all devices (or at least the internal boat router) connect to and if that fails go over to the Mofi booster. Preferably automatically... sorry if these sound like newbie questions.
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Old 17-07-2019, 03:20   #21
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Re: WiFi Range Extender vs MiFi Hotspot vs etc

The Mofi has antenas in the device for both celular and wifi. It doesn’t need to be externally mounted (as in the mast). I didn’t have a problem with reception, but there is a possibility of putting an antenna high in the mast and run the cable down to the device. I assume you would increase range with that route. I don’t know if this is considered a booster or what, but I assume a booster is just an antenna, which is what this has.

I have all the devices connected to the Mofi, in their own network. It’s the Mofi who ‘chooses’ where to get the internet from; either my internet cable, s SIM card with data, a usb dongle with data, etc... You set which one to prioritize, and if number 1 doesn’t work (when I disconnect the internet cable leaving the marina) it fails over to number 2.

I hope this helps,
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Old 17-07-2019, 05:21   #22
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Re: WiFi Range Extender vs MiFi Hotspot vs etc

Ivanvet,

You covered it perfectly, thanks! Picking up a sailing Cat in FtL and bringing back to Chicago. Beyond being a long slog, I freelance and my wife's still full time... gotta squeeze in work hours along the way!

Thanks again!
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Old 17-07-2019, 05:53   #23
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Re: WiFi Range Extender vs MiFi Hotspot vs etc

I work from our boat and originally tried the Mofi device. It had good speeds, but I had issues with the internet connection randomly dropping which I can't have. I wound up returning it under the 30 day policy. I then purchased components recommended on this blog and have been using it for about 6 months with an ATT unlimited plan (found on eBay for about $30 / month)
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Old 17-07-2019, 05:57   #24
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Re: WiFi Range Extender vs MiFi Hotspot vs etc

SailingUnity,

Thanks for the heads up. Not a bad blog, straightforward posts!

Cheers!
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Old 17-07-2019, 08:54   #25
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Re: WiFi Range Extender vs MiFi Hotspot vs etc

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingunity View Post
I work from our boat and originally tried the Mofi device. It had good speeds, but I had issues with the internet connection randomly dropping which I can't have. I wound up returning it under the 30 day policy. I then purchased components recommended on this blog and have been using it for about 6 months with an ATT unlimited plan (found on eBay for about $30 / month)
Good to know. So far, I have only 'relied on' the Mofi for 3 weeks with no problems (so no long-term results), but I read that the initial Mofi versions had the issue of dropping their connection, and they have seemed to improve this with the last models. When did you try the Mofi?

Thanks for the website. This is a test run for us. At some point in the future we will depend on being connected to the internet to run the business and trading so we can do more long-term cruising.

Cheers,

Ivan
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Old 13-08-2019, 07:00   #26
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Re: WiFi Range Extender vs MiFi Hotspot vs etc

Ivan,

I picked up the MOFI 4500 and have been trying to get ANYONE on the phone the last 2 days (I have talked w/ a couple folks there last week). You wouldn't have heard anything?

Cheers!
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Old 13-08-2019, 09:40   #27
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Re: WiFi Range Extender vs MiFi Hotspot vs etc

I haven't heard anything, but I haven't tried to contact them either. Do you have the device already? Are you having any issue with it? I've been using it on and off without problems.
Maybe they are on holidays?
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Old 13-08-2019, 09:58   #28
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Re: WiFi Range Extender vs MiFi Hotspot vs etc

Unfortunately, not overly impressed. There's a short in the power supply, currently plugged into cig outlet while configuring. DO NOT like that it doesn't support 5G, that's a bit of a drag. I've got a SIM in it and want to test that out. But I've been trying to get both Cust Service and Tech Support on calls or at least respond to emails... all quiet. I'll keep trying!! Generally a clever device, but that lack of 5G may be a deal breaker
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Old 19-08-2019, 11:19   #29
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Re: WiFi Range Extender vs MiFi Hotspot vs etc

What brand repeater and cost
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Old 19-08-2019, 11:54   #30
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Re: WiFi Range Extender vs MiFi Hotspot vs etc

Wave a Ubiquiti Bullet M2-HP that hasn't been exercised since left the marina in Charleston. We use otrmobile.com for $60/month fast unlimited cell data over AT&T in Florida and the PR/USVI. Island Wifi was great in the Bahamas.

Cheers, RickG
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