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Old 21-07-2020, 09:09   #1
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Reliable Internet Access Tips?

We are likely to do quite abit of cruising this fall now that our high school has moved to remote learning yet we will need to have daily stable access to the internet for school for our boys.

As I'm starting to research options for access (we're southeast - currently in NC and would be heading south likely to bahamas over time), any tips on best access for ensuring we have stable connection? I work remotely and would likely have to be online quite a bit as well.

Thanks in advance! Sad they will not be live in school but psyched to give this amazing opportunity to them at this time in their lives!
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Old 21-07-2020, 12:08   #2
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Re: Reliable Internet Access Tips?

So... You need high speed, unlimited data, no throttling, and tethering to multiple devices, available in the US and Bahamas. If You want this outside cell phone range, the cost will be in the tens of thousands per month for satellite. I presume you don't want to spend that much.

In cell phone range, the only choice in the Bahamas is MyIsland Wifi. It works off the BTC cell system. Cost is about $85 per month, unlimited data, and 4gLte speed, no throttling. In the US there are several carriers. I use FinallyWifi, which are the same people as MyIsland Wifi, with similar pricing.

Marina Wifi systems generally are not reliable.

Have fun
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Old 21-07-2020, 14:20   #3
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Re: Reliable Internet Access Tips?

Thanks @pitchondesign for the very helpful info. Had hoped we might have better options on the sattelite front.
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Old 21-07-2020, 16:53   #4
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Re: Reliable Internet Access Tips?

You could get Viasat Marine. Cost is $2,500 per month. You get 35gb of data, with speed "up to" 50Mbps, but not guaranteed. Its easy to blow through 35 gb in a week with video. Its the least expensive satellite internet currently available to the marine market. The same service on a house is $50 per month.
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Old 22-07-2020, 09:02   #5
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Re: Reliable Internet Access Tips?

I have used the AT&T Wireless Internet plan for the past 15 months here on the West Coast. $100 per month for 100GB of data, 4G and no throttling. Typically we get 40mps down and 20mps up. It has been extremely reliable. $25 per 10GB over the 100GB base entitlement.
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Old 22-07-2020, 09:29   #6
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Re: Reliable Internet Access Tips?

I'm a huge fan of Google's Project Fi cell phone service. I've been using it for years because of it's easy handling of international coverage, and good price structure.

The cost for data is $10/gig for the first 6 gb, then it is free. They do throttle after 30 gb, but you can get the fast speeds back if you are willing to pay the $10/gb again for any usage past 30 gb. On the months I use enough to get throttled, I can tell you the slowed-down speeds are unbearable and unusable. So depending how much data you expect to use, this may or may not be feasible. However, even if you got this plan 3 times (allowing the family to use 90 gb between you before throttling), the cost of the data would only be $180. They also charge $20/month for the general service fee, bringing your total to $240/month for 90 gb of LTE-speed data.

The Fi service also piggy-backs on Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint towers (Does Sprint still exist or did they get bought out?), so the service is generally as good or better than any US carrier. Abroad, they piggy-back on whatever tower operator is local, so presumably BTC towers in Bahamas.

There are no additional data fees for international service in most countries, including the Bahamas. If you do use the service for calls, there is usually a $0.20/min international charge.

The biggest drawback is you are limited in which devices are compatible with Fi's service, so you would be pretty likely to have to switch phones, incurring additional upfront cost. However, my Pixel phone I have through Fi has a built-in hotspot function that I use to connect all of my other devices with no issues whatsoever. I know some people have purchased sim-cards through Fi that they can swap in to compatible devices in order to connect to the data network, but I can't speak to the details of those setups.

This won't help you when out of LTE coverage of course, but I've found it's pretty robust, and a hell of a lot cheaper than satellite options.

Other option I can think of is to wait for Elon to get Starlink going, but that could be quite a long wait...
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Old 22-07-2020, 09:53   #7
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Re: Reliable Internet Access Tips?

BYOP/Hotspot, or one of the 'free' devices, Sprint has 50 and 100GB/mo plans at 70 and 80 bux a month if you autopay; I just switched from their now-partner T-Mobile because their 'unlimited' plan for phone hotspot (data transfer to other devices) is only 20GB, which I blow through in less than 3 weeks, sometimes just 2.

"Free" devices have a 2-year contract, but BYOPhone or hotspot are month-month...
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Old 22-07-2020, 10:12   #8
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Re: Reliable Internet Access Tips?

My island WiFi in the Bahamas - no throttling because they limit the number of devices, so contact them 60-90 days ahead if your need to get on the list. Marinas on the East coast of US that have Onspot WiFi generally have excellent coverage & bandwidth - generally free with transient slips but usually higher end marinas. As others have said, most other marinas have insufficient signal & insufficient bandwidth for your kids needs.o
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Old 22-07-2020, 11:31   #9
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Re: Reliable Internet Access Tips?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flatswing View Post
My island WiFi in the Bahamas - no throttling because they limit the number of devices, so contact them 60-90 days ahead if your need to get on the list. Marinas on the East coast of US that have Onspot WiFi generally have excellent coverage & bandwidth - generally free with transient slips but usually higher end marinas. As others have said, most other marinas have insufficient signal & insufficient bandwidth for your kids needs.o
I spoke to the President of MyIsland Wifi about the limitation of available hardware. As it turns out, his contract with BTC requires that BTC provides the hardware and SIM. BTC decided, in breach of contract, to withhold the hardware. He sued BTC in the Bahamian Court system, and won. So, the lack of hardware from MyIsland Wifi should not reoccur in the future. His contract with BTC goes on for many years. Fortunately, the Bahamas is lawful country.
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Old 22-07-2020, 11:50   #10
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Re: Reliable Internet Access Tips?

Google fi.
With cell phone booster gives you 18 to 20 miles from Bt tower. So staniel marginal. Warderick not so good. Check unlimited plan.
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Old 22-07-2020, 14:06   #11
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Re: Reliable Internet Access Tips?

The Bahamas has lock out all traveler from the United States.
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Old 22-07-2020, 14:44   #12
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Re: Reliable Internet Access Tips?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jmschmidt View Post
The Bahamas has lock out all traveler from the United States.


Not quite.

Commercial flights are halted.

US citizens can still arrive by private vessel or aircraft. With a negative Covid test in hand.
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Old 22-07-2020, 15:29   #13
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Re: Reliable Internet Access Tips?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jmschmidt View Post
The Bahamas has lock out all traveler from the United States.
There are numerous restrictions in the Bahamas currently; you should check with the Government, as there have been frequent changes.

https://www.clickorlando.com/news/lo...ing-wednesday/
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Old 22-07-2020, 15:43   #14
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Re: Reliable Internet Access Tips?

Quote:
Originally Posted by skipgundlach View Post
There are numerous restrictions in the Bahamas currently; you should check with the Government, as there have been frequent changes.

https://www.clickorlando.com/news/lo...ing-wednesday/
More complete:
Health Alert - U.S. Embassy Nassau, The Bahamas – July 20, 2020
Location: The Bahamas
Event: The Bahamas announces (1) the ban of international commercial flights from the United States with passengers effective midnight July 22, 2020 and (2) the closure of Grand Bahamas’ international and domestic borders effective July 22, 2020
On July 19, the Prime Minister of The Bahamas announced a series of measures to mitigate the recent upward trend in COVID-19 cases. Key updates include:
INBOUND COMMERCIAL FLIGHTS FROM THE UNITED STATES WITH PASSENGERS
WILL CEASE EFFECTIVE JULY 22, 2020
International commercial flights and commercial vessels bound from the United States carrying passengers will not be permitted to enter Bahamian borders effective midnight Wednesday, July 22, 2020 until further notice. ONLY commercial flights from Canada, the United Kingdom, and the European Union will be permitted to enter the country until further notice. Media reports stating The Bahamas’ borders will entirely close to U.S. citizens July 22 are inaccurate. To be clear, U.S. citizens traveling on private aircraft or vessels will be permitted entry as long as they have followed the mandatory entry requirements, to include the COVID-19 testing and Travel Health Visa Application procedures outlined below.
Private international flights, charter flights, pleasure craft and yachts (from any country) that are carrying Bahamian citizens, Bahamian residents or visitors as passengers are permitted to enter.
GRAND BAHAMA: CLOSURE OF INTERNATIONAL AND DOMESTIC BORDERS TO ALL INCOMING AND OUTGOING FLIGHTS AND VESSELS EFFECTIVE JULY 22, 2020
The island of Grand Bahama’s international and domestic borders will be closed to all incoming and outgoing flights and sea vessels effective midnight Wednesday, July 22, 2020 until further notice. U.S. citizens who are planning to depart Grand Bahama are urged to do so immediately, or to plan to remain in Grand Bahama for an extended period. The U.S. Embassy does not anticipate providing repatriation flights.
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