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Old 09-18-2015, 11:28 AM   #1
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WiFi Booster

What solutions have you come up with for a wifi booster that is flexible upon antenna direction (omnidirectional) that work while underway and what kind of results are you getting while under way? Thanks in advance, you folks are the best!
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Old 09-18-2015, 11:37 AM   #2
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Nothing is going to help you for more than few minutes while underway, think about it: this isn't cellular. After seeing all kinds of solutions, and many of them are very good, I feel that the Wirie products are the easiest to set up and use.

Marine WiFi and RV WiFi and 3G/4G solutions: The Wirie AP+, The Wirie pro, and The Wirie Ex
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Old 09-18-2015, 11:44 AM   #3
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Wave Wifi |

I've have used several of their systems on several boats and they always work great.

For data underway we use a Cadlepoint system with an AT&T data card in a USB modem that can accept two antennas. If you want true 4G or LTE speeds you need 2 antennas. Works very well.
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Old 09-18-2015, 01:37 PM   #4
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As the PP noted, nothing is going to help with a wifi signal for long while underway. At 6 kts you will be far beyond a wifi source within 10 minutes. The only solution for underway use is satellite (incredibly expensive) or cell phone.

In areas where dense cell service exists- Southern Florida or the NE, then a smart phone with a hot spot feature works well. We stayed connected while cruising from Connecticut to Martha's Vinyard with only a few holes.

But in lots of areas along the Atlantic ICW you will need some help to stay connected. A cell booster will double or triple the effective range of a cell tower.

Jeff Siegel of Active Captain wrote a series of articles on boosting cell signals. Look at the lower right corner of this page for a list of articles here: https://activecaptain.com/articles/m...ones/intro.php

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Old 09-18-2015, 02:03 PM   #5
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On our trip this summer we tested the Redport WiFi Optimizer. Works GREAT. While we were in the Broughtons we discovered that even though a marina or resort advertised they had free wifi, that didn't necessarily mean you could use it! Many of the places up there are on satellite systems, and they want customers to only access email and such (no streaming videos!!). At Pierre's Echo Bay for instance, even Kristian (Pierre and Tove's son) would tell people checking in that you will only be able to actually log on about 10% of the time. Most people take their mobile devices up to the store for the strongest connection. We were moored at the far end of the marina and without the Optimizer we could not even get a wifi signal. With the Optimizer, we were able to get a strong signal and logo on. Same at other places.

Back "home" in our slip, the marina has free wifi here but it, too is hit or miss when we tried to log on. Now with the Optimzer, the signal is always strong and we can log on every single time. So we think it's a very good product. It was easy to install as well. We're making a video about it which we hope to have done soon...
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Old 09-18-2015, 02:33 PM   #6
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What the heck, here's one more. We see more of these in the Bahamas and Eastern Caribbean than probably any other.

Marine WiFi Systems

You can also make your own for around $100.


mv.VikingStar: WiFi Repeater for the boat - An Update
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Old 09-18-2015, 02:41 PM   #7
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If anyone is looking to just boost a weak signal in a marina, this has worked well for us: PR2000 | WiFi Range Extenders | Networking | Home | NETGEAR

It has a better antenna than our TV or Roku, so it takes the weak marina signal and rebroadcasts it as our own network on the boat. Because of the builtin wifi router, it also allows us to cast things from our phones to the TV. This has worked well now that Amazon Prime allows users to download some video for free (until a few weeks ago, you could only like stream). Now, I can download video at home then when we are anchored with no signal, I can use our chromcast to cast the video and sound to the TV. So, this fixes to issues for us - boosts the poor wife in the marina, and allows us to cast things from our phones/computer to the tV when we have no signal. All that said, it isn't going to get the kind of range the several hundred $ wifi extenders are going to get.
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Old 09-21-2015, 02:37 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caltexflanc View Post
Nothing is going to help you for more than few minutes while underway, think about it: this isn't cellular. After seeing all kinds of solutions, and many of them are very good, I feel that the Wirie products are the easiest to set up and use.

Marine WiFi and RV WiFi and 3G/4G solutions: The Wirie AP+, The Wirie pro, and The Wirie Ex

I agree with George...I use this too. It set's up a dedicated Wifi network on the boat, then allows you to scan available signals outside and connect to them. Once you establish an external connection, any device on the boat can connect to your Boat system and hence to the outside connection. It's powerful enough that I've generally always found an available signal in the various ports I've visited. Simple to use software, No hassle install other than a simple 12v connection. Everything else is self contained in the box..

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Old 09-21-2015, 02:51 PM   #9
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Those look like ubiquitti bullets, but with much more user-friendly interfaces. It took an awful lot of time and effort, but I finally learned enough to properly configure my bullet and on-board wireless router to work perfectly. Now I can easily (from my wireless laptop, without changing any of its network settings) survey all of the available wireless hotspots and lock my bullet onto the hotspot of my choice. At that point, all of the devices on my boat will share an internet connection. All the ipads, the squeezebox, everyone's iphone/android, the laptops, and my boat's nav computer then get internet with no need to reconfigure any of those devices.

Anyone with network knowledge can probably set it up easily, but even a complete amateur, like me can figure it out (although there is very little good, understandable, on-line help available). Many will recommend using the bullet as an access point and using an on-board router to distribute the internet connection. The problem with that approach is that it puts the bullet on the other side of your fire wall, so accessing it to change hot spots, etc., is not easy. The better approach (in my experience) is to configure the bullet as a router, and to configure the on-board router as a wireless access point (connected to the bullet by Ethernet cable).
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Old 09-21-2015, 02:59 PM   #10
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Those look like ubiquitti bullets, but with much more user-friendly interfaces.
Yes, they use the Titanium model. Interface and router are built in to the box requiring no cabling or separate router. It's a simple "one Box" solution..
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Old 09-21-2015, 03:04 PM   #11
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Probably well worth the extra cost over DYI, but in case anyone is considering building their own, I will observe that the Titanium has the same specs as the regular (plastic) version, but that the plastic version has a 4 or 5 segment color LED display on its side that is lacking from the titanium. That display can be very convenient as it confirms at a glance that you have locked on to a strong signal (it indicates the signal you have selected and ignores the strength of all the other signals).

Some of my devices (most importantly, a security DVR) connect to my Access Point by ethernet cable, and are not capable of making a wireless connection. In that regard, it is probably better not to have everything in one box.
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