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Old 05-22-2016, 09:07 AM   #1
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Question Wi-Fi-Access?

One week to go before we're on our way up the Hudson River on the Downeast Circle Loop. I've been considering adding one the wi-fi extender products to the boat. I do need internet access (I work from the boat), but am wondering if it is worth it. Most wi-fi connections require secure passwords, etc. So what is the average amount of sites that can be used. I currently use my iPhone as a hotspot for my Surface Pro 4.

If anyone is using any of the wi-fi extenders, can you please reply with our experience. Thanks.
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Old 05-22-2016, 09:44 AM   #2
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I have a RogueWave antenna and it picks up a lot of hotspots. Most all of them are secure. However, if you have xfinity wifi account, there are a lot of xfinity hotspots that are open for use by customers. I logged onto one and now it automatically will connect to other xfinity hotspots without having to sign in each time.
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Old 05-22-2016, 09:50 AM   #3
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I too have had good luck with the xfinity hotspots.

Any system extender wortks...as usual with electronics...up to date both harware and software is necessary for max flexibility out there.

If you are not good at networking...use the most user friendly....I hear Wirie is user friendly...I went with Islandtime...a little more difficult but good customer service.
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Old 05-22-2016, 10:27 AM   #4
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If you are using your phone as a hotspot, a cellular signal booster might be a good choice.
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Old 05-22-2016, 10:39 AM   #5
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If you are using your phone as a hotspot, a cellular signal booster might be a good choice.
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Old 05-22-2016, 10:39 AM   #6
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+1 on Rogue Wifi. I've used one for 4 years, picking up signals I couldn't get with my laptop.
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Old 05-22-2016, 10:39 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drb1025 View Post
I have a RogueWave antenna and it picks up a lot of hotspots. Most all of them are secure. However, if you have xfinity wifi account, there are a lot of xfinity hotspots that are open for use by customers. I logged onto one and now it automatically will connect to other xfinity hotspots without having to sign in each time.
This is my situation as well.
With most connections secured I can usually find an xfinity WiFi hotspot to log into that i couldn't without my extender.
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Old 05-22-2016, 12:58 PM   #8
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Our wifi use while cruising has transitioned from 90% wifi and 10% 4G/LTE to now almost 100% LTE. And the reason isn't that 4G/LTE is so great, it's that marina wifi is usually close to or completely unusable. And homeowners who used to leave their wifi open are now locking it up. Our last month of cruising from Seattle to Ketchikan we didn't use wifi once the entire trip, and even at a marina in Ketchikan we are on 4G/LTE because the wifi sucks.

I don't know what the problem is with marina wifi, and am highly skeptical when people pose explanations, mostly because without diagnostic equipment people are just guessing. Me included. But I think the only marina that I have been in over the past 2 years where the wifi has been usable is SMBC on the ship canal in Seattle, and that's only because they upgraded everything the 5G wifi. Before that it didn't work at all.

Have others found the same trend?
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Old 05-22-2016, 01:25 PM   #9
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If you are using your phone as a hotspot, a cellular signal booster might be a good choice.
+2. Then you are more self reliant and not depending on luck. There is a version set up with a gizmo available through Amazon that I heard out of the corner of my eye that is fast and reliable.
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Old 05-22-2016, 01:41 PM   #10
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If you don't have the capabilities to crack the secure wifi networks then your best bet would be to use the cellular networks. You can also experiment with high gain antennas and perhaps a Yagi (directional).

For those that travel a lot then this would be the best answer since we generally pickup cell signals easily up to 10 nm offshore and that's only with a handheld mobile.
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Old 05-22-2016, 02:13 PM   #11
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I use a Wirie AP (Wifi only), but they do make a unit that utilizes LTE as well. All the bells and whisltes in one easy to install unit. No networking or other gymnastics..

Marine WiFi and RV WiFi 3G/4G/LTE solutions – The Wirie
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Old 05-22-2016, 02:22 PM   #12
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In the Puget Sound region I use my phone as a hotspot. However, there are places even in the South Sound where I don't get enough of a LTE signal to do it (West end of Harstene Island for example). In looking to cruise into Canada for a short time I am thinking that I will likely be out of cell range, or data costs will be prohibitive.

The only thing that bothers me is not being able to access the most reliable source of information, TF.
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Old 05-22-2016, 03:13 PM   #13
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As a "work at home" guy with Comcast Business Class, the default setting is to leave an open port for people with an Xfinity account access to your home WiFi if they have an account and password. The net result - I was suffering, so I shut that port off on my router so it no longer broadcasts. For those that are bandwidth restricted, this default arrangement consumes their GB limit.
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Old 05-23-2016, 11:33 AM   #14
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As a "work at home" guy with Comcast Business Class, the default setting is to leave an open port for people with an Xfinity account access to your home WiFi if they have an account and password. The net result - I was suffering, so I shut that port off on my router so it no longer broadcasts. For those that are bandwidth restricted, this default arrangement consumes their GB limit.

Wow, is that only on the business class service, or do they let people piggyback on your home service too? Presumably if you don't use their wifi device there is no way for them to piggyback?
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Old 05-23-2016, 12:07 PM   #15
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I replaced my RoguePro with an AIGEAN Link7 which is dual band. I have been very happy with it.
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Old 05-23-2016, 01:20 PM   #16
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I replaced my RoguePro with an AIGEAN Link7 which is dual band. I have been very happy with it.
Shouldn't that be Aigean Link 2? Or perhaps the Aigean Map-7?
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Old 05-23-2016, 02:14 PM   #17
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If you don't have the capabilities to crack the secure wifi networks ...
Not telling anyone what to do, but cracking secure wifi networks is not a good practice. It is the same as stealing from a public utility, like tapping into someone's cable TV, or connecting up to someone's electrical grid.

If you are traveling, 4G/LTE is going to be your most reliable service; as long as you have a cell phone signal, you have Internet connectivity. I would only use it as a last resort though; if you've got XFINITY WiFi they would be my first choice, followed by any open public hotspots.

XFINITY® WiFi by Comcast | Wireless Internet on the Go

Just enter your zip code to see availability.
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Old 05-23-2016, 02:35 PM   #18
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Nothing to add on the wi-fi issue, other than I like the Wirie products.

But to the OP: fyi Bluewater Books and Charts is having a sale on their selection of charts and guides for the Downeast Loop; got an email from them today. It's a fantastic trip, which I did most of the Eastern and Nova Scotia legs on a friend's boat.. and New England through the Hudson on my own.
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Old 05-23-2016, 06:52 PM   #19
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Wow, is that only on the business class service, or do they let people piggyback on your home service too? Presumably if you don't use their wifi device there is no way for them to piggyback?
All Comcast business class services broadcast an Xfinity ID that can be logged into with your account and PW if you find them. Their thought is to make WiFi more broadly available. In my case I eliminated the ability for my modem to broadcast that network setting, therefore it cannot be logged into by anyone that is not me or that has my SSID.

I turned it off because anyone could do any illicit act, trade, illegal image - anything - without my knowledge and the IP address would resolve to my home. The law would come knocking at my door because it appeared to come from my house. This can be shut off. Here is an older article about the problem:

To Xfinity WiFi we're all hotspots, but you don't have to be | PCWorld
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Old 05-23-2016, 07:34 PM   #20
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One reason people want more than 4G is unlimited streaming....

Nice when you can do it legally for free on the road....
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