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Old 02-09-2012, 04:56 PM   #1
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Boat internet

What alternatives are out there?* Last winter we tethered our cellphones.* With 1 Gig of data per phone and 2 phones that gave us adequate bandwidth and we were surprised how much coverage we had but we never got further north than Desolation Sound and there were areas there where we had no coverage.* And plenty other areas a lot further south weren't covered either.*

We have carried a Hughesnet tripod system on the bus for years so this winter I brought the Hughes modem, dish and LNB west with us.* I'm starting to cobble together a system that will let us get about 300' away from the tripod so as long as we can shoretie within 300 feet of the beach I think I've got a workable system but I'm curious if anybody has any other economical solution.* Obviously if you can steal wifi that's the cheapest solution but there are some ethical and security issues there and regardless of your position on the practice it is becoming more difficult as hardware providers make secure connections easier to set up.

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Old 02-10-2012, 04:19 AM   #2
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RE: Boat internet

There are many Wi Fi boosted antenna systems . Some claim a mile with 12V power.

Long shore cruising the variety of businesses that offer free Wi Fi ,with no poorer security than normal, NONE!

In Canada on the big mud run (loop) so many empty "cottages" transmitted that WI Fi was useable many times a day.
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Old 02-14-2012, 10:01 PM   #3
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RE: Boat internet

He's referring to the B.C. coast north of the Gulf Islands. Not many wifi freebee opportunities, we simply do not have the population and even 'cottages' are few and far between, when occupied. Further north, Broughtons, there is even less unless you are at a marina or anchored very close, if possible . Some of the marinas are quite protective as they themselves must use a satellite setup and too many interlopers screws them up particularily when they use the satellite for their own business.
They are getting better.
Some of the commercial and city/town marinas offer BBX, a broadband, pay for wifi service. We've used it and have found it to be quite good. It is pay as you go although if needed the rates aren't bad. Last time, last summer, it was $5 /day or $20 for the week. Don't quote me as my memory isn't that good. We just had a list of must do's and did that first. Of course in the towns are libraries which are usually free but can be a hike or two.

After that there is nothing for long distances, days of travel unless you have a dish or one of the KVH systems.

Even cell phone is dicey to non existent in many, many, actually large areas, same reason.

Satellite phones are used by the folk who can afford them and can't do without. We see more and more KVH systems or the like even on boats down to about 36'-45'

Otherwise do without and make a point of stopping somewhere that wifi and cell are available.

We now have a mifi but it is protected and of course, no cell service, no wifi so it may not be much help.
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Old 02-14-2012, 10:14 PM   #4
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RE: Boat internet

Quote:
C lectric wrote:

Some of the commercial and city/town marinas offer BBX, a broadband, pay for wifi service. We've used it and have found it to be quite good. It is pay as you go although if needed the rates aren't bad. Last time, last summer, it was $5 /day or $20 for the week. Don't quote me as my memory isn't that good. We just had a list of must do's and did that first. Of course in the towns are libraries which are usually free but can be a hike or two.

*

Glad to hear that BBX worked for you. I tried it but the signal was abyssmal so gave up on it; I was in the Discovery Harbour Marina in Campbell River at the time. Perhaps other locations have better sigals.
*
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Old 02-15-2012, 09:11 AM   #5
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RE: Boat internet

We are planning to retire June 2014 or earlier.* The Eagle is equipped for the protected water of the Puget Sound.* However, we plan to head North to Canada and Alaska for a couple of years so we need to start thinking about and acquiring are emergency beacons/vest/live rafts and means of communicating besides our cell phones and the VHF.* **
*
I have looked at Hughs Net because we have Direct TV on the boat mounted on a 4 ft X 4 ft plywood on the roof which we very seldom loose signal when tied to the dock.* However we will probable have to anchor the majority of the time.*
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Old 02-15-2012, 06:55 PM   #6
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RE: Boat internet

Bob:

You seem to have it covered with your satellite and tethered phones.
I have tried BBX, but if you move around a lot, your cost per useable day is pretty high.
I have a Telus stick, that I used all last summer, 2Gigs for $50/month, no contract, so no charge in the winter. North of Desolation, nothing there unless someone with satellite puts out a wifi.
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Old 02-15-2012, 09:48 PM   #7
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RE: Boat internet

I got the Hughes dish to connect with the tripod sitting on the dock at Plumper Cove so that was really encouraging but then the power supply for my modem crapped out.* That's a known problem and I've got a spare - but not out here.* We're going back to the prairies for a few days next week so I'll bring the power supply back and my experimentation will continue.* After we get done our haulout in early March we're headed for the Broughtons so we should get plenty of chance to try it up there.* I've also been told I need a different species of coax but the stuff I've got seems to be working out to about 150' although*a heavy transmit draw through an overlong coax*may also explain the demise of the power supply.* Stay tuned.

*
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Old 02-15-2012, 10:37 PM   #8
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RE: Boat internet

Quote:
koliver wrote:

I have a Telus stick, that I used all last summer, 2Gigs for $50/month, no contract, so no charge in the winter. North of Desolation, nothing there unless someone with satellite puts out a wifi.
*I've been contemplating going that route Keith. How receptive was Telus to your "on again off again" useage of their stick, and did you find that it works wherever their coverage map says it would?*
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Old 02-19-2012, 09:12 AM   #9
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RE: Boat internet

Conrad:

I have been a reluctant Telus customer for years, re all of their other products. This one I will endorse wholeheartedly. The turning off part is only available if you purchase the stick outright. If you go on a contract of 3 yrs, (no turning it off) they will give you the stick, but they charge a higher monthly rate (pays for the stick in three yrs, go figure). I bought mine a couple of yrs ago, as my daughter was doing an on-line masters program and we didn't want to be tied to the dock. After that, I found it useful at work, as it would work in courtrooms, where wifi was non-existent. Last summer, we really put it to the test, going out for a couple of months and being frequently in areas that had marginal cell service and no wifi whatsoever. My original monthly $30 bought .5 Gb per month. When I was approaching that limit within the first 2 weeks, they let me know, and for $50 a month I upgraded to 2Gb per month, just with a phone call. My actual useage was 1.6 Gb the month I kept track of it, with the computer left on, lots of email, forum chatter, and we even tried a Netflix movie once (that was a real bandwidth hog!). When we came home, I turned it off. It is still off, as we are in the US for the winter, where Telus sticks don't work at all. Here, I am on a Time-Warner hard wired internet and phone, all for $29.99 a month, for the first 2 months. By then, we will be gone from here.
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Old 02-19-2012, 09:30 AM   #10
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Boat internet

Keith some other options:

I am using a wireless Hub ( NetGear ) and use Bell as a Server with a small antenna which gives me highspeed internet, I also get Netflix ( LG upgrader bought at Costco & plugged into the hub ) and I use a majic.jack for a phone plugged into my laptop all wireless to the hub. The last addition is I use a security monitoring system that is hooked to the hub too that I can view from my iPhone or iPad wherever I am. *

It all works fine in the places I go and is portable but it may or may not work for you. It is something to check out though.

About 15yrs ago, I bought a card for the desktop computer from Bell Express Vu had that gave me internet too through a hub using Sat TV. That is another option too.*

Elwin

*


-- Edited by Ocean Breeze NL on Sunday 19th of February 2012 10:42:17 AM
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Old 02-19-2012, 04:54 PM   #11
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RE: Boat internet

Elwin
I have Magic Jack too, but the wifi available at the present location wasn't strong enough to use it or Skype, hence the Time Warner. I will check out the LG upgrader at Costco.
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Old 02-19-2012, 10:41 PM   #12
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RE: Boat internet

Quote:
koliver wrote:
Conrad:

I have been a reluctant Telus customer for years, re all of their other products. This one I will endorse wholeheartedly. The turning off part is only available if you purchase the stick outright. If you go on a contract of 3 yrs, (no turning it off) they will give you the stick, but they charge a higher monthly rate (pays for the stick in three yrs, go figure). I bought mine a couple of yrs ago, as my daughter was doing an on-line masters program and we didn't want to be tied to the dock. After that, I found it useful at work, as it would work in courtrooms, where wifi was non-existent. Last summer, we really put it to the test, going out for a couple of months and being frequently in areas that had marginal cell service and no wifi whatsoever. My original monthly $30 bought .5 Gb per month. When I was approaching that limit within the first 2 weeks, they let me know, and for $50 a month I upgraded to 2Gb per month, just with a phone call. My actual useage was 1.6 Gb the month I kept track of it, with the computer left on, lots of email, forum chatter, and we even tried a Netflix movie once (that was a real bandwidth hog!). When we came home, I turned it off. It is still off, as we are in the US for the winter, where Telus sticks don't work at all. Here, I am on a Time-Warner hard wired internet and phone, all for $29.99 a month, for the first 2 months. By then, we will be gone from here.
*Thanks Keith, this is very helpful info, especially as I, like you, have been a reluctant customer of Telus for years.
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Old 03-05-2012, 08:06 AM   #13
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RE: Boat internet

I use a Verizon WIFI; can operate up to 5 separate computers from it. It gives me very good internet service.
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Old 03-05-2012, 07:15 PM   #14
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RE: Boat internet

Quote:
marinetrader wrote:
I use a Verizon WIFI; can operate up to 5 separate computers from it. It gives me very good internet service.
*I uise AT&T wifi on a Droid. *Works great. *Connects up to 5 devices. *Carry it in your pocket. *Cool.
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Old 03-27-2012, 05:37 PM   #15
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RE: Boat internet

Update:

I've still got some wrinkles to iron out of the system but this was posted via my land dish sitting on the dock at Prevost Harbour.

*
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Old 03-27-2012, 05:46 PM   #16
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RE: Boat internet

Quote:
marinetrader wrote:
I use a Verizon WIFI; can operate up to 5 separate computers from it. It gives me very good internet service.

I just got mine Fedexed today.* I can't connect my PC to it.* The guy I talked to at Verizion told me to unplug it and plug it in again.* I told him I would but reminded him it has a battery.

Tomorrow I will try a different laptop.* Then I'll take the whole works to a Verizon store and ask them to make it work.
*
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Old 03-27-2012, 08:33 PM   #17
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RE: Boat internet

Quote:
rwidman wrote:marinetrader wrote:
I use a Verizon WIFI; can operate up to 5 separate computers from it. It gives me very good internet service.

I just got mine Fedexed today.* I can't connect my PC to it.* The guy I talked to at Verizion told me to unplug it and plug it in again.* I told him I would but reminded him it has a battery.

Tomorrow I will try a different laptop.* Then I'll take the whole works to a Verizon store and ask them to make it work.

*

Don't know what operating system you have but you may have to update it. The Verizon hot spot is a WPA2 connection.
*

*
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Old 03-27-2012, 09:11 PM   #18
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RE: Boat internet

Between Seattle and Juneau we get wifi at virtually every marina or by walking to the library with our laptop or Ipad. Even Eric's beloved Thorne Bay has good coverage. Our BBX works fine in BC but less*to poor coverage in Alaska. We have a booster antenna and amplifier.

It is sure nice to be NOT connected though. Just curious, why the need to be connected every minute??
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Old 03-28-2012, 12:05 AM   #19
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RE: Boat internet

I used to use my Verizon WIFI but once I went smart phone I got an umlimited data package and use it as a mobil hot spot. Everyone connects through me.
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Old 03-28-2012, 07:02 AM   #20
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Boat internet

Quote:
Vyndance wrote:rwidman wrote:marinetrader wrote:
I use a Verizon WIFI; can operate up to 5 separate computers from it. It gives me very good internet service.

I just got mine Fedexed today.* I can't connect my PC to it.* The guy I talked to at Verizion told me to unplug it and plug it in again.* I told him I would but reminded him it has a battery.

Tomorrow I will try a different laptop.* Then I'll take the whole works to a Verizon store and ask them to make it work.

*

Don't know what operating system you have but you may have to update it. The Verizon hot spot is a WPA2 connection.
*

I'm working on that now.* I'm sure it will cause other problems.* It did on my other PC.

And while experimenting, I killed the existing connection to my wireless network.

Maybe I'll just go to the store and buy a new laptop.

*


-- Edited by rwidman on Wednesday 28th of March 2012 07:03:25 AM
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