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Old 07-04-2020, 02:06 PM   #1
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Reliable WiFi on the boat

Can someone recommend a good wifi system for a cruising boat? Will not be too far off shore. Can probably just use Marina wifi but usually too weak to be of much use and also not secure.
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Old 07-04-2020, 02:51 PM   #2
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Try stevemitchell’s site SeaBits. He tests this stuff for fun.

We’re using an ancient Apple Airport and it works fine.
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Old 07-04-2020, 02:51 PM   #3
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My opinion...


Buy a real router that can be a wifi hotspot on your boat and get its internet from a variety of sources, including marina wifi, or cellular.

I use and recommend www.cradlepoint.com
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Old 07-05-2020, 06:43 AM   #4
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5 G hot spot if its in your area .


Do not take a long term contract , as more areas get 5G a price war should happen.
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Old 07-05-2020, 06:50 AM   #5
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We seem to have pretty good luck using our iPhones as hotspots. Have tried various router setups, etc....and keep coming back to just the phones.


Am beginning to wonder whether the words "Reliable" "WiFi" and "Boat" can ever be used in the same sentence ;-)
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Old 07-05-2020, 07:19 AM   #6
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MOST marinas have very weak wifi, just get used to it. I have contemplated a booster but it just isn't that important to me.

Hot spotting with your phone will work for short "spurts" of computer use but will kill your battery both short term (dead battery) and long term (need to buy a new battery).

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Old 07-05-2020, 07:33 AM   #7
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We use an "o2Air" router from Radio Labs. Marina WiFi as source, but at least we only have to log in that one single device; all of our stuff then connects to that.

Not horribly expensive. The printed set-up direction that came with it are crap. The "wizard" works easily enough, though... as long as you have a clue and also as long as you ignore the printed crap.

When we're moving, if we bother with WiFi we do that via cellphone... and then we can make that a temporary hotspot if necessary to feed other WiFi-only devices. (Rare, underway.)

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Old 07-05-2020, 07:35 AM   #8
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For some time, we contemplated a signal booster too, but ditched that idea because it seems that for the rare marina with strong signals, the bandwidth is insufficient to handle all the traffic (probably movie streaming). Or, the marina network is poorly configured and does not play nicely with VPN (sometimes even requiring a restart of the marina's wifi router)
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Old 07-05-2020, 01:48 PM   #9
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Wifi

Thanks for all the comments about a wifi system for the boat. I sometimes trade options before the market opens and after it closes so often (not always) need a good reliable and secure signal.
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Old 07-05-2020, 02:36 PM   #10
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Oh God! Don’t rely on marina wifi for that!
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Old 07-05-2020, 04:49 PM   #11
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Marina wifi is so unsecure that you should never put anything there that you wouldn't want the whole world to know. No banking info, not even the name of your bank; no account info, not even where you have an account; no personal information such as your full legal name, your birthdate, your home address. Certainly no securities trading--ever. Use your phone hotspot for all that.

So what is marina wifi useful for? Surfing the internet, but be aware that some ISP's record the websites that you have visited.

We have a wifi amplifier that is useful where we are a long way from a marina's antenna. Otherwise it is turned off.
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Old 07-05-2020, 05:48 PM   #12
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We have the T-Mobile 55+ plan with an additional tablet as our portable home WiFi hotspot. We stream Netflix (included with the plan) and amazon prime using a roku device. 115 GB used this month and still going. We use it in our NJ home,Florida home, and aboard Irish Lady when cruising. Our 37” tv is set to 720p. No freezing at all even while using laptops while watching tv. We use local over the air tv for news and major network stuff.
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Old 07-10-2020, 11:01 PM   #13
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We have the T-Mobile 55+ plan with an additional tablet as our portable home WiFi hotspot. We stream Netflix (included with the plan) and amazon prime using a roku device. 115 GB used this month and still going. We use it in our NJ home,Florida home, and aboard Irish Lady when cruising. Our 37” tv is set to 720p. No freezing at all even while using laptops while watching tv. We use local over the air tv for news and major network stuff.
So is that the $45/line plan? After the 20gb of high speed data you have unlimited 3G data and everything works fine without slowing down or extra charges?
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Old 07-27-2020, 05:37 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rossland View Post
Marina wifi is so unsecure that you should never put anything there that you wouldn't want the whole world to know. No banking info, not even the name of your bank; no account info, not even where you have an account; no personal information such as your full legal name, your birthdate, your home address. Certainly no securities trading--ever. Use your phone hotspot for all that.

So what is marina wifi useful for? Surfing the internet, but be aware that some ISP's record the websites that you have visited.

We have a wifi amplifier that is useful where we are a long way from a marina's antenna. Otherwise it is turned off.
Yes, marina wifi is incredibly dangerous as any one else who is on the network can see your traffic. You can get around this with a VPN service. Many reputable services exist for about $30-$45 per year.

Best,

Jeremiah
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Old 07-27-2020, 06:55 PM   #15
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I use Sprint/Tmobile and since the merger I have been seeing some CRAZY FAST speeds and definitely better coverage as well. I have a military plan through Sprint. I added an extra line of service to an old Galaxy S8 I wasn't using. I turn that into hotspot mode. I then use a regular home router with it in AP Mode (Access Point). This allows for multiple devices to be connected w/ no IP conflicts. Hotspots are finicky, they want to be right next to the device being connected. Also, most will only allow for a few and in some cases ONE connection at a time. The router fixes all those issues and gives the boat GREAT coverage!! I have multiple 4K TV, Sonos system, wireless devices, Polycom IP phone (for work) and we never have an issue!!!
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Old 07-27-2020, 07:35 PM   #16
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Happy with T-Mobile here

I gave up on our marina WiFi several years ago. I have been with TMobile for several years. I use my iPhone 7 as a hotspot. Under my plan (original 55+ plan) I also pay an additional $25 month for unlimited LTE hotspot data (plus some other international travel voice/text/data enhancements). Easily supports all 4 of us surfing or watching video on iPads. My boys game using phone hotspot as a router/LAN. It works for us as we usually have 4G/LTE coverage. I’ve never been aware of any “throttling” though the fine print says they can under high load situations. My total bill for two phones and unlimited hotspot usage is $85/mo.
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Old 07-27-2020, 08:01 PM   #17
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The TMobile plan sounds a heck of a lot better than we are getting with ATT. We have the "unlimited" plan under ATT, but after 30GB of hot spot data it chokes down to horse and buggy speed and is essentially useless. I have reviewed the ATT plan and called them to see if there was a way to get more hotspot data - not available. Any other ATT users out there with the same experience? Am I missing something in regards to getting more hot spot data?

Edit, after I posted this I did a quick check of Tmobile and it says 20GB of hot spot data for the UL 55 plan. I am reading posts here saying 100GB. What am I missing?
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Old 07-27-2020, 09:16 PM   #18
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The TMobile plan sounds a heck of a lot better than we are getting with ATT. We have the "unlimited" plan under ATT, but after 30GB of hot spot data it chokes down to horse and buggy speed and is essentially useless. I have reviewed the ATT plan and called them to see if there was a way to get more hotspot data - not available. Any other ATT users out there with the same experience? Am I missing something in regards to getting more hot spot data?

Edit, after I posted this I did a quick check of Tmobile and it says 20GB of hot spot data for the UL 55 plan. I am reading posts here saying 100GB. What am I missing?
Nothing. I think I’m a lucky early adopter of both plans. That said, I’d call T-Mobile and see if they have some options for additional hotspot data. My add-on is called the One Plus International, but is no longer offered. I have no affiliation, but have only had positive experiences with them.
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Old 07-27-2020, 11:16 PM   #19
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i don't need the Internet much when I'm aboard so my iPhone 11 hot spot works just fine. If I want to download software updates, buy something on Amazon or watch a movie, the hot spot is all I need.
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Old 07-28-2020, 12:20 AM   #20
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We have the T-Mobile Sr plan. Never had an issue with slowdowns. They sell a hotspot device for about $70 if you want a dedicated “link” on board for monitoring, extra data is about $20 last time I checked. Just purchased a gl-iNet travel modem that can use a tether (phone or hotspot) and it works great! (Reviewed on Panbo.com). I’m going to do a post re wireless cameras, no Internet, etc in about two weeks after I have everything installed and sorted. (Reolink Argus2 camera). We are totally satisfied with tMobile in the PacNW plus they have the best coverage in the San Juan Islands based on our experience the last 15 months.
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