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Marine internet connection?

 
 
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Old 03-13-2004, 09:17 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Marine internet connection?

i hope this doesn't sound like a rookie question, but what is the easiest way to get a high speed internet connection on a boat? i'm in the process of buying a 4588 bayliner pilothouse and need some advice. i'm sure DSL is available through the regular phone jacks when dockside, but what about when at sea or at anchor? is there a satellite system available that doesn't require a fixed position to operate? thanks for any advice.
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Old 03-14-2004, 01:10 PM   #2 (permalink)
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The quick answer to your DSL w/o a landline is... yes. There are a couple of companies offering this service, but it's not cheap. Tracnet and Inmarsat are two companies that offer high speed bandwidth. I think Iridium might be offering a version of the same, as they are in the satellite phone field.

There are also a growing number of marina's offering 802.11 connections. The companies in this sector are mostly using some form of Cisco's equipment, which is about to be eclipsed by several new companies rolling out components with far greater capability and reach.

In addition to the above, a few new technologies are on the horizon, with some already implemented and many rolling out over the next couple of years. These companies will offer high speed bandwidth, far greater than DSL, covering a much larger area, essentially rivalling cellular phone service for your Wi-Fi equipped laptop. One day you'll be able to travel major waterways or highways, such as Florida to New York... and be connected to the internet at the same time. The groundwork is being laid right now.

Good area to keep an investment eye on too.

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Old 03-14-2004, 06:18 PM   #3 (permalink)
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thanks for all the input. i'll definitely check out those companies you mentioned. this is a big concern for me and i'll check them out as soon as i get the boat moved to her new slip. since you seem very knowledgable though, do you mind telling me how it works? if it's satellite technology, how are you able to lock the signal without a fixed dish?
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Old 03-16-2004, 03:12 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I have satellite based internet access on my boat. Mine is from KVH and uses the same dish for satellite TV service.

There are two speeds it operates at, one is via the TV satellite and it can switch to a high speed satellite for internet only access.

On the low speed connection you can watch TV at the same time. High speed is internet only.

High speed is pretty quick - I am not sure exact speed, but I would guess its typically in the 300K-400K range.

This set up comes with an 802.11b hub for the boat as well. So for me I have wireless internet access from my laptop when on the boat - and that is really great. Can hit the web from anywhere on the boat.

Since it is satellite based I have access anwhere I am likely to be using the boat.

One of the really big pluses - WEATHER INFO. I can easily get NOAA weather reports and download satellite images. Can also get the weather/wave reports for specific buoys. Being able to do this wherever you are is a great comfort!

The wireless 802.11b with a laptop works incredibly well. I use wireless at work, at home and on my boat. I fire up my laptop and it determines which location I am at and gains access automatically.

For the satellite internet access you basically hit a page on the boat's local server and tell it to connect when you want to use it - it is not like land based broadband (although speeds can be close) where connection is up 24/7.

If you can justify/rationalize the cost it is an excellent solution and works very well. One thing I was really surprised with was satellite TV service was a piggyback from my home tv service - they treat it as another receiver on the primary account so cost is minimal to add - hardware is the big cost for the TV.

If you are not familiar with these dishes, they actually track the satellite while the boat is at rest or in motion. I was really amazed that it keeps track while the boat is under way. Occasionally it will drop out an dcome back, but for the most part it really does work. At rest rocking or moving (if at anchor) has no effect. Very cool stuff.

As an aside, I also have satellite telephone on the boat - which uses a separate, smaller dish. We put a wireless four line phone system on the boat which works great. Basically hit the right line and you get dial tone for the satellite phone service. Can also receive calls wherever you are. Wireless phone was chsen so it did not require hard-wiring a phone system into the boat, which is what is typically done. The wireless set up is much cheaper and has voice mail, answering, etc.

Hope this is of some help.

John
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Old 03-19-2004, 08:58 AM   #5 (permalink)
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One more company I neglected to include in the above list is... Telesea. They offer unlimited, satellite based, high speed internet service for North America, the Bahamas, Bermuda, Caribbean, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, Central America, Hawaii, Europe and Asia.

They have other plans available that include Broadband service up to 30 miles from most coasts with up to 11Mbps speed. In addition, the have a "pay as you go" service while docked at many marinas. With this service, you can pay by the day, the week or the month.

I haven't checked pricing, but it's something I'll need in the not too distant future. If one of our members looks into it, please post your findings.

By the way, the telephone number for Telesea is 800-747-9946.
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Old 07-28-2004, 12:46 PM   #6 (permalink)
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The website for Telesea is here . The high range Blue service has a $50,000 installation fee and the monthly fee goes from $1,000/month to $7,500/month depending on speed.
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Old 11-12-2004, 11:14 AM   #7 (permalink)
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marine internet connections

Be cautious with Globalstar. My calls are constantly dropped in SE Fla and Bahamas.
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Old 11-17-2004, 01:31 PM   #8 (permalink)
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globalstar

Use is on motoryacht using wave call 300. Globalstar will reimburse up to one minute per drop, but is inadequate because you might have to connect three or four times to complete one call.
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