Boat Wi-Fi Options
Whether it’s a quiet day on the water, your boss is expecting you to reply to an email or the kids are b-o-r-e-d, boat Wi-Fi is becoming a need rather than a want.
There are three main ways you can connect to WiFi on board:
- Using marina WiFi
- 4G Wi-Fi marine modem / Portable modem
- Starlink Maritime
Each way has its own pros and cons, and they wont all work every time. If you are unsure which option suits you, contact Marine Services to find a supplier in your region and they can advise what will be best for your needs.
This is the cheapest and easiest way to connect to the internet on board your boat. Most marinas have Wi-Fi available, and you simply connect like you would any other network. You have to be close to get the signal, or else you can invest in a Wi-Fi antenna/ extender. However, even a good quality extender will be prone to interference from weather conditions and if there are other boats between you and the original hotspot.
To set up you on-boat system, buy a long range Wi-Fi receiver. Global Marine do some great products that been developed specifically for use on boats in the marine environment. Each component tested and chosen for purpose. If you are planning for more than one person to use the connection, you’ll need a router connected to an antenna.
But what if you’re out at sea for days without returning to a harbour?
Amplifying a 4G data connection
There really is only one option that delivers real results and enables full hi-speed data for multiple users. The range of modems and routers brought to you by Global Marine can deliver 4G connectivity in a number of applications. Products are bundled with Sim cards and offer dual sim capability, unlimited data and external antenna options boasting on extended range of *up to 70km offshore.
Once this system is in place, you can happily access the net from most bodies of water in New Zealand as well as most coastal areas.
SpaceX states that Starlink Maritime can offer up to 350Mbps with impressive latency when stacked up against fibre or wire connections. This is previously unheard of in marine and satellite solutions have been synonymous with outlandish data and hardware prices.
Starlink Maritime sells for $10’000 USD with a monthly fee of $5’000 on pay as you go plans, it’s no wonder the maritime sector is chomping at the bit to get these. Satellite communications systems boast a speed of “up to 10Mbps” on what they call high-speed, and a hardware cost of $30’000+ for some models.
Not only is the Starlink Maritime about to blow the commercial marine industry away, but the residential product has been proven to work on moving vessel too. This sits at a much more affordable price for the every day boat owner at NZD $1040 for hardware (+ Shipping and handling fee) and a fixed rate of NZD $199 per month (Standard fee $159, roaming/portability fee $40).
If you’re looking for anything like this Global Marine has you sorted.