Now more than ever, internet connection is vital. Whether you’re at home, on holiday, or exploring the waterways of the world, accessing the internet is a must for both business and social life.
And, with the number of people opting to purchase a liveaboard instead of a traditional bricks and mortar home growing year on year, it’s even more crucial
While public spaces like marinas or other stops along the way may provide wifi, connection is not guaranteed from the water, and often isn’t strong or reliable enough for the average internet user.
So, what’s the solution?
According to David Walker, founder of Wifionboard, there are a few different options when it comes to staying connected.
Use a marine WiFi booster extender
If you’re in a marina or other location where there is already a WiFi signal, you can use a marine wifi extender or booster to amplify the signal and extend its range. These typically work by capturing the existing WiFi signal and then rebroadcasting it, enabling you to connect to the internet from further away. Once connected to the booster, very little signal is lost. However, this only works if there is a Wifi hotspot within range and you have the access codes to connect. These systems can work up to several miles from the Wifi hotspot, but the connection speed is only as good as the service provided by the Wifi hotspot.
Use a mobile hotspot
If you have a mobile phone plan with data, you can use your phone as a mobile hotspot to connect your other devices to the internet. Simply turn on your phone’s hotspot feature and connect your devices to the WiFi network it creates. This is a good option if you only need to connect a few devices and don’t need a lot of bandwidth.
While popular and often convenient, using hotspots on board comes with some downfalls. For example, service is often patchy and unreliable, and it will only work while you and your vessel are nearshore. And, tracking your data usage is vital to ensure you don’t surpass any limits and rack up costs while getting connected at sea.
Use 4G or 5G routers
4G and 5G routers are wireless networking devices that are designed to connect to cellular networks, which can be used on a boat to provide internet access.
4G routers are suitable for streaming videos, browsing the web, and using social media, while 5G routers offer even faster download and upload speeds, which makes it ideal for applications that require a lot of bandwidth.
Both 4G and 5G routers have the advantage of being portable, so they can be easily moved from one location to another. However, they do require a cellular signal in order to work, so their performance may be affected by factors such as distance from a cell tower and the availability of network coverage.
By connecting an external aerial to these routers the coverage and internet speed are normally increased, the aerials with get boats connected up to 15 Miles offshore in the UK and typically 30 Kilometers in Europe.
Wifionboard supplies long range Wifi hotspot boosters, 5G & 4G routers, Mifi units and manufactures marine antennas all designed to get you online without hassle.
Promarine Finance is a leading provider of marine finance. If you’re thinking of buying a new or used boat or find out if you’re eligible, get a quote today.