Maritime Internet - Coastal

Coastal and Inland Solutions

Options for a Coastal Maritime Internet Connection

There are several ways to have internet on board, it mostly depends on where you are and what is available. The solutions range from cabled or wireless access (WiFi) in the port, 3G or 4G data connections, Regional Satellite Service or Global Satellite Service. Which one is best for you will depend on your requirements and budget.

Cabled and/or WiFi in Port

The most cost effective and fast solution will most likely be if the port where you are has high speed land based internet connection and shares this with the vessels in the port. Speeds will however depend on how many users are sharing the connection. You can either connect your devices (smartphone, laptop or other wireless device) directly to the network or you can have your wireless router pick up the signal and relay it on board. The second solution has the advantage of only having to configure one device when changing ports.

3G, 4G, 4G LTE and WIMAX

If you will need internet access just for your personal use and don't really require it while sailing then you might find your best solution in a 3G or 4G connection depending on availability on your region. It will let you have a reasonable reach outside of the port areas (similar to your cell phone) and offer sufficient speed as well. If you want to extend the reach of the signal you can install a 3G signal booster with a larger external antenna which will improve reception You need however be aware that these subscriptions are usually metered, which means you will be charged depending on the amount of data you will consume and when using this solution abroad (roaming) the prices will increase dramatically.

3G, 4G Signal Boosters

Cell phone signal boosters are designed to take the weak signal from land based towers, amplify it and broadcast it to passengers on the boat. If you're looking for better reception while docked or out on the water, then a marine cell phone signal booster might be the right choice for you.

A marine signal booster works by using an outside antenna mounted on the boat to receive a cell signal from the closest tower, which is then passed to an amplifierw hich broadcasts the boosted signal to the cabin(s) and/or living area(s) of the vessel via an inside antenna. The system also works in reverse when a call is being placed from a phone on the boat.