Whether you’re sailing to a new destination or simply hosting a short weekend getaway with your friends, having an internet connection is always beneficial for many of us. Nowadays, high-speed internet is essential for almost everything, from sending messages to ordering food. In this article, you will learn how to get internet for your boat.
First things first, let’s make it clear. You have to manage your expectations when it comes to boat internet. It will not be nearly as fast as fiber internet, but it’s enough to get things done whenever you’re at sea. Check out your internet options for your boat.
The Challenges of Getting Internet to Your Boat
One of the greatest joys of boating is getting away from it all–but that doesn’t mean you have to give up your internet connection. Unfortunately, connecting to the internet on a boat can be difficult and expensive. Let’s take a closer look at each of these challenges so you can better understand how to overcome them and stay connected while out on the water.
1. Distance from shore: One of the main problems with getting internet to your boat is the distance from shore. The further away you are, the harder it is to connect. Even if you have a strong signal at the dock, it can quickly fade as you move away from shore.
2. Obstructions between your boat and shore: Another issue is obstructions between your boat and shore. This can include anything from other boats to trees or buildings. Even something as small as a wave can cause problems. All of these obstacles can block or weaken the signal, making it hard to connect.
3. Weather conditions: Inclement weather can also be a problem when trying to connect to the internet on a boat. Heavy rain, snow, or even just cloudy skies can interfere with the signal and make it difficult to stay connected.
4. The type of vessel you have: The type of vessel you have can also make a difference. Sailboats, for example, can be more difficult to connect than powerboats because they are often farther from shore and have more obstructions.
5. Your budget: Another factor to consider is your budget. Getting internet to your boat can be expensive, especially if you need to buy special equipment or subscribe to a data plan.
Three Ways to Get an Internet to Your Boat
The cheapest and easiest way to connect your boat to the internet is to use WiFi networks on shore. Many marinas provide guests with access to wireless internet for free or at a small price. Free WiFi may also be available at surrounding restaurants, motels, or coffee shops, depending on where you are.
Land-based WiFi is not the best choice if you’re looking for reliability, but it’s the most affordable one. Weak signals, overburdened networks, and slow connections make it difficult to rely on public Wi-Fi when you need it most. Moreover, it’s not as secure as you might expect, but you can still perform measures to secure your phone while connected to a public WiFi. The good news is that WiFi signal strength may be increased in numerous ways so that you can get the most out of your landline’s internet connection.
One of your best choices is to purchase a WiFi extender. While it only works when you are near the shore, it can still help you receive stronger signals and a more stable connection when you’re docked. Unfortunately, it’s useless when you’re in the middle of the sea, as it only works when you have a present internet connection nearby.
If you’re looking for a more reliable internet connection, satellite internet might be the way to go. However, it is more expensive than land-based wifi. So if you’re looking for a more affordable boat internet, this isn’t really one of your options. Another downside is that you will need to have a clear view of the sky, which can be difficult when you’re out on the open water. In addition to that, rain and strong winds can easily interfere with your connection, and that can be very difficult once you’re out in the open.
Cellular-Based Internet Hotspots
Another option for getting an internet connection to your boat is by using a cellular-based hotspot. This is similar to using your phone’s data plan, but it allows you to connect multiple devices to the internet. The downside to this option is that it can be expensive, and you will need to have cell service in order to use it.
No matter which option you choose, there are a few things you need to keep in mind when setting up an internet connection on your boat. First, make sure you have a good signal. Second, be aware of the data limits for your chosen option. And finally, always have a backup plan in case of an emergency.
When using a mobile hotspot, always have a backup strategy in place. You may dramatically boost your chances of staying connected to high-speed internet by adding certain network redundancy to your cellular-based internet configuration. Here are a few methods sailors utilize to get the most out of their mobile internet connections.
You can reduce the number of dead spots in your network by having a second carrier. The availability of mobile services in the United States is improving. However, no mobile service provider currently offers nationwide coverage. You will have a better chance of getting coverage in rural places if you use two major carriers.
While getting a reliable internet connection at sea isn’t as easy as most people think, it’s not impossible with the technology we have today. Depending on your needs and budget, you can still connect to the internet to communicate with your loved ones, send files to your workmates, and even watch your favorite shows from your preferred streaming service. Now that you know different ways to connect your boat to the internet, choose your preferred method or even utilize them all at once to enjoy the internet while staying off the grid.