While you’re on your boat several miles from shore, you might want to send an email or watch a video. However, that might be difficult if you don’t have a strong internet connection or a connection at all.
There are new technologies that could help in this situation so that you can communicate and keep yourself and others on the boat entertained until you get back to dry land.
A broadband global area network (BGAN) is an option to consider, especially if you plan to travel longer distances. There are also hotspots for cellular devices and a Wi-Fi extender that can be used with a Wi-Fi connection that you can secure on land. Keep in mind that the BGAN is a bit more expensive than the other two options, but it covers a larger area.
BGAN is a global satellite internet network. This is kind of the first option to think about if you’re looking for a way to connect to the internet while you’re on a boat. Even though it’s an expensive option, you don’t have to rely on finding a Wi-Fi connection in the area to use it.
It’s also beneficial because you can access the internet almost anywhere in the world as long as you have the device onboard.
It’s a device that’s completely portable and doesn’t have a lot of cords or pieces of equipment. There are several types of terminals that are available as well. If you’re a professional in the field and need access to data while on your boat, then this is a good option to consider since it provides a stable connection in most locations.
Keep in mind that the download speeds can be slow in some areas. Think of this as an upgraded hotspot that can be used on land or on the water and that can be connected to your device with an Ethernet cord, a USB, or Bluetooth. The terminal uses GPS to communicate with satellites so that you get the connection that you need. If it’s cloudy, then you might not see a strong signal. If you want higher speeds, you can pay a little more money to get an upgraded terminal.
A hotspot is an option if you don’t want to spend as much money while still having a strong internet connection. The hotspot device is affordable and small, making it easier to take with you on the boat.
As you get farther offshore, you might notice that the signal begins to cut out a bit. If you plan on leaving the United States, then you’re going to need to get SIM cards to connect to the internet.
If you travel about 10 miles away from shore, then you’ll notice that the connection is spotty at best. However, if you plan on staying in the water near the shoreline, then you can access just about anything that you want online. Verizon wireless provider is one of the better hotspots to consider and is usually the least expensive.
Public Wi-Fi is the least expensive option if you’re able to find a connection. An extender can be used with your device to stretch the signal that you find so that you can access the internet. You’re probably not going to be able to watch movies or have a lot of tabs open, but you can usually send messages and perform basic tasks online.