Wifi through 3/4 g network

Malcolm3

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I was recently sailing in Croatia Trojir on a charter boat. It had free wifi which worked perfectly wherever we sailed and presumably was through a 3G /4g router. Can anyone recommend a router and which aerial to use. I think the charterer said he had a 100db one but ones here seem to be 35. How many Dbs are best?
I know can set up a smartphone but I was very taken by their system which worked and was wired in , rebooted when power switched on etc. There was no visible aerial but I suspect it may have had one inside the steering pedestal or anyway guy taking the boat back seemed to say that was where the system was but no clarity on exactly how they did it or what they were using.
Thanks
Malcolm
 

duncan99210

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We use a Huwei mifi brick to give us our internet access. It has an internal antenna, lives on a bracket above the chart table and works just about anywhere. The antenna the OP talks about are range extenders for wifi signals, so that you can pick up distant wifi hotspots and are, generally speaking, not needed for 3/4G connections.

I've no doubt that the mifi system used on the charter boat was a simple mifi router, bolted in somewhere in the boat and hard wired for simplicity. It might well have been inside the steering pedestal as it's difficult to get into and keeps the brick away from prying fingers but it probably doesn't have an external antenna as such.
 

martinriches

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This is what I use. HUAWEI E5372 4G & 3G Mobile MIFI. A great piece of kit, I bought a antenna but haven't fitted it yet as the reception has been excellent.
 

RichardS

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I was recently sailing in Croatia Trojir on a charter boat. It had free wifi which worked perfectly wherever we sailed and presumably was through a 3G /4g router. Can anyone recommend a router and which aerial to use. I think the charterer said he had a 100db one but ones here seem to be 35. How many Dbs are best?
I know can set up a smartphone but I was very taken by their system which worked and was wired in , rebooted when power switched on etc. There was no visible aerial but I suspect it may have had one inside the steering pedestal or anyway guy taking the boat back seemed to say that was where the system was but no clarity on exactly how they did it or what they were using.
Thanks
Malcolm

The 3G aerial was probably part of the mobile wi-fi / mifi router. We had one one our charter boat a couple of years ago but the reception was often not as good as my 3G sim card in my tablet which I use in the same way as a wifi hotspot for everyone else on board. However, I think that was mainly becuase I use a VIP Net SIM and the VIP coverage is better than the service the charter company were using. The charter company connection was free but mine is only £1 per day per GB so minimal cost either way.

There are many brands for sale but I don't have one so won't make any recommendations.

Richard
 

Malcolm3

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Thanks huawei seems the thing. I see them on Amazon. However im fairly sure they weren't getting wifi itself because reception was too good. And the guy certainly talked about an aerial which he said had made all the difference. I'm in Scotland so I think reception won't be as good as down south and an aerial may help. What are the dbs in the aerial about. As far as I see on Amazon huawei can take an external aerial but question is high dbs or low and what's the difference. Anyone know about them and how effective they are ?. Also I believe Huawei can be externally powered. If so does it self start when power goes on?
Thanks
 

ip485

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I would also look at the Zoom 3/4g network routers - they offer far more options, and support external aerials better. Everything depends on the aerial and having a high end external aerial makes all the difference to good reception as the distance from a mast increases.
 

duncan99210

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For an external antenna to make any real difference to 3/4G reception, it would need to be sited so as to be able to 'see' further than it could from, say, the steering pedestal. That would mean getting it higher above the surface, so perhaps a masthead installation. However, I've found that the biggest problem with mobile internet isn't the signal strength but the availability of 3/4G coverage. A weak 3G signal will provide adequate internet access but strong 2G signal is next to useless because the data transmission speed is simply too slow. We occasionally hoist the brick up the mast using the signal halyard when we know that by doing so we will be able to get it to 'see' a mobile phone mast.

We spent last winter in rented accommodation in a valley bottom where there was a weak 3G signal available. This provided a more than adequate Internet connection: fine for video and Skype for example. This was using an Alcatel mifi brick which lived on the landing window sill!

I've no idea if the Huwei brick can be configured to turn itself on when the power is switched on. Ours is usually plugged into a charging lead via a 12v socket and stays on all the time. We turn it off when we leave the boat..... I've no doubt that there are bricks out there that will turn themselves on when power is turned on, you'd need to check the detailed specifications to find one that will do that.
 

RichardS

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Thanks huawei seems the thing. I see them on Amazon. However im fairly sure they weren't getting wifi itself because reception was too good. And the guy certainly talked about an aerial which he said had made all the difference. I'm in Scotland so I think reception won't be as good as down south and an aerial may help. What are the dbs in the aerial about. As far as I see on Amazon huawei can take an external aerial but question is high dbs or low and what's the difference. Anyone know about them and how effective they are ?. Also I believe Huawei can be externally powered. If so does it self start when power goes on?
Thanks

I think that all routers have a hard on/off switch rather than a software switch. If the on/off switch is pressed on then it will turn on and off with the supply.

Richard
 

ip485

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For an external antenna to make any real difference to 3/4G reception, it would need to be sited so as to be able to 'see' further than it could from, say, the steering pedestal.

Is that correct?

The suggestion is the higher the antenna gain the more efective it will be.

Yagi will for example sell you a directional antenna with 30 dBi of gain.
 

EugeneR

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Interesting to see that the mid-page adverts on this page are all for wifi and 3g yacht routers... so not just do the advertisers track one's browsing history, they know the content of the page you are looking at, as well.

Another +1 for Huawei mifi router.
 

nathanlee

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Is that correct?

The suggestion is the higher the antenna gain the more efective it will be.

Yagi will for example sell you a directional antenna with 30 dBi of gain.

It's the same radiated power no matter what antenna you use, so the only way to get more apparent power is to focus the RF energy in a narrower direction.

The higher the gain, the more narrow the focus of the antenna. A Yagi doesn't tend to lend itself well to a small boat that moves about as it'll keep dropping signal. You'd be better off with a decent omnidirectional antenna, I would suggest.
 
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