Marine News from the Great Lakes

Staying Connected To The Internet Onboard

Published: Friday, May 29, 2020
By: Capt. Arnie Hammerman

Retreating to the boat to relax and escape can be ideal, but would you leave your phone on the dock and go for an extended trip? Like it or not, internet connectivity is an important necessity today. While I advocate for turning the internet off at times—particularly on the boat—I also understand the importance of staying connected.

As an owner of a small business and a boater, I appreciate getting away on the boat but I often need to check in. Onboard internet allows me to spend more time onboard by staying in contact, which keeps business going. Tablets, phones, and laptops help boaters stay tuned to the latest news, monitor weather, reserve moorage, check fuel dock locations/prices, conduct business, communicate with the world, and post to social media—when there is a working internet connection.

Wave WiFi provides easy to use connectivity solutions for all sizes and types of vessels. Basic Wave WiFi systems combine an ethernet converter and antenna in one, allowing boaters to access WiFi from further away. Advanced systems for larger vessels feature white-box transceivers with low loss cables and high-gain antennas for maximum range and performance. All Wave WiFi products include a Graphic User Interface (GUI) making it easy to identify and connect to hotspots by showing their name, signal strength, frequency, and encryption status. The Rogue PRO DB (Dual Band) receiver connects to both 2.4GHZ and 5GHZ for fast, reliable remote internet connectivity.

The HP-DB-AC and other professional series dual band receivers use Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO) for optimal performance, stability, and range. Both the PRO and the HP-DB-AC can plug directly into a laptop via an Ethernet cable or can be connected to the MBR 550 SIM activated cellular system/wireless router. The MBR550 allows multiple onboard devices to connect wirelessly to the Internet simultaneously and includes a built-in universal SIM slot for connection to cellular networks.

On an island that has notoriously bad cell coverage, I was able to connect to the strongest 5GHZ connection in the marina, using the PRO DB. Multiple users aboard also successfully accessed the internet and placed voice-over-internet calls since they had no cell coverage. When we left the marina and were out of WiFi range, the MBR 550 seamlessly transitioned to cellular, picking up signal where our phones could not.

If internet connectivity is needed aboard your boat, Wave WiFi has a host of practical and effective solutions for boats of all types and sizes that can keep you connected. When you want to listen to the waves and relax, you can always turn the internet off!


This article first appeared in the Launch Issue (May/Jun) 2020 of Great Lakes Scuttlebutt magazine.

tags: Electronics, Travel

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