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Wifi Connectivity Afloat


simonp

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Hi all,

Next time we're afloat (early September) I'll need to work a couple of days from the boat :default_sad:. I've done a bit of research but am still none the wiser in how to be connected, much as I'd prefer not to be.

I can use my BT mobile phone (EE network) as a mobile hotspot but it's not very good and online calls (through the laptop) can be a little temperamental. I have however identified a couple of locations where I should be able to get a decent enough signal to be connected.

Can anyone give any advice on what kit I'll need? I believe Three has good coverage and I'll need a mifi, dongle, and/or something else? 

So the plan is to purchase a 3 data sim that I can put into whatever device I need. Can I also put in my normal mobile sim if the Three signal's not good in a particular spot? And what device is it I need?!

Any and all recommendations welcome, thank you!

  

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"Smarty" do some pretty good sim only deals that may be worth a look to see if they suit your needs and they use the Three network so coverage is pretty decent. I have a Three sim and I find coverage is decent(I stream YouTube videos etc) in most places except my home mooring(typical). My parents use a Smarty sim and coverage is the same.

We both just use the Mifi as it is with no additional aerial but we leave them plugged in to USB as battery life is pretty poor.

Not sure what the exact model number is(its a few years old anyway) but here is my folks one.

 

20210721_184346.jpg

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I usually get a 3 sim card from 'my memory'.

12 gig lasts for 1 year can be used in a mifi unit.

The only place it was not reliable was in our home marina!

I had to hang it from the canopy support.

paul

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Just looked.

Smarty £10 for 30gig a month, cancel anytime, get one for your holiday cancel when you come back.

We are both on Smarty, Jill got coverage most places on the broads I was on a different provider at the time.

My mifi sim runs out soon guess what I am going to do for October.

Smarty also do unlimited internet for £20 if we didn't need a land line this would be my broadband choice.

paul

 

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21 minutes ago, WherryNice said:

"Smarty" do some pretty good sim only deals that may be worth a look to see if they suit your needs and they use the Three network so coverage is pretty decent. I have a Three sim and I find coverage is decent(I stream YouTube videos etc) in most places except my home mooring(typical). My parents use a Smarty sim and coverage is the same.

We both just use the Mifi as it is with no additional aerial but we leave them plugged in to USB as battery life is pretty poor.

Not sure what the exact model number is(its a few years old anyway) but here is my folks one.

 

20210721_184346.jpg

I too use one of those on an o2 PAYG sim, its a 12Gb sim that lasts for a year and isnt that cheap (but work would pay for it?)not found anywhere yet I dont have a signal, I too leave mine plugged into the USB with the unit as high as it will reach (usually hanging over the curtain rail.

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My O2 contract iPhone gives me excellent 4g coverage everywhere except Horning staithe and Salhouse .

Ranworth on the staithe is very good , in the Maltsters is poor , Horning works well by Ferry inn but village staithe very poor , Wroxham\Hoveton very good all over .

Salhouse by the moorings is poor but up the hill by the food van /camp ground is good .

Stalham very good , as is Acle and Upton .

Gayes staithe and Neatishead staithe very good .

Sutton staithe good 

Potter Heigham quiet moorings good 

Ludham bridge very good 

 

All the places I list as good or very good it is good enough to stream movies etc (use my hotspot to stream Netflix to the telly) 

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I use Three in the mifi unit referenced here. I had intended to slip the Smarty card in when the 12 month deal ran out, but was thwarted as the mifi unit was locked to Three. So if you go for this unit, or similar, make sure it's unlocked.


 

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Oh yes, should have said, placing the unit as high as possible in the boat usually makes for the best reception, it's the main reason I got a mifi, the ability to place the unit for best signal then wifi your device to it.

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Wow, thanks so much everyone! Such great responses 👍

Smarty sounds like the way to go, and I'll find a Huawei mini unit, thank you David for the link.

Sounds like we should have a reasonable chance of being connected almost everywhere, except the home marina of course (Horning)!

I think if I worked in the library at Wroxham having to take work calls I'd quickly start irritating people...

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6 minutes ago, simonp said:

Sounds like we should have a reasonable chance of being connected almost everywhere, except the home marina of course (Horning)!

I've had the Three card working in the Ferry Marina at Horning, though have to say, it's a bit up and down. Smarty should be the same.

 

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46 minutes ago, WherryNice said:

Oh yes, should have said, placing the unit as high as possible in the boat usually makes for the best reception, it's the main reason I got a mifi, the ability to place the unit for best signal then wifi your device to it.

I was often finding that the best place for the unit was where there was nothing high up to place it on. So I bought one of these for £1 from Poundstretcher, and with the aid of the sucker, it can now be placed high up on any window. If it needed to be plugged in, then at least I could ensure it was as high as the cable would allow.

DSC_0002.JPG

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