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Old 01-10-2016, 08:50 PM   #1
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Default Satellite DSL in the Med

The title pretty much outlines my quest; how to and who to get for DSL while underway in the Med. My wife and I do a lot of work online and really need a good affordable way to continue our online activities unabated at mucho more than dial up speeds.
There are exorbitant units available but what is the going bare bones system that comes out most favoured? The area needed would be Europe / Med zones.Anyone?

There are really affordable plans available in Europe for peanuts, but as soon as a boat gets involved their prices go berzerk. So much that I'm considering installing a land unit with an inverter, but the dish, on the spreaders?!!
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Old 01-11-2016, 03:50 AM   #2
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I'm using a 4G modem here in Brisbane. My former solution was to use a wi-fi extender and point it to a provider about a mile away but with tidal movement and rotation of the yacht I was always adjusting the antenna so it wasn't really practical.

The 4G providers in Australia have coverage to 20km offshore and it works really well. It's 22GB for AU$130.00 and the data expiry is 2 years so I can even go overseas and it still works when I return. Modem cost is about AU$69.00 and it plugs into USB.
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Old 01-11-2016, 07:22 PM   #3
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Yer mate,
thaza one I want, but Med style.
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Old 01-12-2016, 03:11 AM   #4
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Best bet is to just buy the 4G modem and card when you get to Europe. I'm sure that by then anything I suggest here will be out-of-date anyhow.

I use a Huawei E5377 modem FYI - 4G with backup 3G - but every country uses different frequencies so you'll need to find one that covers as much of the med as possible.
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Old 01-12-2016, 04:03 AM   #5
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Thanks mate,
yer always reliable and get right to the point. I don't do well in these forums because I have zero tolerance for blog trolls online and bs anywhere else in my life. (been in Yankville too long) You sir have not raised my hackles with smart remarks, and dumb commentary/insults.....must be the Sydney in ya lol.
So I admit I'm out of my field here with this 3G 4G stuff, but I do know what a modem is. I've looked at some of the available marine grade systems and they want $1,000's and annual fees up to $36,000 for the speed we want. Gonna stay home if that's the case, sheesh.
I have emails of a couple of yachts in the Med right now, guess I'll try that route, and I'll check with my computer whiz kid about running a laptop from a phone with global service. Don't have one but I think I saw something to that effect somewhere.
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Old 01-12-2016, 06:00 AM   #6
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OK Mike I think you're getting confyuused about 3G/4G, wifi, DSL and satellite gear.

Satellite signals run about any distance from land, it goes straight up through the clouds to the whirly things up in the sky. That costs big money, the $1000+ and $30,000+ prices you're seeing is not unusual.

3G/4G works over the same signal as a mobile phone. So anywhere you can get mobile phone coverage it's good. In the med that will be about 20km or so from shore. I would suggest you have a look at something like one of these:

DrayTek Vigor 2860 Triple-WAN VDSL/ADSL2+ Broadband Router w/ Load Balancing, VPN & 3G/4G LTE Support

You put a SIM card in it just like a mobile phone. You have to top up the SIM card with some credit or put it on a mobile phone plan, just like a mobile phone. You can use it from country to country but it's cheaper to buy one for each country that you go through (depending on the area, I'm more used to the Pacific but it may be different in Europe). Get a monthly or prepay plan.

The router like the one above works a bit better than using a mobile phone as a hotspot -- for a start it has ethernet ports so you can plug in a printer or things that don't have wifi, and secondly it tends to hold a signal a lot better than a mobile phone does because it has a decent sized antenna. The good units start at around USD$300 or GBP170 or so. You can get these mini wifi-only units much cheaper but my experience is that they don't hold a signal as well and so the overall internet experience will be slower with many drop-outs.

DSL means "Digital Subscriber Line". It runs over a physical phone line, from the telephone exchange to your boat. Unless you have a really long phone extension cable that's not going to work while you're out sailing.

You can get wifi when you're close to shore. If you're staying in one place a lot it's cheaper and faster than 3G/4G but as soon as you start sailing the signal is gone.

Hope that helps.
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Old 01-12-2016, 04:06 PM   #7
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Awesome,
another superior reply. I knew what WiFi is, and the term DSL was misplaced; it's just habit. We went from dial up to DSL and it was so fast, but then I guess it became Broadband, then Satellite, but 3G?
Haven't got my head fully around that so thanx for the tip, since I only have experience with the first two, well and WiFi which I wouldn't realistically consider on a boat. Hell I even ran dual Cat5 all over the property just to have hard wiring everywhere. Can't imagine 240v wirelessly, why should an internet signal be better as WiFi.
So I'm guessing that this 3G modem would run a phone which then plugs into the laptop? Is that the drift I caught how that would hook up? I don't have a smart phone nor do I text or Twitter or Facebook or any of that clique stuff, I kept my old Motorola "Beam me up Scottie" phone til they shut down analog service for it, so that's where I'm at, but good news, I'm learning lol.
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Old 01-12-2016, 05:51 PM   #8
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Ahoy there Haiqu,
I have researched your Huawei hotspot and notice it has an internal battery.
Do you connect it directly to your 12v system to run for a long time without having to stop and recharge? You also cite 4g with 3g backup. Does that mean you have an extra sim card for the 3g system?
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Old 01-12-2016, 08:53 PM   #9
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Just to clarify further, 3G and 4G are mobile phone protocols but they can also be used for pure data i.e. wi-fi via phone hardware. It's what allows people to stream the internet on their iPhones.

The Huawei modem is powered from the USB port, but can also be run off the internal battery. It automagically reverts to 3G if there's no 4G in the area, as is the case in many remote locations where the infrastructure hasn't yet been updated.

The one I have can be set up as a router for up to nine users and you can add a dual "patch" antenna to extend reception or, as Del mentions, a yagi antenna for really long distances. Unfortunately the further away you get from the tower the tighter the direction has to be, so that's really only useful for land-based setups.

I'd definitely advise NOT to buy before you go, the European modems will be set to the right frequencies for the area, even if the model number is identical.

Most common provider there is Orange if you want to look up plans.
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Old 01-13-2016, 12:13 AM   #10
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Thanks Rob,
I have looked a bit and found this awesome service;
Traveling to Europe? Get Unlimited Data and Unlimited Texts!.
I appreciate the clarification of the 3G/4G system you have. I have looked at that situation over too and it would appear that Europe is well connected these days.
And yes I will wait but until then I'm still sussing it out. I might get the phone and the modem there too since as you say, they're wired for the EU. Good Work Mate.
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Old 01-13-2016, 12:27 PM   #11
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The service you've linked seems to be someone's reseller. I prefer going to primary carriers, they have bettter customer service and will give more technical data. A pay-by-the-month / all-you-can-eat deal isn't optimum for someone who may be out of range for weeks at a time. They usually require a two year contract as well. I prefer a pay-by-bandwith package myself, and then just restrain myself on usage.

As I recommended earlier, Orange is the largest provider I know of in Europe, see what they've got on offer.
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Old 01-13-2016, 06:54 PM   #12
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I did but they6 don't seem to cover everywhere.. Verizon seems to be more prevalent but they have holes too. Still researching that.
My wife is an art teacher and teaches online so there can be NO limit to our service, Unlimited or nothing is how that would play out. Paying by month seems pretty tedious, especially if I'm dodging Schengen in the process no?
Pritti hot there eh? Brizzie.
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Old 01-13-2016, 09:37 PM   #13
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I've done more research about Eurobuzz. It seems they've been around for some years and reviews are good except for calls not going through.
EuroBuzz.com Reviews - page 2 - eurobuzz.com Ratings at ResellerRatings
Problem is without getting a new service plan everytime we move to a new area, there isn't any sim carrier that covers all of the Med with 4G let alone unlimited data.
Going to look into these guys further.
The EU 4G coverage map is good. It clearly shows the inadequacy of the 4G coverage and the inconsistency of service.
Spain Cell Coverage Map - OpenSignal
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Old 01-17-2016, 01:10 AM   #14
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Here's your global wifi:

https://fi.google.com/about/

In development, US citizens only at this stage.
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