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post #27 of Old 05-12-2013
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Re: Does anyone work on the Internet while sailing?

Originally Posted by travlineasy View Post
When I was making a living as an outdoor writer the PC was, and still is an incredible tool. I purchased an inexpensive USB antenna, about $19 on sale, it provided me with up to 7 miles of access to various sites open to the public. I could check my email, file my feature stories and photos, easily meet deadlines, listen to music, watch movies, all of which were free of charge. I sincerely believe that if you are going to be a coastal cruiser, and can work from the comfort of your boat, this is the way to go.

The guy who was docked in front of me at Marathon City Marina was an electrical and mechanical engineering consultant. He had not been to the corporate office in more than 5 years. He had a similar WI-FI antenna mounted near the top of his mast. It provided him unsecured Internet access nearly every place he sailed.

I'm still self employed, only now the income comes from being a musician/entertainer. My musical equipment is not what it was a decade ago. It's much lighter, takes up far less space, easily transportable, and during my excursion down the ICW and back it was with me the entire time. Everything survived the harsh marine environment, several nasty storms, and the humidity of the Florida Keys. The PC and Internet access were vital to me during that 6-month voyage. It allowed me to learn new songs that local audiences requested. It allowed me to keep in touch with my family, maintain communication with clients in Maryland, and the ability to set up and schedule performances at dozens of locations, both at home and along the way.

Now, all of the sites I used were unsecured. That means these are places you want to do online banking, make transactions using credit/debit cards, etc... That would be financial suicide at the very least. But, for most everything else, unsecured sites are just fine.

Good Luck,

Great that it worked out for you, but the time of unsecured wireless is coming to an end, unless it is being offered as a service. But most places are now figuring out that this "free service" can now become a profit source I am sure most will dry up unless there is a coffee shop nearby. Most of the time now cable companies offer "free" wireless routers now with there service. One of the main reasons they are doing this is that so many customers were not smart enough to follow the two page flyer that comes with the router to set up a secure connection. The cable companies were tired of folks "borrowing" bandwidth. So they provide the free router with is offered to make sure the connection is secured.

I will say that some local cable companies are doing a great job of offering free to subscribers wifi hotspots in lots of locations. Apparently they encourage the local business to offer it. But you have to be a cable subscriber to connect to it. Optimum is great in my area, but there cable service is not good so we switched.
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