Communication in the Bahamas - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 9 Old 09-06-2011 Thread Starter
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Communication in the Bahamas

Hi, I'm a new member! We are finally getting ready to head to the Bahamas next month from New England. We are looking for recommendations on communication tools/methods to stay connected to family and friends via email/internet. Any recommendation on cost effective/user friendly recommendations would be appreciated!
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post #2 of 9 Old 09-07-2011
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In the Abacos, at any rate, many of the anchorages have Wi-Fi service through one of several local carriers. You can sign up for a month's service, for example, and the account seems to carry from one anchorage to another. Don't know the situation further south.

We were not able to determine whether BaTelCo supported GPRS.

Larry Shick
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post #3 of 9 Old 09-07-2011
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Depends on what kind of communication you need, how often & how detailed. We bought an unlocked simple cell phone ($50 - $75, depending on features) and in the Bahamas a prepaid local SIM card from BaTelCo ($15 + $0.50/minute to call anywhere in the US; $0.40 to call anywhere in the Bahamas) for those times that only live voice will do. As Larry said, there is a wifi account service that you can sign up for. Many of the cruiser-friendly cafes also have wifi for patrons (they generally ask for a 'donation' in addition to the cost of your drink, and their bandwidths are too limited to allow skyping).


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post #4 of 9 Old 09-07-2011
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wingNwing's experience matches mine. BaTelCo does have digital service using either phones as modems or data cards.

In Abaco Out Island Internet is available in most of the anchorages. In the Exumas you get a number of individual providers. Eleuthera not so much.

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post #5 of 9 Old 09-07-2011
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Wifi is generally available in the Bahamas ... but is usually 'weak' and needs a password for most of the bars/restaurants, etc. Many on the smaller islands in the Abacos leave their wifi nodes/routers on all the time so that cruisers can connect; be sure to use a 'firewall'.
Suggest you get a 'good' amplified Wifi antenna such as a "bitstorm" so you dont have to continually lug your computer, etc. around all the time. Bitstorm - Products .... 'badboy' xtreme which is usually good for connections up to 2-3 miles.

BatelCo blocks Skype connections in most of the 'cities', you can sometimes connect with Skype in the out islands if you have a good antenna.

Last edited by RichH; 09-07-2011 at 04:29 PM.
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post #6 of 9 Old 09-07-2011
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I take an unlocked cell phone which uses a SIM card. Then as WnW suggests get a Betelco card which is way cheaper than my Canadian provider.
We have a Wifi aerial and have been able to get internet at various ports and anchorages around the Bahamas. Pretty much every marina has there own Wifi as well. Each stop you will have to find out how you can get internet connections. Pretty much everywhere you will have to pay and prices and available bandwith vary considerably.
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post #7 of 9 Old 09-10-2011
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Buy a Batelco phone for $50.
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post #8 of 9 Old 10-04-2011
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We bot a Kindle with WiFi plus 3g capability for $189 from Amazon. Turns out it can be used to do free email and internet in 100 countries including Bahamas and Turks & Caicos. We bot one for this specific purpose and it worked as advertised while enroute from Puerto Rico to Florida.
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post #9 of 9 Old 01-08-2012
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On your 3G, did you have to buy sims for each area, or did u just use wifi.
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