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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest Forums > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 09-27-2007
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Neat Product: Cellular on one side, 802.11 (wireless) on the other

So I've got Verizon Wireless as a carrier and one of their USB cellular modems for Internet on my boat. I bought a 15 foot USB extension cord. I put my laptop on the nav table, open a port next to it, string the cable out the port and hang it off the boom to get reception. I'm then tethered completely to to the nav table, and I can't use my second laptop without disconnecting.

Now I've found this product.. http://cradlepoint.com/ctr350/ctr350.php

You plug a wireless carrier's USB modem on one side (Sprint or Verizon) and it will connect to the cellular network. It is also a wireless access point (802.11b/g) and router, so you use wifi technology on your computers to communicate outbound. It's only $149.

I have no idea how it works. I'm going to pick one up and try it out.

I have no affiliation - just thought it was a cool product.
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  #2  
Old 09-27-2007
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Also found this one... Kyocera KR1... http://www.kyocera-wireless.com/kr1-router/
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Old 09-28-2007
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Labatt,

I had a 3com years ago that was a router with a dialup connection. The only thing was the time it took to connect to the provider was way to long... and it would hung up without telling you. otherwise it was working great with my 3 computers.

Are you sure you need a router? If you connect with a computer and share your connection cant your other computer have access to your first computer if you do an Adhoc network?

I never had to try that... maybe someone else had.

have fun
-Leopold
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btw, a router is fun to have. I just question the need to have one

have fun
-Leopold
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Old 09-28-2007
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Never heard about someone who had a router on his boat ;-). with two computers where only one has internet-connection it works well with the so called "ad hoc" network. the one who is connected with the internet just has to share the internet-ressource.

if you really consider to use a router on your boat - be sure to really use a good encryption. otherwise you will be a wifi-hotspot and a lot of other people will use your internet-connection. and - afaik - cellular internet connections can get really expensive when you get over your monthly limit or if you are using another network than your home.

greetings
- daniel
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Old 09-28-2007
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Labatt—

The major advantage a cellular router, like the one you're describing will give you is slightly better reception, because you can often position the router more easily, and the ability to share the cellular data connection with multiple computers.

Danielh's advice about using the encryption and access restriction features, like MAC address denial, is a very good one. Since most cellular connections are fairly low bandwidth and some are per-megabyte, you really do want to restrict access as much as possible.

You can read about the security features and what to use for a typical WiFi setup and why here. Although I wrote it over two-and-a-half years ago, it still covers much of what is out there today. At the very minimum, you'd want to turn off the SSID broadcast, and enable the WPA-PSK encryption, with a strong pre-shared key. MAC address denial would be a good idea as well, but some would consider it overkill.

From what I understand, the ones that use a PCMCIA-type cellular modem, rather than the USB ones are better, but YMMV.
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Last edited by sailingdog; 09-28-2007 at 09:30 AM.
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Old 09-28-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leopold View Post
I had a 3com years ago that was a router with a dialup connection.
There's also WiFlyer which is a WiFi router with both a dial modem and a (cable) network connection.
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The old Apple Airports had both a broadband (ethernet) connection as well as the ability to dial out via POTS.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

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Old 09-28-2007
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Be sure to lock down your 'network'... I'm detecting a wireless linksys network at my slip on my iPhone, I think it's the marina office 75-100 yds away. The number of people with Wi-Fi capable phones and laptops will only increase and many don't mind hijacking a little bandwidth now and then.
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Old 09-28-2007
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Don't worry about me... I own a company that focuses on information security and enterprise networking and before I had to go completely into management I "dabbled" a bit in technology . There are a few RFC's with my name on them. I just posted the info on those two routers since I haven't seen any, until now, that work with 3G USB modems. I have three wireless devices on our boat at any point in time... boat laptop, work laptop and an Apple iPod Touch. It will be nice, for me, to be able to power up the 3G connection when I get to the boat, and then use it on any device wherever I'm sitting.

SD - there shouldn't be a difference in reception based upon USB vs. PCMCIA. Most of the units I've seen have the same power characteristics. I guess if the antennas are slightly different (higher gain) one may have an advantage over the other.
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