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post #1 of 9 Old 11-18-2012 Thread Starter
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Accessing free Wi Fi and WiFi amplifiers

Most of th time I am on my mooring or on the hook. I would like to have acces to HuLu or Netflix through my computer, however, I use up all available data if a watch a movie or two. I am considering buying a Wi FI signal amplifier so I can access the free WiFi available in my home area (I live on board year round) and am in an urban area. Anyone have experiance with these systems and a recomendation of a device that works well.
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post #2 of 9 Old 11-18-2012
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Re: Accessing free Wi Fi and WiFi amplifiers

I've installed a Ubiquiti Bullet on my boat to pick up distant WiFi networks while at anchor and the system works very well for me, I have picked up distant signals from close to a mile away and connected via them.


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post #3 of 9 Old 11-18-2012
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Re: Accessing free Wi Fi and WiFi amplifiers

Google Alfa wifi.

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Re: Accessing free Wi Fi and WiFi amplifiers

Bump, have you checked out the bandwidth on the free wifi in your area? Maybe with a laptop ashore? It may or may not be sufficient for streaming movies. Most free connections aren't. Might want to check that before investing money and time installing a good antenna (like the Bullet).

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post #5 of 9 Old 11-18-2012
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Re: Accessing free Wi Fi and WiFi amplifiers

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Originally Posted by Zanshin View Post
I've installed a Ubiquiti Bullet on my boat to pick up distant WiFi networks while at anchor and the system works very well for me, I have picked up distant signals from close to a mile away and connected via them.
This is likely the most reliable and cheapest method. Do not even bother with USB devices, every one I have ever tried is not worth the effort. A bullet and antenna can be set up for well under a hundred dollars for the 100mW version and less than 150 for the 800mW version. I have a Nanostation LOCO (built in antenna) and it is nice, but for a boat I would do the Bullet. Very easy to set up. I got mine at Streakwave and was satisfied with the customer support. At the time there was a shortage of them and they were the only ones with them in stock. I would buy from the again, but they are also available elsewhere.

The thing I like is that they use normal Ethernet cables with a Power Over Ethernet adapter. This means you can go up to 100 meters before you have to worry about signal loss and makes for an easy install. Since there are no drivers involved it is more stable than a USB device. I have found USB networking drivers to be very flaky.

There seems to be fewer and fewer available networks though.
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post #6 of 9 Old 11-19-2012
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Re: Accessing free Wi Fi and WiFi amplifiers

I bought an Island Time PC wifi setup, very happy with it. I've been able to grab a signal at 2 1/2 miles a couple of times. It wasn't good but it was there. We run it through a router with a usb input so that we can access our files from anywhere on the boat and if I want to I can share my signal with other boats.
Many places nearby with a secured wifi signal are cafes and restaurants and they're usually lax about changing their password so just go buy a cup of coffee once a week and you're there.


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post #7 of 9 Old 11-19-2012
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Re: Accessing free Wi Fi and WiFi amplifiers

I use the system from Wi-Fi for boats Wi-Fi for Boats It's based on the Ubiquiti w/ a high gain antenna and includes all the gear you need to get it working and connected to your 12V boat system. Very handy. It should meet your needs, I use it to stream Netflix from my boat regularly if your shore side connection can handle streaming.

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post #8 of 9 Old 11-19-2012
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Re: Accessing free Wi Fi and WiFi amplifiers

Something to think about.

I've been down your same path. Was looking at a better antenna for wifi but I soon realized that most of the Marina free wifi sites would not handle streaming bandwidth. I was very disappointed, dang. My friend lent me his Verizon cell modem, wow, works great for streaming. I am now thinking about upgrading my cell phone with hot spot support to provide a mini-myfi within the boat from my cell. I have not tested or tried it but that will be next.
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post #9 of 9 Old 11-19-2012
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Re: Accessing free Wi Fi and WiFi amplifiers

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Something to think about.

I've been down your same path. Was looking at a better antenna for wifi but I soon realized that most of the Marina free wifi sites would not handle streaming bandwidth. I was very disappointed, dang. My friend lent me his Verizon cell modem, wow, works great for streaming. I am now thinking about upgrading my cell phone with hot spot support to provide a mini-myfi within the boat from my cell. I have not tested or tried it but that will be next.
If you have Verizon you can use FoxFi from an android to tether legally, without having to root the phone. They made a deal for some "anti-trust" thing that they would not prevent you from tethering.
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