WiFi and 3G based internet

Hur vi har löst internet uppkoppling /Equipment that provide 3G based Internet connection in a boat

There are different ways to get Internet connection on a boat, Wifi is one and 3G based Mobile Broadband is another. Many cruisers use the Wifi based due to it could be found free of cost but quality usually is less good and instability in connection is common.

Using 3G based Mobile Broadband communications gives you full access to Internet via a SIM card and a Mobile Broadband agreement with a 3G provider (Vodafone, D2 etc.). Many providers are offering Broadband agreements including USB Dongle for Internet connection. The downside with this solution is that the Dongle is usually linked to the provider that has provided the Mobile Broadband agreement and cannot be used when you get to a new country or want to change provider.

We have successfully used another solution based on the 3G Mobile Broadband since 2010 in five European countries. The only thing we have done when we changed country or provider was to sign a new Mobile broadband agreement and get a new SIM card. Below is our solution described but there are more alternatives in the market.

With our configuration we always has a maximum quality and we usually have high quality communication as fast out as 10-15nm from ashore. This is due to the external antenna.

We are using the following equipment

  • Option Globesurfer III+ ( http://www.option.com/en/products/products/gs3plus/ ) 3G router with built in wifi capability(meaning all computers, PC and iPads and Smart Phones, could connect to the router and use the same 3G communication.  The router, as the Option Globesurfer, is vendor free and could handle all standards known today. Option routers are resellers could be found by searching the Internet in your country or where you are.
  • 10-15m antenna cable (low resistance antenna cable, Aircom low resistance 0.201 db). Note! This cable should be in ONE length and not two cables connected.
  • A conversion cable with matching connector to each end,(Option end and the cable end) IMPORTANT and easy to forget
  • A 3G antenna (Omni 3G 7 dBi). The higher dBi the higher signal strength

Price indication

The router is priced about €150, the cable in 15m length approximately €150 and and the 3G Omni antenna about €150.

Mobile Broadband agreement and SIM card

You find a 3G provider, for example Vodafone, and ask them for a Mobile Broadband agreement. We recommend that you take a prepaid solution if you are not stationary on an area for more than half a year. The cost for this type of agreement is around €20-40 for either a month or a specific number of Gigabytes, 4 to unlimited. You could then usually buy more time or Gigabytes either at a Vodafone shop or a small Kiosk.

Before you leave the shop with the Mobile Broadband Agreement and a normal sised SIM card you should ask for the APN address for the chosen provider. Exemples of different APN addresses are: internet.vodafone.gr, web.omnitel.it etc on the web you find updated list of APN addresses in use, http://www.vysoo.com/apn.php#404

Back on your boat you put the new SIM card into your Option router, access the router either by network cable or by WIFI ( and go into the setup and change APN address to the new one. The instructions provided by Option are OK to understand even if you are not a computer guy.


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