There are 12 million registered boats in the United States, according to a study by Discover Boating. Millions of people in America own boats and enjoy the benefits that come with having them.
Boats provide a fun getaway that lets you cruise through the water with your favorite people. If you’re looking to make the best use of your boat, you’ve probably considered the need for wifi. Keep reading to learn how to get the internet on your boat while exploring the open waters.
Amplifying Cellular Data
The first option is not the cheapest, but it is potentially the easiest. If you have a smartphone, your carrier most likely provides the option to use your phone as a hotspot. This will use your cellular data and can hike the price up if you use too much, or cause your data to slow down if you go past your regular speed’s limit.
You can get a cell booster to increase the signal strength, which can be a few hundred dollars. You will also need a sim card, modem, and marina cellular antenna for this method. Using your cellular data usually works on a boat as far out as 8 – 10 miles from the shore.
Using the marina WiFi is the most common and least expensive way to access boat WiFi. As most marinas provide WiFi, if you’re close enough to shore, you should be able to connect without a problem. However, even if it is the strongest WiFi, once you pull away from the shore, the WiFi will begin to diminish and become extremely weak.
This is where WiFi extenders come in. There are still many conditions that need to be considered to have a strong internet connection, especially weather, but a WiFi extender will dramatically increase your signal regardless.
Satellite internet is the only option for when you are boating 10 miles or more outside of the shore. If you don’t leave past the shore very often, then the above two options are better for you. If you want to have access to the internet no matter how far you go, choose satellite internet.
This is much more expensive and comes with a lot more equipment. The satellite dish alone will cost between $1,500 and $50,000, and will also require additional equipment, as well as monthly fees. This is the premium WiFi on a boat and will be your fastest option, but also your most expensive.
If you’re looking for the best boat WiFi, consider how you will use it and how you use your boat. If you take your boat on outings that aren’t very far from the shore, the marine WiFi is most likely your best bet, along with the WiFi extender.
If you love to take your boat on long trips and want to stay connected, satellite internet is your only real option and will be worth the more expensive price tag. Whatever you choose, browse through more of our articles for all your lifestyle tips and tricks.