How To Create A Boat Internet Solution
Summer days spent cruising down the canals or rivers of England are serene, tranquil and downright great fun. Today, though, it’s hard to imagine not staying connected for more than a few hours at a time. Since boat rides are best shared with friends and family, perhaps you’d like to moor up somewhere and enjoy some Netflix with your jolly bunch.
Riverboats and canal boats, however, have often seemed starkly disconnected from land; from wider civilisation; from the internet. Part of what makes a boat trip an attractive prospect can also make it seem cut off from some of our favourite sources of entertainment. Not to mention some of our most useful online tools. These web-based applications and services need an internet connection to be accessed, which means you need an internet solution for your canal boat. We’re here to show you how it can be done.
Since you’re in a boat, cabled internet like DSL and fibre is obviously off the cards. You’ll have to go with a 4G LTE solution.
That’s right. The same tech that lets your smartphone connect to the internet when you’re out and about is powerful enough to connect you to all your favourite web apps and services. With some dedicated hardware, you’ll be able to pull down a stable and strong signal and have a bona fide canal boat internet solution.
In order to pull down a 4G LTE signal at all, you’ll need an antenna. Since you’re a moving target, a directional antenna won’t do. These need to be positioned very carefully to point directly at one cell mast in particular. You’ll need an omni-directional antenna, which can receive RF signal from all directions.
Since you’re on the water and it will be exposed to the elements, you’ll also need an antenna that’s capable of withstanding these elements. A solid IP65 rating or above is highly recommended.
The Poynting Omni 280 is one example of a capable, 4G LTE antenna with an IP65 rating. Highly cost-effective, this antenna will improve your network connectivity stability and ships with an array of possible mounting options, meaning you’ll always find an adaptable solution for solidly and securely mounting the antenna to your canal boat.
Poynting’s Omni 403 4G LTE antenna takes things a step further. With an IP68 rating, this antenna can handle even the stormiest seas, making a gentle river cruise an easy job by comparison. What’s more, it has MIMO functionality vs the Omni 280’s SISO. This means there are multiple antennas within the housing acting to diversify the points of signal receipt and distribution, resulting in a stronger and more stable connection. In the end, this means better speeds and a better end-user experience for you and your fellow shipmates.
Routers and Data SIMs
Your boat internet solution isn’t quite finished, though. You’ll also need a 4G router/modem to modulate and demodulate the signal as it comes in and to intelligently route it to your end devices. Teltonika’s RUT240 is an excellent option to pair with Poynting’s omnidirectional LTE antennas. Compact and durable, the RUT240 is great for canal boats low on space and has two ethernet ports for your devices or wireless access points, in addition to its SMA connectors for receiving the signal from your antenna.
To round off your boat internet solution, you’ll also, just like your phone, need an LTE data SIM card and a paid plan on which to receive your data. Great deals can be found online, so go with the provider reputed to have the best coverage in your area, paired with a great cost. The Teltonika RUT240 has room for two SIM cards, meaning one can act as a failover if the other goes down. To get the best internet experience for canal boats, this is great for ensuring uninterrupted streaming when heading through an area with spotty coverage from your primary provider.
To sum up, in order to get the best internet experience for your canal boat possible, you’ll need an omnidirectional 4G antenna with MIMO support and an IP rating of IP65 or above to handle the spray and the elements. You’ll also need a 4G modem/router like the Teltonika RUT240, as well as one or two SIM cards from a mobile provider of your choice. With these elements in place, some ethernet cables and an optional wireless access point or two, your canal boat internet solution is complete. Now, you can enjoy all your favourite shows and have strong, cost-effective internet connectivity for all your devices whilst you’re on the river. Happy cruising!