Personal Wifi/Hotspot for the Mariner

I’m just curious about everyone’s experience and advice with personal hotspots used while at work. What works, what doesn’t, any recommendations etc. First boat I’ve been on in a while without wifi and am open to suggestions.

Are you working in a cell coverage area? I use my phone as a hot spot when required.
Within the next 24 months, every vessel in the world should have cheap high-speed internet, I would hope since the cost will be so cheap. Starlink is going up fast and several people are Beta testing in high latitudes with awesome speeds. See Youtube, “Starlink Beta”. Latency has always inhibited satellite internet outside of rural areas due to low speeds from traditional geo satellites, but now that Starlink is going up in low earth orbit with reduced latency, the game has changed - particularly with the equipment being made available. Low earth orbit satellite tracking was never practical from an equipment standpoint since you would need real-time tracking. Elon Musk came up with a self-tracking dish for $499 and high-speed internet access for $99/month. Comparatively, we pay $35,000/month on a drilling rig with a 16MB VSAT connection. Starlink is getting 80MB to 160MB download speeds in Beta testing, better than my DSL connection in the city. It’s unbelievable how technology keeps pushing on. I’m on the list for Beta, but it will be Q1 for the SE US.


Yeah our run is pretty short and coastwise. We have service most of the time but It would be nice to be able to get on my computer and clear out emails or stream some TV every now and again. Forgot to ask about using hot spot on phone. Boat has a “booster” but it doesn’t work well. Not what I would expect in 2020. Thanks for the info

Starlink is going to be a blessing and a curse for mariners.

Mariners: Yay! Cheap, fast internet!!! Youtube! FaceTime!

Head office: Yay! Cheap, fast internet!!! More reports for our boats/rigs to send back and forth! They can tell us how many chicken fingers they’re eating a day! And we get to reduce on board staff since the speed is faster, it takes the old man less time! He won’t need a 3/O anymore!


Some companies might fit CCTV cameras all throughout the ship with a live stream back to the head office so they can monitor what work people are doing, especially on the bridge, the companies will be able to see in real time what the bridge watch-keeper is doing and that they are keeping a proper lookout, I guess it would put an end to people using their phones on the bridge.

Yup. And if they do that, then the mariners need to be in full support of it. If they have 24/7 video monitoring, then they’ll have recordings of on duty time/rest hour violations occurring (due to lack of sufficient crew and owners that DGAF about crew welfare).

And when an RFID implant is a CG requirement they will know exactly where and when everyone is located.

I’ve got some eartags that I can fit without implanting. Some of our woke personnel and others that claim a gypsy heritage already have a hole in their ear to fit them… I’m sure that if a big enough market existed the firm that manufactures them could print them with a suitable nautical motif.

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I am using a Visible smartphone which allows “unlimited” data and hotspot use. My regular Verizon smartphone is capped and one of their updates killed the app I using to work around the cap.

It works well in NY, NJ, CT areas where I work, well enough to stream video to my tablet, and download chart updates to Rosepoint ECS.

$40 a month

Been going on in the gulf for about 10 years at this point.

Don’t worry the novelty where’s off after a while and they 9nly log in to get videos when there’s an incident.

The ones that might have been able to see in the wheel house all stopped working and dammit if nobody on the boat could get them working.

We are delighted to be working with a technology start-up such as FrontM, which helps us to support our customers to rapidly digitalise their operations and change their overall approach to crew welfare onboard,” said Marco Cristoforo Camporeale, Head of Digital Solutions, Inmarsat Maritime.

T-Mobile works in the GOM after they acquired Rig-net. I’m using my phone as a hotspot to write this here in Garden Banks 128.