An Internet Solution

GPS, Sonor, Radar, Fish Finder, etc. Discuss electronics installation and upgrades.
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stxray
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Fri Sep 27, 2019 4:53 pm

Given my business activities, Internet access is a necessity for me. So, I've been searching for an affordable solution to use on my upcoming trip down the ICW and, I think I found a solution.

The discount cellular carrier (Visible) is offering unlimited everything (voice, text & data) with no data throttling for only $40/month (prepaid). And, since it's prepaid, I can suspend the service when the boat is on the hard. Turns out Visible is owned by Verizon and uses the Verizon network. The only caveat is you can only connect (tether) one device but, there's a workaround.

I found a small, 12v router (YooToo TripMate Nano) that sells on Amazon for less than $30. You tether the YooToo router to your smartphone to access the unlimited cellular data. The YooToo then creates it's own WiFi network to which you can connect other devices.

If your existing phone is compatible, you can use it keeping your same number. If not, they sell one for $19. I choose to buy the $19 phone as I plan to use this mainly for Internet access.

Here's some links, if you're interested:
For Visible (https://www.visible.com/ If you use the promo code "BLblF", you''ll get a 50% ($20) discount on your first month's billing and I'll get a $20 credit.
For the YooToo TripMate (https://www.amazon.com/HooToo-Wireless- ... 44&sr=8-15)
If you have any questions or issues setting it up, post them and I'll try to help.
Al Dente
1975 Albin 25 Deluxe, Hull #2350
Volvo Penta MD3B
Dinghy: 7'2" Achilles Inflatable w/ 2 Hp Honda
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Tree
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Fri Sep 27, 2019 5:28 pm

I’ve been previously using a netgear 12v mini router. I use this for simple things like switching the hot water on before I get to the boat via a Nest smart plug. Just switched to a HUAWEI mini router due to contract change and this is much smarter and connect seamlessly. Also has a longer battery life while off grid.
Fisher Price 2
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MadMoney
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Fri Sep 27, 2019 6:15 pm

Visible... I've never heard of them. Great find Stxray and thanks for sharing!

Anthony Warren

Nancy
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Fri Sep 27, 2019 9:34 pm

Great info! I heard about Visible recently. Your router solution is very interesting.
Nancy
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Norseman
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Fri Sep 27, 2019 10:06 pm

Not a geek on IT stuff, so some of this is pure f magic, but we have Verizon cellular service for 2 phones, unlimited data: Use the phones to wi-fi power our I-Pads with “Personal Hotspot” or whatever it is called when on the boat in the Keys. $95 per month for both phones (and both I-Pads)
2001 28TE, 6LP-STE, 1,144 hrs. 19X18 four-blade wheel.

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stxray
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Sat Sep 28, 2019 6:52 am

Norseman wrote:
Fri Sep 27, 2019 10:06 pm
Not a geek on IT stuff, so some of this is pure f magic, but we have Verizon cellular service for 2 phones, unlimited data: Use the phones to wi-fi power our I-Pads with “Personal Hotspot” or whatever it is called when on the boat in the Keys. $95 per month for both phones (and both I-Pads)
I too have Verizon service with 2 phones and a tablet. Problem I've found is although they call it unlimited data, they throttle (slow) down the data speed for heavy users.. In addition to using the tablet to run Navionics I like to stream videos. About half way through the month I find I start to get a lot of buffering where everything stops while it waits for the data feed to catch up. Very frustrating :evil: . I've heard good reviews about the Visible service but, I'll have to see after I've been using it a while. I'll be sure to post update.
Al Dente
1975 Albin 25 Deluxe, Hull #2350
Volvo Penta MD3B
Dinghy: 7'2" Achilles Inflatable w/ 2 Hp Honda
Residence: Southeast Pennsylvania
Homeport: Sea Isle City, NJ

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crowra
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Sun Sep 29, 2019 1:31 pm

Hey stxray - Just signed up for Visible with your promo code. Thanks! Hopefully this will be a good wifi solution for us. The router link doesn't work and I can only find HooToo not YooToo. Can you please repost the link?

Thanks and hope to see you on the ICW!

Rob
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1987 36' Double Cabin

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DesertAlbin736
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Mon Sep 30, 2019 2:24 am

Interesting. We have the same setup with phones as Norseman. I get your need to avoid data speed slowdowns, especially for your business related stuff. Does Visible have international features, like for instance traveling in Canada? I have a stand alone Garmin 741xs combo chartplotter so the only hotspot & wifi we use is to connect my wife's Samsung tablet using the phone as a internet connection. When in Canada we use Verizon's travel plan, which bills $5 for each 24 hour period that a phone is used, so we usually alternate turning on one phone or the other every few days to check for emails, texts, & keep up on the news & AOG. I had a hard time posting to AOG from my phone since every time I tried to upload a post with a photo it would kick me off & ask to login again, which meant losing everything I had written.
20190617_150246.jpg
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stxray
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Mon Sep 30, 2019 5:59 am

crowra wrote:
Sun Sep 29, 2019 1:31 pm
Hey stxray - Just signed up for Visible with your promo code. Thanks! Hopefully this will be a good wifi solution for us. The router link doesn't work and I can only find HooToo not YooToo. Can you please repost the link?

Thanks and hope to see you on the ICW!

Rob
Ops :oops: Guess I'm watching too much YouTube.
You are correct. It IS HooToo . In checking the Amazon link, it's now showing as "unavailable". I went to the HooToo website (https://www.hootoo.com/p/wireless-travel-router) and they have a link to buy it on Amazon which takes you to "unavailable". They do have another device, the HooToo File Hub (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B074LHG47K/re ... _tit_nw_mr) which seems to be the Nano on steroids. Searching Amazon for "Travel Router" there are a number of other brands that seem to do the same thing but, I have no personal experience with those.

Sorry for the confusion.
Al Dente
1975 Albin 25 Deluxe, Hull #2350
Volvo Penta MD3B
Dinghy: 7'2" Achilles Inflatable w/ 2 Hp Honda
Residence: Southeast Pennsylvania
Homeport: Sea Isle City, NJ

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stxray
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Mon Sep 30, 2019 6:03 am

DesertAlbin736 wrote:
Mon Sep 30, 2019 2:24 am
Interesting. We have the same setup with phones as Norseman. I get your need to avoid data speed slowdowns, especially for your business related stuff. Does Visible have international features, like for instance traveling in Canada? I have a stand alone Garmin 741xs combo chartplotter so the only hotspot & wifi we use is to connect my wife's Samsung tablet using the phone as a internet connection. When in Canada we use Verizon's travel plan, which bills $5 for each 24 hour period that a phone is used, so we usually alternate turning on one phone or the other every few days to check for emails, texts, & keep up on the news & AOG. I had a hard time posting to AOG from my phone since every time I tried to upload a post with a photo it would kick me off & ask to login again, which meant losing everything I had written.
20190617_150246.jpg
Here's what the Visible website says about that:
"What international services are available?
Visible’s service is only available in the U.S. If you want to text or talk using only Wi-Fi, you can use FaceTime on your iPhone or download an app like Skype, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, or Line. And if you need cell service internationally, you can temporarily swap out your Visible SIM for a local one"
Al Dente
1975 Albin 25 Deluxe, Hull #2350
Volvo Penta MD3B
Dinghy: 7'2" Achilles Inflatable w/ 2 Hp Honda
Residence: Southeast Pennsylvania
Homeport: Sea Isle City, NJ

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crowra
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Mon Sep 30, 2019 8:08 am

At least you were consistent with Yoo Too! :) I found it and discovered the same thing you did - that it is unavailable. I ordered a TP-Link N300 which should work fine. Plus I already have a PepWave but it isn't 12v. Again, thanks for the info!!]!
Ka'Why Knot
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rebuckley
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Tue Oct 01, 2019 11:42 am

This is great - I have been using my Verizon account - but as you mention - they do limit after you pass a certain number of gig, As we have an Amazon Fire Stick (which gets us live tv as well as access to our movies - for the kids on rainy days) - we blow through that easily on a week or two out on the water. This is a great option!! Thanks for the links.
Reb Buckley
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15' Guardian Whaler
Westerly, RI (WYC)

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crowra
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Fri Nov 15, 2019 12:18 pm

We have been cruising the ICW for the last five weeks starting from the Chesapeake Bay (Herrington Harbour South) and this has been an incridible wifi hotspot solution! We are currently in Georgetown, SC and only had one dead spot along the way. That was on the Alligator River where Verizon doesn't have service either. Thank you again for this suggestion!
Ka'Why Knot
Rob & Sharon Crow
1987 36' Double Cabin

TMW
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Tue Nov 26, 2019 9:40 am

This is great information. I like that it's the Verizon network. They have great coverage on Long Island Sound. Just wondering has anyone benchmarked the speed on something like speedtest.net? Being in IT, I sometimes have high bandwidth and speed needs to help clients. We would definitely be able to stay out longer if we have the speed and connectivity to work from the boat while away from the marina.


Thanks,
Joe

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stxray
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Wed Nov 27, 2019 5:36 am

TMW wrote:
Tue Nov 26, 2019 9:40 am
This is great information. I like that it's the Verizon network. They have great coverage on Long Island Sound. Just wondering has anyone benchmarked the speed on something like speedtest.net? Being in IT, I sometimes have high bandwidth and speed needs to help clients. We would definitely be able to stay out longer if we have the speed and connectivity to work from the boat while away from the marina.


Thanks,
Joe
I haven't benchmarked the speed but here's what I've found using it for the last two months on the ICW.
1. Coverage is excellent. There have been a few places where I wasn't able to get a signal but I didn't have one on my Verizon service either.
2. The speed has been excellent. I have a 12V, 14" TV and a Firestick. I also have a YouTube TV subscription. I have been able to watch TV and movies without any delay and very little, if any, buffering.
3. I also have a Redport system on my boat. It's supposed to be able to pickup a WIFI signal from 7 miles away. I had hoped to be able to better pick up marina WIFI when at a marina or Comcast hotspots when I'm not. I've found the Visible service to be much better and have been using it exclusively.
4. I don't alway use the router. The only time I bother to connect the router is when I need/want multiple devices connected to the Internet. If I'm using just one device I just connect directly to my Visible phone's hotspot.
5. I have been so pleased with the service, I have canceled my other service on Verizon.
Al Dente
1975 Albin 25 Deluxe, Hull #2350
Volvo Penta MD3B
Dinghy: 7'2" Achilles Inflatable w/ 2 Hp Honda
Residence: Southeast Pennsylvania
Homeport: Sea Isle City, NJ

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