4G/5G FOR MARITIME
More and more national and international companies from the maritime sector are opting for a 4G LTE / 5G solution for their primary or secondary internet connection for business-critical IT networks or WiFi for the crew.
But what are the best routers for wireless internet on a ship? That depends on the wishes of the user. In this article we will tell you how to find the right router for mobile internet and WiFi at sea.
WHICH 4G/5G ROUTER FOR INTERNET ON BOARD
Choosing a 4G/5G router solution for primary internet connectivity and WiFi on board a boat involves the following issues:
- Which devices will use the internet? Consider, for example, laptops, tablets, smartphones, cameras and chartplotters
- How many devices are using 4G or 5G at the same time. How many devices go online at the same time?
- Is there a separate network for “Business” and “Crew”?
- Where is the boat sailing; The Netherlands, Europe or Worldwide. Select the SIM card for the correct reception.
- Does the router also have to be suitable for satellite connections?
- Are there also devices that are connected to the internet without WiFi receivers, such as PCs or chartplotters?
- Want to save on data usage by using public WiFi networks when available?
- Should the ship or boat also be able to be located using GPS?
- Can also manage router (s) remotely? For example, make adjustments or perform a software update?
MORE EXTENSIVE WISHES AND REQUIREMENTS
In case of more extensive wishes for the internet for ships, an inventory is first made of all the wishes that there are. Below, the most common wishes and the necessary properties of the 4G/5G router are explained.
Non-WiFi devices on the internet? Choose a 4G/5G router with LAN ports
Are there devices that do not have a built-in WiFi receiver, such as PCs or built-in devices? These can then mainly be connected to the internet via a router with 1 or more LAN ports. Via a LAN cable, the device such as a PC or workstation is then connected to the internet via the 4G / 5G connection.
Save on data usage? Choose a 4G/5G router with WiFi as WAN (WAW)
WiFi as WAN means that the router can also receive WiFi and not only broadcast. This can be useful to make use of existing – free – networks as soon as they are available, for example in the port or near the shore. This can result in significant savings in data usage.
Maximum 4G/5G internet redundancy? Choose a router with multiple SIM cards
Are the requirements for the mobile 4G/5G data connection business critical? Then choose a dual-SIM router. Is a lot of bandwidth also required? Then view a router with 4 SIM card slots or even 8 SIM card slots. This means that two, four or eight SIM cards fit in the router, which offers the following benefits;
- Switch to another provider as soon as the network deteriorates or goes down completely.
- Switch from SIM 1 to SIM 2 when the data credit on SIM 1 is used up.
- Load balancing of data traffic
- Linking multiple 4G connections into a single super-fast combined data stream thanks to so-called “bonding” technology.
Want to know where the boat is? Choose a 4G/5G router with GPS
A router with GPS ensures that a boat can always be located via the GPS / Glonass satellite network. This is particularly interesting for inland shipping, seagoing shipping and companies that rent out boats. GPS is also useful in tracking down assets in the event of theft.
Remotely manage the router? Choose a 4G/5G router with a cloud management system
Nowadays almost all routers come standard with a cloud management system from the manufacturer or supplier. With a cloud management system, routers can be set remotely and firmware updates can be carried out. This also offers the possibility to manage or limit data usage, for example.
RECOMMENDED 4G AND 5G ROUTERS
- Firewall Throughput: 940 Mbps
- WAN Connectivity: 4G Cat 11 or Cat 18, GbE
- LAN Connectivity: Wi-Fi 5, GbE
- Form Factor: Ruggedized Metal
- Ethernet Ports: 2 GbE (LAN/WAN switchable)
- Dual-Modem Support: Yes with COR Extensibility Dock
- Wi-Fi: Dual-band, tri-radio Wi-Fi; 802.11ac Wave 2 (Wi-Fi 5)
- GNSS/GPS: Active
INTERNET FOR FUN BOATING AND WATER SPORTS
In practice, most water sports enthusiasts on inland waterways have a WiFi router that can connect 32 devices to the internet at the same time.
4G/5G antenna for better reception
With a good 4G/5G antenna on the boat, the internet solution is complete for most water sports enthusiasts. Such an outdoor antenna picks up the signal better than the built-in or supplied antenna of the router. The router is often in the cabin, so that the signal is weakened.
To achieve the highest speed with the chosen router, MiMo antennas offer the best solution.
NOTE: only possible with routers with 2 external antenna connections.
WiFi antenna for the boat
If there is not only WiFi in the cabin or the place where the router is located, but also on the entire deck, then a WiFi antenna is indispensable. Without an antenna, the signal will arrive weakened outside. With the antenna, it comes out of the router via the antenna cables, where it is sent through the antenna.
Conversely, the WiFi antenna can also ensure that the WiFi signal of a public network is amplified in the cabin.
NOTE: only possible with routers with one or more external WiFi antenna connections.
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