Numerous options are available for getting Internet and television access on your boat. Internet access can be established through a satellite Internet connection or through a wireless signal found at many marinas throughout the world. Television access can be achieved via a marine satellite TV system.
Determine if you want Internet access in a marina, at sea or both. Getting an Internet signal on your boat depends if you are out at sea or docked in a marina. Options are available for both, and it is a more a matter of budget than anything else. If you are out in open water, there are numerous satellite Internet providers who can provide access to the web via a small satellite dish installed on your boat.
Determine your budget for Internet access. Marine satellite Internet access generally starts at £97/mo and £1.70/per minute. Wi-Fi hot spots can be free. Cellular Internet access usually start at around £19/per month. If money is no object, go with all three so you can make sure you always have access to the web. If you are budget conscious, consider how essential getting online truly is when you are in between ports.
Call a marine satellite TV provider to get service. The service offerings depend on the size of your vessel and your geographic location. For small boats, the two major providers of satellite TV are SeaTel and KVH.
Purchase the equipment. For satellite Internet access, you will need a satellite dish and a computer. For Wi-Fi or cellular service, a laptop with either built-in Wi-Fi or a wireless network card will do the trick. For satellite TV, you will need a television, a satellite dish and a control box.
According to gcaptain.com, an informational website for marine professionals, it is recommended that boaters try out multiple systems at sea to see which works best. Companies that offer marine satellite Internet include Inmarsat, SeaTel, KVH and Fleet Broadband. Internet access options while docked in a port include Wi-Fi hot spots and mobile phone carrier signals. Locations of Wi-Fi hot spots can be found at wi-fihotspotlist.com. Internet access via your cellular provider depends on your carrier and geographic location. GSM is currently the most popular cell phone standard in the world and 3G technology provides speeds that rival DSL.