Want the best value internet at sea? Pick a provider that’s flexible

Apr 26, 2021 | Blog

Internet at sea

With so many off vessel connectivity choices now available to the yachting industry, it’s important to understand your options, their associated costs, and how to get the most out of your 4G and VSAT airtime contracts. Additionally, as all captains and yacht managers will tell you, flexibility is required to activate and suspend contracts on demand.

Switching between these networks is essential to keeping costs down as you move the vessel away from and back towards the shore.

Access is a necessity

Flexible marine internet access is now entirely necessary for the day-to-day running of vessel operations. It’s not just a luxury catering to the needs of owners, guests, and crew, it’s as critical as operational technology onboard. Captains need the ability to request and access increased bandwidth on demand and the flexibility to manage contracts as required.

The bandwidth demands of any superyacht will vary massively between summer in the Med and winters spent in layup. Thus, flexibility is key when managing your connectivity costs. Nobody wants to be wasting money on expensive VSAT airtime when they have easy access to shore-based wifi. It’s prudent to check the fine print to ensure you’re granted this flexibility on any new contract.

Flexible contracts

Most captains look for multiple connection points to accommodate connectivity during travel. Time spent away from shore requires satellite internet, while marina wifi or 4G & 5G SIMs are best when available shoreside. Today’s yacht will use a combination of the above, along with extenders to boost the cellular signal, and VSAT to access the internet at sea. As your yacht moves away from the land signal, it’s necessary to switch to a satellite connection to maintain connectivity. However, due to speed latency and the high costs of VSAT airtime, as you return to closer waters, you also want to return to the significantly cheaper land-based networks.

A well-designed marine communications system will ensure you remain connected as it seeks out the best, most cost-effective connection available. Using the right equipment and setup, your system can search for the strongest reliable connection as your vessel moves around. If you don’t want to get caught out with bill shock while on the move, switch to a provider you can trust.