• Aquator Marine

The best 4G and WiFi boosters that mean you can work from your yacht

(Article originally published by yachtingworld.com)

Rupert Holmes looks at effective options for onboard internet from 4G to WiFi boosters

After the COVID-19 pandemic has made remote working so widely accepted, could working from your yacht be part of the future? It’s no longer an expensive option: in the past couple of years the price of mobile data has plummeted, with unlimited plans now less than £25 per month.

In the UK, 4G reception around much of the coast is dire and often requires better equipment than in some far-flung parts of the world, but sensibly priced equipment can significantly boost a wifi or 3G/4G mobile signal. Look for products with fully waterproof omni-directional external antennas.

Connecting to marina wifi from a laptop is invariably hit-and-miss. Signals often struggle to get through the forest of masts and many marina WiFi systems suffer from low bandwidth at popular times.

WiFi boosters can therefore be a big help. I’ve regularly used an inexpensive model over a 400m distance with success. A higher specification unit, such as MailaSail’s WiFi Bat, has potential to communicate over a few miles in optimal conditions, yet the antenna is only 59cm tall and weighs less than 700g.

Digital Yacht’s WL510 WiFi Access System has a larger antenna and can either be plugged directly to a laptop’s ethernet port, or used with a router to produce an onboard wifi network for multiple users.