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Everyone needs an internet connection. It has become as ubiquitous as the air. This applies to those who are out on the water as well. And yet, getting a connection while on a boat can be pretty hard. That can be solved with a marine WiFi extender. In this article, we shall explore the best marine WiFi extenders on the market, as well as how to pick the best one for you.
- Best Marine WiFi Extender – Our Top 5
- Best Picks for Marine WiFi Booster – Reviews
- 1. C Crane CC Vector Marine WiFi Extender Antenna
- 2. ALFA Network CampPro 2 Universal
- 3. Bearifi BearExtender Marine WiFi Extender
- 4. Shakespeare 5230 Galaxy
- 5. Halo Long Range Marine WiFi Booster
- Buyer’s Guide – Finding the Best Marine WiFi Extender
- So What, Exactly, is a WiFi Extender?
- How Does a Marine WiFi Booster Work?
- What To Consider When Buying a Marine Wifi Repeater
Best Marine WiFi Extender – Our Top 5
Best Picks for Marine WiFi Booster – Reviews
1. C Crane CC Vector Marine WiFi Extender Antenna
If you’re looking for a high performance marine WiFi booster, then it’s difficult to do much better than this particular model. It’s specially built for RVs and boats, so you know it does the job well.
This particular model comes with an omni-directional antenna built especially for the outdoors that is capable of receiving a signal from as far away as a mile. It will boost and repeat the signal for all devices that are within its range. Speaking of its range, it has a coverage of 400 square feet, which is enough coverage for most boats.
This WiFi extender uses the 2.4 GHz WiFi band. While that’s only a single channel, it also happens to be the most used and one with the heaviest traffic. It’s also the band that covers the greatest distance.
That said, it does have its shortcoming since it can only support two users streaming video of standard quality at the same time. Any more than that and the internet will start to get pretty slow. That said, it’s hard to think you’d be doing much more on a boat.
The best sell for this marine WiFi extender is that it’s heavy duty, which is to say you can mount it just about anywhere. It’s also weatherproof.
2. ALFA Network CampPro 2 Universal
This WiFi extender is perfect for when hanging out on a yacht or RV, or even when out camping. It retrieves a remote signal and brings it closer, allowing you to enjoy surfing on the internet, even from a distance.
The setup is super easy as all you need is the QR code it comes with. It has a lot of components to put together, but there are instructions and not a lot of skill is required to do it.
This WiFi extender can also be easily powered from your boat or vehicle via its power adapter. It’s very easy to take with you anywhere you go, and it is also pretty versatile. If you’re crazy about boating, then this is definitely one of the better options to bring along with you.
While the setup is easy, the downside is that you generally have to reestablish the connection every time you move to a new connection. After all, it only amplifies the signal that it receives, so you have to keep adjusting it to ensure that signal is coming in.
3. Bearifi BearExtender Marine WiFi Extender
The Bearifi is one of the more affordable marine WiFi extenders on this list. You’re certainly not going to break the bank on this device. That said, it is built to handle only one device at a time, so don’t expect it to supply a signal for lots of people if you’re having a party, for example.
One of the stronger points for this WiFi extender is that it comes with 3 different mounting options, each of which is versatile. These are an adjustable pole mounting band, a Velcro pole mounting strap, and a detachable tabletop tripod.
For best results, you should mount it wherever you are likely to get the strongest signal from the access point. That said, it has very good range as it operates on the 2.4 GHz band.
This WiFi extender is not waterproof, but rather water resistant, so it can’t handle more than a bit of rain or water splashing on it. That said, it has an anti-corrosive and anti-UV coating that makes it fairly resistant to the elements.
Another caveat to take note of with this WiFi extender is that it is only compatible with Windows, but not Mac OS X, iOS, or Android. You should only have compatible devices before you buy one. Also, you cannot use it as a cellular signal booster.
4. Shakespeare 5230 Galaxy
This WiFi extender is versatile, as it can boost the signal for 2,3, and 4G cellular networks, as well as WLAN. It also works well for WiFi signals. It’s smaller than many other extenders, at only 2.6 inches in diameter and 9.25 inches in length, but don’t let its compact form deceive you.
It is still a heavy-duty extender that can handle a lot. It works well on watercraft and comes fitted with an N-connector and a stainless steel ferrule for stable mounting.
This WiFi extender is compatible with 802.11n WiFi, or the 2.4 GHz frequency band. It’s easy to install and has an omni-directional antenna with a gain of up to 4 dB.
For best results with this extender, you should mount it where you are likely to get the strongest signal. You will also need to put it fairly high to improve its chances of catching a signal.
5. Halo Long Range Marine WiFi Booster
This is yet another great choice for those looking for a reliable marine and RV WiFi extender. It comes paired with the Halo WiFi app, which makes it super easy to set up.
For best performance, you should mount it at least 12 feet from the ground – preferably 15 feet. It also shouldn’t be obstructed by any large objects. Mount it too high or too low and it will have a hard time catching a signal. You should also consider where you mount it as it has to be where it is most likely to get a strong signal.
This marine WiFi extender is powered by a vehicle adapter so you don’t have to worry about getting a complicated power supply. It also comes with an Ethernet cable, allowing you to hook it directly to your laptop.
The biggest downside of this extender is that it’s not very weather resistant. Leaving it exposed to the elements will lead to accelerated wear and tear, so make sure you keep it dry and that you take good care of it.
Buyer’s Guide – Finding the Best Marine WiFi Extender
So What, Exactly, is a WiFi Extender?
A WiFi extender is also known as a WiFi booster (and also called a wireless repeater) its main job is to receive an internet signal from a router. In the case of a marine WiFi extender, that router will be on land, while the WiFi extender will be on the boat.
The WiFi extender receives the signal, enhances it, and then rebroadcasts it to areas on the boat; areas that would otherwise have a hard time receiving the signal from the router on their own.
Some WiFi extenders are so strong that the internet signal they provide reaches areas where you would normally not receive any signal at all, such as areas under the deck of the boat.
The essence of a WiFi extender is to help the signal from a router to reach areas that it wouldn’t have been able to reach on its own. The result is an improved and strong internet signal that permeates the entire boat.
When you’re picking a marine WiFi extender, some of the things you need to consider include the internet speed from the source router, whether it runs on a single band or dual band, as well as the range the extender supports and whether that’s good enough for you.
The internet has become a fundamental part of our daily lives and, even on a boat, having an internet connection is a must for many people. Getting the best marine WiFi extender you can, ensures you get a strong internet connection even when you’re out on the water.
But it’s not just about the luxury aspect. Having an internet connection certainly helps in case of an emergency, as it makes it easier to contact people on land when your cellular connection is low. That way you get assistance faster.
In order to buy the right WiFi extender, however, you certainly need to know what factors to consider when purchasing one and which ones give good value for money.
How Does a Marine WiFi Booster Work?
One thing a WiFi extender is not is an access point. This isn’t your average mesh system. A WiFi extender does not originate its own signal. Instead, it takes a signal and boosts its strength, increasing the range of the connection.
Depending on the type of extender you get, and your location on the boat, there are some places which won’t get a signal at all, even with the extender there. In that case, you will have to choose carefully where you sit when you’re trying to connect to the internet.
Extenders are really at their best when you’re on still water, such as a medium sized lake, though some really good ones can work on streams and rivers as well. This is as long as the extender can reach an access point on land to bring you WiFi. If the water carries you too far from the access point, you will lose your connection to the internet. It’s certainly easier on still waters, though it’s possible with moving water as well, so long as you don’t drift too far.
Before you pick a WiFi extender, it’s important to know the speed of the router. That way, you can buy an extender that is either as fast as the router or even faster. The standard speed is 802.11ac. If you want to be on the safe side, you should get an extender that broadcasts at least that fast, or faster. That way it will be able to adapt to fast and slow access points as it encounters them.
WiFi extenders also come in either single, dual, or triple band frequencies, so that’s another thing to consider. This relates to the same frequencies in the routers they pick the signal from, as those also come in single, dual, and triple band varieties.
A single band router operates on the 2.4 GHz frequency band. A single band extender should be able to pick up a signal from this router just fine. A dual-band router runs on both the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands. A dual-band WiFi extender should be able to pick a signal from both a single band and dual-band router.
If you have a dual-band WiFi extender, and the signal is coming from a dual-band router, the WiFi extender will be able to boost the signal on both bands. If the router is a single band but the extender is dual-band, the extender will only boost the signal on the one band.
With a single band extender, the signal will only be boosted on one band, no matter how many bands the source router runs on. So you’re really better off buying an extender that runs on multiple bands.
The speed of the signal is determined by the number of devices drawing from it. If you have computers, tablets, and multiple smartphones accessing the internet on a single band signal, the speed will be slow. The more the bands, the higher the speed, even with multiple devices accessing the internet at the same time.
A triple band extender should be able to boost signals from routers of all bands, with a speed faster than 5.7 GHz.
That said, it should be pointed out that, while the higher frequencies are faster, they also have short ranges. The 2.4 GHz frequency band has the longest range. When you’re far enough, a triple band WiFi extender and a single band WiFi extender will perform the same as they will both be running on the same band.
What To Consider When Buying a Marine Wifi Repeater
The Type of Material
When you’re out on the water, the weather is certainly not something to ignore. A good marine WiFi extender should be able to handle any kind of weather without experiencing adverse wear and tear.
The best marine WiFi extenders are not only waterproof and dustproof but also have UV resistant coating to protect them from intense sunshine.
The Ease of Installation
While having a marine WiFi extender is certainly a good thing, no one wants to have to spend hours trying to figure out how to install it. The best extenders on the market are the ones that take only minutes to install.
A good marine WiFi extender should come either with a warranty or some kind of refund policy. That way, you know the manufacturer has put their money where their mouth is.
Best Marine WiFi Extender – Conclusion
And with that, we come to the end of our article. As you can see, you have plenty of options for the best marine WiFi extender, as well as a few pointers on what to look for when buying one. Now, next time you go out on the water, you can bring the internet with you.
Thanks for reading and be sure to check our other posts in blog section.
Last update on 2021-01-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
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