Choosing a 4G/5G router for internet on board

When choosing a 4G / 5G router solution for primary internet connectivity and WiFi on board of a ship, you may want to ask the following questions:

  1. What devices do you want to access the Internet with (e.g., laptops, tablets, smartphone, camera, chartplotter)
  2. With how many devices do you want to be online at the same time?
  3. Do you want a separate network for “Business” and “Crew”?
  4. Which SIM card should be provided? Is it for the Netherlands, Europe or Global?
  5. Does the router need to be suitable for satellite connections?
  6. Do you also want to connect devices without WiFi receivers to the Internet? For example, PCs or map plotters.
  7. Would you like to be able to save on data usage by using public WiFi networks if they are available?
  8. Would you like to be able to locate the ship or boat using GPS?
  9. Would you like to be able to manage the router(s) remotely? For example, make adjustments or perform a software update?

Internet on boats or ships: more extensive wishes and requirements

In case of more extensive requirements for internet on board, you should first make an inventory of all your requirements. We explain the most common requirements and the necessary properties of the 4G / 5G router below.

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 appliances? Then these can be connected to the internet primarily through 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.

Want to 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 just transmit it. This can be useful to make use of existing – free – networks as soon as they are available, for example at the port or near the shore. This can save a considerable amount of data usage.

maritime internet

Maximum 4G / 5G internet redundancy? Choose a router with multiple SIM cards

Are the requirements to the 4G / 5G mobile data connection business critical? Then choose a dual-SIM router. Is there also a high bandwidth requirement? Then check out 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 can offer the following advantages, among others

  • Switching to another provider when the network degrades or fails completely.
  • Switch from SIM 1 to SIM 2 when the data credit on SIM 1 is depleted.
  • Load balancing of data traffic.
  • Linking multiple 4G/5G connections into a single super fast combined data stream thanks to so-called “bonding” technology.
pepwave max hd2

Know where your ship is located? Choose a 4G / 5G router with GPS

A router with GPS ensures that a ship can always be located via the GPS/Glonass satellite network. This is particularly interesting for inland waterways, shipping and companies that rent out boats. GPS is also useful for tracing assets in case of theft.

Set up and manage the router remotely? 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 up remotely and firmware updates can be performed. It also offers the possibility to manage or limit data usage.

Cradlepoint netcloud

Want to know more? Ask our expert

We are happy to help answer your questions. Whether you are looking for technical support for your Wireless WAN solution or general information about our portfolio. Leave your message and we will get back to you soon!

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Stefan Hoeven
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