Idle Days

Bobbing about on the Cut

Internet Signal Problems

Like many, we enjoy watching programmes on our television and in particular streaming films from subscription channels such as Netflix and Channel 4+. That is in addition to other internet surfing activity. This requires a reasonable WiFi signal, which wasn’t always available from our narrowboat, in which case we viewed transmitted services or watched one of our collection of DVDs.  

I’ve recently been keeping a check on our internet usage and have established that it averages 6.3 gigabytes per day or about 200GB a month. 

In the house we are about to vacate we have an excellent signal on the Three mobile network averaging around 50Mbps. It’s on an unlimited tariff, more than sufficient for our needs. However on our boat, currently parked in Crick Marina, the signal is zilch, nada, nix, nothing – no signal at all. What to do, try another provider that’s what, but which one? 

One thing that I have learnt in the few months that we have been boat owners is when a solution to a seemingly insurmountable problem is required, I should ask the neighbours. I did and they said, “try EE”, so I did that too, and we now have a satisfactory signal on our boat of around 20Mbps. 

By the way, this signal is sucked into our boat by way of a Poynting A-MIMO-0003-V2-12 -2 roof-mounted aerial that I bought from Solwise after discussion with Poynting’s technical chap and distributed through the boat by a Huawei B535 router. 

The problem that now has to be resolved is which provider do we go with? Not a straightforward question as the mobile signal strength will change just as soon as we move our boat! 

I suspect the solution will be to retain a subscription to both Three and EE, at least for the time being. Expensive but a good internet connection is important to us and in any case a decision that can be put off until another day should be. 

One other aspect for consideration is that of our mobile telephone service is currently also on the Three mobile network. Bizarrely, at least to my ageing mind, is the fact that my iPhone is happy to somehow use the EE WiFi network to connect to the Three network and thereby provide excellent vocal communications. I happily accept it as a bonus while not understanding the mechanics.

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