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Yacht tech

Utilising multiple internet connections on-board

Article by
Anum Rahim

The most vital concern of a yacht owner and guests aboard is the quality of the internet connection being provided. A reliable internet connection aids in better navigational capabilities and secure communications. Whether you need to send an important e-mail, require a quick weather report or the location of the closest marina, uninterrupted internet connectivity will be a blessing that will enable you to stay connected.

Providing quality connectivity on-board can be quite challenging and is an investment that needs to be made with utmost care. While there are countless marine connectivity options on the market, having a reliable backup service remains the top priority.

What exactly is a failover and why does it matter?

Failover is an operational mode that serves as a backup when it detects a failure. In the event of a system failure on-board, it automatically transfers control to a duplicate or secondary system to ensure that it can maintain smooth running of internet connectivity. Having a backup failover operational mode is essential as it is an integral part of mission-critical systems. A variety of internet connectivity options can be utilised to serve as the perfect failover solution that can provide seamless internet connectivity around the clock.


VSAT satellite communication systems are able to offer increased bandwidth speeds without being affected by weather conditions. These reliable satellite networks have been field tested and are used in many mission-critical applications like telemedicine centres, point of Sale appliances and bank ATM’s. When serving as a failover system, it can offer a reliable standby communications service that provides uninterrupted connectivity. Once you have installed a VSAT backup failover system, you will only be charged in the event of your vessel using the failover data (although this is dependent upon your VSAT provider). 

When shopping for quality VSAT packages, keep an eye out for service providers that can offer monitoring and support services around the clock. While the costs associated with installation of VSAT systems is rather high, you can manage costs by paying a flat price each month. Capping the maximum you can download will also make it easier to provide cost-effective connectivity solutions.

Mobile Data

Yacht multiple internet connections

Thanks to mobile phone companies and the vast range of 3G and 4G mobile data networks available, dealing with a connectivity failure does not have to be expensive anymore. There are different marine routers on the market that have been designed to boost access to various land based networks. These devices provide ease of use whilst extending the maximum range and distance of connectivity. Routers are both single and dual SIM based. Dual SIM routers have been designed to allow access to two networks, thereby serving as a more promising solution in the case of a connectivity failure. These routers are able to operate in conjunction with on-board VSAT and other systems to provide effective failover options. 

The ability to manage your service providers enables you to get the most out of each internet gateway’s bandwidth. You can use these routers on luxury superyachts and megayachts to enjoy optimal coverage in remote locations and miles off shore.

Combining Multiple Connections

Routers make it possible to arrange multiple connections based on priority. These connections remain on standby mode ready to switch over automatically when a connection is lost. For instance, shore-side internet can be on top priority but once you travel off-shore, you will need to switch over to VSAT since you’ll lose your shore-side internet connection. This is an inexpensive, yet rather clever way of providing uninterrupted connectivity through low cost routing and combining multiple connections. By using existing connectivity in a way whereby the least expensive higher bandwidth connections are prioritised over expensive low bandwidth connections, you can effectively provide a better, more affordable user experience.

Quality marine electronic router devices can be purchased online and can be used for multiple connections. With the use of these routers, you can easily combine Wi-Fi, satellite and cellular connections into a single connection point on-board. This enables you to offer appropriate internet access technologies whenever required.

Connection bonding using a shore-based router

An advanced method of using routers enables them to bond multiple connections back to the internet. For this, the yacht’s internet connections will need to be connected to a shore-based router. There are many services available that can do the technical work for you. You will have to pay for the hardware as well as the monthly service. While it is an added cost, it is well worth it if you can afford the option.

Different connectivity methods can be utilised effectively as a failover. The connectivity method that you decide to use will be dependent on how much you can afford as well as other factors like the size of the yacht and locations that it will be travelling. Regardless of how you decide to provide seamless connectivity, always be sure to research your options so that you can invest in feasible solutions.