How to get reliable Internet and WiFi connectivity on boats

September 6, 2023

Marine Boat Internet and WiFi

You will gain a huge sense of freedom and adventure that is often tough to replicate anywhere else when you set sail out on the open waters. Staying connected has become a necessity of modern boating, whether you are cruising along the coast or starting for an extended voyage. You can easily bridge every gap present between your seafaring escapade and the digital world with the help of the appropriate LTE router to ensure that you stay connected with boat WiFi at all times, whenever you require to be.

In our post today, Metro Wireless will help you explore the vital factors of consideration while picking an LTE router for your boat. The maritime landscape offers distinctive challenges for better connectivity, making things essential to pick a route that withstands the elements and delivers reliable internet access accommodating your distinctive requirements.

Our post personifies as your compass to navigate the world of LTE 5G connectivity for boats, whether you are a remote worker, a social media enthusiast, or someone who wishes to stay updated with the latest news while sailing out in open waters. Today, we will chart the course to help you find the perfect LTE router to keep you engaged and connected on your maritime adventures as you start your journey with us!

Coverage and Network Compatibility

The initial consideration for picking an LTE router for your boat is better coverage and network compatibility. Ensure that your router supports the LTE bands and frequencies used by these cellular networks in areas where you plan to set sail. Different areas will have varied LTE bands. 

Therefore, a router offering multi-band or global support offers the ideal chance to help you stay connected with WiFi for a boat wherever you head out for an adventure on the water.

Antenna and Signal Strength

Considering the challenging environment when you are out on the water, signal strength often fluctuates. Search for a router with external antenna connectors to attach the higher gain antennas. These antennas enhance the signal's reception, mainly in weaker or remote areas. An LTE router arrives with the built-in MIMO or Multiple-Input and Multiple-Output technology that enhances the signal quality using several antennas for better data throughput.

Durability and Weather Resistance

Equipment is exposed to weather conditions in boating, including saltwater, rain, and temperature fluctuations. Pick an LTE router designed for maritime environments with waterproofing and a rugged build. Search for routers with IP65 or higher ratings to ensure that they withstand dust and water exposure.

Power Efficiency

With the limited power source on the boat, it is essential to pick an LTE boat router with greater power efficiency. Some routers arrive in low-power modes to aid in conserving energy whenever you are not using the Internet actively. Furthermore, pick a router powered by multiple sources like the boat's battery, solar panel, or an external power bank.

LTE 5G Internet on Boat
LTE 5G Internet on Boat

Data Plans and SIM Card Compatibility

LTE routers require SIM cards for connecting to cellular networks. Before you buy a router, it is important to research the data plans available from varied mobile carriers and pick the one that meets the requirements of your data use. A few routers support several SIM cards enabling you to switch between the plans or carriers based on your data and location requirements.

WiFi as WAN

The term refers to connecting the router to the public WiFi access point as their alternate Internet source instead of connecting to any cellular network. These routers can support the feature to connect to public WiFi whenever available and automatically switch to the LTE connection when you leave the dock and are out of the WiFi range.

The best WiFi for boats can save the LTE data connection charges whenever free WiFi access is available. The entire setup is configured easily, enabling you to establish networks and emphasizing in advance, allowing a seamless and automatic switch. It is even possible to utilize one router to offer a private WiFi network for the boat and connect to the external WiFi hotspot.

Ease of Installation and Setup

Pick a router that offers straightforward installation and setup, even if you need to be more tech-savvy. Several routers arrive with user-friendly interfaces guiding you through the entire step-by-step setup process. A few routers additionally offer mobile apps enabling you to manage and monitor your connection from your tablet and smartphone.

Budget Considerations

Like any technological purchase, your budget significantly influences your decision-making ability. The LTE routers vary massively in cost based on their capabilities and features. It is vital to balance the features and budget that are highly vital to meet your boating requirements. 

Remote Management and Monitoring

Choose an LTE router offering WiFi on a boat with remote management and monitoring abilities. The feature enables you to access and control your router's settings from a distance, which is extremely beneficial if you are away from your boat but still wish to ensure the connection is stable or make the required adjustments to the network settings.

WiFi on Yacht
WiFi on Yacht

Security Features

Security is essential when using any device connected to the Internet for boats. Search for LTE routers offering strong security features like firewall protection, detection of intrusion, and the ability to establish virtual private networks or VPNs. These VPNs add a layer of security by encrypting internet traffic and safeguarding your data from potential threats.

Expandability and Compatibility

Ensure to consider the expandability of the LTE router system, as a few of the routers enable you to add additional accessories or modules like Ethernet switches or WiFi Antennas to boost the abilities of the entire setup. Ensure your router is compatible with the accessories and devices you wish to add later.

Firmware Updates and Support

The updates on the regular firmware are vital to keeping your router updated with the latest security patches and enhanced performance. Inspect whether the router manufacturer offers regular updates and has support systems to address the technical issues you might face.

Data Management and Usage Monitoring

When you are on a boat, it indicates that you deal with restricted plans. Pick a router offering better data management and features of usage monitoring. It would enable you to keep track of your data consumption, set the limits to data use, and get alerts whenever you are nearing your data cap avoiding any unexpected overage charges.

User Reviews and Recommendations

Before you decide, review the user reviews and search for recommendations from your associate boaters or maritime associations. The real-world exposures offer valuable insights into the varied LTE router models' reliability, performance, and user satisfaction.

Portability and Mounting Options

Consider the router's weight and size, mainly if you plan to move it around your boat and carry it with you as you land. A few routers are designed to be portable and compact, while the rest intends for permanent installation. Pick the right option that suits the best of your usage.

Warranty and Support

A trustworthy warranty backed by the best customer support is key when facing technical glitches with the LTE router. Check for the warranty terms offered by the manufacturer and the availability of customer support resources to ensure that you are having a smooth experience when you require any help.


There is a rapid evolution of technology, and it is worth considering whether the LTE router you pick has the potential to adapt to future advancements. Search for routers supporting emerging technologies such as 5G or have their upgradeable elements ensuring that your investment stays relevant with the rapid changes in the digital landscape.

Load Balancing and Failover

Choose an LTE router supporting load balancing and functionality that involves failover. The load balancing enables the router to distribute the internet traffic across several connections like WiFi and LTE for optimized performance. Failover ensures that when one connection fails, the router switches to its backup connection to ensure unobstructed connectivity.

QoS (Quality of Service) Settings

The settings for Quality of Service allow you to emphasize a few specific kinds of Internet on sailboat traffic over the rest. It is vital when on a boat, as bandwidth is limited there. QoS helps ensure that important applications like work-based tools or navigation systems get the top priority. In contrast, the less important activities like streaming are defined under low priority.

Simultaneous Device Connections

Always consider the number of devices connected with boating WiFi with the help of a router simultaneously. When you have multiple devices on board, like your smart devices, smartphones, laptops, and tablets, you need a router to help you handle the load without compromising performance.

Choose The Perfect LTE or 5G WiFi Router To Stay Connected On The Waves!

Opting for the appropriate LTE router for the boat notably enhances your maritime experience to help keep you connected with work, communication, and entertainment, irrespective of where you are setting sail. With a massive list of options available, consider the important factors when you seek an answer on how to get the Internet on a boat.

Always make informed decisions by factoring in security features, remote management, expandability, etc. Remember to check out the user reviews, search for recommendations, and ensure that the router aligns with your budget and the requirements of your future. The best LTE router helps transform your boating endeavors, regardless of whether you are a digital nomad or wish to stay in touch.

So what are you waiting for? Research, compare, and start your connected voyage on the open waters with boat WiFi offered at Metro Wireless. We help you stay connected, informed, and well-entertained while you set sail to new horizons. Pick your perfect LTE router making every single moment on your boat making your experience extremely enjoyable!

Tyler Hoffman