While carrying out upgrades on a number of superyachts recently, YachtSurfer a supplier of marine internet solutions has noticed that most Wi-Fi networks on board, are only operating on the 2.4GHz spectrum, which is incredibly overcrowded and as a result is providing the yacht with sub-par performance.
Recent research by Xirrus has shown that most Wi-Fi networks are capable of using 5GHz operation. Nearly every modern mobile device, phone, tablet or laptop can operate on the 5GHz bands, and the capacity of the 5GHz spectrum is vastly greater than the 2.4GHz spectrum which essentially means greater Wi-Fi connectivity.
In the 2.4GHz spectrum, there are only 13 channels available overall, but these overlap reducing the usable channels to only three channels 1,6 & 11.
Jim Weir from YachtSurfer commented, “Unfortunately, most Wi-Fi networks are delivered set to auto channel, so every time they are powered up, they will pick the best channel available at that time. Sadly most Wi-Fi hardware can select any of the eleven channels and this presents the biggest issue with 2.4GHz.
“Wi-Fi radio's cope reasonably well with so call co-channel interference, i.e. another radio on the same channel, but they do not like adjacent channel interference at all. So while you may think you are solving your Wi-Fi bandwidth issues on board by switching channels around, in reality you are slowing the bandwidth down and getting constant buffering while streaming, regardless of the upstream Internet connection for both your neighbouring moorings and your own connected devices.”
Jim Weir from YachtSurfer went on to give yacht crew a solution, “Given there are still some devices out there that do not operate on dual band Wi-Fi, it may not quite be time to ditch 2.4GHz completely, but yachts looking to solve the issues of poor Wi-Fi, which contribute to overall perceptions of poor internet on board, should look to fit 802.11ac Wi-Fi systems. The "ac" protocol supersedes previous versions "n" & "g" and offers speeds over 600Mbps to 1.3Gbps in ac Wave1 shared between connected devices.
“The 5GHz spectrum in busy marinas remains remarkably clear at many locations suggesting the vast majority of the fleet are only fitted with 2.4GHz systems.”
YachtSurfer design and deliver robust on board networks and Internet connectivity with their award winning products including SurfSonic Bonded Internet & Surf4G cellular router with AutoAPN.
For more information visit YachtSurfer