Wifi and boats

The increasing number of connected objects, be it computers, smartphones, tablets or other, it becomes increasingly important to maintain a WiFi connection anywhere. In this guide, we will study the different specificities related to the use of the WiFi in a boat, the different equipment that can provide wireless link quality, and cases of the most common figure. This guide brings together a maximum of information, it is really intended to allow you to choose the best solution for your needs.



The installation of a wireless system aboard a boat involves understanding how the environment and the mobility of the ship will impact the Wifi connection, depending on the material used. The same structure of the boat ausi may in some cases hamper the proper functioning of a wireless system by attenuating the signal, whether it is a composite shell, aluminum or steel.

-The Basic case: connecting a computer with WiFi in a boat

The WiFi performance integrated maps provided with our computers are never very high for a very simple reason: whatever the radio qualities of WiFi chipset, integrated card is connected to an internal antenna with a low gain. This internal antenna is in most cases a simple piece of wire or coaxial cable browsing around the screen. This type of system will prove ineffective when the access point is distant or hotspot, or if obstacles such as other boats docked for example. In addition, when the user will be located inside the ship, the same structure of the building will obstruct the Wifi connection by attenuating the signal. To remedy this, observe two rules:

- Install an external WiFi antenna. The external antenna will not suffer the signal attenuation due to the structure of the boat. By positioning a little high, it will also reduce the influence of possible obstacles on the quality of the wireless link.

- Use a Wifi adapter performant.C'est the combination of features of the WiFi adapter and antenna that will determine the overall scope of the system, and the quality of the wireless link. For an efficient system, choose a WiFi adapter has both a good sensitivity and a high transmission power, coupled with a quality antenna.

The right choice for use on a boat is to opt for a wireless outside of the range Alfa Network Adapter Tube. These wireless adapters with an N-type connectors are designed to be used in extéreur and they allow direct connection to the antenna which completely eliminates losses for optimum signal quality. Each of these external WiFi adapter comes with a USB extension cable 5M, according endoit or you want to position it on the boat you can use active USB extender greater length: USB Extension. Here are the different models in the Alfa Tube:

- Tube-U (G) This is the entry level of the Alfa Tube series, with a Realtek RTL8187 chipset and up to 54Mbps. It offers excellent radio performance, both in sensitivity that transmit power.

- Tube-U (N) passes to a newer generation chipset with the Tube-U (N), which will support the 802.11n standard with a throughput up to 150 Mbps.

- UV-Tube Tube UV combines the qualities of the two previous models, namely excelentes radio performance and latest generation chipset allowing a rate of up to 150 Mbps.

- Tube Tube-2H-2H is more than a Wifi adapter, it can also be used as an Access Point or Client Bridge for example. It is powered by PoE via its ethernet port, and is configured by a web interface. Its configuration requires better knowledge network to a WiFi standard USB adapter, it will be for connoisseurs.


The Tube-UV is outside Wifi USB adapter we recommend for marine use; in two words: efficient and effective

-Choose A WiFi antenna suitable for use on a boat

Whatever the model chosen, the Alfa tube will be connected to an external antenna. For use on a boat, it is important to note that the antenna can not maintain a fixed position in a specific direction, because of the movements of the boat due to waves (roll, pitch ...) . Indeed, even berthed a boat moving. In these circumstances, the use of a directional antenna requiring accurate positioning is not possible. It is therefore necessary to choose an omnidirectional antenna allowing cover 360 °, and select a high gain in order to obtain a substantial range. In this way, even in case of roll or pitch, the connection will remain stable.

We offer a selection of external omnidirectional antennas for marine use, can be connected directly to the Alfa Tube WiFi adapters, with gains ranging from 9 to 15 dBi range in size from 46 cm to 162 cm:

- Omni Antenna 9 dBi is the most compact. This allows to implement a special marine Complete kit, consisting of a rotating stand Stainless Steel version or white nylon which will be screwed to the support TSM1 Alfa Tube, an Alfa Tube and antenna. This facility is designed specifically for marine use, with materials resistant to difficult conditions:

Kit Wifi Marine

- 12 dBi Omni Antenna offers the best space / performance. It measures 112 cm. Because of its great length, it can not be fixed to the adjustable bracket + fixing for Alfa Tube. It comes with a mounting flange for mounting mat.


- 15 dBi Omni Antenna is the best in terms of scope, it is the most efficient antenna. It measures 162 cm. Because of its great length, it can not be fixed to the adjustable bracket + fixing for Alfa Tube. It comes with a mounting flange for mounting mat.

-The Case of an installation on a boat with multiple wireless customers: tablets, smartphones ...


Modern needs lead to having to connect different devices, such as smartphones, tablets or other over our wireless networks. The use of an Alfa Tube connects a computer only, but there is a solution to redistribute the connection and connect to all devices on board. To connect your smartphones, tablets and other wireless customers on a boat, simply connect the Tube Alfa Alfa R36 router, which creates a WiFi extender type of installation. The principle of the WiFi Extender is simple: the R36 will drive the Alfa Tube to connect to the access point or hotspot of your choice, and broadcast locally on the boat a second WiFi network you can connect all your devices: tablets, smartphones etc.


The R36 will be perfect to distribute the WiFi connection. It must be used with a compliant Alfa Tube.

-The Choice of a Alfa tube for use with R36

Here the compatibility list on the use of R36 with Alfa Tube WiFi Extender Mode:
- Tube-U (G) compatible with the R36, in default firmware release (no need to install a firmware).
- Tube-U (N) compatible with the R36, by installing the appropriate firmware. The R36 can be ordered with firmware installed by us, direct link: R36 with preinstalled firmware
- Tube-U (V) compatible with the R36, by installing the appropriate firmware. The R36 can be ordered with firmware installed by us, direct link: R36 with preinstalled firmware
- Tube2H not compatible with R36

-Protect Your installation, use a surge protector

For outdoor use as it does on a boat, and particularly in the case of high gain antennas and large, we recommend using a surge protector to protect your computer equipment. More importantly, the arrester can also protect the crew, avoiding a fire on board. This model is ideal for direct integration between the Alfa Tube and the omnidirectional antenna: Surge Alfa Network ALR06. To be effective, the body of the arrester must be connected (spade provided) to a submerged metal element which will serve as grounding.

This guide details the wireless solutions and the most suitable and most frequently under use on a boat. Apart from the products presented here, we have a wide range including wireless USB card, Wifi Directional antennas, and Sector Panel; Wifi Amplifiers ... Do not hesitate to contact us for any specific need or questions: online contact form.