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    • Telephone and Internet in the Bahamas

      I have copied the discussion below from the "Ask Your Neighbor" page. This string contains excellent advice about making telephone calls and getting on-line in the Bahamas. I thought this info would be even more valuable here on the Net's "Bahamas" page!

      We will soon be going to the Abacos for a few months.  We would appreciate any current advice on telephone and internet service.  We have Verizon phones but they charge $1.29 per minute from the Bahamas.
      Thanks,
      Woody & Ellen Sutton
      Double SS

      Radio Labs make a usb marine antenna to extend the wifi range of your laptop. Once you have that working good, use SKYPE for phone service, 2.3 cents per minute I think. We had no luck with Verizon phones and pay phones were really expensive.
      Marueen Douglas

      The best solution that we have found is to either get free wifi when staying at a few of the marinas or if anchoring out, then you have to subscribe to abacoinet.com or sometimes you can get cocotels service for free. Abacoinet.com is the most widespread and unfortunately is expensive with erratic service (Can you say MONOPOLY), but if you plan to move around the Abacos, it is a necessary evil. If you are staying 3 months or longer, it becomes much more reasonable – $195/3 months versus $120/month or $20/day. An external antenna for your wifi card is a must if you want to pick the signals up on your boat. I have used hyperlinktech.com for the antenna with good results. Once you have the wifi setup, the only economical way for phone calls is Skype or similar voip calling plan. It is about $.03/min for the US and $.09/min for calls within the Bahamas. We have had good results with Skype as long as the internet connection is up and running. Early morning or evening seems to be best when not so many people are on line in the local harbors. Marsh Harbor and Green Turtle seem to consistently have the fastest throughput, with Hopetown some of the slowest. Verizon coverage is spotty to non-existent and costs $2/min — we put ours away while we are here. You can buy Batelco cell phone service or a sim card if your phone is so equipped, but it is still around $.50/min to call the US.
      Have a good crossing.
      Happy New Year,
      Steve Schrimsher
      M/V SALTY TURTLE

      The antenna I am using is a Radio Lab marine version. I think they only have one marine antenna. The antenna plugs into a USB port and comes with a disc needed to configure it. Mounts using a standard marine antenna 1" threaded mount. I bought a plastic antenna rail mount so I can move it back and forth from the RV to the boat. It was about $170. I called the Radio Lab phone number and using a credit card made the whole thing happen in about 5 min. It arrived about a week later. It was recommended by a marina neighbour so I took his advice and bought it. Sorry, I have no experience with anything else so can't tell you much more other than it works good. Hope this helps you.
      Alvin

      We spent three Months in the Bahamas this past Summer .. we also have Verizon Cell Phones .. that we shut off when we were in the Bahamas .. we traveled from the Abacos ( North ) to George Town ( South ) .. we used our Skype ( www.skype.com ) account and did not have any problems at all .. you can download and set up Skype FREE .. all of our phone calls for three Months in the Bahamas were about $12.00 and we used it a LOT .. .. for many more details you can check out our Website or contact me via E-mail ..
      Marv

      Hi Jim,
      One part of the equation that I failed to mention in my previous email is that I use a Buffalo Airstation TurboG WLI-CB-G54HP PMCIA wifi card with an external antenna plug to receive wifi instead of the built-in receiver in my laptop. I bought this on the advice of some of my geek friends as it is much better at pulling in weak signals than the built-in receivers. You can buy it for about $55 from the wireless garden store at http://wirelessgardenstore.com/detail.aspx?ID=320 There are a number of other brands available, but this one was recommended as being one of the strongest. I have no experience with any others, but I am very happy with the Buffalo one.
      Hyperlinktech.com sells external antenna pigtail adapters for the most popular wifi cards so that the Hyperlink antenna plugs directly into this pigtail. One other thing to mention is that no matter what kind of external antenna that you buy for use on a boat, make sure that it is omni-directional so it will work as you swing at anchor. I have had great results with this set up and many times on the Loop I could receive the marina's wifi signals on my boat when others without the external antenna had to go to the office to receive it.
      Steve

      I have copied the discussion below from the "Ask Your Neighbor" page. This string contains excellent advice about making telephone calls and getting on-line in the Bahamas. I thought this info would be even more valuable here on the Net's "Bahamas" page!

      We will soon be going to the Abacos for a few months.  We would appreciate any current advice on telephone and internet service.  We have Verizon phones but they charge $1.29 per minute from the Bahamas.
      Thanks,
      Woody & Ellen Sutton
      Double SS

      Radio Labs make a usb marine antenna to extend the wifi range of your laptop. Once you have that working good, use SKYPE for phone service, 2.3 cents per minute I think. We had no luck with Verizon phones and pay phones were really expensive.
      Marueen Douglas

      The best solution that we have found is to either get free wifi when staying at a few of the marinas or if anchoring out, then you have to subscribe to abacoinet.com or sometimes you can get cocotels service for free. Abacoinet.com is the most widespread and unfortunately is expensive with erratic service (Can you say MONOPOLY), but if you plan to move around the Abacos, it is a necessary evil. If you are staying 3 months or longer, it becomes much more reasonable – $195/3 months versus $120/month or $20/day. An external antenna for your wifi card is a must if you want to pick the signals up on your boat. I have used hyperlinktech.com for the antenna with good results. Once you have the wifi setup, the only economical way for phone calls is Skype or similar voip calling plan. It is about $.03/min for the US and $.09/min for calls within the Bahamas. We have had good results with Skype as long as the internet connection is up and running. Early morning or evening seems to be best when not so many people are on line in the local harbors. Marsh Harbor and Green Turtle seem to consistently have the fastest throughput, with Hopetown some of the slowest. Verizon coverage is spotty to non-existent and costs $2/min — we put ours away while we are here. You can buy Batelco cell phone service or a sim card if your phone is so equipped, but it is still around $.50/min to call the US.
      Have a good crossing.
      Happy New Year,
      Steve Schrimsher
      M/V SALTY TURTLE

      The antenna I am using is a Radio Lab marine version. I think they only have one marine antenna. The antenna plugs into a USB port and comes with a disc needed to configure it. Mounts using a standard marine antenna 1" threaded mount. I bought a plastic antenna rail mount so I can move it back and forth from the RV to the boat. It was about $170. I called the Radio Lab phone number and using a credit card made the whole thing happen in about 5 min. It arrived about a week later. It was recommended by a marina neighbour so I took his advice and bought it. Sorry, I have no experience with anything else so can't tell you much more other than it works good. Hope this helps you.
      Alvin

      We spent three Months in the Bahamas this past Summer .. we also have Verizon Cell Phones .. that we shut off when we were in the Bahamas .. we traveled from the Abacos ( North ) to George Town ( South ) .. we used our Skype ( www.skype.com ) account and did not have any problems at all .. you can download and set up Skype FREE .. all of our phone calls for three Months in the Bahamas were about $12.00 and we used it a LOT .. .. for many more details you can check out our Website or contact me via E-mail ..
      Marv

      Hi Jim,
      One part of the equation that I failed to mention in my previous email is that I use a Buffalo Airstation TurboG WLI-CB-G54HP PMCIA wifi card with an external antenna plug to receive wifi instead of the built-in receiver in my laptop. I bought this on the advice of some of my geek friends as it is much better at pulling in weak signals than the built-in receivers. You can buy it for about $55 from the wireless garden store at http://wirelessgardenstore.com/detail.aspx?ID=320 There are a number of other brands available, but this one was recommended as being one of the strongest. I have no experience with any others, but I am very happy with the Buffalo one.
      Hyperlinktech.com sells external antenna pigtail adapters for the most popular wifi cards so that the Hyperlink antenna plugs directly into this pigtail. One other thing to mention is that no matter what kind of external antenna that you buy for use on a boat, make sure that it is omni-directional so it will work as you swing at anchor. I have had great results with this set up and many times on the Loop I could receive the marina's wifi signals on my boat when others without the external antenna had to go to the office to receive it.
      Steve

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