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Cost-efficient way to be connected on a boat?

We live on a boat on the Canal du Midi for several months each year. What is the most cost-efficient way to get an internet service for use while on the boat? I can get unlimited wifi hotspot from my US mobile carrier but it is very expensive.

Installing services on a boat is problematic.

Telecom companies will not be able to install a fixed line onto a boat and even if you wanted to use a satellite service it would not work because the dish would keep moving into and out of alignment with the satellite.

To add to this the main satellite companies have removed the option to suspend their services. Both require you to sign up for a 12-month contract so on that basis alone they are doubly unsuitable.

This leaves you with finding a good mobile solution.

You do not say what your US company charges, but in France there are several competitors and a wide range of products and prices.

Mobile ‘hotspots’ are very popular as they enable many devices to be connected at the same time and they are simple to set up and can be topped up remotely as well.

There are services provided by the main French companies such as Orange as well as by specialists for the English-speaking community making use of the Orange mobile network and accepting top-up payments from any internationally recognised credit or debit card.

You can find offers at €70 or less for your hotspot, with 1GB of data that is valid for 90 days and with the option to purchase additional credit from 500Mb to 100GB.

To give a rough idea, to work out your needs, you can do 40 hours of surfing ordinary websites for 1GB, but the same is used up by one hour of listening to internet radio. An hour of watching YouTube could use up around 1.8GB but downloading a high-definition film would use around 4.5GB.

We can only suggest you shop around and compare prices with what you can get from the US company.

Question answered by Bob Elliott from the telephone and broadband provider, UK Telecom. See for more information on their services in France

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