How to Connect our WL70+iKConnect to a Marina Hotspot

Our WL70 long range Wi-Fi Antenna and iKConnect mini wireless router are a great combination for cost effective long range Wi-Fi connection on a boat. We have tried to make the process of connecting to a marina hotspot as simple as possible but if you are not doing this every day, then it is easy to forget the steps involved.

With this in mind, we have created a new “How to Video Guide” that gives you a step by step guide on connecting to the two different types of wireless Hotspot that you will encounter, using the web interface of the iKConnect.

This video is also applicable for our other popular combo; the smaller WL60 long range Wi-Fi adaptor and iKConnect, when used in caravan or RV sites.

WL70 WiFi Antenna Brings Affordable Hi Power WiFi Aboard

The WL70 has just been released as a replacement for our popular WL60 wifi antenna solution.  It’s a hi power wifi antenna for a PC or MAC that will offer  up to 15x the range of a normal wifi solution built into a laptop.

More and more boaters want access to the internet afloat. Marinas and ports as well as a large number of cafes, hotels, restaurants and service providers offer wi-fi connectivity but you may just miss that vital connection if you’re moored or anchored away from the dock – especially if you’re below decks about to enjoy a movie or catch up on email. The WL70 can offer connections up to about ½ mile/1km depending upon conditions.

wl70 plus wifi logo

It has a very high performance 1.25m 15dBm antenna to suck in the weakest of signals and the internal low noise, high sensitivity modem connects to the PC via simple plug ‘n play USB interface. It fits a standard 1” mount (not supplied) so can be permanently mounted or even taken out into the cockpit when moored and temporarily installed.

WL70 on Mount

The WL70 replaces our existing WL60 model which is now end of line.

For more information, download the Dealer Preview Pack from HERE

The WL70 has a list price of £125/€185/$199.95 (ex vat) and is available now

Welcome to the new internet connected boat!

New Mac OSX 10.10 (Yosemite) drivers now available for WL60

OS-X-Yosemite

We are pleased to confirm that we have now released a new set of drivers for our popular WL60 long range Wi-Fi adaptor.

With the release of Mac OSX 10.10, Apple made a few small changes to the way drivers are installed and registered and it was necessary to create a new installer for our WL60 drivers.

For anyone with a brand new Mac that wants to have a simple long range Wi-Fi solution for use on their boat or in their caravan, the WL60 is one of the few solutions that are Yosemite compatible.

To download the latest drivers please click here.

Note – these drivers can also be used with our older WL410 products.

Sharing a WL60/Wi-Connect Long Range Internet Connection

WL60-Shared

 

Our WL60 and Wi-Connect Long Range Wifi Adaptors are popular because of their simple “plug and play” USB connection, easy installation and entry level price. However, normally they are limited to just providing a single PC with the long range Wi-Fi connection to the hotspot.

Many people, particularly on a boat, now want a fully integrated router type solution, where the long range internet connection is shared with everyone onboard (even smart phones and tablets) via a router or wireless access point. Our more expensive and powerful WL450, WL510 and iNavConnect products provide the perfect solution to this type of installation, but for some people the following simple solution of using your computer to share the internet connection might be a suitable compromise.

With this in mind, we have published a new Tech Note that explains how to use the laptop’s internal wireless adaptor to create a “personal hotspot” on your boat or in your caravan, that shares the WL60/Wi-Connect long range Wi-Fi internet connection, with anyone that connects to your personal hotspot. To download a copy of the Tech Note please click here.

Video showing how to get Internet in a Caravan

WL60-on-Caravan

 

A version of our popular WL60 long range Wi-Fi adaptor is also sold by our UK distributor C.A.Clase to caravan and motorhome owners. With its easy to mount suction cups, 5m USB cable and relatively small dimensions/weight it is a great tool for getting a long range Wi-Fi connection, either in a caravan site or a marina.

To show how easy it is to setup and use one of these units, we have published a short video that shows a Wi-Connect being used in a caravan. Click here to view the video on our YouTube channel.

WL60 + WL410 now Mac OS X Mavericks (10.9) Compatible

WL60+Mavericks

 

When I wrote yesterday’s post about compatibility of our WL60 and WL410 Long Range Wi-Fi products. I never expected to be writing a second post today saying that these units were now Mac OS X Mavericks 10.9 compatible. However, the engineers at RealTek have come up trumps and with perfect timing have sent me a new Mac 10.9 compatible driver, which we tested this morning and it works.

There are very few USB wireless adaptors that are compatible with the latest Mavericks 10.9 OS X and even fewer that offer boosted long range Wi-Fi, so we are really pleased to be able to confirm that our WL60 and WL410 products are now Mavericks compatible.

The WL60+WL410 drivers package on our website has now been updated and if you click here (or the link in yesterday’s post) you can download the new Mac OS X 10.9 drivers.

Now if we can just convince Realtek to update the LINUX drivers, our work here will be complete !

Status of WL60 (and WL410) Wireless Adaptor Drivers

WL60-01

 

Change is the one thing you can be sure of in the consumer electronics market and we are always reviewing and checking our products to make sure that they support the latest operating system updates. With the release of Windows 8 from Microsoft, Maverick OS 10.9 from Apple and even changes to the kernel on Ubuntu and other LINUX distributions, we have found that the Realtek wireless chipset (and associated USB drivers) in our popular WL60 long range wireless adaptor are now not as compatible as they once were.

The good news is that they are Windows 8 compatible (both 32bit and 64bit versions), but depending upon the version of Software and Driver CD that was included in the WL60 packaging, you may find that when you run the Setup.Exe file, the program reports that it does not support Windows 8. The reason for this is that the Setup.Exe program was developed before Windows 8 was released, so it does not recognise it.

We have now released a new WL60 Driver Installer package that has been updated to recognise Windows 8 (and 8.1) and will install the driver correctly. You can download the new Windows Installer package by clicking here.

The news for Mac users is not so good. With Maverick OS 10.9 Apple have changed the way they handle USB drivers and Realtek have so far not released a new driver for OS 10.9 yet. We sincerely hope that they do release one and have been told that they are working on this but do not have a firm date for when this might be available. Unfortunately, Maverick is the first Apple update that is free of charge and so a lot of users are tempted to update but please be aware that this will make your WL60 stop working.

Changes to the LINUX kernel have also created compatibility problems and if you are running a LINUX kernel later than V3.0.2 then the WL60 will not work, so for instance Ubuntu 12.04 or later will not work with the WL60.

From our experiences with the WL60, we would definitely recommend that before purchasing any product with a USB interface, that you double check that the drivers are compatible with the operating system software you are using.

The good news for our WL450 and WL510 customers, is that these products feature an Ethernet Network Interface, not a USB interface, so no drivers are required and these products have none of these compatibility issues.

NOTE – our WL410 long range wireless adaptor (no longer sold) also features the same Realtek chipset as our WL60 and all of the above is true for this product as well.