Shakespeare’s new CruiseNet illustrates how far cellular data can be taken. This high-end box, which starts at $1,750, combines a compact server with a full-powered, industrial-quality cellular modem that can be set up with either Verizon or Sprint EVDO/1xRTT data subscriptions. Its dual high-gain antennas work together using a performance-enhancing and multipath-cancelling technique called antenna diversity, and it’s aided by Shakespeare’s Full Throttle proxy server compression service (a one-year subscription included, with $50 renewals). The result is extreme cellular broadband, like the 3-mps speeds I saw at the Miami International Boat Show, illustrated in the screen shot. CruiseNet includes four Ethernet ports, one of which can feed an optional WiFi router, and it somehow establishes a static IP address, which apparently is not easy on a cell network. The IP address means that CruiseNet and everything attached to it can be queried from other computers, which leads to all sorts of possibilities, like off-boat monitoring and the ability to control simple switches from a home com-puter or even a cellular handset.
This article originally appeared in the July 2007 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.