Setting up a home wireless network on a boat

Hi to all, I am new to the forum and not a very techy when it comes to setting up a network but trying to learn.

We have a Pepwave MAX Transit router which is picking up internet via 3G Sim cards.

I would like to have hard wired connections form this unit to 4 different Airport expresses and a few other computers around the boat…

My questions:

1- On the Pepwave which port should I plug my network cable to WAN or LAN? (and why for my own knowledge)

2- The network cable (carrying the internet) from the pepwave will have to be multiplied to share a wired internet connection. Should I use a network switch or another router to share this connection ( The system was using a Fritzbox router which seems to have broken)?

3- From here the four Airport Expresses extend the network through the yacht. I would like to use one network SSID so that you can use the same throughout the boat.

What I have done and noticed.

I plugged into LAN and tried both a second router and a network switch (very cheap model) and from each of these added Airport Expresses each set up with a “new network” named the same way each time.

I noticed that with Speed test from the pepwaves internet I get 94.40 Mbps download speed
and at the airport express networks i only get 13.25 Mbps.
I have lost a lot of speed somewhere and I am trying to find out how to avoid this… or if it is unavoidable.

Thank you for any imput!

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Welcome to the forum!

Coming from a home network user perspective but should still apply.

LAN. Local Area Network. WAN is Wide Area Network to connect you to the larger network that is the internet. LAN can use IP ranges reserved for local networks only to avoid collisions. 192.168.xx, 10.xx and 172.16.xx

Use a simple unmanaged Switch. These are the cheapest switches and simple to install. Plug and go for simple network installations. Using another router would complicate your network as it is another NAT (network address translation) device. It’s unnecessary unless you want to further segregate your network for security purposes. But keep it simple for now.

Not sure how big the boat is but I presume the wifi coming from the Max Transit isn’t adequate.

In any case you’ll need to configure the SSID in the Max transit and extend it using the airport express.

Note in the article it mentions there is data management overhead when extending the network. I’m not sure if the same applies when AE is hardwired or not. I do know wireless extended networks you’ll definitely see speed drops as your hops increase. So the less AE extenders you go through the better.

Maybe see if the Max Transit can be installed in the middle of the boat then fan out the AE from there. This would potentially have only 1 hop at most from anywhere on the boat.

Other things you’ll want to look at is how your SIMs are installed and configured. 3G won’t give much in speed. Using Speedfusion cloud would allow you to bond both of them to give you combined speeds.

And assuming your Max Transit has been properly setup and configured.

https://routersecurity.org/

Is a good resource as is this forum. Hope this helps.

Good luck!

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Hi Stego,

Fantastic! Thank you so much for your time and very detailed reply.

I think your idea of using the pepwaves wifi as the main wifi and extending it is a good one, which I have not tried yet.

The boat is 90 feet, and so far the system is connected with a simple switch after the pepwave. The speed at the pepwave is excellent, from it’s wifi.
I’ll try what you suggest and see how it goes.

Thanks again!

1 Like