WITH THE INTERNET TAKING CENTER STAGE IN MANY ASPECTS OF DAILY LIFE,
IT’S NO ACCIDENT THAT WI-FI ACCESS HAS BECOME A FEATURED ATTRACTION
IN MARINAS, BOTH HERE AND ABROAD
STORY BY JOE MINICK
In a nutshell, wi-fi (wireless fidelity) is a radio link
between a computer and a network. From a marine
standpoint, the concept is fairly straightforward. A
marina installs one or more wireless access points
(WAPs) that are linked to the Internet. On board, a
computer equipped with a wi-fi adapter connects by
radio with the marina WAP to reach the Internet.
The only thing missing in this description is the
protocol or standard that the wi-fi adapter and the WAP
must use to make sure both are on the same page when
communicating with each other. From here, things get a
bit more complicated.
Wi-fi standards are developed by the Institute
of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), an
Marinas present special challenges for wi-fi connections. The signal path is often obstructed by masts, other structures aboard vessels,
and buildings in the marina. The good news is that technology is making it easier and easier to receive a stronger wi-fi signal.