Best Marine WiFi Extenders – The Complete 2021 Buyer’s Guide

Austin
| Last Updated: June 8, 2021

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In this day and age, it’s hard to go too long without an internet connection - and that even applies to when you’re on the water, possibly for hours on end.

The unfortunate reality is, getting a connection while on a boat or a yacht can be downright difficult. This is where marine WiFi extenders come in!

In this article, we explore the best marine WiFi extends available and guide you through how to pick the best one for your particular needs.

Comparison of the Best Marine WiFi Extenders

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Perfect for motorhomes, boats and RVs
  • Offering a beginner friendly QR setup
  • Increases WiFi and VoIP stability with enhanced signal
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  • Coming with a 1 year limited warranty
  • Featuring a vector long range for multi-device connectivity
  • For tough weather with IP65 waterproof technology
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  • Best for the Money
  • Highlighted by three different mounting methods
  • Featuring a 10dBI antenna for better connectivity
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  • Superb stability with MIMO and CCA technology
  • Offers a good transfer rate of 150 Mbps
  • With a 32 feet cable for long range connections
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What Should I Look For When Buying a Marine WiFi Extender?

Not sure what you should be looking for when purchasing a marine WiFi extender? We’ve got you covered. Let’s take a look at some common features that make connecting to a WiFi signal on the water a breeze.

Weatherproof Material

When using any electronic-based device on the water, it’s important to make sure it can stay clean and dry. Most WiFi extenders meant for outdoor use will contain a waterproof and/or weatherproof coating, protecting your device from the elements. This will also often include a protective UV coating to shield your WiFi extender from the effects of harsh sunlight.

Easy to Install

When purchasing a marine WiFi extender, your device will ideally be easy to install, with minimal to no technical support required. Usually, the best WiFi extenders will contain a straightforward instruction manual that only takes moments to install.

Photo credit: Panbo.com

Product Warranty

While purchasing any electronic device with a warranty or refund policy is just good sense, it can be especially handy if you’re unsure whether or not the marine WiFi extender will work for your water-based adventures. Having a product warranty and/or return policy also tells you that the manufacturer has confidence in their product.

Antenna Size/Signal Pickup Distance

When purchasing a WiFi extender for a boat or a yacht, you’ll ideally purchase a WiFi extender with larger antennas and a higher dBi rating. Smaller extenders with a lower dBi rating will work just fine if you’re not traveling beyond half a mile away from your router, with larger and more powerful antennas allowing you to travel much farther while still maintaining a strong WiFi signal.

Outdoor vs Indoor

When purchasing a marine WiFi extender, you’ll notice a couple of things - not all WiFi extenders are created for outdoor use, and the ones that are are generally more expensive. However, if you’re serious about installing a WiFi extender on your boat, it’s better to shell out the extra money for an outdoor WiFi extender. Outdoor WiFi extenders are quite literally built to work optimally in the outdoors, reflecting their antenna size, band frequency, and material.

Review of the Best WiFi Extenders for on the Water

Looking for the best WiFi extenders for use on the water? We’ve got you covered! Here are our picks for the 5 best marine WiFi extenders on the market.

Best Overall:
Alfa WiFi CampPro 2

ALFA Network WiFi CampPro 2 Universal WiFi / Internet Range Extender Kit for Caravan/Motorhome, Boat, RV

PROS

  • Can be used by multiple devices at a time
  • Faster data transfer rates than most similar products
  • Vehicle power surge protection
  • Intuitive QR Smartphone/Web Configurator device setup
  • Simple to scan and find network
  • Includes 1 x 5 dBi omni antenna and 1 x 9 dBi outdoor antenna for maximum range

CONS

  • Expensive product

Specs

Frequency Band: 2.4 GHz

Data Rate: Up to 300 Mbps

Network Compatibility: 802.11n

Antenna: 1 x ALFA R36A incl. 5 dBi Omni Antenna, 1 x ALFA AOA-2409TF 9dBi WiFi Outdoor Antenna

Review

The Alfa WiFi CampPro 2 is the perfect choice if you’re looking to extend your network signal on the water from remote WiFi hotspots. This professionally tuned system simplifies internet access for boats, yachts, RVs, and buses by offering the possibility of receiving an existing WiFi signal from a campsite or a marina and distributing it to your WiFi device.

The Alfa WiFi CampPro 2 includes one 5dBi Omni antenna and one 9dBi WiFi outdoor antenna to increase signal strength from the water. The only downside to this product is that it is not particularly budget-friendly, so if you are looking for an inexpensive solution to your connectivity needs, this extender will not be for you.

Bottom Line

This simple to use WiFi extender is the ideal choice for connectivity from the water. With a single band, 2.4 GHz frequency, and a 300 Mbps data transfer speed, the Alfa WiFi CampPro 2 offers a faster internet speed than most similar products. If you have the money to invest in an excellent marine WiFi extender, this is the one we’d recommend.

Runner-up:
CC Vector Long Range WiFi Receiver System

CC Vector Extended Long Range WiFi Receiver System - Receives Distant WiFi and Repeats WiFi in a New Location 2.4GHz

PROS

  • Specially built for RVs and boats
  • Comes with 4.5 dBi Omni-directional antenna built for the outdoors
  • Receive a signal from as far away as a mile with a coverage of 400 square feet
  • 2.4 GHz frequency to cover the greatest distance
  • Heavy duty and weatherproof
  • Can support multiple users at a time

CONS

  • Expensive product
  • Underwhelming WiFi speed

Specs

Frequency Band: 2.4 GHz

Data Rate: Up to 150 Mbps

Network Compatibility: 802.11n

Antenna: 4.5 dBi omni-directional antenna

Review

Our next pick is the CC Vector Long Range WiFi Receiver System; a powerful, high-performance marine WiFi booster specifically made for RVs and boats. While CC Vector does offer other similar models, this particular model contains an Omni-directional antenna; the switch is specifically built for the outdoors.

This product uses a single channel 2.4 GHz band, which is most ideal for outdoor use. This heavy-duty WiFi extender can be mounted anywhere and has a coverage of 400 square feet, making it the perfect fit for most short journeys. It should be noted that this extender has a low speed of 150 Mbps and can only support two users streaming video simultaneously.

Bottom Line

If you’re looking for a high-performance marine booster that provides a stable WiFi connection when you’re on the water, the CC Vector Long Range WiFi Receiver System is for you. This product can receive a signal from as far as a mile away, boosting and repeating the signal for all WiFi devices in its range. It should be noted that this product is not for those who wish to participate in heavy HD streaming on the boat (although, why would you when you’re enjoying the scenery of the open water?).

Best for the Money:
Bearifi BearExtender Marine WiFi Extender

Bearifi BearExtender Outdoor RV & Marine High Power USB Wi-Fi Extender Antenna for PCs

PROS

  • Extremely affordable
  • Includes 3 different mounting options
  • Operates on 2.4 GHz band for increased range
  • Anti-corrosive and anti-UV coating
  • Great range with dBi directional antenna

CONS

  • Water-resistant but not waterproof
  • Can only connect to the computer that it is connected to by USB cable
  • Not compatible with Mac OS X, iOS, or Android

Specs

Frequency Band: 2.4 GHz

Data Rate: Up to 150 Mbps

Network Compatibility: 802.11n

Antenna: Built-in 10 dBi directional antenna

Review

Our pick for the best budget-friendly marine WiFi extender is the Bearifi BearExtender Marine WiFi Extender. While most high-performing marine WiFi extenders will run you an arm and a leg, this versatile product is not going to break the bank.

The Bearifi BearExtender Marine WiFi Extender is specifically meant to be used on the water and includes three different mounting options to suit your setup. It should be noted that the lower price for this extender is reflected in the fact that it is only built to handle one PC/laptop that it is directly connected to by USB cable, so this product is probably not ideal for larger gatherings/yacht parties.

Bottom Line

The Bearifi is an excellent choice if you’re looking for a more budget-friendly WiFi extender that still offers an excellent range with its built-in 10 dBi directional antenna. This product can offer 150 Mbps on a 2.4 GHz frequency, but unfortunately, it can only be used by one device at a time.

Editor's Pick:
TUOSHI WiFi Antenna N4000

TUOSHI 2.4Ghz Outdoor Long Range Wi-Fi Antenna N4000 | 36dBi High Gain USB Wi-Fi Range Extender Antenna for RV & Marine & PCs-Working with R658U WiFi Router

PROS

  • Built-in 36 dBi high gain antenna and USB extension cable to bring a more powerful signal and a wider range coverage
  • Extremely affordable
  • Plug and play installation
  • Flexible mounting
  • Compatible with Windows and Mac
  • 2.4 GHz for increased range
  • Waterproof design

CONS

  • Download speeds can be inconsistent
  • Instruction manual is not straightforward

Specs

Frequency Band: 2.4 GHz

Data Rate: Up to 150 Mbps

Network Compatibility: 802.11b / g / n

Antenna: Built-in 36dBi high gain antenna

Review

Our editor’s pick for the best marine WiFi extender is the TUOSHI WiFi Antenna N4000. This product is also highly budget-friendly and contains a super-long range built-in 36 dBi high gain antenna. The TUOSHI WiFi Antenna N4000 is easy to use with its simple, straightforward plug-and-play installation and versatile, flexible mounting. This product contains MIMO and CCA technology to improve wireless transfer performance and signal stability, along with a high power chipset.

With its powerful range, this WiFi antenna can also cast a signal into your house. It should be noted that this product has a single band frequency of 2.4 GHz and a data transfer rate of 150 Mbps, so it’s not the most ideal for HD media streaming and gaming.

Bottom Line

If you’re looking for a super-long range and reliable WiFi antenna, then we’d recommend the TUOSHI WiFi Antenna N4000. While this product is an overall excellent pick (especially for the price), this product's budget-friendly nature does come at a price for some. The download speeds are not always consistent, so it’s important to play around with this product's positioning to see where it best works for you.

Honorable Mention:
CC Vector RV Long Range

C. Crane CC Vector RV Long Range WiFi Repeater System 2.4 GHz- Extends Distant WiFi to All Devices in Your RV, Boat or Big Rig

PROS

  • 8 dBi Omni-directional outdoor antenna for extended coverage
  • Range of 400 ft to 1 mile
  • Repeats WiFi signal to multiple WiFi devices
  • Uses longest range WiFi band at 2.4 GHz
  • Setup is simple and easy for basic computer users
  • Includes heavy-duty mount system
  • Includes power adapter and USB split cable

CONS

  • Difficulties receiving tech support

Specs

Frequency Band: 2.4 GHz

Data Rate: Up to 150 Mbps

Network Compatibility: 802.11b / g / n

Antenna: Omni-directional 8 dBi antenna

Review

Our honorable mention comes in the form of the CC Vector RV Long Range WiFi Repeater System. This product contains an 8 dBi Omni-directional outdoor antenna capable of receiving a WiFi signal from up to 400 feet. This WiFi repeater system can cast a WiFi signal to multiple WiFi devices, including smartphones, gaming consoles, and smart TVs. This product can support two users watching SD quality videos or several users casually surfing the internet at the same time. The CC Vector RV Long Range WiFi Repeater System uses the longest single band WiFi of 2.4 GHz and has a data transfer rate of 150 Mbps.

Bottom Line

The CC Vector RV Long Range WiFi Repeater System is an ideal choice for those looking for a long-range solution for the boat or yacht that can be used by multiple devices at a time. This is an easy-to-set-up product that basic computer users will not have a problem with. With a single band frequency of 2.4 GHz and internet speeds of 150 Mbps, you will be able to surf the internet while also streaming SD video for a lag-free experience.

Why Would I Use WiFi on a Boat?

You may be wondering - why on earth would I use WiFi on a boat? In reality, there are plenty of reasons why you would use WiFi when you’re on the water! Let’s take a look at some of the most common reasons:

Stay Connected

When you choose to make a trip out on a yacht or a boat, odds are you’re not taking a quick 15-minute spin. A WiFi extender will help ensure that you’re able to stay connected to what’s happening on land via the internet and allow you to use social media apps, check emails and generally stay connected.

Photo credit: Panbo.com

GPS Apps For Boating

GPS apps for boating can be incredibly useful for daily boating trips. Odds are, if you’re hoping to stay connected to your WiFi extender, you’re not going to go out so far that you’ll get lost. However, these apps will allow you to communicate with others if your boat becomes damaged or you need help when out on the water.

Entertainment Purposes

When you’re out on a boat for hours on end, you may wish to listen to music, stream video or simply be able to browse the internet while you’re on the water. A WiFi connection will allow you to be able to continue to use the internet for these additional entertainment purposes, helping to make your trip even more enjoyable.

How Does a Marine WiFi Extender Work?

A marine WiFi extender works in the same way that any other WiFi extender works. A marine WiFi extender will take the signal from a WiFi router on shore and boost its strength, increasing the connection range. By installing your WiFi extender on your boat or yacht, you will be able to pick up this signal (if within the recommended range!).

Marine WiFi extenders will be specifically built for the outdoors, containing powerful antennas that give your WiFi devices a much better chance of connecting to and maintaining a strong and steady signal.

How Durable Are WiFi Extenders in Saltwater?

If your WiFi extender is specifically meant for the outdoors, it should be built with weatherproof and/or waterproof material. This will often mean including a protective coating that shields your device from all elements, including saltwater and harsh sunlight. Make sure to check and confirm that your chosen WiFi extender does include protection against harsh elements, as an electronic device with no weatherproof and/or waterproof coating will not do well in saltwater.

Photo credit: Wifisolutionslynx.com

Top Brands in the Marine WiFi Extender Space

Wondering what the top brands are when it comes to marine WiFi extenders? Let’s take a look at two brands that continue to make a name for themselves in the marine WiFi extender space.

C. Crane

C. Crane was created by Bob and Sue Crane, which had its beginnings in radio soon after moving to Redwood Country in Northern California. Bob was disappointed to find that he could only tune in to a few of his favorite radio stations during the day and eventually decided to create a simple antenna to help him connect.

This antenna worked wonderfully, and after this, the C. Crane radio division was born. Since then, C. Crane became a premier electronics company, focusing on maintaining connectivity wherever you are. C. Crane’s products are always boasted as being the best of their class or the best for the money and must pass extensive testing to maintain high-quality standards.

Bearifi

Bearifi originally went by the name BearExtender, which was established in 2009 to help students wirelessly connect to the University of California. BearExtender was able to help students connect on and off-campus, despite the size of the campus and the number of buildings and blockages.

Since then, Bearifi has grown worldwide and launched their first high-power repeater called BearExtender Edge, in 2015, along with an outdoor WiFi booster for PCs called BearExtender Outdoor. Bearifi has remained focused on the WiFi industry, with its mission to keep developing and improving different types of products to improve your WiFi, both indoors and outdoors.

Price Points of Marine WiFi Extenders

While most marine WiFi extenders will cost you a pretty penny, there are budget-friendly options available on the market as well. Let’s take a look at the most common price points of marine WiFi extenders.

$50 - $75

Odds are, you’re not going to be able to find a quality marine WiFi extender for less than $50, with this price generally being the very lowest you will find. You will be able to find some great quality budget-friendly options in this price range, though, including our “best for the money” pick by Bearifi. 

However, these budget-friendly options generally have some pretty hard limits on them, including the ability to only connect to one device at a time.

Products at this price point can still have a fantastic range and generally include the standard 2.4 GHz band frequency and a data transfer speed of about 150 Mbps, which is common even with more expensive options. These WiFi extenders may have limited compatibility and not be compatible with Mac OS.

Alfa WiFi CampPro 2

$100+

A large portion of the most high-quality marine WiFi extenders on the market will be at the $100+ price range and will include brands like Winegard and CC. Vector. These WiFi extenders are built for those long trips out on the water and will be completely weatherproof, waterproof, and protected against the elements. 

These products are also always built to be used with multiple devices at the same time and will work perfectly well for streaming SD video and playing video games when out at sea. However, HD streaming will still likely be a no-go, no matter how expensive your marine WiFi extender is!

Who Should Not Buy a Marine WiFi Extender?

Although a marine WiFi extender is a fantastic product for improving your connectivity while out at sea, this type of product is not for everyone. To get obvious out of the way, you should not buy a marine WiFi extender if you don’t plan to use your WiFi extender in a more remote location, such as on a boat or a yacht, or in an RV.

These products are specifically built to connect to a WiFi signal over a certain distance, which is usually optimal for short distanced boat rides. In some cases, you should not buy a marine WiFi extender if your router is operating on a 5 GHz frequency.

While some marine WiFi extenders do run on a dual-band frequency, most run on a 2.4 GHz frequency, as a lower band has proven to be more effective to connect to longer distances.

Photo credit: Powerfulsignal.com

It’s also important to keep in mind that most marine WiFi extenders are not ideal if you want to stream HD video, with an average data transfer rate of only 150 Mbps. Some of these types of extenders are not built for multiple users to use at once.

They can only be used when plugged into a laptop or PC, so it’s incredibly important to check the specs on the extender before purchasing, depending on how many devices you anticipate to connect. Last but not least, you should not buy a marine WiFi extender if you are on a super tight budget. While you can find budget-friendly options, this type of product is generally an investment.

Conclusion

It’s safe to say that the internet isn’t going anywhere, with the need to be connected at all times becoming more important every day. Whether you’re looking to stay connected to loved ones when on your boat or yacht, use a boating GPS app or keep the kids entertained when on the boat, a marine WiFi extender may be one of the best purchases you make. 

People Also Ask

Did you have additional questions about marine WiFi extenders that we haven’t yet covered? Here are some of the most common questions people ask about connecting to WiFi when you’re on the water.

How Far From Shore Can a Marine WiFi Extender Work?

The answer to this question heavily depends on the marine WiFi extender in question and where the original router is positioned on shore. While some of these types of extenders can pick up a signal from miles away, others max out at half a mile. How far a WiFi signal can reach depends on various factors but largely depends on the size and dBi rating of the extender's antenna.

Does a Marine WiFi Extender Work With Cell Signal?

If you have a marine WiFi extender, there are certain instances where it can boost your cell signal as well. This is incredibly valuable in the case of an emergency or if you wish to make a simple phone call. You will also be able to connect to certain phone apps that can make phone calls with just a WiFi signal.



Austin

When the tech company I worked for restructured and I ended up jobless, I decided to put the wealth of knowledge and management skills to use somewhere new. I’d checked out a few buyer’s guides on the site in the past and reached out to the previous owner. A few months later, here we are. Now, I get to be behind the scenes, helping people find the best tech.