Reviews for Satellite Email, Weather Services and Sat Phone Services by Global Marine Networks
GMN Customer David Vogel After a Recent Voyage through the Panama Canal, Galapagos and French Polynesia
Just a quick note to let you know that we’ve finished our recent sailing adventure Panama Canal-Galapagos-French Polynesia, and are now back on the hard in Zurich, Switzerland, enjoying the almost sunny summer.
A big Big (no, HUGE) thanks to you all for assisting the selection, purchase, install and configuration of the Optimizer with XGate. I had a few little teething problems getting the system up and running on the iPad, but we got there in the end, and I can only say that the turnaround times for support, and Debra’s friendly help, were all absolutely fantastic. We could not have asked for better.
So please accept my hearty thanks for you all for really good service.
I have recommended the Optimizer to a few of the cruisers I met along the way, and as well GMN for the easy purchase and great service. I have heard (and seen) some horror stories with folks trying to do things another way; those that saw the Optimizer and iPad in operations were more than envious; having a hassle-free email connection once it was up and running is absolutely the only way to go.
Thanks again, and with kind regards,
X-Greenland 2010 – Norwegian Snowkite Expedition Crosses Greenland from South to North during May and June 2010.
We were able to send a report EVERY DAY of the expedition of 20 days on the Greenland icecap. We have used the X-gate solution to send text and picture messages of about 100 kByte each day. It would have been IMPOSSIBLE with only standard e-mail-software to serve the iridium sattelite phone.
Typically during a transmission, the satelite network discontinued every 6-7 minutes, and then came back some 30 seconds later. I believe this is what the X-gate is designed to handle. We tried several solutions, but were never able to send a single message above 30kB- BEFORE we got the x-gate.
Installation of X-Gate. We were sitting on the Ice edge in Greenland when we realized we needed something like the X-Gate solution. With only a poor hotel network prom the Polar Lodge in Kangerlussaq, we were able to download and install the fairly simple X-gate software and I-scribe e-mail editor. The installation only took 1 hour. With a few minutes of consulting with Luis Soltero and Sherryl, we had a functioning package to transmit reports from the Greenland ice glacier , 1000 km from the nearest village. Both the Iridium 9555, and the small lap-top had to be heated in the sleepingbag for 1 hour before use. Charging was done with 2 solar panels, and a separate 1 kg. battery bank. With the X-gate , our expedition were in fact “on-line” and we reported home every day to the amusement of all our friends who followed the expedition.
Thanks a lot for a good product, and good service. !!
Paul Brudevoll Norway X-Greenland expedition member !!
Read the article about the X-Greenland Adventure Here
Data Usage Savers (Compression)
(Review from Panbo – The Marine Electronics Weblog)
We use products developed by Luis Soltero at Global Marine Networks , using X-Gate for e-mail compression and X-Web for web browsing. We have used X-Gate for several years now and like its features. Besides compressing your e-mail, saving time and money, it allows dropped connections to restart where they left off (especially critical when we had Globalstar or when we have a flaky wifi connection). It also has customizable filters that hold large e-mails on the server, sending you a notification so you can download it if it is important or allowing you to wait until you get to shore or even delete it. This avoids clogging your system the way standard pop and smtp servers can. It similarly filters outgoing messages so you don’t accidentally send a huge e-mail which can cost a fortune. Sending a large e-mail with photo attachment via X-Gate took 87% less data than when sending with outlook express, and my understanding is that the data savings when receiving normal text messages is far greater. X-Gate costs $59 signup then $240 for a years subscription for one e-mail address and $8 per month for each additional sub-address on the same vessel. X-Web is also an additional $8 per month.
We started using X-Web more recently as a test for this article. X-web runs within Firefox or your favorite browser and is essentially just a shore-side proxy server that compresses images, ads, etc. and sends the compressed datastream to your computer. It will not help when loading secure web pages (https) as the encryption used precludes the ability to compress the data. It required opening up extra ports in the Iridium service providers firewall, and doesn’t work with all WiFi providers, but X-Web seems to be a worthy addition. Loading Panbo.com was much faster and used just 35% of the data that it took using normal Firefox though photos become VERY pixilated so the usefulness is somewhat limited if you need to see images clearly. They do add a link at the top of each compressed page to reload it uncompressed, so this is easy to do.
Read the complete Panbo Article Here
Dreamtime in morning light. (Testimonial for GMN support service).
I’m going to be giving GMN a mention on the zeroXTE site (within a blog) in the next few weeks. The service I have with you guys is nothing short of spectacular and I want the world to know about it (or the 600,000 people that visit our site now every month).
Since ABCNews put a link to our blogs within their site, our site traffic has gone through the roof – I hope GMN’s sponsorship presence results in some business for you folks.
Neville & Catherine
“Dream Time II” zeroXTE
Satchmo M/V Nordhavn 46, enroute from Ft. Lauderdale to Gibraltar, Spain with the Atlantic Rally (Testimonial for GMN WeatherNet and E-Mail products).
You can quote me in saying that this is one of the most impressive software programs I have ever seen. It harkens back to when software developers needed to be smart. Communications and driver software has long been known to require a few great software artists, as you clearly have in your company, and not the flocks of mediocre teams. No sane boater would be without this program.
Kenn Batt of the Sydney Bureau of Meteorology Testimonial for WeatherNet
Amongst the yacht racing fraternity here in Oz and the ones I know from overseas. Your software is the best regarded and the Global Marine Networks site is well sought after for GRIB downloads, etc. I have a link to GMN on my listing of weather links on the Sail-World.com site
From Dan Martin – WeatherNet Testimonial from Creator of
I will use WeatherNet on my next voyage: I created almost everything on Buoyweather and I will use WeatherNet to retrieve my data. WeatherNet is easy to use, dependable, saves money and having all the weather you need can sometimes save your life!
From M/V Oceanexplorer Cruise Ship XGate Testimonial
It works GREAT!! Terrific…as promised. This is the greatest thing for mariners since sliced bread. We will certainly sing your praises to all whom we meet. It seems perfect, no glitches at all. ALSO The HUMAN support more than makes up for any problems in the web site, sign-up procedure, etc. Our e mails were answered in a timely fashion and you were fantastic and knowledgeable on the phone. More important, you were enthusiastic.
NEVER overlook this:: That everyone expects an answer to e mail within one business day ( which you always did), and that EVERYONE DEEPLY APPRECIATES a knowledgeable human voice at the other end of the tech support number ( which was YOU). All the ads and boat shows in the world won’t undue the damage done by poor e-mail and support, On the other hand, we are SO HAPPY with your e-mail and support that we’ll never stop sending you business. KEEP UP the GOODS WORK. Thanks.
From Polly Vacher, Wings Around the World Antarctica Satellite Communications Testimonial
I just want to say a huge thank you for your wonderful sponsorship enabling me to send e-mails via my satellite phone. This has been and still is a fantastic help to me, and in Antarctica, I don’t know how I would have managed without it.
I do hope that you have seen my website www.worldwings.org
Thank you so much for helping me out of a hole yesterday. Especially as it was the middle of the night for you. I do so appreciate it. I have relied heavily on your sat phone connection as aol is useless in many parts of the world! It was silly of me to think that someone in a hotel business centre could fix up an aol link without effecting the gmn link. I have learnt my lesson. In fact, he didn’t link me to aol at all, and just messed up my gmn link too.
You may have discovered that I am virtually computer illiterate, and just use it as a means of recording my diary and sending and receiving e-mails – BUT it IS my lifeline and it has been wonderful.
So, so relieved to be back on line – thank you
Tom Grace on S/V Adventure
Using my satellite phone, connected to my laptop, I can receive e-mail messages on the boat, here in the Bahamas. I am using a high-speed mail service which is set up especially for sat phone and SSB communications. It works exceptionally well, and is faster than you would imagine. For example, I generally send 3 or 4 messages, including my daily Adventure Log, then receive 3 to 5 messages, all within 30 seconds, often in less than 20 seconds. If you would like more information, feel free to contact me.
From Chris Parker of Marine Weather and Communications S/V Bel Ami Testimonial
Based on my experience to date, for those with a Pactor-3 modem, WeatherNet via MarineNet may be the most valuable single source for weather for cruisers in the Bahamas. Comparing WeatherNet to WinLink products, WeatherNet achieves a far-better compromise between level-of-detail versus size-of-file. Every WeatherNet product I’ve viewed has offered the level of detail I require, while keeping file size small. Many of WinLink’s products are either too large (not enough degradation to reduce file size optimally) or too small (so much degradation the information is less-useful).
All that’s required is to purchase the Ocens software (can be done online) and have an e-mail or Internet provider which supports TCP/IP connections. Products are downloaded on a pay-per-item basis, with most products costing from 15-cents US to 75-cents US.
The benefit of the real-time TCP/IP connection is that requested weather products are returned within seconds during the session (call) in which they’re requested, rather than requiring a second session (a later call-back) to complete the download.