The Yacht Technology Blog

Is Cloud Storage Stealing Your Yacht Internet Bandwidth?

Posted by Andy Levy on Jun 26, 2013 9:56:00 AM


cloud_storage_stopsignAfter publishing our latest blog article,Yacht Computers: Mac vs. PC, we got lots of feedback via Linked In about peoples'’ computer preferences. Funnily enough, yacht professionals seemed to come out just about 50/50 in terms of preference for PCs or Macs.

One reader's comment touched on a subject we thought would be interesting in its own blog article: the relationship between remote data backups and vessel Internet bandwidth.






Vessel Internet bandwidth--a review.


A few months back, we posted an introductory blog article about yacht Internet bandwidth called Vessel Internet Bandwidth: Are you Addicted? In it, we discussed the reality that many people today are hooked on their Internet-enabled devices and the bandwidth on which they depend.

In another post, Monitoring & Managing: 2 Ways to Optimize your Vessel Internet Connection we reviewed steps you can take right now to improve your vessel Internet connection's performance. 



The proliferation of cloud storage backup.

Often, new computers come with software for cloud storage built in. A cloud backup and storage package may include a limited amount of storage at no cost, or be free for a trial period.Today, many businesses and many consumers use remote computer backup services. Regular data backup is very important for any serious computer user and cloud storage is a convenient way to achieve it. Cloud backup and storage services include, Carbonite, Cubby, DropBox, iCloud, and SugarSync, just to name a few. 

The cost for additional storage or to continue after a trial period is often only a few dollars per month. So due to the convenience and low cost of cloud storage, its usage is growing rapidly.



The downside of off-site or cloud-based backup systems.

Off-site or cloud-based backup systems can be a valuable component of an entire backup strategy. BUT, in a marine environment, offline backup can have the unintended consequence of using a large percentage of a vessel's available bandwidth.

Users may not realize that they are continuously accessing the yacht's Internet connection to send data to their cloud storage, especially those with large media libraries (music, photos, video) that are regularly growing and changing.

So with the proliferation of cloud based backup services, crew members and guests are often inadvertently "stealing" bandwidth from more critical or time-sensitive activities.  

Some Captains, Engineers, and ETOs may be completely unaware of the problem. But if cloud-based backup is to be used, it must be managed carefully, first by establishing on board policies regarding their use and then by having tools in place to enforce those policies.


2 things you can do to help preserve bandwidth:

1. Create a crew cloud storage policy.

Your crew accesses multiple devices each day that are connected to the vessel's Internet. But they probably don't realize that many activities, even uploading photos from a camera to the computer, may be using a good deal of Internet bandwidth when photos are automatically sent to a cloud storage service.

So in order to preserve vessel Internet bandwidth, it's your job to educate crew about bandwidth use and what they can and cannot do with their devices.

Decide what Internet-related activities are permitted on board and prohibit websites that use too much vessel bandwidth. You can even specify the times of day crew can use cloud-based storage areas for data backups.

To make it official, consider putting bandwidth use policy terms in writing and have the crew sign off on the agreement. Item number 2 below will help you sort out the details.


2. Monitor and manage your vessel's bandwidth.

nas3000Along with a backup policy educating the crew on expectations regarding Internet usage, you can take steps to actively manage your bandwidth. 

For instance, there are several bandwidth management devices on the market that monitor and manage Internet bandwidth. These devices help free up the bandwidth necessary for critical tasks and priority users.


Bandwidth optimizers let you monitor bandwidth use so you can see if crew are following the vessel's Internet Use Policy described in item number 1 above. Bandwidth monitoring allows you to stay aware of:

  • vessel bandwidth use by time of day
  • Internet sites accessed by individuals on your vessel
  • devices on your vessel accessing specific websites

You can also set rules for bandwidth use with these devices. For instance, you can allocate bandwidth to high-priority users, such as the Owner, Guests and Captain.

Get an idea of your vessel's current bandwidth use by downloading the MTN Satellite Communications' bandwidth calculator--just click on the document below.

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Want to learn more about Internet bandwidth management?


New Call-to-Action The NAS3000 is Great Circle Systems' Internet Bandwidth Optimization device. To learn more about the NAS3000 Internet Bandwidth optimizer, download the product sheet by clicking on the gray button below.

Or click on the green button below to schedule a phone call with a NAS300 specialist.


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Topics: vessel internet, bandwidth management

JD_Crawford_head_shotDarren and the GCS team have been instrumental in the development and deployment of several carrier grade IT networks for large scale, Savant-based super-yacht projects where the technology infrastructure needed to be extremely reliable. 


The capabilities of the GCS team have proven instrumental in helping us deliver a world class technology experience to some of the most prestigious yachts in the world.


J.D. Crawford of Savant Systems


I have been working with Great Circle Systems since 2006 when they did the installation of all our networking and Internet communications equipment on our boat being built in Germany.


The equipment they recommended and installed was exactly as we required.  We have had extremely good results with all of their equipment and it has performed as they had advised.


I would highly recommend them to all fellow captains.


Captain Keith T. Moore of M/Y Lady Sheridan

CE_W_Michael_Hummel_of_MY_TVTriton Administrator has proven to be the perfect tool for us on M/Y TV, which is a 78 meter Luerssen yacht.


Triton has comprehensive essential features plus any additional features one can possibly need. It is still easy to use and has a swift support team to implement customer-specific wishes, such as individual day logs, etc.


W. Michael Hummel, Chief Engineer of M/Y TV


Captain Bruno Herregods talks about Great Circle Systems tech support. 

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