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BlueTide Communications Blog

Is It Possible To Stream Netflix, Hulu and Spotify Over VSAT?

On land, you can’t live without them. At sea, they provide entertainment and connectivity. These are your streaming media services—real-time audio and video—and they include an ever-growing list of both free and subscription favorites like Hulu, Netflix, YouTube, Pandora and Spotify. They’ve become expected elements of maritime communications and VSAT services, but they also require some smart planning and management strategies.

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Maritime Cyber Security Threat Response and Recovery

With our need for connectivity, we entrust a world of responsibility to computers and programs. In consequence, consulting giant, Deloitte, observed that a single vulnerable device can leave an entire network open to attack.

Maritime communications and VSAT services are no exception. Sometimes, despite the secure routers and nested firewalls, a cyber threat finds a weakness in the system. To retain or regain  control of your ship, you’ll need a thoroughly planned strategy for rapid response and recovery from a cyber attack.

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Protecting Your Ship From Cyber Threats

At sea, danger increasingly presents itself as cyber security threats and attacks on connectivity. Risky behaviors and points of access are endless, from emails, social media and personal devices to password protection, trust and access issues. One security strategy that can help prevent cyber threats is risk reduction.

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Assessing Your Risk of Cyber Security Threat at Sea


Every day, maritime communications networks must balance Internet and intranet, information technology (IT) and operational technology (OT) for ship operations to run smoothly. With these functions becoming increasingly sophisticated and complexly intertwined, cyber security remains a constant concern as it threatens the data and functionality of a ship.

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Is Airline Connectivity Paralleling Maritime VSAT Adoption?

With the dawn of autonomous, unmanned ships in the future of maritime connectivity and the uptick in VSAT adoption in the aviation industry, it is natural to look at what the two industries can learn from each other.

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Maritime Hurricane Preparedness

In the last 30 years, all basins together, worldwide, averaged 86 tropical storms and 47 hurricanes, typhoons and severe tropical cyclones annually. Considering the constant threat of inclement weather offshore, having a redundant communications strategy in place is vital to quickly and safely maintaining and returning to full system operations for your ship or rig.

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Identifying Bandwidth Hogs on Your Network

Bandwidth is often likened to a highway. More lanes can handle more cars; more bandwidth can handle more packets of data. However, even twelve-lane highways can reach gridlock at rush hour. With bandwidth, all those bunches of data still have to queue onto the entrance ramp, navigate the lanes and exit. One wide-load application or streaming convoy can slow everything. Understanding where precious bandwidth is going can provide valuable insight into your maritime communications capabilities and reveal how you might better manage vital offshore VSAT resources.

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Using VSAT to Create Logistics Efficiencies

offshore rig and carrier boat

Downtime and mistakes are costly onshore. Offshore, inefficiencies can cost millions of dollars and put entire ventures at risk. BlueTide Communications, however, has a number of innovative VSAT services and tools for precision voyage planning and lean logistics. These tools automate information needed by vessel managers, allow onboard personnel to remain on task and deliver cost savings at a maximum return on investment wherever you are.

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6 Ways to Maximize the Effectiveness of Your Network

 Maritime communications are undergoing radical change with new advancements and increased adoption. COMSYS estimates that by 2018, the number of vessels with VSAT systems will have more than doubled 2013’s numbers. More importantly, the number of high-throughput satellites will increase by 46 percent over the next 10 years. These expansions in global VSAT capabilities are transforming connectivity, rendering it essential for any offshore operation. The question is, how can you get the most from your vessel’s VSAT communications network?

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Five Things to Consider for Onboard Communications

Today, connectivity is everything. When determining the right communications service for your vessel, evaluating the options for different service types, providers and equipment can be overwhelming. The key is to start by outlining your requirements in order to design a package best suited for your unique needs. Whether you’re outfitting a yacht, merchant ship, offshore supply vessel, liftboat, rig, platform or tanker, here are five factors to consider when choosing a communications package for your vessel:

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What is a VSAT?

VSAT, or very small aperture terminal, is a satellite system component that is able to transmit and receive communications around the globe in real time through the use of an antenna. Each VSAT acts as the messenger between its host and a satellite that can send and receive data to other hubs that also transmit and receive data. While the earth’s curvature and simple geography may impede direct communications between locations, the addition of a satellite that can receive information from one hub and transmit it to another in the system makes distant communication not only possible but near-instantaneous. With transmissions highly focused and proper precautions in place, data streams remain effective yet secure as well.

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Addressing the Risk of Maritime Cyber Attack

Thieves no longer need to compromise a physical location to execute predatory objectives and reap profits. Big data is the new gold, and unfortunately, opportunity seekers and accidents plague global enterprises. As technology advances, making more high-stakes, high-tech onshore and offshore ventures possible, those same enterprises become increasingly valuable and vulnerable targets. Whether internal or external, all a successful cyber threat requires is access. 

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