OCC Forums

Mailasail 's Red Box router


By simoncurrin - 15 Jun 2016

Original post by John Franklin on the OCC FB page with discussion pasted below.

John Franklin: Does anyone have any experience with Mailasail 's Red Box router? It is the most temperamental and frustrating bunch of useless electronics I have ever come across. If it hadn 't cost me more than £500 I would have thrown it overboard long ago.

Paul O 'Brien: Go on do it , throw it overboard life is to short for the frustration

Peter Whatley: Hi John we use a Red Port router from Global Marine Net (GMN ) together with XGate software. It 's simple, reliable, effective and good value. I believe it is all the things the the Red Box is not! I know you are not alone with your frustrations.

Sue Kelly: We also have a Red Port router from GMN & very happy with it. We were the winners in selling our Mailasail Red Box for £70 (after puchasing it for £500) on eBay.

Peter Mills: We have Iridium GO.on trial. Not yet sure it 's what I expected but others swear by them
Good for SMS text. Very slow for data and you have to remember that Satcom calls via it are Simplex and the distant destinations tell us that we sound like our head is in a bucket.

Phillip Smith: I wish we had seen these comments about the Mailasail Red Box a few months ago. We had one sent out to us here in Australia a few months ago at significantly more than £500 and it has proved to be virtually useless. The router needs regular rebooting; ...See more

John Franklin: Sorry, Philip. I should have posted this last year when my troubles began.

Phillip Smith: Please don 't feel responsible John. We clearly didn 't do enough pre purchase research. Let 's hope that the forum topic generates some positive assistance for those of us still struggling to get our units working properly.
Perhaps a gentle word in Ed Wildgoose 's ear that the performance of some of his equipment is generating discussion on an OCC forum might produce some results.

Christine Lyttle: No don 't throw it away - get in touch. We finally conquered it to great effect!!

Richard Gurney: Hi Christine. We too have a Red Box. It constantly loses the wifi bat. Spoke to Ed at mailasail who suggested fitting a usb hub between the wifi bat and the redbox-that didn 't work! Any ideas??

John Franklin: Ed told us exactly the same! We did it and there was no improvement.

Frank Hatfull: We get our Red Box router to work well for us......but....... My degree is in IT and I understand the stuff......and we don 't use it for Sat Phone.

John Franklin: Frank, my degree is in chemical engineering and I understand pipes, pumps and valves. All we want this thing to do is act as an on-board router when connected to a WiFi antenna so that we can use iPads etc on board. We have Mailasail 's Bat antenna, which works and does seem to perform well. I think all I am missing is a 15 year-old.

Elaine Hazell: We have the red box too and will join the discussion forum. Impressed by the service US => Sweden!

Christine Lyle: Our experience is in the Once we started plugging either the bat or a data sim in a dongle into the usb hub things improved dramatically. For the last two years we have almost abandoned the bat and just put local sims into the dongle which then works with all our appliances. We have never used it with the iridium.

Peter Whatley: John you have raised an interesting and rather poignant topic but what it highlights (other than the Red box being a dubious bit of kit) is the tremendous knowledge base from the members of the OCC from which we all benefit. I 'm glad Simon posted it to the Forum.
By Arjana - 17 Jun 2016

Further to my last post I am sure that Ed told that if the sub hub didn 't solve the problem then a new sub cable was the way forward - I also seem to remember it was going to be $$$$$$!! I haven 't tried a data sim in a dongle yet.
By simoncurrin - 17 Jun 2016

We use the Digital Yachts WL510 which seems to work well although I did have to return the first one they sent me as it had a fault. I can 't remember the name of the support guy but he was always very prompt in replying and understood the system very well.
By gmander - 28 Jun 2016

Hi John, I had the misfortune to buy one of these a couple of years ago. I ended up sending it back and asking for my money back. Needless to say the dispute had to be escalated to just short of court action. I found Ed incredibly difficult to deal with. Never again!
By archive - 7 Dec 2016

Test post
By archive - 7 Dec 2016

Test Post via a paste
By archive - 6 Apr 2017

We have used a Mailasail Redbox in conjunction with their Wifi Bat aboard Destiny for 4 years now. It works well but with some caveats;

Dealing with the owner and main technical response Ed Wildgoose is a nightmare. He is verbose, unhelpful and never answers a question directly. For that reason alone I would suggest finding another product. But if you have one;

In Wifi mode we have had good positive experience, the aerial picks up signals from approx. 500m away, but you need a signal strength of at least 60% so this really means closer contacts. As I write this we are streaming from a Bistro 300m away, a connection that we are using every day for most of the day.

The Redbox interface choosing between Wifi, Sim or Satphone works very well. As does the “Firewall” that allows you to sign in just your current device or all devices. There is then another level of filtering that allows open access or various restrictions but these all depend upon having a paid for Mailasail account. This is fine in theory but we discovered that their server automatically stripped our ice reports out as spam and required 2 sat phone calls every time to work, likewise Nobeltec email GRIB files were stripped.

We use a SIM card in a dongle with the Redbox, it works well, the only snag is we are unable to monitor how much data we use, which we can if we bypass Redbox.

We use our Iridium Sat phone as well directly with Redbox, this works better than Iridium’s own modem but is no faster. We did have one very expensive problem, one that Ed tried hard to blame on us, but even when confronted with the facts he refused to acknowledge the problem. Basically if you connect the Sat phone to Redbox AND use the proxy settings Mailasail recommend to reduce data usage some flaw in the software allows the Sat phone to automatically dial out for just a few seconds every few minutes, the calls do not connect but are still billed so we ran up a bill of £180 in less than a week. The only solution was to remove the proxy settings and as a backup always remove the USB plug from the phone if not required.

As a multiplexor Redbox works well, provided your NMEA data is USB or network based, failing that you require serial to USB adaptors. But we have our radar, AIS and instruments all connected and Redbox automatically streams the data over the wired network and broadcasts it as wifi signal that our tablet can use.

Just to note all the components were recommended and supplied by Mailasail, so there should be no excuse regarding the problem we had on the sat phone dialling out.

We are now trying Redport a Satellite Optimiser produced by Global Marine Networks that works in conjunction with their own email compression service Xgate. We will try to comment on this in due course.