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Test Messaging over Wifi

Old 08-17-13, 12:42 PM
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Test Messaging over Wifi

Hey gang,

I am going to be going on a cruise with the whole family. We all have cell phones and want to use them to keep in touch if we are on other sides of the ship, etc. There are alternatives such as walkie talkies and whatnot but I'm looking to see if we can utilize the phones.

So we aren't going to have internet access but we will be logged into the ships wifi. You do get a DHCP address it's just that you can't get out of the firewall to the internet without paying internet fees - which we can do but that would just be slow, and I'm hoping, not even necessary.

What I am looking for is an app that will look for other phones running the app on the same wifi network and allow text messaging that way (obviously not using a central server or anything). Anyone know of any application that will do this? Most of them say they work over Wifi but they mean Wifi connected to the internet.. which we aren't going to be.

Anyone know of an apps that will do this on Android?

Thanks
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Old 08-17-13, 07:53 PM
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Re: Test Messaging over Wifi

Take a look at Viber. Not sure it will fulfill all your needs but probably worth a look.
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Old 08-18-13, 05:58 PM
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Re: Test Messaging over Wifi

You really feel that you have to use your smartphone to be able to stay in touch with other family members while on a cruise?! Amazing! I mean, I might be able to see this if one needed to say "quick, there is a pod of whales on this side (starboard) of the ship", but if you just need it to say "let's meet in the dining room in 30 minutes" then I consider this really sad. Those kinds of plans can be made over the breakfast table.
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Old 08-18-13, 07:41 PM
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Re: Test Messaging over Wifi

^ Yep. Spend some time together as a family rather than tied to your phones. No sympathy or help from me.
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Old 08-19-13, 12:41 PM
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Re: Test Messaging over Wifi

https://www.google.com/search?q=andr...rchBox&ie=&oe=
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Old 08-19-13, 12:46 PM
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Re: Test Messaging over Wifi

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Old 08-19-13, 01:13 PM
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Re: Test Messaging over Wifi

Keep in mind most cruise lines charge you per minute to use Wi-Fi on the ships. And it's not cheap. I just got back last month from a Princess cruise, and I had to use it a handful of times. They do provide packages, but even those are not cheap. Maybe the walkie talkie type device may be more useful. Just check with your cruise line first. I installed Viber on mine and my family's iPhones, but never really put it to use because of the charges.
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Old 08-19-13, 09:12 PM
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Re: Test Messaging over Wifi

Whether you can do it or not via the LAN on the WiFi without Internet Access is going to be highly dependent on the technical implementation of the WiFi network on the ship. Each access point will need to be individually backhauled to the same network switch. This is most likely what is implemented, since that allows roaming from AP to AP without interruption in service. If it's not however (for example, if each individual AP is NAT'd), then that could provide an impediment.

If it does work though, and you are all able to join the WiFi and be on the same local network, then you will need some IM software with local network discovery protocol in order to be able to talk to each other. Since you won't have any Internet access or any centralized server coordinating the communication, the devices will have to be able to discover and address each other themselves.

The name for this local discovery protocol is Zeroconf or Bonjour. I did some searching, but I couldn't find any Android IM apps that support this. Someone asked this exact question here:

http://askubuntu.com/questions/45645...arby-protocols
http://stackoverflow.com/questions/6...arby-protocols
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Old 08-21-13, 04:02 PM
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Re: Test Messaging over Wifi

What cell phones will you be using? I found an Android app that claims it can work over wifi without internet:
https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...kie_lite&hl=en
Wi-Fi Talkie is an application for voice chatting, file transferring and messaging within your local Wi-Fi network.

Main features:
— The application doesn’t need the Internet or a cellular network connection.

As TheBang wrote, whether it will work on the cruise ship depends a lot on the wifi setup on the ship. In addition to things like NAT and subnets, it may be a problem if the wifi redirects all traffic to their login/pay page when you first access the wifi.
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Old 08-22-13, 11:17 PM
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Re: Test Messaging over Wifi

Don't see how that Android app would work. The ship's wifi is surely locked down tighter than a hangman's noose!
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Old 08-23-13, 07:24 PM
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Re: Test Messaging over Wifi

Originally Posted by Jay G. View Post
As TheBang wrote, whether it will work on the cruise ship depends a lot on the wifi setup on the ship. In addition to things like NAT and subnets, it may be a problem if the wifi redirects all traffic to their login/pay page when you first access the wifi.
The working theory is that you shouldn't hit the gateway and its homepage redirector if you keep all the traffic on the local network.

Of course, that also depends on how the WiFi is setup too. When I was doing BPL installations at hotels, the bridges were setup to not allow local traffic between the BPL nodes, for security reasons. I'm sure some of the higher end WiFi access points have options to disallow communication between WiFi clients too, and that may be enabled on the cruise ship.
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Old 08-23-13, 08:52 PM
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Re: Test Messaging over Wifi

i can appreciate trying to find a creative way around walkies on a ship, but honestly, just go buy walkies. you can get ones that are smaller than the palm of your hand now. batteries last a while and they are easy to use.
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Old 08-25-13, 08:49 AM
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Re: Test Messaging over Wifi

heywire
you'll have to use a number it gives you
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Old 08-25-13, 10:20 AM
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Re: Test Messaging over Wifi

Thanks for all the replies!

The Wi-Fi talkie seems like the best bet from what I have seen. Thanks so much!

As far as if it will work on the ship.. I'm not sure. My previous cruise I was able to stream music from my cabin to my phone at the pool (I just did it as a test). This is a different cruise line this time so they may indeed isolate the wifi nodes and this won't work. But I figured i'd load it and give it a try.

Why this over walkie talkies? walkie-talk traffic is typically really crowded on cruise ships because a lot of people have them (although there will probably be no kids on this cruise). Plus I don't want to drag along another device if I don't have to.

Like was mentioned the whole goal here is never to hit gateway and get redirected. Basically.. working under the radar. Funny enough this cruise includes free internet access throughout but a text message/email could take seconds or hours to go through depending on where we are .. that's why I want to avoid depending on the internet connectivity if I can.
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Old 08-25-13, 07:39 PM
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Re: Test Messaging over Wifi

Hmm, I wonder if bringing your own router and somehow using windows messenger service (like the popup - server will restart in 5 mins) with a phone would work. I could see it working if the router signal is powerful and you use netbooks.
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Old 08-25-13, 10:31 PM
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Re: Test Messaging over Wifi

That's a good challenge. You'll need to think outside the box on this one.
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Old 08-26-13, 07:32 PM
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Re: Test Messaging over Wifi

Originally Posted by Ranger View Post
Hmm, I wonder if bringing your own router and somehow using windows messenger service (like the popup - server will restart in 5 mins) with a phone would work. I could see it working if the router signal is powerful and you use netbooks.
Do you have any idea how big cruise ships are?
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Old 08-28-13, 03:16 PM
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Re: Test Messaging over Wifi

Originally Posted by General Zod View Post
Plus I don't want to drag along another device if I don't have to.
So it's OK to lug a non-functioning smartphone but not walkie-talkies?
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Old 08-28-13, 07:02 PM
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Re: Test Messaging over Wifi

Dammit, stop making sense, Rex! The tied-to-phone mantra is so ingrained that this simple thought did not penetrate.
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Old 08-29-13, 10:17 AM
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Re: Test Messaging over Wifi

Originally Posted by Ranger View Post
Hmm, I wonder if bringing your own router and somehow using windows messenger service (like the popup - server will restart in 5 mins) with a phone would work. I could see it working if the router signal is powerful and you use netbooks.
It's sort of funny because I was thinking of bringing a mini router (switch) with me because I think you can only connect one device at a time using the ships internet. With the switch we can connect as many devices as we want and it would seemingly all be going through the same connection as far as the ship knew. But... I was told as it is I bring too much "gear". For the whole ship I'd probably need at least a hundred extenders. I think they'd question me eventually

And as far as bringing my cell phone goes.. it's my cell phone, e-reader, mp3 player, camera, and now walkie-talkie and I'm going to bring it mostly just to piss off rex and zyzzle
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Old 03-25-14, 07:09 AM
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Re: Test Messaging over Wifi

Planning another cruise? Because this might serve your needs: http://gizmodo.com/this-app-lets-you...ion-1550447473
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Old 03-25-14, 10:40 AM
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Re: Test Messaging over Wifi

Originally Posted by ben12 View Post
Planning another cruise? Because this might serve your needs: http://gizmodo.com/this-app-lets-you...ion-1550447473
only if he's switched to iphone (from 2 years ago )
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