Satellite Messengers vs EPIRB vs PLB

If you’ve been searching for a satellite communication device, it’s likely that you’ve come across a number of different options, including satellite communicators, EPIRBs, and PLBs. In today’s post from Outfitter Satellite, we are going to discuss the difference between these satellite devices. Read on to learn more. 

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What Are Satellite Communicators? 

A satellite communicator allows you to access a satellite network through your smartphone. They typically work through a mobile app that provides you with the ability to text friends and family, download weather reports, share your GPS location, and provide you with SOS functions in case of emergency. 

What Are EPIRBs?

Emergency position indicating radio beacons (EPIRB) are designed for use on boats. They are typically yellow, about the size of a wine bottle, and have an antenna sticking out of the top. In case of emergency, they will broadcast your position to the nearest Rescue Coordination Center, typically the US coast guard. EPIRBs come in two types: Category 1, which has automatic deployment when it comes into contact with water, and Category 2, which must be manually activated. EPIRBs will float on the water above a sinking boat, and although they are important safety devices, they are limited in functionality to only sending a GPS location when activated for an emergency.

Image of a boat.
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What Are PLBs? 

Personal locator beacons (PLB) are designed for use by individuals. They are about the size of a cordless phone and can be worn by an individual or kept in an emergency bag. They must be activated manually, and once activated they will broadcast their GPS location on 406 MHz to be received by the closest Rescue Coordination Center. PLBs are registered to the owner, rather than a boat like the EPIRB, and can be used on land or sea. 

The Bivy® Stick Satellite Messenger 

While the functionalities of an EPIRB and PLB are quite limited in terms of communication, a two-way satellite communication device such as the Bivy®® Stick provides more options. The Bivy® Stick is a compact, lightweight communication device that allows you to connect your smartphone to the Iridium® Satellite Network. You can receive and send text messages, download 3-day and 7-day weather reports, and send your GPS location to friends, family, or emergency services. 

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Rent or Buy the Bivy Stick From Outfitter Satellite

If you’re looking for a reliable satellite communication device with global connectivity and the ability to text, download weather forecasts, and send your GPS location, look no further than the Bivy Stick. At Outfitter Satellite, we offer the Bivy® Stick for rent or purchase. It’s an affordable, lightweight two-way communication device that can help you stay in touch with family and friends, contact emergency services, and more. Buy or rent the Bivy® Stick from Outfitter Satellite today.