Which Model?

This article seeks to answer the FAQ “which model of SNIP® is right for my needs”


The SNIP NTRIP Caster comes in three basic configurations,  the Lite, Basic, and Pro models.  An Evaluation model is also provided to allow new users to test out more of the advanced features SNIP provides.  In the past an Enterprise model was also advertised (this was used only for unique co-development projects with other GNSS industry firms).  Today, any set of features one may need can be obtained with the Pro model and various Plug-In features that add special functionality required by some deployments.  Both the Basic and Pro models allow adding more Base Stations, aka data streams (add-on streams, commonly called “slots”) to expand the size of the Caster network.

SNIP has earned the dominant share of the worlds NTRIP Caster market for a good reason:  it is a solid product which provides much more than the core functionality of an NTRIP Caster at a moderate cost.  Each of the three models is targeted to address the needs of a different segment of the NTRIP Caster marketplace.  Learn more below (or here).  The various features are unlocked depending on the license key you provide when registering, there is no need to install new software when upgrading from one model to another.

The Lite  Model

The Lite model is intended to provide most everything any small NTRIP network would need.  And it is free for both personal and commercial use.  It is limited to no more than three Base Stations.  The number of connected users (or user accounts) is not limited, you can add thousands if you wish.   It fully supports NTRIP Rev1 but not Rev2.  It displays limited bit level decodes of the actual RTCM message content, (while other models show full decodes).  It does not provide various IP blocking logic methods used with repeating bad connections.  It has much fewer graphical reports and displays of users and bases, but essential Google map support is provided. [These limitations are only present in Lite, any Basic or better model does not have them.]

The Basic  Model

The Basic model is intended to provide for the needs of small NTRIP networks, typically used by a local Ag cooperative or a smaller survey business.   It ships with a limitation of eight Base Stations, but additional base stations can be added to it at any time (simply purchase additional slots).

As with all models of SNIP, you can have as many user accounts and connections as you wish.  This model unlocks all restrictions found in the Lite model, including full support for Rev2 NTRIP and full bit level decoding of the RTCM messages.  The Basic model provides various IP block and ban logic controls to automatically manage bad internet connections.  The Basic model also allows operating a RTCM style NEAR Stream, a popular type of network RTK data where your rover devices connect to a single mountPt and SNIP then determines which Base Station is best suited for their individual needs    The Basic model also allows the use of PFAT™ services to manipulate the data stream content in various ways.  The PFAT ability to move coordinate systems and frames of reference used by a given Base Station is often a key need in a deployment.  Using PFAT to duplicate a data stream is also very popular in regions when two different data are required to be used.

Many deployments start with Basic then upgrade to a Pro model as their needs grow.  We offer a generous trade-in for Basic to Pro upgrades; fully crediting your prior investment in both SNIP and any additional slot licenses toward the Pro purchase.

The Pro  Model

The Pro model is intended to provide for the needs of moderate to larger NTRIP networks, typically used by organizations with larger networks for in-house use or by firms reselling NTRIP services to others.   It ships with a limitation of thirty Base Stations, but additional base stations can be added to it at any time (simply purchase additional slots).  It is not uncommon for a Pro deployment to have additional slot licenses supporting several hundred Base Stations.

As with all models of SNIP, you can have as many user accounts and connections as you wish.  This model unlocks the few restrictions found in the Basic model, including adding NEAR support for message content types beyond just RTCM-3.x.  In Pro, five separate NEAR streams are allowed, and this number increases as more slots are added to the machine.  Management of IP blocking logic allows additional manual control over that found in the Basic model.  A simple AVL server is also added, allowing the operator to aggregate and  send NMEA $GGA messages  from NTRIP Clients to subscribed listeners (used to plot client movements for fleet tracking).  Charts and plots of various run time values are extended to cover the prior 3 years of Caster operation.

And, only the Pro model can use the features provided by Plug-In modules (see below).

The Pro Model with Plug-Ins

The Plug-In system provide additional useful functionally not required by all deployments.  Plug-In modules can be added to the Pro model of SNIP (not the Basic or Lite models).  Unlike the one-time only payment used for licensed models of SNIP or for additional Slots, Plug-In licenses also have a reoccurring annual cost, typically 15% of the acquisition cost.  This fee covers various ongoing costs to provide the Plug-In services and offsets the costs of further development.

Typically a Plug-In is purchased for an annual period of time, but most Plug-Ins also have a month-by-month version that is intended to allow interested parties to try out the Plug-In before committing to an annual purchase.  See the individual Plugs-Ins for detail.

Plug-Ins are generally of interest to those running SNIP as a commercial NTRIP Caster with paying clients/customers.  The various Plug-Ins aid in the process of customer contact and account management.

The most popular Plug-Ins for these deployments are as follows:

Automatic BackUp   –   Used to automate the process of daily backups. This process can be done manually on any model of SNIP.  With this Plug-In the process is fully automated and occurs at the interval you set.

Automatic eMail   –   Adding eMail to SNIP is a great feature to send out various reports and charts to both the Caster operator and to various customers and/or users.  This is of particular value when there is no local printer on the host machine, such as with a VM (virtual machine) when AWS is being used.

Enhanced User Managements (EUM)   –  The Enhanced User Managements Plug-In allows adding all sorts of usage restrictions to the User Accounts, as well as adding and managing Customer Accounts.  This is how you automatically disable a non-paying user at a predetermined point in time.   This is how you control which user accounts can connect to which Base stations.  This Plug-In provides the logical binding between the NTRIP Client device(s) and the business entity that is associated with it, your customer.  If you are running a commercial network with paying customer accounts, you will want the EUM Plug-In.  If you also have the Automatic eMail Plug-In you can send various eMails to your customers as their account details change, lease periods come up for renewal, etc.

Client Web API Interface   –  The Web API allows you to access the SNIP Caster by way of any browser to get detailed reports and to manage various user and base station accounts.  With this Plug-In your technical support team can access key Caster details without being logged on to the host machine itself (typically with Microsoft Remote Desktop or with TeamViewer).  You can set up accounts to have read-only access or read-write access, limiting those who have management level access to the Caster.   You can also set up this access for selected customer accounts, limiting what they can see/change/edit/etc. to the user accounts and base stations you have preset.  Use this Plug-In to manage your Caster with a cell phone from the field.

If you are developing or supporting products in the Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) space, then our SAE J2735 DSRC support Plug-In will be of great interest to you.

If you wish to operate multiple Casters for different users, or to resell time on your Caster to your clients as a “white label” product; then our upcoming multiple-Caster / virtual Caster Plug-in will be of great interest to you.  When combined with the Client Web API Interface, this will allow your customers to see and interact only their own Bases and Users (NTRIP Client devices), while you centrally manage your customer base.  Targeted for release in Q3 of this year.

Other Configurations

As a general rule, our firm is in the business of selling NTRIP Casters, not the business of operating them in competition with our customers.  We will provide managed hosting of your bases or caster by request (see this page for further details) but is is generally more cost effective to self-host your Caster or to use one of the popular VM systems to place it in the cloud.

Adding More Slots

As the number of connected base stations in a Caster grows, it is common to purchase additional “slots” to add more bases.  This can be done for any model of SNIP except the Lite model.  Refer to this page for additional details and pricing.

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