AIS Receiver USB dongle

Aisspotter is providing 3 AIS solutions (USB 2.0 powered, avaiilable on Windows & Linux) :
         a) AIS USB antenna
 - an AIS receiver integrated in a small magnetic antenna

b) RIO solution :
  -  an AIS receiver (USB stick),
  -  a small magnetic antenna,
  - a pigtail (MMCX - BNC)  if you want to use you own VHF antenna

c) PIA solution : the dual solution using one USB stick
  - a GPS  and an AIS receiver (USB stick)
    - a small magnetic antenna,
  - a pigtail (MMCX - BNC)  if you want to use you own VHF antenna

SeaAngel is another provider for an USB AIS solution (Seanexx AIS receivers). Powered via USB, works on Windows, Linux and with their WIFI adaptor on Android & IOs.

             - Budget version (Rx100)  
                     automatic channel hopping, Ch.1 and Ch.2

             - ALLinONE AIS+GPS receiver (Rx110)
                     gets also your position for OpenCPN, integrated GPS antenna(GPS,Glonass,QZSS,Beidou)
                     automatic channel hopping, Ch.1 and Ch.2

             - DUAL AIS receiver (Rx200)
                     Two seperate receiving channels listening simultaneously to Ch.1 and Ch.2

For the antennas there are 2 options:
       -a small VHF antenna which is mounted directly on the AIS stick
       -a set of adaptor cables - 1x BNC connector and 1x for standard marine VHF antenna connector UHF(PL259)

The adaptor cables + external antenna were suggest for max. reception range, the small antenna for quick setup.

For budget setup choose a Taxi antenna or similar with BNC adaptor.
For standard usage use a marine VHF antenna, for max. performance and reception range choose an "AIS VHF antenna" which is usually tuned to the AIS frequencies of around 162Mhz.

Other affordable solutions:
The AIS transmissions can be received by various cheap "TV" dongles. For more information read http://www.rtl-sdr.com/rtl-sdr-tutorial-cheap-ais-ship-tracking/
The RTLSDR plugin makes tuning the dongles simple directly from OpenCPN

Another approch is to use a suitable radio receiver, like Yaesu FT857 + sound card + AISMON under Windows or GnuAIS under Linux.

Daisy-as-receiver is a also a solution for a tight budget