OFF GRID Internet

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OFF GRID Internet: The Internet is a modern convenience that we all rely upon. It is hard to imagine a day without checking email, updating Facebook friends, or watching YouTube. Every day, we use the Internet to do a multitude of tasks. Many famlies have unlimited 4g internet service for home.

Because we own an online business, internet access is crucial. So how can we manage our YouTube channel and online business when we are not connected to the Internet?

Living off-grid doesn’t necessarily mean that we must give up our modern conveniences. Living off-grid simply means you aren’t connected to electricity, water, sewerage, telephone, natural gas, and other public utilities.

Modern off-grid homesteaders need to run an online business and allow their children to do homeschooling online. It is possible to have high-quality Internet, even if you are not connected to the grid.

Today I will share six solutions to our off-grid internet problems. The end of this article will reveal exactly our plan.

Off-grid Internet Solutions

Cell Phone

Your cell phone is the first thing you should think about. You could do most things online using your smartphone if you think about it. 

For example, you can check your email, do online banking, access social media, and watch movies with your smartphone. In addition, a smartphone with good signal and internet access is enough to connect with the rest of your world.

What do you do when you have to access the Internet via your computer or laptop? A good smartphone is enough. You have the option to either tether your phone to your computer or make it a mobile hotspot. 

The mobile hotspot turns your phone into a small WiFi router to connect your computer or laptop. Your service provider may limit data for tethering/personal Hotspot, and speeds may be slower than normal. However, if you aren’t doing data-intensive tasks, it shouldn’t be an issue.

This is the main concern. This was an important aspect of our search for our homestead property. We wanted to make sure there was a phone line available at the property.

You should always have a signal on your cell phone.

This is a quick and easy way to find a property when you first start looking for it. The coverage maps for the major cell phone companies can be viewed. These are links to coverage maps of TMobile and Verizon. AT&T and Sprint. 

Simply go to their map, and enter the address of the property you are looking for. Or zoom in on the map until you find the exact location. You will see different colors that indicate how strong the signal is in this area.

This is only approximate, and it does not guarantee a signal will be, but it is a good starting point. It would be smart to bring your phone along and borrow a phone from someone you know or a realtor. 

You can also walk around the property to check the strength of the signal in different areas. To test the internet connection speed on the property, you can use an app such as Speedtest.

Be aware of the limitations of “unlimited” plans.

You should also be aware that data caps can apply even to unlimited plans. This is because your data limit can vary depending on which provider you use. For example, it could be as low as 20 GB per month or as high as 50GB per month. 

You could be considered deprioritized if you exceed the data limit. Deprioritization means that you may not connect to the Internet at the same speed as before you hit the data limit. You “could” be deprioritized, but it rarely happens. It all depends on how much traffic is available on the network when you attempt to access the Internet.

Let’s suppose you are using T-Mobile and have used 50 GB of data in a month. If many people are using the network simultaneously as you, they will have priority over you if you haven’t used your 50GB. So you will get a slower speed, but they will still have the fastest speed. 

If you are in rural areas, it is unlikely that your network will become so congested that you lose your speed. Some users have claimed that they are never prioritized, even though they exceed their monthly data limit.

Although this sounds like a great option, what should you do if there’s no strong signal? This will be the next topic.

Cell Phone Booster

The cell phone booster amplifies weak signals from cell towers to create strong signals in the area needed.

A cell phone booster has three major parts:

  • An outdoor antenna. They are typically mounted on a pole near your roof. These antennas are usually directional and should be pointed at the nearest cell tower. Open Signal is an app that can help you locate the closest cell phone tower.
  • The signal booster. An external antenna is connected to the booster via a cable. The signal booster is responsible for amplifying the weak signal from an outdoor antenna. It then passes that signal onto the indoor antenna.
  • The indoor antenna. An indoor antenna is installed somewhere in your home. This antenna is what your cell phone will connect to.

The cell phone booster does not require a subscription. The booster is yours to keep after you have set it up. The booster is free of charge, but you will have to pay for your phone service.

The most popular cell phone booster

Boost is the most well-known cell phone booster. Weboost offers a 30-day money-back guarantee. This is something I love about them. You can return the product if it doesn’t work for you. This tells me that the company believes in its product and is confident that it will work for most people.

What if you want to connect multiple computers to the WiFi network but need a traditional internet connection? This area has many solutions. Fixed wireless broadband is the first.

Fixed Wireless Broadband

Satellite internet is not compatible with fixed wireless broadband. This is because fixed wireless broadband doesn’t connect to the cell phone network. Fixed wireless broadband is essentially operated by private companies with large antennas that are placed throughout rural communities. 

They will place an antenna near your home when you sign up for their service. The antenna will be connected to the host’s antenna by radio waves. Both must be within line of sight. Your antenna will then be connected to the WiFi router at your home. Voila! Internet!

If this service is available, it could be a great choice. 

However, you should know that internet speeds are slower than you get with your cell phone and slower than you get if your Internet connection is wired to the grid using fiber-optic or satellite Internet.

This may seem like a great option for many people, but it could not be available in your local area. So let’s now look at another option.

Unlimitedville

Unlimitedville, The membership organization, provides unlimited, uncapped wireless data for its members. They do not resell data plans with any of the major carriers. Instead, they allow unlimited hotspots and routers to be used for as long as you’re a member.

Unlimited data plans are available from all carriers, but they are not open to the public. Unlimitedville is a connected community that helps you get online and keeps you online with reliable wireless data.

Carriers offer ‘unlimited phone plans’ that limit data usage and allow 5-10GB per month of hotspot/tethering usage. In addition, Unlimitedville’s routers and hotspots design to broadcast unlimited WiFi for all connected devices in your home or office, including smart TVs, gaming consoles, and other WiFi-connected devices.

All speeds depend on how close you live to cell towers and the carrier you use. There have been reports that hotspots could reach up to 80 Mbps for those close to LTE+ cell towers. And as low as 1 MBPS for those located further away. To get the fastest speeds, you should choose the carrier plan with the strongest LTE signal.

No contracts

They do not require credit checks or a contract for any of their plans. These plans are month-to-month, and each payment prepays your next 30 days. By simply returning your Unlimitedville hotspot, you can cancel your subscription at any time.

They offer a 14-day money-back guarantee, which means you can try their service risk-free. You can return the device to get a full refund if the service doesn’t meet your needs.

That sounds great, right? But, unfortunately, none of these options might work for you.

Satellite Internet OFF GRID Internet

Satellite internet’s biggest brand is HughesNet Satellite internet is. Unfortunately, satellite internet is not the fastest or most reliable internet connection. However, satellite internet may be the best option for you if there are no other options.

HughesNet has received mixed reviews. In fact, It love by some and hated by others. HughesNet is not for everyone. I believe that many people subscribe to HughesNet with unrealistic expectations. We need to understand that the signal we receive is reaching far beyond Earth and back to space. 

This is an amazing technology. Keep in mind that negative reviews could be referring to HughesNet’s older system. HughesNet’s new Gen5 system is far better than the one it used before.

The Gen5 system OFF GRID Internet

Gen5 satellite internet service is the best. It can provide broadband-level speeds and power by EchoStar XIX Satellite.

HughesNet offers plans that include 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, and 50GB per month. Every Gen5 plan also includes:

  • Speedy speeds. Download speeds of 25 Mbps and upload speeds of 3 Mbps, so you can stream your favorite movies or music.
  • Additional Data. You get 50GB extra data per month. Between 2 am and 8 am.
  • WiFi is built into your HughesNet modem. Stream from any place in your home with all your devices.

HughesNet offers a mobile app to keep you connected to your plan. You can access account information and manage settings right from your smartphone. You can also access your account information and manage settings from your smartphone using the mobile app.

  • Usage Meter. Use the status meter to quickly check your data usage and keep track of how many days remain in your data cycle.
  • Rapid Login. To quickly access your account information and manage your plan, use your fingerprint.
  • Video Data Savings. You can opt-in or out of the data saving option to watch more videos using fewer data.

The Super Geeky Solution OFF GRID Internet

You could offer a friend if you’re geeky enough and have the right circumstances. This is not an easy solution and will require the help of a friend. Before trying this solution, you should ensure that you have not violated any terms of service agreements with your Internet provider.

You will extend the Internet connection at a friend or relative’s home. First, you will need to have your friend or relative install an antenna at their house that will point directly to you. Next, you’ll install an antenna in your house that points directly at their antenna.

An antenna will connect to your WiFi router via a cable. Your friend or relative will provide internet access to your location. You will need to be able to see between these two locations.

This video explains the concept:

Our off-grid internet solution

Stage

Depending on your Internet access needs and the availability of Internet in your area, which solution you choose depends greatly on your choices. Moreover, This stage will primarily use to upload our videos onto YouTube. Because we have a limited budget, we will start with our cell phones.

Tethering your phone to your laptop can slow down your data access. Every 10 minutes of footage takes about 1GB. If we attempted to tether our mobile phones. In fact, this would be a slow process and take up a lot of our data. However, there is a hack to do this.

You can transfer the video file directly from your computer to your phone via Bluetooth. We can then use the YouTube app to upload the video directly to YouTube from our phones.

Uploading videos to YouTube will allow us to get the fastest possible speeds and save most data usage. In addition, after the video has upload to YouTube. We can optimize metadata on our laptop for optimal data usage.

Stage 2

After moving into our new home, the fall will be here, and the children will have to go back to school. Our children are homeschooled, and some classes are done online. This requires lots of data. 

We will be looking into fixed wireless broadband during Stage 2. But, I don’t believe this option will offer on our property. Instead, we will probably use Unlimitedville because we have good cell phone reception on our property.

Stage 3

We will resort to satellite Internet through HughesNet if Stage 1 or Stage 2 internet solutions fail to work as expected.

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