Living off the grid is a choice of living your life without using public resources.
However, this does not mean that you get entirely disconnected from the civilized world. So, how to stay connected when living off the grid?
In this fast-changing world, staying connected and updated is highly important. You need to connect to the outside world to survive, maybe work from home, online business, children’s studies, etc.
So, you may be considering living off the grid, but you have no clue how you would remain connected to the rest of the world. In this article, let us find out why we should stay connected when living off-grid?
- Benefits Of Staying Connect When Living Off-grid
- 12 Ways To Stay Connected When Living Off-grid
- Some Thoughts
Benefits Of Staying Connect When Living Off-grid
It is true that some individuals prefer to totally unplug from the rest of the world while choosing the off-grid lifestyle.
They have their own choices, but that does not mean that staying connected is wrong or that you are not an off-gridder if you choose to use the internet.
While you may love your off-grid lifestyle but there are things for which you will depend on the internet. Some of the examples include:
- Even if you live off the grid, you still love your extended family and friends. So, you would always want to know about their well-being.
- It may be crucial for your livelihood. For example, you may be either working from home or running an online business for which staying connected to and the internet is a must.
- Off-grid internet is essential for your children for homeschooling and to get access to additional resources.
- Like in our case, we have been living off the grid for a while now. Internet access helps us share our experiences and stay connected to our readers.
12 Ways To Stay Connected When Living Off-grid
You can have a stable internet connection even if you live in the middle of the woods.
Of course, the stability and bandwidth of your internet connection may depend on many variables, but still, you should be able to stay connected to your loved ones.
So, whether you want the internet to stay connected to family and friends or for your livelihood, take a look at these 12 ways to stay connected while living off the grid.
- Cell phone connections
- Wireless internet access: private hotspot
- Satellite internet
- Internet via ham radio
- Joining unlimited Ville
- The super geeky solution
- Using long-range Wi-Fi antenna
- Google internet balloons
- Using microwave internet towers
- Using WiMAX
- Using LTE data plans
- Internet USB sticks
Cell Phone Connections
In today’s world, cell phones are considered the most effective way to say connected irrespective of where you live and what lifestyle you have chosen.
Nowadays, cell phone towers and network is available even the remotest locations.
You need to find out which cell phone network is available in your area and connect to their network. All cell providers give you the facility of internet access.
Cellular networks are the cheapest and most reliable way to stay connected. You just need to select the most suitable plan as per your needs and budget.
The only concern is the availability of a stable network in your locality, for which you may have to install a signal booster.
Wireless Internet Access: Private Hotspot
If a cellular network is available in your off-grid locality, a private hotspot is the best option for those who need a high-speed internet for their work or studies.
The network is the same as the cellular network, but the data plan may be different. All that you need is a hotspot device where you can connect multiple devices at the same time.
Similar to cell phone connections, the primary concern here is to get a stable and reliable internet connection in the area you live. Also, you need to bear some additional costs for setting up a private hotspot.
Thanks to satellite internet technology, even the people living in the most isolated place may remain connected to the rest of the world.
It may not be the fastest internet connection you’ve ever had, but if you have no other options, this might be the best solution for you.
There are not many satellite internet providers available as of now. So, you need to search for the one who offers services in your area.
The major demerit of satellite internet connection is that it is pretty slow with a very low data cap and extremely expensive.
Internet via Ham Radio
Yes, the internet via Ham radio might come as a surprise for some of you, but it can be an excellent solution when all other means of communication fails.
You need to set up a repeater network in order to use a ham radio for connecting to the internet.
The network is not strong enough to stream movies or download files. But it does allow you to transmit critical data like documents and emails.
The issue with HAM radio is that anything you do on the internet is directly accessible to everyone in the area who has a HAM radio. So, beware and avoid sharing any personal and financial data.
Unlimitedville is a membership club that provides a unique approach for staying connected with the internet. They offer their members unlimited, uncapped wireless data.
After joining Unlimitedville, you become part of their connected community. The unlimited data is provided through their hotspots that can be used with any of the major cellular carriers.
With an Unlimitedville connection, you can get unlimited Wi-Fi for any of the devices in your off-grid home, be it phone, TV, computer, or anything else.
The Super Geeky Solution
There can be a super geeky solution to have a reliable internet connection. Here you are just extending the already existing internet connection at your friend’s or neighbor’s house.
However, before using this method, double-check that you are not violating your Internet provider’s terms of service. Check out the video that explains this simple technique step by step.
Using Long Range Wi-Fi Antenna
You must be aware of normal wireless antennas, but in the past couple of years, long-range Wi-Fi antenna technology has grown up very fast.
This is considered quite good as the antenna can provide strong internet for several miles.
This can be a good investment in the long run if you live in a small community as the high set-up cost can be shared by community members, and every family can use this service.
Google Internet Balloons
Google internet balloons was a very ambitious project launched by Google. It had very powerful antennas connected to balloons which would rise up in the atmosphere to provide stable internet connections even in remote locations.
Sadly, this project was later scrapped by Google’s parent company, Alphabet, as it failed to get costs low enough to make it sustainable for long-term business.
So as of now, we can just hope for the launch of some new technology to get cheap and reliable internet connectivity.
Using Microwave Internet Towers
Microwave towers are a kind of line-of-sight wireless communication technology. They utilize radio waves at high frequencies to offer high-speed wireless internet connectivity.
It is quite similar to fixed wireless broadband, except that your receiving antenna must be in a direct line of sight. Unfortunately, this means that if you live in the woods or a valley, this option is not for you.
WiMAX is the term used for Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access, and it is a next-generation technology for wireless network communications.
You may consider it as one of the best options for getting internet access while living off the grid, provided it is available in your area.
It is quite similar to the microwave internet towers technology, with the main difference that WiMAX covers a broader range than the normal microwave towers.
Using LTE Data Plans
LTE refers to Long Term Evolution, and these are basically 4G internet networks. Most of the big and small carrier companies offer a 4G LTE network.
LTE data plans offer by any company have a data cap. So, you need to carry out thorough research to find out the best provider and plans to get uninterrupted access to the internet.
Cudy AC1200 Dual Band Unlocked 4G LTE Modem Router with SIM Card Slot
Internet USB Sticks
A couple of years ago, before smartphones became popular, USB sticks were the only option to access the internet.
They are still advertised by many service providers and can be considered as one of the options while staying off-grid.
USB sticks come with an inbuild sim card of the network provider, and when you insert the device to your USB port, you can get internet access on that particular device.
KuWFi 4G LTE USB WiFi Modem Mobile Internet Devices with SIM Card Slot High Speed Portable Travel Hotspot Mini Router
Can I Get Portable Wi-Fi?
Yes, you can get portable Wi-Fi even while living off the grid if you have a specific cell or internet provider in the area where you live.
How Can You Get The Internet When The Power Is Out?
You can get internet even when the power is out by having a backup power like batteries that is sufficient till the power is restored.
Also, if you are using the internet on your cell phone, ensure that your phone is sufficiently charged.
How Can I Get Internet In My Area With No Service?
Yes, there are some options available to get internet in areas with no service connectivity. For example, satellite internet services are one of the options for internet in remote areas.
Going off the grid does not necessarily mean that you need to cut off from the rest of the world. On the contrary, you can still remain connected by choosing the ways discussed in this post.
Whatever solution you choose will depend greatly on your needs and what’s available in your area.
However, you can choose to go off-grid online while staying connected. To learn more on off-grid online, check out our post on “How To Go Off The Grid Online: 16 Exclusive Ways.“
As always, thank you for choosing Emoffgrid.com as your reading source! I hope that the information shared in this post was helpful.
Please feel free to share your thoughts about staying connected while living off the grid.