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Friday, January 25, 2013

4 Ways to Access the Internet in the Middle of No Where

One thing we've been rather frustrated with since we moved into our house 8 1/2 years ago is the lack of good Internet access.  We loved the house. MrLivingOurWay loved that we were living away from people.  In short, everything is nice except that we telecommute and we don't have fast and reliable Internet access.

The first couple of years we lived here, we went back to dial up access. We didn't really have the money to spend on anything faster anyway.  After a couple of years we realized we couldn't make ends meet and someone had to get a part time job. I began looking for a job I could do from home so I didn't have to be away from my then 9 month old and 3 year old. Shortly after, I found a perfect telecommuting job.  At the time, dial up was considered acceptable.

Then the company I was working for changed hands.  There was a layoff sort of thing that happened and when I was hired back, it was obvious dial up Internet was not going to work.

1. Dial Up Access- If you don't need the Internet much and have a land line, this could still be an option for you.  If you surfed on this post, I'm guessing you have higher needs.

2. Satellite Internet- We used this for a while.  The initial expense at the time was high. We had to commit to a contract. There was a delay for any live voice and video communications. I would be sitting in a meeting and there would be delays and all at once everything would come through quickly and then more delays.  I was okay with this until I reached my bandwidth limit too quickly and they throttled my speed.  There is currently a more advanced form of Satellite Internet that I admit, I have not yet tried.

3. Use a wireless hotspot- There are lots of public places which offer free wireless hotspots these days if you are within driving distance of a small city.  Even many fast food restaurants have free wifi these days.  We have used this if our Internet is not reliable. It really only happens for a day about every 8 months.

3. Cellular Internet Service-  This is what we currently have.  There are lots of pros to this type of service. 
  • It's faster than the dial up and satellite that we personally used in the past.
  • While not idea, some voice communication will work. VOIP is still not going to be your main communication option.
  • We were actually able to stream a movie the other night with it.
  • We aren't hitting our bandwidth cap with cellular as quickly as we we did with satellite.
  • We can take it with us if we go on a trip.
  • If you use your air card on your computer, you can sometimes send and receive text messages with it.
  • If you use your phone to connect, a lot of times you can't stay on the Internet while you talk.
  • Using laptops and our air card, we've had Internet even when the electricity goes out.
 We have been using cellular Internet for about 5 years now.  We started out connecting our cell phones to a computer and progressed to sharing an air card with a router. While I would prefer DSL or Cable, it's been made clear there are no plans to offer either at our address. There are cons to using cellular Internet.
  • It's not all that reliable.  At times our signal goes in and out.
  • If a lot of people on our area are on their cell phones, our connection speed occasionally slows
  • There are generally low caps on bandwidth per month.  The typical cap is 5 GB but we've been fortunate enough to find a provider that allows a 50 GB cap with no contract.  We come no where close to 5 GB. 
  • We can't stream a lot of movies for fear of going over our cap.
  • VOIP is not going to be a good option for voice communication.
Overall, we are pleased with our cellular Internet.  If the standard high speed Internet isn't available for you, what is your choice?

1 comment:

  1. We went without internet service at home for the first three years we lived here because the cost was so prohibitive. Then we found out about wireless internet service using cellular technology. We are THRILLED with it. Granted, there are times when it is slow, but generally it is faster than the DSL used by my employer in town. We currently use different carriers for our cell phones, but we are so happy with our wireless internet provider that we are considering changing to them when it is time for changes in contracts.