One benefit of the work I do from home is that it’s primarily internet-based. That means I can work from anywhere on the planet, as long as I can get a decent internet connection for my laptop. I used to pay a monthly fee to my cell phone provider so that I could use my phone as a modem for my computer. Since I discovered these not-so-obvious ways to stay connected to the internet, I’ve cancelled that service.
Wi-Fi Finder app. This free smartphone app for Android or iPhone shows you all public wifi connections near you. I particularly love this when I am out of town and have no clue where the nearest coffee shop, library, yoga studio, oil change shop or restaurant with wifi is located.
#FreeWifi. Follow this Twitter hashtag for info on free wifi. If you are desperate for info on a wifi location, send out a tweet with this hashtag and see if someone helps you out.
CableWifi.com. Five of the country’s biggest cable providers, Bright House Networks, Optimum, XFINITY, Cox Communications and Time Warner Cable, will allow each other’s high-speed Internet customers access to over 50,000 hotspots nationwide. You can find nearby hotspots via their website (which will require you to look them up in advance if you don’t have internet access) or search for CableWifi apps for your smartphone or tablet.
pdaNet. This $16 app for Android, iPhone or Blackberry allows you to use your cell phone as a modem for other devices like laptops and tablets (ok, so it isn’t free, but it is a nominal one-time fee). It runs over your phone’s data connection and can save you the $5-$10 per month you might be paying your cell company for a similar service. Be sure you have a big enough data plan to support your internet usage. Note: iPhone users will have to jailbreak their phone before using this app.
Hopefully, you can put these ideas to good use as you travel this summer – whether on business trips, road trips to soccer tournaments or on personal vacation (shhh…I won’t tell anyone that you’re up before the kids and online checking email while on vacation).
What else do you do to maintain an internet connection when you are out of the house?