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Off-Grid Internet: How to Get Access

Keen to live off grid, but worried about missing out on the conveniences of modern life? Read on to see how living off grid doesn’t have to mean no internet.

off grid internet

What do you use the most every day of your life? Is it your phone, your tablet, your laptop? Or do primarily use your bookshelf and read a lot? The majority of us use the internet more than anything else every day. It is now integral to the success of many people’s lives. We work on the internet, we meet people off the internet, we socialize through the internet, and we can buy anything and everything through the internet. It is an unlimited resource that you can now do anything from and it is as integral to human society as water.

There has been a huge shift in our society during the past decade with many people wanting to live “off the grid.” Today we are going to be exploring what exactly that means, and how if you live off the grid you can still access the internet. It may seem impossible at first, but we assure you it can be done if you stick to our guide.


Living Off the Grid

Before we dive into off-the-grid internet, let’s talk about the term “living off the grid.” We are sure you have heard it before, but for those of you who haven’t, here is a brief introduction. Almost every household across the United States is linked to a “power grid.” This grid provides you power and is also connected to water sources so you can drink from your tap and also use your toilet without even thinking about it.

renewable-energy-wind-and-solar

However, every single month, and we all know this part, you are treated to a bill in the mail for all of the power that you have used. For some people who use a lot of power every month, this can be like a second rent or mortgage and the rates can be ridiculous. Utility companies can also have a negative effect on the environment, which is why many people have opted to reduce their environmental footprint and live off the grid; they want to power their homes with sustainable and renewable energy. This can be in the form of a wind turbine, with wind powering your home, or the most popular way is through solar panels and the power of the sun. Renewable energy is fantastic for the environment and does not promote pollution of any kind.

People living off the grid usually opt to also live off the land as well. They plant and they hunt in order to survive, although many opt to be vegetarians. It is a much healthier lifestyle and it is also what this world needs right now.

However, one of the main reasons people simply cannot hop off the grid so fast is that their life is basically tied to electricity. For one, electricity is what puts food on the table for them, as they work directly with the internet. So how can they stay connected while being off the grid? How can you check your Facebook account even if you do not have power?


Off-the-Grid Internet Options

There are many options to access the internet off the grid, even without power. Here are 3 of  the best ways to access the internet while living off grid.

Cellphone Tethering

The first way is to have a simple cellphone connection. There are so many rural locations across the country that have cell towers that you can use. If you have a cellphone and a data plan with it, you can easily stay connected and use the internet.

cell phone tethering

However, the major downside is that sometimes these are slow connections and you will not be able to browse that fast. As well, your phone will have to be charged so you will need a source to power it.

The key here is getting an unlimited data plan that won’t restrict your internet usage. A cell phone service provider that has really good coverage will make a huge difference too. The stronger your signal, the better your internet connection will be.

Satellite Internet

This is the type of connection that usually is used in off-the-grid situations. The main reason is that by using satellite internet, you will have a fast connectivity rate. You can receive emails fast, download files, and view websites really fast. It has all that a broadband internet connection has.

satellite internet

This is the only type of internet that can be used in remote areas, where many people are living off the grid. It can be used anywhere that a satellite dish can be placed, which is why it is so useful for people living in off the grid in rural areas. It can be set up anywhere. In order to set yours up, reach out to your local satellite provider and see what packages they offer. It may have a cost to it, but there is no other solution that is better!

Ham Radio

If you really want to throw it back to the good old days, you can look into using the internet through ham radio. These are usually used during emergency situations, but they were used even before the internet through something called packet radio. This allows you to send texts, send files, and even control systems through a ham radio. Packet radio technology can link to stations in remote places, providing you with a sort of “internet.”

ham radio internet

By Emil Neuerer, DJ4PI – Emil Neuerer, DJ4PI, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=211953

There are radio messaging systems across the country, such as Winlink and DStar that you can use to send emails and communications. You can even access the internet through them. For more information on using ham radios, we recommend going to YouTube and watching tutorials on them.


Conclusion

As you can see, there are plenty of off-the-grid internet options available to you, even if you live somewhere that is incredibly rural. It seems that hardly anybody these days can live without the internet, and even if you are off the grid, you still need a way to keep in contact with people and not miss out on work opportunities. There are plenty of options available to you, and it might take a bit of trial and error to find out which one is going to work the best. Most opt for the satellite internet, as it is the fastest.

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