Nick Rosen | |
Off the Grid and On the Cloud

Give yourself net access everywhere for Christmas – these little gizmos fit in your handbag and provide four or five wireless internet access points out in the middle of the boonies

While most like having a data plan on their iPhone and iPad so they don’t have to have one tethered to the other to get a 3G connection, the bills add up quickly.

In North America Novatel or Sierra Wireless’s little hot spots (buy it here for UK and Europe) can provide a connection that covers all with a single monthly payment instead of two or three. It could be useful for business trips, a ski cabin or summer cottage where you want wireless connectivity but don’t use it enough to justify wired-in Internet service, and also for year round off-grid access.

Data costs $53 a month for 10 gigabytes with Rogers’ LTE rocket mobile hotspot. If you’re downloading movies, that could be used up fairly quickly. But if you’re live-streaming music, movies or TV, keeping up with social media, or posting photos and checking email and not using it full-time, 10 GB could be enough for your needs.

Deals are changing all the time, but its often better to buy the box at a discount and then shop around for the best deal rather than being locked into a contract with AT&T, Sprint or Verizon. This is especially true if you want to experiment with what signal is best in the off-grid location of your choice.

Best Buy on Amazon for unlocked, under $100 at the time of writing – Novatel Wireless MiFi 2372 Unlocked 3G Mobile Wi-Fi Hotspot GSM For North America (Buy it here for UK and Europe)

For a locked-in Sprint service try the Sprint Sierra Wireless Overdrive 3G 4G Mobile Hotspot

(www.sierrawireless.com).

 

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