5 Off-Grid Internet Options with Pros and Cons

Living off-grid doesn’t mean you have to be unplugged and disconnected from the world. Whether we live in a city or in the middle of nowhere, the internet has become an important part of much of our lives in the 21st century. Many of us use the internet for research, shopping, and connecting with others.  Some of us also use the internet to work from home or run a business. If we’ve chosen to live off-grid and continue to access the internet, having a variety of off-grid internet options is important.

5 Off-Grid Internet Options with Pros and Cons

Off-grid Internet Options

Using Your Cell Phone

off-grid internet smartphone

If you’ve got a smartphone, chances are you’ve used it to access the internet especially if you live or work near a cell tower.  Below are some of its pros and cons as an off-grid internet option.

Pros

  • Using your cell phone for internet is easy and something you’ve most likely done countless times.
  • It’s mobile.
  • As an internet option, it’s relatively inexpensive.

Cons

  • The screen is small.
  • If you work from home or run an internet business, you may not have access to the PC or mac web tools you’d need to do your work.
  • Downloading large files are difficult and sometimes impossible depending on what kind of file it is.

Using Your Cell Phone as a Hotspot

cellphone hotspot

If you’ve got a smartphone with internet access, it’s possible for your computer to access its 4G internet. Some networks don’t like it when people turn their cell phones into a hotspot, so check with your provider.  There may be additional fees if you use this option.

Pros

  • Fast connection.
  • Easy setup

Cons

  • May cost extra depending on your cellphone service.

Here are some links if you’d like to learn more about turning your smartphone into an internet hotspot.

How to make an iPhone hotspot

How to use a Google Android phone as a Wi-Fi hotspot

Related:  27 Ways to Make a Living Off the Grid

Using a Dial-up Modem

off-grid internet options dialup modem

Yep, I’m sure we all remember the old school dial-up modem.  It’s what we used to access the internet back in the 1990s when the internet was young.  Believe it or not, the ol’ dial up modem still exists and can be a viable option if you have a telephone landline.

Pros

  • It’s relatively inexpensive.
  • Dial-up internet service is highly accessible; even in very remote areas.

Cons

  • You can’t use your landline phone at the same time as using the dial-up modem.
  • It’s slow; you might have trouble watching movies.

There are still several companies offering dial-up internet services.  So if you choose this option, be sure to research the companies and check their reviews.

Using a Satellite Internet Service

satellite internet

Like dial-up, a satellite internet service can be accessible to even the most remote locations.  Some of the pros and cons are as follows.

Pros

  • Satellite internet has a faster connection than dial-up.
  • It’s accessible to extreme remote locations.

Cons

  • There might be high hardware costs.  Be sure to research the various companies offering this service.
  • Bad weather might have a negative impact on the signal.

With anything else, be sure to research any company you choose to do business with.  If you decide to go the satellite internet route, you could start your search on Google and read a variety of articles that give professional and user reviews.  You can start by using this link: satellite internet providers

Using Ham Radio to Connect to the Internet

hamradio station

Ham radio (AKA amateur radio) may be much older than the internet but you can still use it for your internet browsing needs.  Ham radio is a reliable source of communication during a disaster so even if you don’t use it for the internet, it’s good to have around for emergency situations.

Pros

  • As mentioned above, it’s the most reliable internet option during emergency situations.

Cons

  • It’s not practical for streaming or downloading large file.
  • The security isn’t certain, so it’s not recommended for personal data.

For a demonstration on how to surf the web, watch the video below

Hope our list of off-grid internet options was helpful. There’s always new technology right around the corner, so we’ll keep a look out for anything new to add to this list.  If you find anything, be sure to let us know in the comment section below!

Want to read more?  Check out other related content from our site:

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Off-grid Living Inspiration: Jill Redwood

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1 Comment

  1. I have to admit, I assumed living off the grid would mean no internet access. I’ve gotten so used to wireless internet that I completely forgot that there are other options. Eventually, I would like to open a hostel which is off the grid, so I would need to find an internet option that is fit for many people. I think maybe the satellite option would be best.

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