Handle Internet Outages Like A Pro With These Three Backup Plans

Handle Internet Outages Like A Pro With These Three Backup Plans
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When your internet goes out, it can be anything from a mild inconvenience to a productivity-destroying nightmare. Before the next outage happens, have these backup plans in place so you don’t have to scramble at the last minute.

Photo by Florian

As someone who works from home, I’ve had my fair share of internet outage disasters, and it’s never fun. After some stress-filled days, I’ve set up a few different backup plans so I’m never caught in a bind again. Here’s what I do.

Tether Your Phone Or Use A Hotspot

When the internet suddenly disappears, you’d ideally like to continue your work without getting up and moving. For the quickest recovery, I recommend tethering your phone or getting a mobile hotspot.

Tethering is straightforward with modern smartphones, and in Australia we’re fortunate that we don’t generally get slugged with extra fees for using the option. Just be cautious if you’re on a plan with minimal data, or if you’re near your monthly data total.

A prepaid mobile hotspot is another solid alternative, and means you won’t have to worry about data usage to the same extent. That’s arguably overkill if you only work at home occasionally, but it’s a sensible insurance policy if you’re based at home.

Set Up A Contingency Plan

If a mobile hotspot just won’t cut it, your next option is using a neighbour, relative or nearby friend. If they trust you, they’ll usually let you have their Wi-Fi password — in fact, you may already have it — and you can use their Wi-Fi when yours goes out (provided theirs didn’t go out too). If you’re friends with your neighbours and their Wi-Fi reaches your house, that’s obviously ideal, but walking or driving to a nearby friend’s place is pretty easy too. Make sure you have their password before the internet goes out next time, so you don’t have to worry about it at zero hour.

Identify Local Businesses With Good Wi-Fi

Your final option is to use a public Wi-Fi hotspot. If you have a friendly local cafe, that’s a good alternative. If you don’t need to take phone calls, then your local library can be a good bet. For sheer ubiquity, McDonald’s remains a useful option. Be sure to stay safe on those public Wi-Fi networks, and have a secondary browser ready and optimised for slow connections.

Internet and power outages are never fun, but if you prepare for the inevitable beforehand, you’ll save yourself a lot of grief when disaster strikes. With these three backup plans in place, you’ll be able to smoothly transition to a new network and continue working without hassle.


  • Agree 100% here. Speaking from recent experience, the BIGGEST ironic headache with your internet going down these days is that virtually ALL the points-of-contact to get anything resolved these days are online. So you absolutely must have an interwebs backup ready to go. Even if it’s as simple as using the work computer the next day.

    For me I have a Telstra 4G Portable WiFi device. Rarely have to use it at home, and it’s primary use is when I travel couple times a month.

    This replaced the previous Portable WiFi that I had been using last couple years with various MVNO’s but last 6 moths the quality of internet service on those got SO BAD it was unusable, and worse totally unreliable. Even for $15-19pm. I’d rather pay $50pm and know that it WILL work when I need it urgently.

  • I just use my mobile phone as a hot spot. I’ve got a wireless router set up to bridge the wireless hotspot on my phone to my wired network at home, and then re-distribute it over the normal wi-fi network, so I can get an internet connection up and running again without having to change configurations on all the devices in the house.

    I find that anything more than a day of outage (which is pretty much any outage) gets me nervous about data usage on my phone plan. Luckily, with Telstra at least, you can just add on data packs for a single month, so when your internet goes down for a week or 2 you can add on a couple of gigs of data to your phone plan and keep everything up and running (except crazy data usage like video download/streaming).

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