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.