what about technology off the grid

5 Sep
2012

Back to those questions “How do you get internet and do you have satelite?”

Most people just can’t believe I live without Internet access, television and a phone. The reality is I have access to all three while living i show you how to Unlock iPhone 6 off the grid.

All of them rely on the public or community based programs.

internet access

I get WiFi at the most obvious and simple spot but perhaps the most underused – the library.

Since I got a generator (and share turns with Neil the other RV on site) I have power daily so I also pay a monthly fee to share web access with his portable WiFi. Next year, I’ll get my own, which I’ve used in the past.

Budget was important this year and I needed to use resources to get the right base of tools. I knew this would take this season and some of next.

I’m almost there.

I can always find an web cafe and buy a coffee for $1-2. If I had to use the cafe every day it would still be cheaper than what most people pay for regular monthly web access. There are also ways to find out where the local web access is situated and access it from your car in the parking lot. This option is good for a quick email or to look something up.

making phone calls

I use the Internet access for my phone too. I use Skype.

Most people think it’s just for phoning from one computer to another. Far from the truth.

You can pay a very modest fee to get almost unlimited phone calls to any North American land line or mobile phone. Only $3.95 a month or $9.95 to over 50 countries (mostly landlines). This is the plan I have since I try to call my daughter in England, friends in Australia and my Chinese girlfriend.

I also have a 1-800 number for anybody in North America to call. I use Callture and it costs me $9.95 a month. I could have got a regular number in say the 416 area code for Toronto for only $4.95 a month but wanted to offer everyone an option to call.

I forward my number to Skype, which either rings or goes to a voice message. The voice message goes to my email which I pick up on a regular basis. If it fails, it will go to a voice message I’ve recorded at Callture, which also goes to my voicemail.

Almost foolproof and relatively painless. It’s effective because I’m good at responding to emails and will make calls or keep in touch with the important people in my life on a regular basis. Something I recommend for everyone.

entertainment

As for television, I gave up on cable and all the ads years ago and haven’t owned one for quite a while.

It is likely, I will never buy another one. I do watch some shows ad free on the internet or by downloading. Sometimes I will watch a hockey game or movie at a bar or friends house. I download my favourite shows, season at a time and watch it all at once. Usually a quality BBC or HBO show instead of the regular commercial garbage. I try not to let Television and technology control me.

Reading is a much nicer past time.

I have no intention of getting a cell phone. I finally got rid of the one, I hardly ever used last year. I find people’s disconnection from the world awful. They are tuned in to the phone texting and facebooking. Usually, these people are a hazard and very anti-social and rude too.

I’m also not that fond of the idea of radio waves zipping through my head, not to mention listening to one sided conversations everywhere, even on the bus.

The world used to be much quieter. Off grid living has made it quiet again. I’m thankful for the serenity and still have access to communicate, connect and entertain. I just do it in moderation and am not exposed to the wide scale madness of it all.

Ahhhhhhhh.

options for technology

There are so many options for internet off the grid. Mobile access with cell phone tethering. Satellite. Broadband Wifi.

The coverage is widespread and growing. Towers are everywhere.

The price range is varied but verges on armed robbery by the telecommunication companies that offer it. Once they see an opportunity to exploit, they discontinue a service and cut down on access unless you pay for it.

I don’t promote or condone these prices and options, so until I find “affordable solutions”, I won’t talk about them. I don’t need a cell phone for instant gratification. I make appointments and am reliable at keeping in touch with people. The companies have glued us to our little shiny objects and charge through our teeth.

Oligopolies don’t work.

Corporate structure and necessary infrastructure need to be competitive and inexpensive. In places like China you can get a cell phone for dollars a month with unlimited access. It’s time our access to internet and phone use was an affordable global package at say $10 a month.

In the meantime, I have my $20 monthly solution with Skype and Callture. I’ll stick to it as best I can…barring next years impending WiFi access fee, maybe another $50.

I want to be mobile and free from plans.

I want to be location independent for travel in the colder months, hopefully out of the country to visit my daughter and friends.

I want to have flexibility and freedom.

Having technology and the huge bills that goes with it, makes it a bit harder. Maintaining a simple and flexible inexpensive solution makes it easier.

Next time I’ll show you how I’ve kept my technology simple and where I want to tweak it to get an even more enjoyable experience with less devices.

 

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