Earlier today I dropped by a business center of my country’s larger telcos to follow up my application for an unlimited wireless data plan. Just last week, I picked up a prepaid HSDPA kit for about $50, which came with a USB dongle, data SIM card and about 20 hours worth of preloaded credits.
I could never get enough, and so I was gunning for the unlimited account. But for some reason the approving officer kept on asking for financial documents. As if the fortune I earn wasn’t enough to pay the measly thirty bucks a month they charge for an unlimited plan!
My point is that in this line of work we are in, we need redundancies. These days, having backup connectivity is not only for hosting companies. Those of us in internet-related careers and businesses need to be constantly connected, or at least able to connect when the need arises.
I recall the first week the family moved into our new apartment about two years ago, we had a big storm and the power went out for five days. DSL was also down, as the telephone company’s transmission boxes ran out of charge. Back then, I didn’t have a phone I could tether to the computer as a modem. My laptop only lasted two hours on one charge. And so work came to a halt for those few days.
I sure wouldn’t want that to happen again.
Nowadays, aside from the wired DSL connection at my home office, my 3.5G-enabled mobile phone doubles as my modem when I’m away or when DSL is down. And it has WiFi, too, so it also doubles as my email device at places where the laptop or netbook can’t reach (meaning I could email and blog from the bathroom).
The 3G/HSDPA dongle was not an absolute necessity, since I could connect thru my mobile phone anyway. But it’s more convenient, being plug and play (no more fiddling with keys to turn on bluetooth). And with the computer as power source, I don’t have to worry about cellphone batteries running out.
I have more computers than the average person would usually need, and cumulatively I could perhaps run on battery juice for approximately fifteen hours, should the need arise.
I would be interested in knowing what other folks out there have for connectivity and if you are as OC about backup options as I am. And how much do you spend per month on internet access? Does it pay off, in terms of productivity and being able to monetize your efforts? Or does this lifestyle force us to spend more than what is necessary?
My HSDPA dongle’s provider claims they have the widest coverage in my country. So that assures me I can blog and email even when I’m stuck in some far-flung town or in case I get marooned off some deserted island. Assuming I get a decent signal, do you think I would get enough battery power to email for help?