What do you do when your internet goes down in an emergency? How do you get back online?

So much of our daily lives depend on reliable internet access that when the internet goes down, we’re struck with a potential disaster. No more Facebook, no more Reddit — oh, and no more work. Even if your paycheck doesn’t depend on the internet, it’s still a huge inconvenience for most of us when we’re suddenly kicked offline.

Thankfully, in the event the internet goes down, you can still get your fix with a few tricks. Let’s check out 3 simple tips to get you back online when your internet goes down in an emergency.


Tip #1. Tethering and Mobile Hotspots

Two popular ways to get back online are tethering to your mobile phone or using a mobile hotspot. Tethering is a feature available on both Android and iPhone that allows your phone to act as a wireless connection to the internet. You can connect to the internet through your smartphone, then “tether” your computer or other mobile device to that connection.

Unfortunately, tethering can be quite expensive. Phone carriers tend to gouge customers with exorbitant data fees and so unless you use the feature often, tethering might not be worth the fees.

Galaxy S3 Tether

Tether your smartphone to your computer for quick internet access

Luckily, there are some quality pay-as-you-go mobile hotspots out there that can get you back online in no time. Here’s what Lifehacker recommends:

I highly recommend a pay-as-you-go mobile hotspot like the Karma, or (if you don’t need a ton of data) a free hotspot like Freedompop. I have a Karma hotspot for emergencies, and it’s fantastic: I just flip it on, connect to its Wi-Fi, and continue working without a hiccup. Since it’s pay-as-you-go, I only ever pay for what I use in these “emergency” situations.

In the event your internet goes down, these pay-as-you-go tethering options should help you get back online.


Tip #2. Neighborhood WiFi

Be neighborly! Talk with your neighbors. If you trust each other, see if they’ll let you use their WiFi login and password in an emergency. Ideally, you’ll be in range of their WiFi from your couch or desk. That means when your internet goes down, you can immediately swap over to their wireless network (assuming their internet hasn’t gone down with yours).

If your neighbors’ signal is too weak, you can always pack up your work station and head down the street. Who said the internet doesn’t promote neighborhood community?


Tip #3. Find a Business with Good, Free WiFi

Free WiFi Spot

Look for signs like this for free internet access

There are plenty of businesses out there that offer complimentary WiFi. McDonald’s and Starbucks immediately come to mind and both offer rather pleasant working environments.

The only problem is both tend to be packed with other WiFi-using patrons. That could slow down your web browsing experience.

The key is finding a good local spot with good WiFi. It’s worth it and there are a few ways to do that, as Lifehacker explains:

Use a tool like 4sqwifi to get passwords for local hotspots on a map, or create your own. You’re better off driving for an extra five minutes if the internet is fast and reliable.

When local shops don’t work for you, remember that public libraries offer free internet with a great work environment to boot. Just remember to follow the rules of Free WiFi Safety and protect your privacy.


What Do You Think?

What do you do when your internet goes down? Any tricks you want to share with fellow Scambook users? Let us know in the comments section.


See Also

New York City Subways Add Free WiFi & Cell Phone Service
How to Use Gmail Like a Pro: 20 of the Best Keyboard Shortcuts to Boost Productivity
How Flaws in Amazon and Apple Security Could Destroy Your Digital Life

About The Author

Sean O'Connor is a writer and graduate from Loyola Marymount University. He is a self-described hoops fanatic who resides in Pasadena.

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