How to Work Remotely When Your Internet Goes Out
More people work from home nowadays, thanks to faster internet speeds and cheaper laptops worldwide. However, a remote job still has its fair share of risks, such as suddenly losing your internet connection. What do you do in this kind of emergency?
You could inform your company about the outage, but the deadlines remain. Worse, you could harm your work schedule and reduce your income if the technical issue persists. Fortunately, there are various methods you can take to resolve these issues.
Here, we’ll discuss five emergency steps that will let you continue your remote jobs in case of a connection failure. Afterward, we will discuss other ways you can adapt to technical issues. Here are the methods we will go through:
- Keep a mobile Wi-Fi hotspot.
- Turn your phone into a hotspot.
- Have a backup generator.
- Go to another place with Wi-Fi.
- Save offline backups of your files.
1. Keep a mobile Wi-Fi hotspot.
You are probably viewing this article thanks to your home internet connection. However, even that service can sometimes fail. That is why some remote workers keep a mobile Wi-Fi hotspot.
It is a portable gadget that links wirelessly to a telecommunications provider. In other words, a pocket Wi-Fi hotspot works like your modem, except it does not need a fiber connection.
If your primary connection goes out, you can reconnect to the internet using that backup hotspot. As a result, you can continue working from home.
It would be best if your hotspot comes from a different telecom provider. Let’s say you have an AT&T subscription that went out. If its service is down, its pocket hotspots would probably not work.
If you have a Verizon pocket Wi-Fi, it can serve as your backup. Still, you should choose your portable Wi-Fi hotspot carefully. Check the following criteria when buying one:
- It has a stable and fast connection in your state.
- The pocket Wi-Fi fits your budget. You would likely need to pay for the device plus a prepaid service.
- The hotspot should not need to plug into an outlet. Otherwise, it would not help you during an internet and power outage.
You should also change the name of your hotspot. Some hackers use fake hotspots with names similar to the default names of backup Wi-Fi devices. Otherwise, you could get tricked into sharing your secure files and activities with others.
You must also place a strong password on your hotspot. Otherwise, random strangers could connect and reduce your internet speed.
2. Turn your phone into a hotspot.
Did you know you can share the internet connection of your smartphone? In other words, you can turn your mobile device into a backup hotspot. Turn your iPhone into a Personal Hotspot with the following steps:
- Head to Settings.
- Then, go to Cellular.
- Select Set up Personal Hotspot, and then follow the onscreen steps. If you have the iPhone 14 or an iPhone with two SIMs, select your preferred option for cellular data.
- Change the password by tapping Wi-Fi Password.
- Once your work-from-home schedule is over, turn the Personal Hotspot off. Tap the Allow Others to Join option. This action will prevent you from spending on mobile Wi-Fi you are not using.
These steps should turn your Apple phone into a Wi-Fi hotspot. Next, you can connect your Mac, PC, or another iPhone via Wi-Fi, USB, or Bluetooth. This method can help you continue working from home but has a few disadvantages:
- It will use your cellular data plan, which usually charges more than a home Wi-Fi connection. You can quickly rack up bills as you work more hours.
- Cellular hotspots are often too slow for work-from-home roles. For example, a virtual assistant would struggle to maintain good communication during video calls.
- You might have to relocate to an awkward spot to receive adequate signal quality. For example, you may need to transfer near your window for a stable connection.
3. Have a backup generator.
More people want to work their new job at home because it can offer freedom from the daily commute. However, you will be in charge of time management and utilities.
As mentioned earlier, internet and power outages often occur together. You will also need to power your devices to continue your remote schedule.
Fortunately, you can easily keep a backup generator to keep your gadgets running. When you hear “generator,” you might have thought of a noisy generator that uses oil for fuel. Those are expensive and occupy a lot of space, especially if you live in a small home or apartment.
Thankfully, you can recharge modern generators via electrical outlets. They are smaller and cost less than oil-powered ones. Some even charge via solar panels.
You must maintain them properly, or they may fail when you need them. For example, you may need to charge it monthly, so you should include that routine in your schedule.
4. Go to another place with Wi-Fi.
You may encounter a time when you cannot work at home. For example, an unexpected construction project could make too much noise.
Contrary to popular belief, online work does not always mean staying at your house. You can relocate anywhere with electricity and Wi-Fi, such as the nearby cafe.
A coffee shop usually maintains a chill vibe, and you probably drink lots of coffee during your schedule. You might as well work where you get your daily brew!
Aside from the conducive atmosphere, cafes typically offer Wi-Fi. Choose the ones that charge for the service because you are less likely to encounter hackers.
You should also ensure that you are connecting to the correct network. Prevent your devices from connecting to other public networks. Some people install fake hotspots to collect information from unsuspecting users.
You could invest in quality noise-canceling headphones if you want to keep background noise out. A good pair can help you continue working in peace.
5. Save offline backups of your files.
Some remote roles let you save work files on your computer. Do that for every new task that comes your way so you can work on them without the internet. Let’s say that you are an online writer.
You could save your client’s requirements on a local file, then complete them in Microsoft Word. Later, you can submit your project once the connectivity returns. Note that this method may only apply to similar roles.
For example, a WFH call center agent communicates with clients in real-time. You will have to speak with customers via voice or video call if you are on a voice account. Meanwhile, you will also need an internet connection for a non-voice account.
Otherwise, you cannot send emails and reply to online chats. The same is true for virtual assistants. Still, this method is a handy tip for remote employees.
Other offline tips for remote workers
The proper preparation can help you continue working from home without the internet. Follow these methods, so you are ready for such a scenario:
- Check your internet connection for potential issues. For example, see if the wires still have a rubber coating. If the cords have wear and tear, you may want to replace them with a new one so it does not suddenly interrupt your connection.
- Ask your telecom provider if you can upgrade your subscription. You might be able to receive better service for a price similar to your current plan.
- Be aware of events that may affect your internet service. For example, check if an upcoming storm could interrupt connectivity. Inform your clients that it may suddenly prevent you from working. Alternatively, you can finish your work before that storm arrives.
- You may want to subscribe to a virtual private network (VPN), especially if you work outside your house. It can mask your online activity from strangers who could be snooping into public Wi-Fi networks. If you do not, those folks could interfere with your job.
Thanks to the internet, you can earn an income from home. A sudden interruption can interfere with your work, so you should prepare for such an emergency.
You can do that by keeping a mobile Wi-Fi hotspot and a generator at home. Alternatively, you can turn your smartphone into a hotspot when you cannot use your indoor connection.
You could also try having multiple remote roles that let you work offline, such as content writer. The internet offers numerous options for the best WFH jobs.
Frequently asked questions
How can I work without an internet connection?
You could use a portable Wi-Fi hotspot as a backup internet connection. Also, you could power your modem with a mini generator or turn your phone into a hotspot.
Do you need Wi-Fi for remote work?
Some remote roles let you work without an internet connection, at least temporarily. For example, an online writer can create blogs offline and submit their work once their connection returns.
Can you work from home using a hotspot?
You can use a portable Wi-Fi hotspot to continue working remotely. Note that such a device typically has a slower and pricier connection.