What are Internet Options for Off Grid Tiny House - Tiny Living

What are Internet Options for Off Grid Tiny House

For those who living in urban areas, there are various ways to access the Internet. But, for living-off-the-grid people, there’re lots of challenges. If you belong to this group, and you’re lucky enough to live near a local wireless hotspot or in the range of cable internet, the problem is solved easily. But it you’re not, then read this article where I’m going to share with you some tiny house internet options for off-the-grid living as well as their pros and cons.

Internet Options for Off Grid Tiny House

Satellite Internet

Satellite internet has several outstanding characteristics that make it become one of the best choices for tiny house internet options. Firstly, it’s able to access the most remote areas where physical cables or mobile internet cannot reach. In desolate locations, such as mountains or forests, satellite internet might be the only choice.

Install the satellite dish - tiny house internet options

A satellite dish (Via: www.microabode.com)

In the USA, HughesNet, Exede and DishNET are three best satellite internet providers. Among them, Exede supplies the fastest speed (both download and upload rate), ranging from 12 to 25 Mbps depending on which data plan you choose. Of course, it also costs you the most ($50-$150/month).

HughesNet and DishNET are quite similar in terms of speed and price. HughesNet is a little bit faster (5-15Mbps) and more expensive ($30-$90/month); they also offer the larger maximal amount of anytime data (5-50Gb) and bonus data (5-50Gb). For a clear review and comparison, take a look at this article.

Personally, I’ve used the 20Gb plan from HughesNet for 2 years, and it’s just enough for me. The speed so far is enough for basic work and entertainment, including music and TV (Hulu, DVR, and Netflix are my favorite channels).

To get access to the Internet via the satellite, you will need to buy a satellite dish – a type of parabolic antenna designed to receive electromagnetic signals from satellites. You can install it yourself or require the help from the internet provider. Anyway, setting it up is not too difficult. In general, you only need to take three steps:

  • Install the satellite dish: You’ll need to dig a hole and bury the dish’s leg into the ground to make it stand. Make sure you install it in an open location under the sky. Also, ensure there is nothing to block the dish from receiving/transmitting signals, or any nearby device that can interfere the signal.
  • Set up your home network: Connect your computer to the Internet. There’s will be a clear instruction by the provider showing you how to do that, so nothing to worry.
  • Connect your computer to your home network: Start your computer or laptop and follow the instruction to make things done.

For more practical, take a look at this video:

Some of the pros and cons are as follows:

Pros

  • It’s available in most areas.
  • Its price is reasonable in comparison with mobile internet.

Cons

  • It has a lower speed in comparison with physical cables even though it has been improved a bit over the years.
  • It’s not stable, especially in the bad weather due to signal impacts.
  • It might include costly hardware installation to operate.
  • It’s non-mobile because the satellite dish is fixed.

Get It From Your Phone

In comparison with other off-the-grid tiny house internet options, this is the easiest way. Of course, the prerequisite is that you have to own a smartphone (so simple today!). Another requirement is that you have to register a 3G or 4G plan from an internet provider for your phone (of course, a sim is available on your phone). This way is ideal if you live or work near a cell tower.

tiny house phone hotspot

Transform your phone into a hotspot (Via: www.microabode.com)

As you set your phone as a hotspot, it will start a wireless hub which allows it to connect to other devices, such as laptops or tablets. Depending on how good the signal is, the quality of Internet will be different. The further you’re away from your phone, the weaker the signal will be. If you’re standing on the top of a mountain, you might have no coverage. But, if you’re right inside your house, you get the strongest signal.

In the USA, I strongly recommend you to use service from Verizon as it’s the leader in 4G mobile broadband, crossing all 50 states and providing an impressive network with fast speed (5-12Mbps download, 2-5Mbps upload), large data capacity (30Gb data limit), and excellent customer support. I’ve put my faith into it, and it doesn’t make me disappointed.

Another choice is AT&T, which together with Verizon dominate the telephone industry in the USA. This one is the winner for best cheap 4G provider due to lower price, and of course, smaller data and lower speed compared to Verizon and some other providers.

Some of the pros and cons are as follows:

Pros

  • It’s easy to set up and require no hardware installation (except your smartphone).
  • It’s mobile. So, you can bring your hotspot to somewhere far from your home.
  • As an internet option, it’s relatively inexpensive.

Cons

  • It has a lower speed in comparison with physical cables and even satellite internet (just a little bit)
  • It’s not stable, especially in the bad weather due to signal impacts.
  • It’s impossible to connect other devices to your phone if the distance is 200+ meter. In fact, a typical Wi-Fi device only extends its signal to 100 meters.

Other Options

There’re some other tiny house internet options for off-the-grid living, but they’re old-fashioned and not as fast as above choices.

Dial-Up Modem

People used dial-up modems to access the internet in the 1990s. Today, they still exist, especially in poor countries. In case you have a telephone landline, this way can be viable.

tiny house Dial-Up modem

A Dial-Up modem (Via: www.microabode.com)

Pros

  • It’s cheap.
  • It’s highly accessible, even in remote areas.

Cons

  • It’s slow.
  • You cannot use your landline phone while using the dial-up modem.

Ham Radio

The age of a ham radio (AKA amateur radio) might be older than of the Internet. Even though using it to downloading data is likely impractical, it’s good to use during emergency situations.

Tiny House Ham radio

A Ham radio (Via: www.microabode.com)

Pros

  • It’s good to use during emergency situations.

Cons

  • It’s not practical for daily use because it’s too slow. Downloading or watching videos will be very slow!
  • It’s not recommended for personal data due to poor security.

Conclusion

Living off the grid doesn’t mean you have to be detached from the world. Regardless of whether you’re living, the Internet has turned into an essential piece of life in the modern days of society. I personally use the Internet for many things, including researching, entertaining, shopping, and contacting.

Are there other tiny house internet options for off the grid living you’ve considered? If so, be sure to let us know in the comment section below!

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