Number 4 – Get the Technology right
There are a lot of options when it comes to technology; some people will embrace every new thing and others will just get by with the basics.
So what are the essentials for taking your business away with you?
- A laptop
- A planned way of accessing a regular, reliable supply of high speed Internet
- A smart phone
- A file storage system so you can retrieve information you need
- A system for backing up your files
- Electricity plug adaptor for the country you are in
There are other items which you may wish to have e.g.
- An external mouse if you don’t like your laptops touch pad
- A set of headphones if you plan to use Skype a lot
- A strong, padded laptop bag
- A decent size memory stick
The key is in the preparation, you need to know that when you arrive in your destination you will be able to access everything you need to be able to work. The internet lifestyle only works if you can continue to earn money while getting to explore a different country, for 99% of people internet access is their number one priority.
What is the 1 piece of technology that will allow you to access the internet anywhere?
Mobile internet uses the mobile phone network to connect to the internet; pretty much all worldwide networks provide some kind of data service which you can sign up to. The network providers (like Vodafone, O2, AT&T, Sprint etc.) will provide you with a sim card (just like a mobile phone) which connects you to that network.
Warning! If you can access the internet on your mobile phone, do not use this in any other country than your home country. Mobile phone companies will charge you a lot for data access from outside of their network. Always buy a local sim card for that country as this keeps the costs down.
Speeds do vary depending on the network and your location; however our experience has shown that other countries from Thailand to Australia have a better mobile data network than most European countries.
The first step to this internet option is buying a device which can connect your laptop to the mobile phone
network; you will need to get one that needs to be ‘unlocked’ which means it can work with any sim card from any worldwide network. You may have to pay slightly more for this than a ‘locked’ version but it will save you money in the long run.
Tri-Band 3G USB Mobile Broadband Modem
You can buy one of these from under $100, simply plug into your laptop through the USB port and add in a sim card from your local network.
Make sure you purchase the ‘unlocked’ version of this type of USB modem; this will allow it to work with any sim card (no matter what the network) – perfect when you travel from country to country.
If you already own a USB modem, there are many websites (we have successfully used this site in the past http://www.dc-unlocker.com) which provide you with software to unlock the modem.
3G Mobile HotSpot Broadband Modem
Similar to above (although slightly more expensive), this device creates its own WIFI network; this allows several devices like a laptop, mobile phone with wireless etc to connect to the mobile data connection.
Whichever device you decide to go for, make sure it works with your laptop before you leave your home country. For example –
- USB Modem -make sure laptop can recognises the USB modem when it is plugged in. Install the supplied software and confirm you can access the modem menus.
- HotSpot Modem – install the supplied software on your laptop and create a WIFI network for the modem (remember to secure your WIFI network!). Confirm your laptop can successfully connect to this network and you can access the modem menus.
Which mobile network shall I sign up to?
There are often several companies to choose from when it comes to deciding on which mobile network to join when you arrive in a different country. The best way to decide should be based around where you will be spending most of your time; you want to have the strongest 3G signal in your area.
Once you have decided on the best network, sign up to a ‘Pay as you go’ plan as this will not tie you into a contract. You will just need to top-up your balance as and when your credit expires.
There are many internet resources that can guide you through choosing the right network for that country, signing up to a ‘pay as you go’ plan etc. We found a great blog post which helped us out when we arrived in Thailand.
From this we knew the mobile network we had to sign up to, found the shop in Bangkok and was advised which solution was correct for us. It cost roughly $15 for a month’s access and could be topped up, as required, in many local shops around Thailand.
Want to know more?
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- The technology you need to access the internet anywhere;
- The best smart phone apps that you can’t live without when travelling and working;
- The key systems you need so that all your files can be accessed and backed up;
- How you can stay entertained with your favorite TV programmes while you travel;
- How to stay in phone contact with your clients while you are away;
- The ‘must have’ technology that will get you working anywhere;
- Plus, ask us any questions you have through our forum.