As digital nomads, most of us are highly dependent on having a reliable internet connection. Fortunately, that’s not too hard to find these days. I’ve managed to stay connected even in some of the most far flung corners of the world. But, as the old saying goes, what can go wrong will go wrong. So, wherever I am in the world, I just assume that at some point my internet connection is going to stop working right when I need it the most.
My solution is to make sure that I always have one or two backup connections. It’s a small price to pay for peace of mind.
I normally work from my AirBnb (or wherever I’m staying), using the internet connection there. I also have US-based Google Fi mobile service in my iPhone, which gives me a mobile data connection (as well as calls and text messages) just about everywhere in the world. Before switching to Google Fi, I was on t-mobile, which also has a great international roaming package, but with Google Fi, I get much faster data and I can use my iPhone as a portable hotspot (aka tethering).
Because staying connected is so important for my work, I often buy prepaid SIM cards with high speed data packages from local carriers as well. This is a great and inexpensive way to have backup connection (sometimes the mobile connections are so fast that I end up using them as my primary connection). In most countries, you can get a SIM card with a prepaid package including 5 or 10 gigabytes of high-speed data usage good for one month for $20 or less. I put the local SIM cards into an old iPhone that I carry with me and use as a dedicated portable hotspot. If you don’t have an extra phone, you could easily buy a used one or an actual portable hotspot (just make sure that whatever phone or hotspot you choose is unlocked, so you can switch SIM cards when you travel).