Whether you are on vacation, business, or perhaps moving across the country, finding Internet in rural areas can be a challenge. Here are some suggestions to help keep you online when you’re on the road.
- If you’re staying at a hotel, ask about their access or look at the services listed at their website. Most chains provide access in the rooms, though some may only have Internet available in the lobby. Even when you’re traveling in rural areas, small, independently owned motels will most likely have Internet access in their office that you can ask to borrow if you don’t need to be online for very long.
- Purchase a mobile broadband Internet connection or air card that will plug into your computer and allow you to access the Internet through the wireless network. Because they connect to the standard cellular network, this solution only works in areas where there is cell phone coverage. Before committing to a carrier, look at the coverage maps for the various providers as it relates to where you’re traveling in rural areas.
- If you have cell phone reception, you may be able to tether your cell phone to your lap top and run the access through the phone. This internet access depends on your phone and your provider, so check with them for the specifics. You may have to download software and remember this will count toward the data usage on your cell phone plan.
- Locate a Wifi hotspot. Either ask a local or go to one of the websites such as wi-fihotspotlist.com, hotspothaven.com, wi-fifreespot.com, and openwifispots.com that allow you to enter your zipcode for a list of nearby wi-fi locations.
- Internet access may be available at truck stops, public libraries, and commercial campgrounds. If there’s a college nearby, regardless of how small, Internet access is most likely in the vicinity.
- If you are traveling in your RV and having trouble finding Internet in rural areas, consider satellite Internet. After installation, you simply position the dish to pick up reception. Plans and pricing depend on the provider, usage and data speeds.