How to Survive with Rural Internet Technology

This week I’ve been going through the suburbs of hell trying to get, then keep, an internet connection. When you live in the boondocks your choices are limited and the services we do get are not as fast or stable as those in urban environments. For those of us not in, or on the edges of communities that run underground cable systems, we rely on the cellular system (3G) or satellite.

Let me backtrack. When I moved out here in 2001, I had one option for internet connection – dialup, which I used exclusively for the first two or three years I was here. I know people out here who STILL use dialup. Then I used the satellite service of Xplornet, but dumped it within two years, even buying out my contract, just to get rid of that painfully slow and unreliable load of frustration. I still have the giant dish in my garage, and I will soon take it to the dump.

Then for a couple of years I used the Bell Turbo stick, a small USB modem that travelled with me everywhere in Canada and served me well. In June of this year,  I “upgraded” to the Turbo Hub, a modem/router that sits on my desk and connects me to broadband through the 3G cellular network. The hub allows you to connect up to four devices through an ethernet cable or wifi, the latter useful for visitors that bring their laptops or smartphones. The hub was faster and cheaper than the Turbo stick, and I was saving $30 per month.


Above are all my ways of connecting to the internet: Turbo Hub, phone (for dialup), iPhone with “Personal Hotspot”. Continue reading How to Survive with Rural Internet Technology