‘But.. do you have Wifi?’
People often ask me this question when I explain that I live off-grid: not connected to water, electricity and sewerage. When I tell them I don’t have Wifi, the response often is: ‘I couldn’t do that, live without Wifi’. I find that funny. A lot of people don’t have a problem picturing themselves being off-grid when it comes to electricity. Not being connected to water is less popular than that, but no Wifi? Nooooooo way!
Sure you can. Internet is everywhere these days and there are perfectly good solutions for those situations where you don’t have a means to be connected by cable. I will name a few below. By the way, I’m not being sponsored for this blog; I just want you to be aware of some of the options you have and that I know of.
This is the most obvious option. Mobile internet reception is getting better and better in the Netherlands and the costs of mobile data is going down rapidly. You can use your smartphone as a hotspot or get a dongle for your laptop. Since I started working from home my 8 GB data package was no longer sufficient. Because Tele2 did not want to sell me a bigger bundle, I had to go elsewhere. I said more or less: ‘here, please take my money!’ but they didn’t want it. Silly of ‘em isn’t it? Robin Mobile had an unlimited 3g data package for 35 euro per month, for business users. Unlimited calls, sms and data. Awesome! But is it really unlimited? Well, not quite. Robin Mobile has a ‘fair use’ policy and when you keep your connection open all day long they regard it as excessive use and they set you back in data speed. No matter how much data you’ve used. That’s a shame, because other than that, Robin Mobile 3g works really well, offers great service and you can cancel your subscription monthly.
Last week T-Mobile launched their brand new GO package: unlimited data, calls and sms in the Netherlands and EU for only 35 euro per month, 4g. Now we’re talking! Is it really unlimited? Well, no, it still isn’t. But, you get 5 GB per day (!) and should you get through that you can get another 1 GB for free. I’m going to try it out in combination with a 4g dongle, because my Tele2 package runs till May. The downside is that T-Mobile GO has a subscription term of two years.
4g at home
You can also get 4g at home with a modem; T-Mobile and KPN have packages for when you are living in remote areas. That way you have Wifi in your home, which you can hook-up multiple devices on. You will have to check with KPN whether or not you can get such a subscription in the area where you live.
This is another option, but really it isn’t necessary in the Netherlands as we have such an extensive 3g and 4g network. The equipment you need for satellite internet is costly and besides, would you really want a big ol’ satellite dish hanging on the wall of your beautiful Tiny House? ;) But if you’re still interested you can find it here, for example.
Wifi from the neighbours
Are you close to other buildings that have Wifi? You could strike a deal with your neighbours and install a Wifi signal enhancer.
You see, you have plenty of options. Now that T-Mobile is shocking the market with their GO bundle, other providers are sure to follow and more interesting deals will soon be available. So you can rest easy: you will be able to surf the net, work from home, binge-watch Netflix if you want. All from the comfort and safety of your own off-grid Tiny House. One thing less to worry about! In the meantime, it might be good not to be online every now and then. Just sayin’. ;)