Some people may not know what off-the-grid or off-grid means, so here it is --- The term off-the-grid or off-grid refers to living in a self-sufficient manner without reliance on one or more public utilities.

Off-grid living is no longer a one room log cabin in the woods. It's energy independency. You don't have to rely on utility companies, you create your own power. Today, there are more than 180,000 off-grid homes in the US.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Off-Grid Internet…

42 degrees outside – 8:14 pm – it’s been raining all day, currently raining at a quarter inch per hour (2.82 inches total for today so far)…

I have two books that need to be written this summer.  In order to write them, I not only need my computers (desktop and laptop), but access to the Internet. 

Nowadays, there are Internet solutions that don’t require wires.  So, theoretically, we should be able to get the computers on the Internet in a place where wires don’t go.  Like our place in the foothills of the Cascade Mountain Range, which is entirely off-grid.

Now if you are not familiar with the phrase off-grid, it’s pretty simple.  It means that there is no access to public utilities, such as electricity, telephone, water, gas, or cable television.*  People who live off-grid have to provide for their own utilities.  Off-grid does NOT mean being some recluse who is untraceable and completely disconnected! 

With satellite, wireless Internet and wireless phone service it’s possible to have communications in even the most remote areas.  Anyone choosing to live off-grid can still enjoy efficient communications via one or more of these options.

Our computer-Internet hook up consists of desktop and laptop computers with Internet service currently being provided by Airspeed Internet.

Airspeeds network consists of a series of Repeater towers that relay our Internet signal to their base station, which is wired to a dedicated high-speed connection in town. 

Airspeed provided us with all of the hardware that connects to our wireless router, which in turn allows us to have Internet access throughout the house. All we need to do is turn on the generator, then the computer, and voilĂ  we’re online.  So yes, it’s not only possible, but also simple to have an Internet connection while living off-grid.

*Yes, technically you can live in the middle of the big city and choose to be off-grid by not connecting to or using public utilities and instead providing them for yourself.  We don’t have a choice in the matter, so the ‘City Off-Grid Living’ is for someone else to blog about.

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