Variable Data Needs
However, if you'll be traveling for shorter spells and only need mobile internet access sporadically, finding the right set-up can be a bit complicated.
Especially if your short term and/or sporadic travel needs call for large amounts of high-speed data access.
The occasional nomad is compelled to balance costs and complexity with inconsistent needs. Some may even have to weigh the need to pay for data plans that they don't use all of the time just to protect the plan.
This guide is meant to address this unique perspective on mobile internet setups.
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Challenges of a Part-Time Set Up
When you have a fixed location, getting hooked-up with the best internet solution is typically pretty straight-forward. You subscribe to whatever is the best option at your location.
Mobility, however, presents some unique considerations that require more thought and planning to make sure you're covered where you want to be.
You need to be prepared for the reality that what gets you online today may not work to get you online tomorrow when you move to a new location. You'll have to weigh how many options are practical for your own personal mobile internet needs.
For those hitting the road year-round, it makes a lot of sense to invest in gear that can enhance and support your internet lifestyle, and data plans that provide redundancy, large swaths of coverage, and large buckets of data. However, if you'll be splitting your time between mobility and stationary life, you have a different kind of challenge to balance your needs.
Compounding Gear & Plan Costs
Most part-time nomads will be maintaining both a traditional stationary internet option in their immobile residence - and require a mobile internet solution for when they are on the go.
Both internet set-ups will likely require separate equipment and data plans.
Investing in devices for each living situation will incur start-up costs. And setting up data solutions for each domicile will incur ongoing costs, some of which may not be practical to pause when you aren't using them.
And while some folks will find solutions where payment of plans won't overlap, sometimes, it's smarter for the part-time nomad to pay for a plan, even while they aren't currently using it, to benefit from it over the long term.
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Cellular Data Plan Maintenance
If you've managed to capture a rare unicorn of a data plan - you may find you need to keep it active year round, even if you don't use it year round. This section goes over how to protect your rare plans - and tips for snagging sweet plans even when you're not actively traveling
Seeking Out Flexible Options
For part-time needs you'll want to assemble an arsenal of mobile internet solutions for maximum flexibility. From avoiding contracts, utilizing Wi-Fi sources, our recommended flexible high bandwidth data plans and equipment selection tips - this section will help you find suitable options.
Using Mobile Internet Year Round
Some part-timers standardize on a mobile setup that they use year round, even at their stationary home base. This section covers some special considerations for this.
Creating a part-time mobile internet arsenal takes some research and a thorough consideration of your personal travel lifestyle needs. Building an arsenal that fits within your lifestyle is attainable.
The occasional nomad needs to balance complexity and costs with inconsistent needs.
We recommend beginning research and build-out of your arsenal no less than a month before you launch into a mobile lifestyle - even a part-time mobile lifestyle - if you require consistent internet access.
Use the info provided in this guide, and further research specific needs (such as Working From the Road) and pertinent gear and topics (such as Wi-Fi extending) to build a flexible mobile internet arsenal that works for you.
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