If there’s anything a dedicated digital nomad knows, it’s that your ability to connect to wifi can make or break your day (or whole week). If you’ve got clients waiting for work and you’re desperately trying to connect to dodgy wifi so you can send an email, the stress can quickly make you wonder why you left home in the first place.
Luckily, once you’ve spent a while on the road you become a pro at sniffing out wifi wherever you go. Here’s how I find internet while travelling:
Prepare before you go
Before you leave, check if your phone is unlocked so you can get a local SIM card once you arrive. Data is super cheap in many countries, particularly in Southeast Asia where you can get an inexpensive sim card and be connected wherever you go.
There are also a number of options like Talk Talk Business which provides #BroadbandAndMe services for business owners.
Use random wifi
In bigger cities, it’s usually really easy to get wifi. There are a bunch of mobile apps available which can help you find wifi connections close by. Not only does this mean that you can easily get onto free wifi, but people also note down the passwords for the networks that are protected. This works for cafes, restaurants, and other public places.
Two great apps are Instabridge and WifiMapper. You may want to download both as the popularity of each app will depend on the region or country.
A number of companies are reacting to the ridiculous roaming rates. Now, you can purchase international SIM cards which are 90% cheaper than the charges you’d face if you only used your phone provider’s roaming service. This is a great option if you’re planning to tether your phone to your laptop so you can work on the road.
While I haven’t used an international SIM card, a few of my friends have recommended them. While these aren’t quite as cheap as buying a local SIM card, they’re more convenient if you’ll be travelling to more than one country since you can buy it once and keep the same number throughout the region.
I never book hotels that don’t include free in-room wifi. While some offer free wifi in the lobby, I think it’s ridiculous to not offer free wifi in hotel rooms in this day and age. When you’re browsing accommodation options, you can simply click a button and search based on which hotels include free wifi.