Simple adjustments that are often overlooked can make your connection to the internet and to the world more secure. Connectivity is the number one most important thing when working as a digital nomad or running an online business.
To make sure you are always online as a digital nomad, always have 2 laptops with you while traveling–if possible of course. Rely on more than one source of Wifi by purchasing a local sim card with data that you can tether to your laptop. Use your control board or websites like speedtest.net to check the quality of your connection or figure out what the problem is if you’re having trouble staying online. Always bring your charging cable for your laptop with you everywhere so that you never run out of power. The last piece to stepping up your digital nomad game is to carry at least two high quality headsets with you in case one breaks or stops working.
Always being online as a digital nomad also requires having certain hardware, as well as knowledge of simple programming that we will guide you through in this article.
To always be online as a digital nomad, you will need to:
- Have the right hardware.
- Get extra data for your phone.
- Know how to troubleshoot your network connection.
- Find ways to always have power for your devices.
Let’s dive deeper into all of these steps.
- Hardware requirements for digital nomads
We know it’s an investment, but always have two laptops if possible to stay on the safe side.
The simple reason for this is so that if one breaks, you’ll have a backup available immediately. And trust us, this WILL happen. Your computer will stop working when you least expect it and it will feel like the end of the world if you don’t have a backup. But when you have a spare, you can use that to get work done and stream your favorite shows after work while your primary laptop is being fixed.
It will also be much cheaper than having to buy a new one altogether. No matter how well you take care of your laptop, accidents happen, and you’ll want to make sure that you can avert this crisis like a boss!
Having a second laptop is also great if you work a lot with video. If you’re editing videos, you can use one for rendering and have the other available for other things. And instead of waiting for your editing program of choice to finish, which can take hours, you can just hop onto the second laptop to do whatever else you gotta do.
Another advantage of having two laptops is that you’ll have more flexibility in movement. For example, while one laptop is at home and in the middle of some long task like file transferring or rendering, you can carry the other one with you to work from a cafe, park, beach–wherever.
- Get the best headsets for digital nomad
Even though technology is advancing and a lot of things have become wireless, new is not always better!
This is why, as attractive as earpods may be, a wired headset is better in most cases for online Zoom meetings or calls. One of the best headsets you can use are the ones that have a USB connection as they have a sound card built into them to provide top quality audio.
We also recommend using a wired mouse. The USB ones have proven to be much more durable for keeping up with your digital nomad adventure.
- Always being online as a digital nomad requires reliable internet
When choosing a place to stay, make sure that there is a stable and fast internet connection before you book your unit. Pay attention to comments and ratings in regards to WiFi on websites like Airbnb or Booking.Com.
Check out neighbourhoods you are interested in basing yourself in and find quiet cafes or co-working spaces where you can work from. It’s always good to have these as a plan B in case the internet in your accommodation is out or simply not very reliable.
But the most responsible thing you can do is to immediately buy a sim card with enough data that you can tether to your laptop as soon as you arrive at your destination. This is truly the most important way to prepare for traveling as a digital nomad.
You can even go as far as using two providers to make sure you always have good reception.
- How to test your internet connection as a digital nomad?
For Windows, here are the steps:
- Go to the start menu and type “cmd” and select “Command Prompt.”
- A black command window will appear in which you will then type “ipconfig” and press enter.
- You will see an IP address for your WIFI router under “Wireless LAN adapter.”
- Type “ping” immediately, followed by the IP address of your “Default Gateway” found under the “Wireless LAN adapter” list from the previous step.
This will show you how stable your computer is to your wifi network.
The next step is to check the response time of a website to see if the problem is your computer or the internet provider.
You can do that by typing “ping” and a website next to it. The “T-n” is the time it takes for the website to respond to your request.
Start another command prompt and ping google.com the same way. With these two, you can see the communication speed of your router (eg. T-1) and the response time from Google (eg. T-13 seconds). If your results are like the ones we just mentioned, you’ve got a solid connection.
If the default gateway is slow, the problem is your wifi. It could just be slow, or you might be out of range from the network you’re connected to.
If a website takes a lot of time to respond however, the problem is between the wifi and its connection to the internet.
If you see a “Request timed-out” message, that means that it is too slow. If it takes up to 2000 milliseconds to respond, that will not work for Zoom calls.
For Mac devices, follow these instructions.
Another way to check your internet speed is to use Speedtest.net. An upload speed of 2 up and a download speed of 10 down are the minimum requirements. So play around with it and check the connection with different locations and providers.
- How to always have power for your devices as a digital nomad
To be online most of the time, you will need to find a way to power your devices, even when the electricity goes out.
One way to do that is to have a laptop with a battery that can last several hours without having to be charged.
Another important item that will help you stay online is a power bank for your phone. In case of a power outage, the wifi will go out as well. So you’ll want to be able to tether your phone data to your laptop if this happens.
By taking these extra steps, you will be able to be online 99% of the time and bounce back from unexpected disruptions pretty quickly.
Start working as a digital nomad!
If you are looking for a remote job, apply with us! We are always hiring. We specialize in providing help desk technicians for IT companies, as well as the occasional admin assistant opportunity. So if you’re ready to live the digital nomad lifestyle, join our team.