What to Do When You Have No Internet – Set up Hotspots from Data Plans

internet-downRecently at my place of work the internet went completely down just as soon as a prospective client was coming in for a business meeting. Being that I work for an online marketing agency, no internet practically means the end of the world. I’m dead serious. So, what was one to do?

After calling our internet service provider (ISP), I found out that the internet was down for the entire block temporarily as heavy construction was being done at the Bathurst and Eglinton area of Toronto, and all it takes is city workers snipping a wire without prior notice. This was a problem affecting everyone, and we were unhappy with our ISP for the iffy service provided over the last few years, but desperate times called for desperate measures. We needed the internet to at least show the client a few websites among other things. What was to be done?

A few years back I learned in theory that it was possible to turn your portable device into a wireless “hotspot.” While this never needed to be done before, now was the time to put it into practice. With the aid of a couple of coworkers’ mobile smartphones, we were able to set up two hotspots with password access, and have most of the computers in the office running off the data plans of these mobile phones. Ideally it should have gone through one phone, but I learned the hard way that a mobile phone (at least, the iPhone) only allows up to five (5) simultaneous connections. Who knew?

So, the next time you are in a bind, remember that you can always fall back on your mobile device for backup power, provided you have a computer/laptop with a wireless card to get signal.

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