The traditional idea of going off the grid has always been one of self-banishment, at least from the immediate society that we humans commonly settle ourselves into. But with the development of more and more self-sufficiency and connectivity technologies, the sacrifices that have to be made previously while doing the same thing have been significantly simplified.
In fact, the risk has been reduced to the point that you don’t have to disconnect yourself from the world at all.
What It Technically Means To Be Off-Grid
First of all, let’s clarify one thing. Being off the grid simply means that you live away from a power grid or are not connected to one. That’s technically it. The definition does not specify distance, nor does it say any other specific restriction. If you have developed a means to sustain yourself or your household community without the need to source your power directly from a central power station built for populated areas.
So do people living in vehicles considered off-grid people? Yup. This is especially true if the car has a dedicated power system from which modern conveniences get their energy.
Staying Connected While Off-grid Near Population Centers
And so, staying connected while off-grid in the modern era is usually just a matter of communication level, service availability, and energy sustainability. Here are some of our ideas that you can keep in mind to keep in touch:
Avail of wireless internet service of the cell tower you are frequently near at. Pretty-self explanatory. It may be memed to oblivion nowadays, but current wireless internet systems (broadband, cellphone as a hotspot, etc.) are already more than enough to allow your mobile or grid-disconnected network to get you online. Who says you can’t have fun while being off-grid, too? Streaming 4K video-level data on multiple devices without delay or buffering shouldn’t be a problem, and since you most likely don’t want to go out anyhow, you may as well play at an online casino as a real one is probably way off from where you plan to stay.
Always keep the electricity and heating/cooling sources completely separate—another relatively straightforward tip. There is always the possibility of failure for any of these systems. You’d want to preserve the part that keeps you alive longer, which is heating and cooling in most cases. That being said, always do double-checks so that nothing too catastrophic ever occurs in the first place.
Prioritize energy efficiency over anything else for your communication tools. Using higher gaming laptops or monstrous desktop rigs is possible with bigger independent homes is feasible. But it’s way easier to manage low-power tablets, smartphones, or laptops that use very efficient CPUs (a model powered by a Ryzen 5000 series processor, for example).
But What If Distance Really Is the Objective?
If you get off the grid with the express intention of going away from major population centers, then you’ve got a few more steps to follow than just keeping your technologies fresh and lively. Though, be forewarned. In some of these cases, you’d be inevitably disconnected. But only for a short while occasionally, at least.
- Check for satellite internet services that offer decently affordable rates with at least 10Mbps of data transfer speed (minimum for HD content on a single device). Go for something higher if you can avail of it, of course.
- Check if you can avail Starlink services, which can potentially offer regular, urban-level internet speeds even at a very remote location.
- Have a couple of high-quality ham radios for in case of emergencies
- Oh and finally, if you live somewhere near something like the NRQZ, congratulations! Only wired connections are allowed.