Always Have a Backup Internet Plan
Everyone knows it is essential to have a backup plan. Unfortunately, not everyone follows through and makes it a part of their plan.
For my laptop that I use for all my blogging, editing and writing, I make a full backup image to an external drive every week. I just fire it off before I go to sleep and it is finished after I walk the dogs and have some breakfast and coffee the next morning.
Every day, I copy the work sub-directory to the external drive so I have the latest versions and new files saved for the day. I’m lucky to do that, as I lost the hard drive two weeks ago.
No problem, I went and bought a 300 GB drive to replace the original 80 GB one and loaded the image from the external USB drive.
If you must know (and I do not get paid for mentioning them; I had to buy my product the same as everyone else), I used Norton Ghost for the backup image and restore. There are many other products out there that can do the job. Choose the best one for you.
After fighting with Microsoft servers that now looked at my new drive as a pirated copy, I was up and running after re-authorizing the OS.
My backup plan worked fine and I was off-line a total of four hours.
If my wireless router had failed, I had a spare on hand to replace it.
The other day, I jumped on line early in the morning and started to work. Fifteen minutes into the workday and the Internet connection goes out.
I dialed my cable company and after again going through their scripted list of powering off, disconnecting and all the other stuff I did before calling them, they told me there was no problem on their end. I disagreed because the TV was also out and so was the phone.
They said they would call back. The dogs needed walking anyway. I saw the problem. A car pulled up on the curb and knocked one of those small green boxes over.
No problem, when I returned, I just plugged in my phone to the laptop and enabled tethering. I had used it once before to test it out so I felt confident my backup plan for my Internet connection would save me.
Three hours later, after arguing with my wireless provider that my phone did support tethering and I had used it before, the service came up and the carrier swears they did nothing. Fifteen minutes later it was down again.
I can’t tell you that I would couple an external antenna to my laptop and search for someone who left their router unguarded or left their admin password set to the default “password”. That would not be a correct thing to do.
After several more hours of [fill in your own thoughts as to what I didn’t do] passed, I gave up.
Backup to the Backup
The Internet of Last Resort would have been the local coffee shop. Loading up the dogs into the car and taking them out for a day of looking at customers, eating treats and drinking water was the Internet of last resort. Unfortunately, I could not leave my home as I was waiting for the cable guy to show up.
I finally learned this bit of advice that I will share with you: Always have alternative backup plans.
That evening, the cable had been repaired and I spent the rest of the evening feverishly writing all night to make up for the lost work day, took a couple hours of sleep after the sunrise and then caught up on my writing projects.
The tethering also started to work all on its own (and I’m sure that was after my provider saw what was set wrong in my account settings).
A lost day due to an Internet outage can wreck havoc with your life if you depend on it for your living.
The following day, I ordered a pay-as you-go USB dongle and had it shipped overnight. Upon receiving it, I paid for a block of time and tried it out to make sure it worked.
Now I have a backup to the backup to the backup to make sure I will never be without Internet access again.
If you depend on the Internet for your livelihood, be sure to have several alternatives, as you never know when Mr. Murphy will pay a visit.
You can get the best pricing for a USB Dongle or Wi-Fi hotspot here: http://www.broadbandexpert.com/mobile-broadband/