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Communications Connecting - internet cafes, laptops, smart phones - how to connect, use, which one, and intercom/radio systems.
Photo by Michael Jordan, enjoying a meal at sunset, Zangskar Valley, India

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Photo by Michael Jordan
enjoying a meal at sunset,
Zangskar Valley, India



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  • 1 Post By jamwil
  • 1 Post By jamwil
  • 1 Post By Nubra
  • 1 Post By *Touring Ted*

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  #1  
Old 22 Mar 2024
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Working online while overlanding

Is anyone working online while on the road for months at the time?
How do you manage your internet connection outside the "Western" countries?

I'm making all of my income online and I'd like, eventually, to roam around on my bike and do my work while on the road. The only idea I have, regarding having a stable internet connection, is Starlink for RVs. But it seems it's limited to a continent where it's purchased.

From my time in India, I know you can't always rely on local SIM, to have internet. In some remote areas in Gharwal and Kumaon Himalayas, you can forget about the internet via your SIM card. It's likely the same in many other remote areas, even in "developed" countries.

So what would be the solution here? Only Starlink/some other sat internet provider?

I just need a stable connection, anywhere, anytime. Doesn't need to be super-fast, just stable.
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  #2  
Old 22 Mar 2024
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There is a Starlink Roam global plan that isn't cheap. But that antenna is not terribly small, and between the standard antenna, power supply and router it's about 10 lbs of extra weight and 75 to 100 W power draw.

Beyond that, yea, it would be foolhardy to rely on SIM cards as you know.

I've long regarded this as more or less impossible assuming you have some degree of ongoing time pressure around your work. There may be other satellite providers with more compact offerings, but I don't think the term stable has ever been used in the same sentence as satellite internet. You'd be limited to bouncing around from population centre to population centre and staying for stints at a time to get work done out of a reliable coworking space or airbnb.

Depending on where you are in the world, a WeWork All Access plan can work wonders as you can rock up to any WeWork with the same access card. Again, not cheap, and who knows where that stands anymore now that WeWork is going through bankruptcy.

The last thing I would be asking myself is what I'm trying to get out of this? If I'm working 30 or 40 hours a week, do I have the energy to actually enjoy motorcycle travel? For me, I think I'd be drained very quickly. Both of these domains tend to throw immense challenges at you from time to time.
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  #3  
Old 22 Mar 2024
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Originally Posted by jamwil View Post
There is a Starlink Roam global plan ...power supply and router it's about 10 lbs of..
Ya, that's not something you wanna have on a bike, extra weight.

Will have to check if there are any other options out there.
For example, Itchy Boots is running the whole show somehow, while on the road.

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Originally Posted by jamwil View Post
If I'm working 30 or 40 hours a week, do I have the energy to actually enjoy motorcycle travel?
Actually more like an hour and a half or so a day. I'm a trader, so I just need to be online 30 min before NY exchange opens, place orders if there are any opportunities and that's it. Occasionally there may be other work, the other thing I do, but that's also light on time and flexible in terms of schedule. With such a working schedule, depending on time zones, I could either ride in the morning and work in the evening or work till like 11 am and ride till dark.
Seems doable to me, as long as there's internet available.
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  #4  
Old 22 Mar 2024
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Noraly does it well relying on wifi in guesthouses and hostels. That's not my definition of stable internet, though. But if you work for yourself and have the flexibility to go a few days without internet if need be, then I say hell ya—give'er.
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  #5  
Old 23 Mar 2024
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I know of at least one good friend who works remotely while on the road. Currently riding trans-Africa with her husband. She requires internet, but only to upload/download stuff. The rest is done offline.

As someone else says, IB generates huge volumes of video content on the road.

During COVID I tried to teach German and English online (video conversations via Skype and share Google Docs) while travelling in Turkey. An unholy p.i.t.a due to the lack of fast, uninterrupted, reliable hotel wifi.

Anecdotally, a year ago I had a data SIM card in Vietnam: lightning fast and 4gb of data every 24 hours for usd$10/month.

Am currently in India and my data SIM for fast internet costs usd$9 a month for 100gb of data.

Both VN and IND data mobile speeds are faster than anywhere I've seen in Europe. And of course a lot cheaper. Germany wifi connections also seem incredibly slow.
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  #6  
Old 23 Mar 2024
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Asynchronous vs. Synchronous work. If you can time your internet bursts to your travel schedule you are in heaven. If you need to collaborate with others on their schedule, or respond to unexpected events on tight timeline... maaan I'd love to find a way.

Your Vietnamese and Indian plans are markedly better than my Canadian full-time cell plan. That's awesome to know. And depressing to know.
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  #7  
Old 23 Mar 2024
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Originally Posted by jamwil View Post
Noraly does it well relying on wifi in guesthouses and hostels. That's not my definition of stable internet, though. But if you work for yourself and have the flexibility to go a few days without internet if need be, then I say hell ya—give'er.
I'd have to do a test run, maybe a month or so on the road here in Balkans, to see how it would work. Some planning is definitely required, but it seems like it should be doable.
Like staying in an area with internet coverage for a few days, to be able to work, and riding through remote areas on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Maybe reaching a spot with decent internet on Monday or Tuesday, and then just rinse and repeat.

Also, if you travel through countries that are less expensive than the EU and US, you don't need a ton of money.

For those areas that have some internet coverage, this seems to be a popular solution: https://soliswifi.co/pages/how-it-works

Quote:
Originally Posted by chris View Post

During COVID I tried to teach German and English online (video conversations via Skype and share Google Docs) while travelling in Turkey. An unholy p.i.t.a due to the lack of fast, uninterrupted, reliable hotel wifi.
Ya, that's something you'd need a really good internet connection, to work without any issues. My work is a bit more forgiving in that regard.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chris View Post
Am currently in India and my data SIM for fast internet costs usd$9 a month for 100gb of data.

Both VN and IND data mobile speeds are faster than anywhere I've seen in Europe. And of course a lot cheaper. Germany wifi connections also seem incredibly slow.
That's true, and data is really cheap in India.
However, some very remote areas will be an issue, India is no exception. But in the cities, yeah, I had better internet than in Europe.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jamwil View Post
If you can time your internet bursts to your travel schedule you are in heaven.
Yup, that's the idea. As said, planning is the key here, but it seems doable.

Staying for a couple of months in a place with a good internet connection, working and piling up on cash, so that you can have some slack for the next couple of months while on the road, where your connection might be spotty; that's also a possibility.
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  #8  
Old 23 Mar 2024
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A lot of people try to become youtubers and influencers.

Let me know if that's your plan. So I can block you now
__________________
Did some trips.
Rode some bikes.
Fix them for a living.
Can't say anymore.
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  #9  
Old 23 Mar 2024
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Quote:
Originally Posted by *Touring Ted* View Post
A lot of people try to become youtubers and influencers.

Let me know if that's your plan. So I can block you now

**vvvv**
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nubra View Post
Actually more like an hour and a half or so a day. I'm a trader, so I just need to be online 30 min before NY exchange opens, place orders if there are any opportunities and that's it. Occasionally there may be other work, the other thing I do, but that's also light on time and flexible in terms of schedule. With such a working schedule, depending on time zones, I could either ride in the morning and work in the evening or work till like 11 am and ride till dark.
Seems doable to me, as long as there's internet available.
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  #10  
Old 5 Apr 2024
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it depends a lot about your kind of work. The internet usage is a lot different if you have to do:

Video conferences, Screen sharing, VPN Remote working, Streaming, Video Uploads, be available in Teams...

in comparison to have to "upload" some translated ebooks any view weeks, check email, deliver some script code and so on.

So it is hard to compare those "this worked for me" for the readers who probably need a complete different setup.

Surfy
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