If you need a consistent and reliable way to get online, mobile internet may be the best solution to get you connected. Unlike a typical router that accesses the internet through a cable, a cellular router or Wi-Fi hotspot enables you to access the internet through a cellular data network.
A standard Wi-Fi connection — relying on a typical router — is most often used as a source of home internet. However, that doesn’t mean it’s the ideal solution for everyone. Mobile internet might be a more ideal solution if you:
- Work from home
- Work remotely
- Travel frequently
- Live in a rural area
- Need more reliable internet
- Need internet with a wider range
Depending on your needs, replacing your home internet with cellular internet can help keep you connected. Cellular internet offers access virtually anywhere: at home, in cars, restaurants, airports, coffee shops, and even in remote or rural areas.
But what does mobile internet entail? And what makes it different from traditional Wi-Fi or data plans from cellular carriers? Read on to learn more about the benefits of mobile internet — and how you can use it to elevate your personal and business life.
What Is Mobile Internet?
Mobile or cellular internet offers the easiest and most accessible way to get online across the country. Coverage maps continue to expand each year, reaching some of the most remote places.
Depending on the carrier, mobile internet can be fast — sometimes even faster than cable modems. Not only does it offer more reliable access to the internet, but it can also be more secure than public Wi-Fi spots, which may be vulnerable to hacking or malware.
Mobile internet is covered by several major carriers — Bell, TELUS, Rogers, AT&T, and Verizon among them. Data is most often accessed through a smartphone, either directly on the device itself or by using your phone as a mobile hotspot.
However, phone plans aren't designed to support internet use more strenuously than basic communication, web browsing, and social media use. In many cases, these plans are designed to function as a back-up source of data when you're away from home.
Most cell phone plans come with data caps or throttle speeds after a certain amount of use, and most limit the number of devices you're able to tether at a time. If you’re relying on cellular internet for work, you may want to look into dedicated cellular data hardware and data plans that may be better suited for the task.
Cellular internet also offers a broader range. While a Wi-Fi connection is likely to decline to an unusably slow speed as you move further away from the router, cellular data is much more reliable. To maintain a strong connection and fast speeds, you can move your hotspot or router wherever you go.
Working From Home
The work-from-home trend has been on the rise since the early 2000s. New technologies, including online communication tools like Slack and Zoom, allow employees to stay connected without ever setting foot in the workplace.
While remote work numbers rose significantly due to COVID-19, many businesses have indicated that work-from-home might be here to stay. Nearly one-quarter of businesses in Canada alone expect that a portion of their workforce will continue to telework post-pandemic. 25% of businesses also said they were likely to offer their employees the option to work remotely, with some even making it a requirement.
This trend makes it more important than ever for people to be able to stay connected — no matter where they’re working from. Employees need quick, reliable, and secure access to email and other corporate resources. Without the option to meet face-to-face, online connectivity is crucial for supporting video, audio, and other collaboration tools.
For employees who don’t have access to the high-speed internet provided in their workplaces, cellular internet can offer a great alternative to intermittent or slow home internet. It can also be used as a failover, or a backup connection, in case home internet falls through.
Even if you’re using a secure Wi-Fi connection — as opposed to a public hotspot — cellular networks are still much more secure. Cellular providers use encryption to protect their users. While you can encrypt a secured Wi-Fi connection with tools like a VPN, the result is still less reliable than using a cellular signal. This is especially critical for workers who might be handling sensitive or confidential material from home.
Staying Connected When Traveling
When you’re spending time away from home — traveling in an RV or a boat, staying in a cottage, or hopping from place to place on vacation — having a stable internet connection is a necessity. Even hotel accommodations in more rural areas might struggle to secure a strong connection.
Travellers, vacationers, and digital nomads might encounter:
- Intermittent connections
- Varying speeds
- Bandwidth caps
For those relying on the internet to support their career and produce an income stream while on the go — or those who simply want to stay connected to friends and family — cellular internet can offer the flexibility and stability needed to make it possible.
With your own cellular router or hotspot, you don’t have to arrange for internet access in every location you visit. You also don’t have to rely on public or paid Wi-Fi, which may not be as fast or secure as you need.
If you’re staying in remote places, a signal booster can further strengthen a weak cellular signal. The device captures cellular signals and amplifies them before redirecting them to your device.
Other Applications for Cellular Internet
In addition to supporting remote work and travel, cellular internet has a variety of other practical applications. These include:
Internet failover is a backup internet solution that switches all devices to an alternative source when a primary connection fails. This means that when a connection is weak or falls through, your devices can be set up to automatically switch to a cellular connection, preventing you from ever losing service.
Weather, natural disasters, routine construction, or security breaches can affect network connectivity when you need it most, leaving you disconnected for hours or even days at a time. Internet failover using cellular internet can provide a seamless transition during times of disrupted service, limiting the impact on your personal and business communications.
Digital signage can display advertisements to people in high traffic areas, like business districts, outlets, airports, bus stations, highways, and more. But traditional landline internet is expensive and difficult to install for these applications. It also requires manually updating the advertisements — hard to manage even for larger companies.
A cellular internet connection is an ideal solution for these challenges, allowing you to:
- Quickly and easily update signage
- Refresh content in remote or unattended areas
- Keep signage connected without expensive cable installation
- Reduce maintenance and operation costs
Kiosks and Point of Sale (POS) Systems
Ticketing and information kiosks in airports, train stations, movie theatres, and sports venues are making customer interactions more accessible and convenient for customers than ever before. While they make powerful and cost-effective customer service tools, wireless kiosks require a reliable network connection. In addition, some kiosks may occasionally need to be relocated, making connectivity a challenge.
There’s a similar challenge to retailers who need to deploy stable and secure POS systems. They’re critical for managing sales, inventory, and customers while also streamlining transactions.
Whether it’s cash registers, vending machines, ATMs, or card readers, each POS system requires an internet connection in order to register each sale and allow a transaction to take place. Relying on an unstable Wi-Fi connection could lead to serious consequences if the connection goes down and you’re unable to process credit or debit purchases. Not only could this lead to a loss in sales, but it may also make the retailer look poorly operated.
Cellular connectivity provides a reliable and flexible solution to keep your kiosks and POS systems running. Not only can it provide a secure and dependable connection, but it makes setup and deployment even easier, even in remote locations.
Wireless security cameras may benefit from the safety and reliability of a cellular data plan. A more reliable signal can allow cameras to stream without interruption. Users can also view video from surveillance cameras online from any connected device.
A cellular connection for video surveillance also works well in remote areas, making it ideal for:
- Remote work sites
- Wildlife studies
- Weather observation
- Law enforcement
Due to the various features of modern vending machines — like temperature sensors, humidity level controls, digital screens, payment terminals, and internal controllers — connection reliability is key. If a vending machine loses connection to the internet, most of these components would stop functioning.
A cellular connection can provide the reliability needed to keep vending machines operational. It also offers the benefit of remote management, allowing you to monitor temperature, humidity, and stock levels inside the machine from anywhere.
Mobile Internet Solutions for as Little as a Dollar a Day
Whether you’re working from home, living in a remote area, traveling on the road, or looking for a more reliable backup to your current source of internet, mobile internet might be the solution you need. Cellular internet also opens up a range of opportunities for businesses looking to upgrade from cable internet to a more dependable network connection.
Instead of relying on limited cell phone plans or unsecured Wi-Fi networks, a cellular router can keep you or your business connected. For as little as $1 per day, you can get a reliable, secure, and fast internet connection — accessible from anywhere you need it. Take a look at our products to learn more about what we offer and how you can get started with mobile internet. See Novotech's $1/day internet packages here.