Get your work done by any internet connection necessary
If you're a regular when it comes to working on the go, then you'll probably have experienced the frustration when it's impossible to find an internet connection, whether it's through a 3G dongle, or even your smartphone. Here are 10 road-tested tips for getting your work done by any internet connection necessary.
Try to find the Wi-Fi access point
Even the fastest Wi-Fi cards can't help you if you're too far from the access point itself. Try to find the actual hardware access point itself, and sit near it. In public spaces, check near any labelled 'charging station' areas and scan the ceiling for any boxes labelled with networking equipment brands (Cisco, D-Link, Netgear, and so on). Coffee shops often have them in plain view near any phone/ethernet wiring. If you can't find it, you can use the Wi-Fi scanners mentioned above to check your signal strength while walking around the room, though you'll look like you're using your PC to dowse for water.
Plan your trip with internet in mind
An easy way to avoid getting stuck without Internet access: Do your homework. Don't book your hotel reservation without checking the HotelChatter blog's most recent Annual Hotel Wi-Fi Report, which provides listings of free, paid, and free-with-membership hotel Wi-Fi access.
Starbucks is your best friend
Regardless of what you think about the chain's coffee, you'll be elated to find a Starbucks when you're desperately hunting for internet access. The same goes for McDonald's, and pretty much any hotel lobby. Even public libraries usually have free Wi-Fi--whether they're open or not. You can check out free Wi-Fi databases such MyHotspots.com before you leave for your trip, but the listings aren't always accurate or up-to-date, so you're probably better off just noting where your coffee-shops-of-last-resort are. If you're really worried, invest in a membership with some of the more common Wi-Fi providers, such as BT Openzone.
See also: VIDEO - Go mobile: How to get online wherever you are
See also: 13 top tips for better mobile working