Internet connections ... the life blood of The Extreme Digital Nomad

2020-09-11 Personal Software-Engineering TEDN Tips & Tricks Community

I am in Hidden Valley Holiday Park. Working on the career progression framework for Community. It is 5am and … I realized something. Don’t hold your breath: It is something obvious (but I thought I share it anyway).

If you want to be successful as an Extreme Digital Nomad, having a good internet connection is absolutely essential (this is more true now then ever before, because of Covid-19 an even bigger part of the job relies on videoconverencing). And … I do not subscribe to the notion that it is everybody elses problem, if you have a bad internet connection. Therefore I only go to locations (campsites) with a WiFi connection. And (as a backup) I have an unlimited 4G data connection that I use to create my own hotspot through a mobile 4G WiFi router (with an external antenna) (Note: I will write something up about my setup in a separate blog post) and (as a backup to the backup) I have a european wide 4G data plan (with 10GB/month) that I can use to create a hotspot if the first 2 options do not work.

Now … when I arrive at a given location, I am always testing the speed of all my internet connections, just to make sure that I have a good primary connection and a good backup connection. To measure the speed of the internet connection I use Fast or Speedtest or Google/M-Lab or nPerf (nPerf being my favorite).

Yesterday I was only able to get 1Mbits (up/down) out of my WiFi connection. This morning I was running tests with all speed test tools again and got much better results, but also very different results.

~ ~
fast speedtest
m-lab nperf

Main take-aways …

  1. The tool you use matters. For now I am going to stick with nPerf.
  2. The time of the day matters. Means if you have a good internet connection in the morning, it does not mean that you will have a good connection later in the day (when more people use it).
  3. The LTE network you are using matters. You should always have 3 options available (2 LTE and 1 WiFi).
  4. An external LTE antenna is recommended.