Once again, in this post, the Techy Geek in me is working well with the Back to Simplicity Homesteader. We are not the first ones to cut the proverbial cord and I am sure we will not be the last. We first started considering getting rid of cable or satellite television services just over 3 years ago. At the time we were using Dish Network. Don’t get me wrong, there was not necessarily anything wrong with the service, in fact, we liked the service. However, it was a little more than we wanted to pay when compared to the amount of television we actually watched at the time. Any of you homesteaders or farmers out there know that there is never a lack of something to do around the homestead. Watching television just naturally takes a backseat to everything else you want to or need to accomplish. Although we don’t watch a lot of television by today’s standards, we do enjoy the entertainment for an hour or so in the evening just before we head off to bed. If you’ve read my earlier posts you know that we are planning to go off-grid at our new homestead with everything except Internet service since I need Internet access for my job.
We started by cancelling our subscription to Dish Network. The sales associates at Dish were very helpful and though they tried very hard to get us to keep the service, they ultimately helped us get it cancelled and get their equipment back to them. At the time, in our local area of Folsom Louisiana, Charter Communications was the only Internet Service Provider (ISP) available. We contacted Charter and had our high speed Internet service installed. Additionally, we signed up for Netflix, Hulu, and we already had Amazon Prime which comes with Instant Video streaming.
We promptly ordered an Amazon Fire Stick for our television and we were all set. All of these things combined saved us just over $125.00 per month compared to our previous television bill. Since we took the plunge we haven’t missed standard cable or satellite services at all.
Most recently we have made another change. Since we will soon be moving to our new homestead “The Hennick Homestead” in Angie Louisiana I started looking for an ISP in the area. Just as I thought, there are no high speed Internet Service Providers in the area except satellite ISPs and while they serve a great purpose, their bandwidth restrictions wouldn’t work for our purposes without being exorbitantly expensive. As a last resort I started looking into mobile phone carriers to see if we could use a hotspot for Internet service. Eureka! All of the major cellular carriers offer either a hotspot device or you can activate the hotspot feature of your smartphone. I checked with AT&T, Verizon, and T-mobile. Each of these carriers has a hotspot device available and for a reasonable added fee to your monthly cell phone bill you can add this device and allow it to share your data. While each carrier also has decent plans to allow for hotspot data, T-mobile won the day. T-mobile is our current cell phone carrier anyway, so that made this so much easier, plus we have a full signal on the new property. We are already on an unlimited high speed data plan with T-mobile so adding a device to share the data wasn’t an issue. Further, T-mobile has their “Binge-ON” service that allows you to watch or listen to all of the streaming media you want through your devices, including your hotspot, without affecting your mobile data plan bucket. If you don’t have one of their unlimited plans, the Binge-ON service is great.
Although we will not be moving to the new homestead for a few months yet, we went ahead and cancelled our Charter Internet service and we are fully wireless Internet with our new T-mobile hotspot and ready to get out to the new property.
If you are considering cutting the cord, I highly recommend it. First and foremost it will most likely save you some money. Additionally, it will help take you further away from turning to television on a whim and you’ll find yourself occupying your downtime in other ways. Just make sure to do your research and determine the best ISP for you in your area. If you are considering doing what we did and going mobile by using a hotspot, make absolute sure you have a good signal on your homestead from your carrier of choice.