With the recent bad weather that moved through the southeast from Tropical Storm Zeta, we and a number of our customers, were without Internet for an extended period of time. We and many of our customers depended on our Internet connection for things like email, Point of Sale (POS) systems, etc., so the Internet outage was crippling.
In some cases, the ISP has a wireless backup option but a) there was an additional monthly cost and b) it wasn’t immediately available.
As a work around at our office, we built a small device (based on our Network Ninja) that connected a mobile phone and our firewall and, using the phone’s mobile hotspot, got the office Internet access for all of our computers and VoIP phones. It worked very well and, after learning about it, a number of customers have asked if we could build one for them.
We are currently working on a version that would be suitable for general use and are considering making it available for sale. The cost of the device would be around $150 and there would be no ongoing or monthly fee. The initial setup would include setting it up to connect to the WiFi hotspot on a mobile phone and then waiting for an outage. When the Internet goes out, simply enable the hotspot on the mobile phone that it was configured with and connect it to your firewall (depending on your network and / or firewall setup, additional configuration changes may be required to use the new connection but those could be made prior to an outage). All traffic would then go through the hotspot on your phone, so no changes would need to be made to your computers, VoIP phones, etc. If you’re interested in learning more, use the contact form here.