How to work remotely with free hotel WIFI

Hotel WifiMany places offer free Wi-Fi for their patrons, and if you are at a place that doesn't chances are you can find the list of available networks nearby on your phone. Having free Wi-Fi is the most popular amenity for hotel guests. Here are some tips so that you can take advantage of being able to convert your tablet, mobile or laptop into your office while enjoying your surroundings wherever you are.

Before you go...

1.     Decide what you need to access outside of the office. Is it just email that you need access to or is there line of business software that you need to access. The ability to retrieve email on your mobile devices or internet kiosk can be done without requiring an actual secure remote login to the office. Email access in the cloud is even less dependent on the office's internet connection.

If you need access to secure information or have to access a shared server environment your office will have with a firewall and routers installed protecting and safeguarding the data. This is because open wireless networks or free networks are not safe. Any information that you access is prone to having virus' and will be vulnerable to viruses. You will need to have remote access software at the office such as Small Business Server or Terminal Server, or Remote Desktop or VPN or LogMeIn to ensure safe passage. If this is the case your efficiency to work will be dependent on your office's internet speed in addition to the hotel's internet speed.

2.     Know your static IP address at the office, so that when you dial in remotely you can find that connection from anywhere in the world.

3.     Get instructions from IT on how to login remotely to secure files. You may need to know more than one method to get in just in case your hotel's Wi-Fi blocks a certain method, you can still use another and not be stuck. It is possible to have a good wireless connection and Internet Access but not be able to login remotely to your secure files. Especially in countries that control internet such as UAE and China. Special provisions need to be made travelling to those countries, and even then the government may thwart any remote attempts.

4.     Make sure the computers/servers/hardware/software that you want to login to remotely do not sleep or hibernate after X amount of activity or it will be unavailable when you try to use it.

5.     If your mobile locked or unlocked? If your phone is unlocked you can purchase a pay as you go local SIM card for phone and data, removing the reliance on finding Wi-Fi hot spots. Outside of North America, these sim cards are dirt cheap and can be purchased everywhere, just show your phone, tap where your SIM card would go and smile - you'll be hooked up in no time.

6.     Test everything before you go. If you can get on remotely from home before leaving, and practice how to connect remotely, you will have much better luck when on the road.

While you are away...

Find a comfortable place to work. Hotel beds are not the best places to work, so if possible see if you can get a room with a desk. If not, explore your hotel because chances are there is a conference room, banquet hall or business center that is a quiet place to sneak into to get work done and make phone calls without being interrupted. Depending on where you are you might also want to put your ear buds in to assist with staying focused while letting others know you are busy.

To start working, find the wireless network on your device, open the providers landing page, enter the provider's password given to you, and accept the terms and conditions. Once you have submitted and agreed you usually receive a confirmation screen and should now have full access to the Wi-Fi network to browse the web, send and receive emails and do your work.

Free WIFI is sometimes slow, and sometimes there is an option to upgrade. You will need a minimum of 1Mbps upload and 1 Mbps download to get by but 2-5 mb will be much faster. You'll be able  to tell if you need to upgrade your WIFI as soon as you start using it.

Too much to remember? No worries here's a link to a checklist for you:


Mobile Office Crib Sheet & Checklist

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