By Mike Ianiri, Equinox
On a chilly day do you ever dream of packing your bags and moving your family and your job to your dream location? Perhaps you’d like to live and work on a gorgeous sunny beach in the Caribbean! If so, what technology and telecoms will you need to make this happen? Here are some tips to get you on the move.
You need reliable devices which can cope with all your software. You’ll probably access the Cloud lot and may have several programs running simultaneously – so a decent amount of RAM is important. For work offline a good-sized hard drive, or an extra external hard drive is essential.
Without plug sockets handy, you’ll need a powerbank. Consider:
- How many devices will you charge from the powerbank? To keep phones and your laptop charged you’ll need a larger capacity device.
- What devices are you charging? Powerbanks come with a variety of outlet sockets, but they’re not all the same.
- Many airlines ban the really high capacity powerbanks
If your property is near the beach and the WiFi reaches you, fantastic. If not, you’ll need a 4G connection and tether via your phone.
If you’re heading for the Caribbean, prepare for fairly slow speeds. The Bahamas seems to have the fastest broadband speeds, at about 9.95Mbps. On the Florida coastline, you can get much faster speeds, at 46.6Mbps. You’ll need to check 4G availability.
If you go initially for a short period, check data prices. It can be cheaper to buy data in the UK but sometimes it’s cheaper locally. Outside the EU, most UK operators charge £5 per day to use your contract data, which may be sufficient.
A security warning: be very careful about using local WiFi. It is common for hackers to spoof WiFi connections access to your data.
You’ll be talking to a lot of people: staff, clients, suppliers, investors and prospects etc. Depending on where they are you need to think carefully about how you set up your phones. Your mobile is not your best option, even if it’s easy to take to the beach. If you decide on the Bahamas, because of the broadband speeds, mobile calls to the UK could cost over £2 a minute.
A VoIP-based solution with a softphone on your laptop and/or your smartphone handset may be the best option. SIP trunk connections will mean you’re only ever making local calls, rather than calling at international rates. You can even keep a UK landline number. Clients don’t need to know you’re on the beach!
Keeping data secure
Stolen devices can mean a data security nightmare. Data breaches on devices that contain Personally Identifiable Information (PII) for EU citizens need to be reported to the information Commissioners Office (ICO) within 72 hours. You also have to tell the people affected!
Secure your devices and be able to remotely wipe them, if needed. Talk to your IT support company about Mobile Device Management (MDM), biometrics or two-factor authentication (2FA) before you go.
The range of tools to help you with remote working continues to grow.
Instant messaging tools, such as Slack, Hipchat or Google’s Hangout Chat are free, or have free versions.
Video-conferencing is an alternative to using a phone, but the quality of your internet connection may determine how often you use this. There’s Skype and other options including Google’s Hangout and Zoom.
Project management is essential for remote teams. If you need one place for chat, meetings, collaborative working, file sharing etc. something like Microsoft Teams is worth considering. if your projects aren’t particularly complex Basecamp is a useful tool.
With technology on your side you and your family could be living the dream!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mike Ianiri is Director of independent telecoms brokerage Equinox. Mike works with companies, charities and other organisations to help them choose the right telecoms packages for their neds and thereby reduce their costs. He is particularly knowledgeable on the integration of IT and telecoms in business. www.equinoxcomms.co.uk