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Best Ways to Stay Connected En Route

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Business might be becoming increasingly virtual, but there’s still a lot of travel involved — especially if you’re in the education evaluation business.

Whether you’re jetting to a cross-country conference or simply hopping around the city from meeting to meeting, it’s important to stay connected. Sure, smartphones have made business life easier, but sometimes it’s necessary to use a screen that’s bigger than your palm.

Fortunately, there are plenty of solutions on the market.

Trying a Tablet on for Size

Somewhere in between smartphones and laptops is where the tablet market is booming. If you’re in a high-travel industry like international degree evaluation and haven’t checked out these in-between platforms, it’s time to jump on the bandwagon. How can you decide which tablet is right for you?

You might already have leanings towards the top platforms and be an Apple or Android person. This can help narrow down your search.

Apple’s iPad has a similar setup to an iPhone so you’ll feel right at home and the large 9.75-inch screen is more than enough space. On the other hand, Android offers up many devices in cooperation with Amazon, Asus and Toshiba to name just a few.

Consider a USB Stick

Don’t worry, if you’re not a Tablet person that doesn’t mean you’re stuck. Many laptops are lightweight enough to carry en route with the added bonus of having all of your documents and files easily accessible.

A USB laptop stick is an affordable option with many sticks under $50 or even free. This allows you to connect to a Wi-Fi hot spot anywhere your chosen provider is (which is basically anywhere you get a decent mobile signal). You can add a plan onto your existing mobile plan for a nominal fee.

Download the Possibilities

A tablet and USB stick is a prime choice if you’re constantly on the go. However, if you don’t need that kind of access on a regular basis, there are still options available.

There are a number of Wi-Fi on-the-go options available that you can download for access. Popular options include AT&T Wi-Fi, Boingo and TWC (Time Warner Cable). Download the program and you have instant access. You can choose from a monthly plan, pay-as-you-go or hourly rate. This is a good option for layovers and long stretches of time waiting for that next train.

Can’t I Get it for Free?

Yes, free is almost always a possibility unless you’re in the middle of nowhere. Many businesses and government agencies offer free Wi-Fi hot spots.

How can you find one nearby if it isn’t showing up in your wireless network options? Free software downloads like Wi-Fi Radar scan the surrounding area for free Wi-Fi hot spots. This is an excellent tool that can save you money.

Of course, you must be willing to walk or drive up to a couple of miles to take advantage of free internet. Keep in mind that some big chains, like Starbucks, are known for free Wi-Fi so try to seek those places out in busy areas.

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