“Just move to the Internet, its great here. We get to live inside where the weather is always awesome.” ― John Green
I’m giggling at that quote! It’s perfect for a geek girl like me. I’ll confess…I have to have fast internet. I’m addicted to the internet. My husband is an internet widow. (Or is it widower?)
Living on a small island in the middle of the sweet sea, in the middle of Nicaragua, in the middle of Central America is not conducive to fast internet.
If you’ve followed my posts about my slow internet struggles for four years, and you live in a rural area or abroad where technology isn’t readily available, this post is for you. I’ll take you step-by-step through my process of connecting to the world rapidly.
It started after a Skype call to our son. He bought a Roku streaming-video box because he couldn’t get cable in Yosemite National Park (where he works and lives). I wanted to stream Netflix on my TV, but I had two problems: a slow internet, and a dysfunctional router for wi-fi. Make that
three four problems…our TV was slowly dying and I needed my VPN to go to my TV so it looked like I had an internet IP address from the U.S. Without a VPN, many of the channels are not accessible from abroad. For example, Hulu and Pandora. Using Netflix without a VPN restricts some shows as well.
1. We installed a microwave internet tower on the roof of our casita. Our microwave tower needed a direct line of site to the server on the mainland and we are surrounded by tall trees. They configured a new router so we could have wi-fi throughout the house.
2. With speeds of 4-7 Mbps, we were ready to stream video. I chatted online with my Strong VPN technician. How do I put my Strong VPN on my router so that I can stream video to my TV? He explained to me that not all routers can be configured for a VPN. I ordered a NetGear router from my Strong VPN service and had it shipped to the U.S.
3. I ordered a Roku 3 streaming video box and had it shipped to the U.S. After a quick trip to visit my mother, I returned to Nicaragua with a new router and a Roku 3 streaming video box.
4. Next, we had to buy a new TV. I had no need for a smart TV because I planned on connecting through wi-fi. I just had to make sure that the TV had a HDMI connection. I am pleased to report that I could buy our Samsung flat screen TV on our island. In fact, we rarely need to leave the island anymore because almost everything we need is right here!
5. I accidentally reset our router that came with the tower. When I called the GGnet technician, he told me never, never, never reset a router with a microwave system. Apparently, it resets the entire system and I lost our network. The technician came the next day, and instead, I had him set up our new NetGear router that was VPN ready. I’ll save the other router for wi-fi in our casita.
6. Next, I chatted with Elmer online, the Strong VPN technician to configure the NetGear router to accept my Strong VPN. He told me to install a program called Teamwork, so that he could get access to my computer remotely and configure my VPN to my NetGear router. I watched in awe as he moved my mouse, opened windows, and configured my router. Five minutes later, wi-fi with my VPN was accessible on all of our electronic devices.
7. I had to buy a different subscription for my VPN. It is called Open VPN. My old VPN would only work with our laptops. Instead of $55 yearly, I now pay $80 yearly. I love Strong VPN. They offer 24/7 technical service. If you live abroad, a VPN is a necessity. If you are interested in Strong VPN, please ask me for a referral because I get a discount on my yearly bill with each referral.
8. The last step was to hook up the Roku box to the TV. Only four simple steps, and we now have access to 1,500 channels.
This process took about a month, mainly because I had to go to the states to pick up my Roku box and my new router. Our laptops, tablet, iPhone, and TV are all wi-fi connected with our VPN IP address from Miami. The total cost for our tower, TV, Roku box, and router was less than $1,000.
And to think that we live on a rural tropical island! It amazes me! I’ve moved to the internet. It’s great here! The only thing left to do is ground the internet tower. It’s the rainy season in Nicaragua. I can live inside where the weather is always awesome. 🙂