In today’s society, the amount of time we spend offline is often only limited by our choice of mobile device and our physical location. There are fewer and fewer places where Internet access is not available making our ability to be online virtually always.
Recently we have seen an increase in WiFi hotspots that travel, literally. Airplanes, trains and buses, are allowing us to be connected even in transit and although smartphone users are able to use the 3G network to connect to the internet, doing so while traveling is not always reliable, cost effective, or fast.
Airlines are increasing the number or airplanes with in-flight WiFi. After a few airlines tested the service with success, many have decided to add this feature to the list of amenities. Delta has completed upgrades on 171 airplanes of their over 300 fleet. This paid service has become popular for the business traveler who wants to keep on top of email, Facebook and Twitter, while moving between cities.
Buses with WiFi are also becoming more common. Neon, a subsidiary of Greyhound, offers WiFi enabled bus trips between Toronto, Buffalo and New York. These buses also have electrical outlets, so you can take advantage of the Internet the whole trip. The City of Moncton, New Brunswick offers WiFi on their entire public transit bus fleet. Their partnership with Codiac Transit has made this service the first available in Canada.
In Europe trains are very common mode of transportation, so it is no surprise that WiFi on trains is more widely available there then it is in North America. Canada’s Via Rail offers this paid service but many users have commented on the poor quality and lack of reliability.
And if traveling in large groups is not your preference you can equip your car with WiFi. Autonet is an in car device that turns the 3G network into a WiFi hotspot. This device is currently available through Amazon.com and has a monthly subscription fee of $29 US
The bottomline is this…no matter where you are in the air, at sea (cruise ships are into this too), on a train, bus or even in your own car, it seems that WiFi is becoming a mainstream tool for Internet connectivity.