Cell Phones are incredibly valuable and useful, that much is sure…
Especially in a survival or emergency situation, not only can you communicate with others, but you can get access to things like maps, GPS and other important — possibly life-saving — tech you might need.
But what if the power goes out? What if the grid goes down? And the cell towers no longer work?
Well, thanks to some new technology, you can now use your cell in an “off grid” situation with no internet, no cell towers and even in the middle of nowhere. Check it out:
Cell Phones Are Useful and We All Have Them!
Before anyone gets all “grumpy old man” on me and tells me how we need to learn to live in caves and eat bushes and stuff, let’s just be real here.
Cell phones are very useful!
You can communicate with others. You can text each other. You can get GPS for navigating. You can get almost instant access to maps. Let’s not kid ourselves that they’re not useful.
The problem, for those of us who want to be more prepared, is that we all fear the grid going down.
Heck, even just being out of service with your cell phone sucks!
That’s why I think this new tech is so interesting…
This “Weird” Candy Bar Sized Stick Can Give You Cell Phone Service Even If The Grid Is Down!
GoTenna is a little stick that does something pretty cool. Actually, it is sold with two sticks to a package. You connect one stick to your smartphone with bluetooth, then connect the other stick to another smartphone you want to communicate with.
After that, you can communicate between the two directly — no wifi, cell towers, internet, or anything else needed!
According to the company, “goTenna turns your iPhone or Android into an off-grid communications tool, enabling you to text & share GPS locations on detailed offline maps. goTenna is lightweight, weather-proof, and easy to use … goTenna devices pair to regular smartphones via a simple messaging app. Type a message, send a GPS location, and access free offline maps for the whole world via the goTenna app.”
Here’s why I think this is cool:
* Works anywhere in the world (yes, that means internationally.)
* Messaging: private and encrypted (and not stored anywhere else like cell towers, etc because it’s end-to-end and device to device only communication) 1-on-1 communication/chat plus “public” chat (not encrypted) with all other devices in the area.
* Maps: Download free detailed offline maps of any location in the world.
* Location-Sharing: Easily share and request location information with other goTenna users.
* Delivery-Confirmation of messages (Know if your messages were successfully delivered)
* Range: About half a mile in congested urban areas – up to 4 miles in the wilderness/open areas!
Obviously, This Makes Great Sense If You’re Trying To Find a Way To Use Your Cell Phone In a Grid Down Situation.
You simply need one of these sticks for everyone in your “survival group” or even just your immediate family…
I guess that’s the only real drawback.
Here is a review by a guy on YouTube from a “survival” perspective:
But when you think about it, this is actually powerful technology as it becomes more and more prevalent and more and more adopted…
This is like creating your own “private internet” off the grid.
The company looks like they have something even better too…
GoTenna Mesh Looks Even Better, Because It’s Designed To Create Your Own Mesh Network…
They had so much success, that it appears they have improved the product and are now making a product called “goTenna Mesh” – so you can create your own Off-Grid Mesh Network.
In truth, I think this is the future of the internet.
And this is especially important for preppers, etc
If everyone has a bunch of these, it’s like creating your own network.
It’s important to keep in mind, this is proven technology because the military already uses networks like these…
Thank God for the free market! Now, we’ll have access to this same type of tech. Here’s a writeup I found describing it in more detail (emphasis mine):
“The original goTenna consists of a small radio antenna that connects to a user’s smartphone via Bluetooth and an accompanying app for Android and iOS. The app allows users to send private text messages, public broadcast text messages and GPS data to other users. The distance over which this can be done varies, but when New Atlas put two of the devices through their paces in the Rockies earlier this year, we found we were able to stay in touch from over 2 mi (3.2 km) apart.
Those first-gen goTenna devices are such that communications are sent directly from one device to another, but this means that they must be within range of each other. The goTenna Mesh is able to relay communications via other goTenna Mesh devices, thereby increasing the potential range and allowing communications to be delivered between devices even if they are not within range of each other.
goTenna says the Mesh uses “military-grade mesh networking” to double or triple the range of the original device from around 1 mi (1.6 km) in built-up places to around 3 mi (4.8 km) in open terrain, with the network getting stronger with more users. The device automatically selects clear public radio frequencies over which to send communications. Despite this, and the fact that the devices of other users are used as as relay nodes, the firm says communications remain secure by way of end-to-end encryption.“
It’s worth noting, that goTenna has a “pro version” of this product on their site which they call “The world’s smallest, lightest, most affordable tactical mesh networking radio is here — and it works with any smartphone.”
You can check out more at GoTenna.com. Or click here to see the goTenna on Amazon.
The Wave of The Future – People-To-People Comms and Internet?
But overall, I think this is the wave of the future and I’m going to do more research and seriously consider acquiring some of these and doing some hands-on testing!
I also found this product called “BearTooth” which seems like it’s pretty much the same thing as GoTenna. This is good!
That means the idea works and more competition equals better products for us, the consumer, and over time — much lower prices!
What do you think?
Have you explored the idea of creating your own mesh networks or other off-grid communications like this?
I know the “tried and true” solution everyone always talks about is radios/HAM/etc… but I think tech like this should also be considered because we all already have cell phones and something like this is pretty much plug-n-play!
Got a really good review in PC Magazine.
This sounds like the old Nextel phones with the push to talk to another phone. Never had one, so, I don’t know how this is different.
Things I would like to know if available now or see if they can do it. 1. to be able to switch from one-to-one communication to a group. 2. Ability to switch from one recipient to anther. (ie. a base to communicate with different patrols) 3, Ability to use this even when the grid is on. Feds can’t capture what is never sent over regular airwaves.
So far the price is a bit pricey. But I am sure it will drop as more people start using it. I see this extremely useful in any emergency. But especially when trying to rendezvous.
My only problem is that I would fear I would never or at least hardly ever, use it unless the cell towers were out of order or there was no service for any reason and that only happens a few times per year. Now since the devices are hooked up to the phones by bluetooth, I guess that the GoTenna can be used at will or anytime one wants to. Now if that is the case then it’s a more attractive purchase for anyone who would like to take advantage of encrypted, one on one communication between yourself and another person.
Besides power outages, this would come in handy anytime my cell phone does not have a clear connection due to a weak signal or some interference. If the price comes down a bit, which it probably will, I can see buying a set of these as I would get some use out of them, particularly during hurricane season.
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