There are a few different definitions of "off grid" living, or rather I suppose they are really different ideas of what "off grid" means. For some it means living without power and any connection to the outside world, including internet. For others it may mean having some solar or wind power but being connected via some grid lines such as gas, telephone, internet or cable. For me it means not relying on any public utilities companies (water, sewer, power or gas), but still having internet. I'm not sure how I would survive without being able to contact with family and use the internet. Well, maybe that is being a bit to melodramatic as we did do that for the first year.
It is a different way to live when you have no phone/internet or cable. The world is such a quiet place and in order to feel in some way connected, the only thing we could do was purchase a radio which could pick up stations from great distances. Sometimes it worked and sometimes not so much. The most fun we had was picking up stations with languages we didn't know and trying to figure out where the signal was coming from. But still I missed being able to talk to family members and keep in touch on a regular basis, so when our internet connection was established I was very excited.
Our only connection when we had not connection!
The only problem we had was the connection was so poor we would loose it for days on end and even though we had cut a swath through the trees in order to clear the path for the signal it didn't do much good. The tower where our internet signal comes from is over 30 miles away and although we had cut a large swath of trees down, which we are now using for firewood, it wasn't enough to clear the path. Finally, last year, Mountain Man was able to locate a 70 foot tower which although it had been laying on the ground for years was still sturdy and he traded something (can't remember what) to the farmer for it.
Setting it up was no easy task and once set up finding someone brave enough to climb it and set up our internet took time but oh how wonderful to have it now! Is it perfect? Nope! But then I don't know anything that is. There are times when it still goes down, sometimes for a few days at a time but at least we now have a clear signal and we know it isn't the trees that are causing the problem. Now my only fear is that a huge wind or something will come along and tear it down. According to Mountain Man I have nothing to worry about but I've always been the worrying type. The funny things is, a lot of what we use the internet for is listening to radio stations! Go figure!