When traveling, you may have noticed that WiFi connections still tend to be unreliable and slow, and in many circumstances you can’t get online at all. That’s why is handy to have access to offline apps, and offline media.
The Best Offline Apps
Offline Maps: Maps.Me
Maps.Me offers detailed offline maps and offline directions. You can download maps for the countries you’ll be visiting.
It’s quite impressive that they are able to generate offline directions on a mobile device.
An Offline Wikipedia
Use A VPN (Virtual Private Network) To Encrypt All Your Connections
A VPN (or virtual private network) is a service that encrypts and redirects all the internet connections on your computer. This means all the data leaving your computer is encrypted, which adds a layer of protection against hackers and eavesdroppers. This is really useful to have, especially if you use WiFi connections that you don’t trust.
Many services (such as Netflix) restrict access based on geography. You can avoid this by using a VPN — a VPN allows you to appear to be many different countries around the world.
Keep Your Passwords and Notes Offline and Secure
Lastpass is a cloud-based password and secure note manager. This app still works when you are offline. I find it handy to be able to securely access all my credit cards and banking information using Lastpass. The Pro version of the service costs $12 per year.
Offline Media (aka Your Entertainment)
Streaming video or music is too slow and troublesome when traveling. So, before you go, I recommend that you:
- Download all your media to a notebook computer or mobile device
Even if you have an iPhone or iPad, with the right apps, you can play almost every video or audio format. The secret is to use a cloud-based player like Dropbox or Seafile (an encrypted Dropbox-like service).
- You can transfer your media to your devices using these services
- They will play almost every type of audio or video file
- You can “favorite” the files you need offline on your device
If you can’t get access to your content in file form, you should probably look into Usenet.
If you need a universal media player, try VLC — a reliable open source video player.
If you need an open-source ebook reader for the iPhone, try YiBooks.
Plex: A Media Player For All Your Devices
Plex is a robust media cloud player, but you may find it takes some technical ability to get it working. But once installed, it generally works well.
Plex supports media downloading for offline use.