Aside from a computer, there’s only one thing that you need to do your job when traveling: a good internet connection. Not just an internet connection, but a good one.

When you rely on things like Skype to make calls from international locations, and when you have to log on to the company’s virtual private network, you need the bandwidth to handle those kinds of stresses.

Enter the Internet speed test.

Every time Jordan and I change locations, we ask someone in the area where we’re going to run this test for us.

In Mexico, we planned to stay with a family friend. She ran the test and found that the internet was really slow. After some digging she discovered two things:

  • Her modem was really old
  • Her neighbors were poaching her internet

She fixed both of these issues before we arrived. She took her old modem to the cable company and traded it in for a new one, and she created a password to limit the number of users on her account.

Even if you can’t find anyone to run the internet speed test before you get there, it’s a great tool to have once you arrive. If the Internet is dragging, run the test, then call the cable company with the results. Hopefully they can help you troubleshoot the problem.

Ideally you want a download speed of at least 2mbps and an upload speed of 0.5mbps. The higher those numbers are, the better off you are.

When it works, the results are rewarding. You get to work in settings like this: