Any cheap home fallback to an internet cataclysm?

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Rodion15

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I recently learnt that the Internet backbone is made up of a ocean-bottom network of 400-odd fiber cables joining continents.
It makes me nervous that a terrorist attack of any other cyber-warfare or natural cataclysm may seriously disrupt our Internet.

I sometimes wonder if there's any relatively cheap and not hard to learn fallback to have at home, such as a ham-radio system (but that would be a burden if I don't ever use it). Even more alarming is that landline phones are now connected to the ISP as well, so these new landlines our ISP installs in our homes won't work if either electricity or internet goes off.

I wonder if there're any online websites or resources on this.

Any opinions much appreciated.
 
No GRAPES
Are you old enough to have a good recollection of pre-Internet days.....say born in the 1960s or earlier?

I suspect when the net fails, the result will be similar to what would happen without electricity in general. Pandemonium. <MOD EDIT>

If the Internet had no capabilities other than email, then I suppose ham radio might plausibly be a "fallback". But the Internet seems to have become more than email. Can 10 percent of US residents define "ham radio"?

Put a knife in your teeth and carry on.
 
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You can always establish a point-to-point radio (UHF should work best) signal for comms, but the frequencies which would allow you to reach the furthest are used by the military or just not for civilian usage. Then you have light and other such transport mechanisms for point-to-point if you want to replace using the cable under the ocean or even your router. You'd need to implement this in both ends for the encode and decode of the transport and make it compatible with TCP/UDP so you can connect to the rest of the internet.

Then you have conventional satellite comms, but those are really expensive and I'd imagine under extreme circumstances they wouldn't be available for civilian use.

Regards.
 
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USAFRet

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A fallback position to take the place of what, exactly?

Youtube/twitter/facebook? No.

Entertainment?
Local storage. I have several hundred movies, and a couple hundred hours of music on my NAS.

Food delivery?
Again, local. A well stocked fridge/freezer, and about a thousand different recipes, also in my NAS.

Talking to people?
Well, maybe a shared neighborhood HAM system.
 
I think we have to trust our governments (I know but) have contingency plans and safeguards in place. 1st world countries would grind to a halt if there was no internet. Nearly all supply chains use internet, air traffic control, traffic signals, TV infrastructure, ATM’s and card payments. It is so fundamental to our way of life and national security that they must have several layers of contingency in place.

I see it like worrying about a nuke being dropped on your country or a super volcano going off. There is nothing we can do about it and trying to plan for it is a waste of time.
 
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I think we have to trust our governments (I know but) have contingency plans and safeguards in place. 1st world countries would grind to a halt if there was no internet. Nearly all supply chains use internet, air traffic control, traffic signals, TV infrastructure, ATM’s and card payments. It is so fundamental to our way of life and national security that they must have several layers of contingency in place.

I see it like worrying about a nuke being dropped on your country or a super volcano going off. There is nothing we can do about it and trying to plan for it is a waste of time.
I kind of get your point, but your second part is flat out wrong. You have to prepare for very bad scenarios, even if you can't avoid them, if the chance* of them happening is high enough. That's why in locations with volcanoes which haven't been active in centuries still have proper evacuation guidelines and such just in case it happens one day. The whole point is to minimize casualties as much as reasonably possible. Same argument is made for Internet infrastructure and there's plenty fallback mechanisms in critical infrastructure, specially medical stuff and Air Traffic related things.

Regards.
 
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USAFRet

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Life existed and thrived before the Internet.
Aircraft flew, food got delivered to stores, hospitals fixed people, etc, etc.

In the unlikely, almost impossible, scenario that the entire internet were to go away tomorrow, there would be a couple of month of very nasty conditions.
Then, we'd mostly adjust. We'd find workarounds.
 
Life existed and thrived before the Internet.
Aircraft flew, food got delivered to stores, hospitals fixed people, etc, etc.

In the unlikely, almost impossible, scenario that the entire internet were to go away tomorrow, there would be a couple of month of very nasty conditions.
Then, we'd mostly adjust. We'd find workarounds.
The tolerance for life loss over the years has been going down drastically in no minor part to technology, be it "connected" or "offline" things. One of the most important aspects of the "connected world" is how information that, sometimes is crucial for some things, can go to the people that needs it in a heartbeat. When your messaging capability is reduced to the bare minimum, that tolerance will have to change.

Just a practical example: doctors can just call eachother to help diagnose cases they're not sure about and help patients. They can discuss exam results and other such things online. If you take that out, then medcal effectiveness will go down. There's also a lot of things on which doctors now depend that are online and machinery that operates over the internet across hospitals (that do have redundancy, but under the very worst case scenario, they would stop working). Your* medical file (and history) for most things is now fully online and if that is no longer accessible, nailing a proper treatment becomes harder.

So, sure, everything in the past just worked "fine", because the tolerance for death was higher and accoding to the times. Now it is different.

Regards.
 
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USAFRet

Titan
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A good book to read on this is One Second After by William Forstchen.

Effects MUCH more severe than just the interwebs going down.
Due to an EMP, all electricity goes away.

If it were just "the internet", things would be nasty for a while, but we'd adjust.
All electricity going away is much much worse.
 
I don't disagree on the premise that we would adapt.

When you take things that work for granted, if those fail in any capacity with no backup plan in place, bad things will happen for sure.

I don't know how big the impact of each and every thing would be, but my point is about our modern tolerance for such things to occur. I'm willing to say there's a lot of people that would have mental breakdowns and others will just shrug it off and carry on. What propotion? I don't know. Take the whole COVID situation for example. Not quite a cataclysmic thing, but a very telling story of how "humanity" and the safeguards we've put in place failed stupidly until people adapted to the reality and started taking real action.

History repeats itself because some people is just too stupid to learn and adapt, I'd say, lol.

Regards.
 

USAFRet

Titan
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When you take things that work for granted, if those fail in any capacity with no backup plan in place, bad things will happen for sure.
Take the AWS fail a month ago.
Your door lock fails to open, your thermostat goes offline, your dog bowl fails to refill (Oh, the horror!)

Could YOU live without the internet for a week or month?
I know I could.
 
Take the AWS fail a month ago.
Your door lock fails to open, your thermostat goes offline, your dog bowl fails to refill (Oh, the horror!)

Could YOU live without the internet for a week or month?
I know I could.
Live? Yes, no problems.

I would miss it for sure. Specially talking with friends across the ocean and at great distances. I live across continents from my family and going back to written letters is going to be difficult for sure. Also, going outside almost always implies you have to spend money to do things (more so than online), so that would be a bummer and annoying. Most games I play are online, so nothing much to do there either. I guess I could play VR games for a good while as Steam allows that in offline mode, but not forever.

Regards.
 
I kind of get your point, but your second part is flat out wrong. You have to prepare for very bad scenarios, even if you can't avoid them, if the chance* of them happening is high enough. That's why in locations with volcanoes which haven't been active in centuries still have proper evacuation guidelines and such just in case it happens one day. The whole point is to minimize casualties as much as reasonably possible. Same argument is made for Internet infrastructure and there's plenty fallback mechanisms in critical infrastructure, specially medical stuff and Air Traffic related things.

Regards.
Sorry I wasn't clear. As an individual there is nothing you can do about these. Governments can have disaster plans they would implement. I was also thinking more apocalyptic with a super volcano (Yellowstone Caldera) than a quite isolated volcano, a super volcano goes off and the whole globe is impacted to varying degrees.
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
Live? Yes, no problems.

I would miss it for sure. Specially talking with friends across the ocean and at great distances. I live across continents from my family and going back to written letters is going to be difficult for sure. Also, going outside almost always implies you have to spend money to do things (more so than online), so that would be a bummer and annoying. Most games I play are online, so nothing much to do there either. I guess I could play VR games for a good while as Steam allows that in offline mode, but not forever.

Regards.
In the event of total worldwide internet fail, I'd put the inability to play online games pretty far down the list of things to worry about.
 
In the event of total worldwide internet fail, I'd put the inability to play online games pretty far down the list of things to worry about.
Funny how you decided to comment on that single point, lol.

I'm guessing you'll be happy inside your bunker?

Sorry I wasn't clear. As an individual there is nothing you can do about these. Governments can have disaster plans they would implement. I was also thinking more apocalyptic with a super volcano (Yellowstone Caldera) than a quite isolated volcano, a super volcano goes off and the whole globe is impacted to varying degrees.
Ah, ok. That explains it better. I think there's a more realistic scenario that could happen: Solar Super Flare. That would fry all electrical infrastructure exposed to the elements (the Sun in particular) and then some more. Then you have meteorites, although those are better monitored as of late, but not that we could actually do something about a big one getting too close, hitting the Moon or even going directly for Earth.

In some of those more "realistic" (yeah, I know, lol) scenarios, we'll be extinct almost immediately or whoever is left alive would have a lot of issues trying to stay alive for long. Going back to primal communities and social organization with modern knowledge... Cannibalism would return, lol.

Regards.
 
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USAFRet

Titan
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Funny how you decided to comment on that single point, lol.

I'm guessing you'll be happy inside your bunker?
Missing talking with friends would also be a consideration.
But again, not near the top of my list.

From the post I replied to...
Friends
Online games
Going outside


Some of my friends, I've known for many decades. They'll be fine, and we can catch up once the crapfest is over. We can already go weeks/months/years without conversing.
Online games...not my wheelhouse, don't really care.
Going outside...I'd get around to rebuilding our mountain bikes and maybe lose a few pounds. Which I need to do anyway.
 

Rodion15

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I think we have to trust our governments (I know but) have contingency plans and safeguards in place. 1st world countries would grind to a halt if there was no internet. Nearly all supply chains use internet, air traffic control, traffic signals, TV infrastructure, ATM’s and card payments. It is so fundamental to our way of life and national security that they must have several layers of contingency in place.

I see it like worrying about a nuke being dropped on your country or a super volcano going off. There is nothing we can do about it and trying to plan for it is a waste of time.

I guess a ham radio is the best fallback.

Provided we have electricity.

I very much hope this will never happen, but I watched a documentary about E-bombs, that said that a single E-bomb dropped from a plane would destroy all electric circuitry in the US, I mean "all", Ham radios too.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electromagnetic_pulse

...all we'd feel is a prickly sound and then nothing works.
 
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Rodion15

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Well, some of those events may be getting closer than we expect? :D

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-60007119

Regards :p
I like listening to Yuval Noah Harari, his predictions and solutions are very interesting: basically, either countries unite, at least in a common purpose to avoid disagreement-caused disasters, or we'll be very vulnerable to either climate change disasters, war disasters, cyber-war disasters, including cyber-terrorism, overpopulation, welfare mal-distribution, etc. The only but I have with him is that hopefully he's too young to be wise enough and that those predictions are hopefully far-fetched. Touch wood.
 

Rodion15

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Hopefully, PSTN internet would still work if newer internet is compromised, this would take us back to modems and dialup connections....no idea to what extent and not including the pulse bomb scenario 😎
 

Rodion15

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Governments may stock ham radios to spread across key sites during disaster. These would be user-friendly radios ready to be deployed to hospitals, food chains, etc.
Or they may just refurbish current PSTN networking , the old phone cables didn't need electricity at home as these are powered cables.
 

carocuore

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Even more alarming is that landline phones are now connected to the ISP as well, so these new landlines our ISP installs in our homes won't work if either electricity or internet goes off.
IP phones? yup those are bad, if your router dies then poof can't call anyone.
Glad we still have Ye Olde landline at home which is kind of a requirement since internet comes through it as well.
A nice easter egg is that 56k still works, I've tried with an old computer and dialing the phone company # gets the tone and connects, it's still used for rural schools and emergency outposts located far into the mountains, places that don't require extremely high speeds in order to send and receive messages, same with Fax.

I live in a rural area so being sort of isolated is normal, it's quiet, sometimes too quiet. We have a generator at home but it relies on propane tanks to work, it's useful to deal with the long outages during summer/storm season.
Radio works, sometimes I can pickup local airplanes and the police band, in shortwave I picked up a russian radio once but nothing else besides the national band that only plays music in a loop, it's decent considering my antenna is simply a wire hanging from a pole in the roof.

What I'm worried about rather than playing Steam VR games is ammunition and guns, it wouldn't take a serious natural or man-made disaster to spark total anarchy in my third world country and transforming it into the Mad Max wasteland in a matter of days, government doesn't even has the power to combat drug cartels so I wouldn't expect them to do anything.
And a puny Mauser can't take down a technical, unless a pro sniper handles it.
 
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