Online entertainment hacks for when the Internet isn’t available

Consumer news | 2 Jan |

Social media, online games, and entertainment apps like Youtube and Netflix account for 64% of our time spent online. That means online entertainment comprises more than half of our internet use.

So what happens when the internet goes out? Even in residential areas, you can experience a spotty connection and extended downtime. And if the power goes out, your internet will, too.

Looking for ways to stay entertained during a power or internet outage? Here are some online entertainment hacks you can enjoy even while off the grid.

1. Watch Netflix Offline

If you watch Netflix through the official app, you can stay tuned in to your favorite shows without an internet connection. This requires you to be proactive and download the movies in advance. Not a bad idea if your area experiences frequent outages!

First, access the Netflix app on your device. Once you log in, head to the navigation menu in the top-left. You’ll find “Available for Download” in the drop-down list.

From here, you’re free to browse the entire catalog of downloadable movies and TV shows. Note that not all content is available for download.

Select any shows you’d like and queue them. Your device will download these shows which you can watch later, even when the internet is offline. These downloads expire after a certain amount of time, so be sure to keep your queue fully updated.

There’s one problem with this method. Mac devices don’t have an official Netflix app. If you’re looking for a workaround, here’s how to watch Netflix offline with a Mac device.

2. Steam Offline Mode

You probably use the Steam application if you play games as a form of online entertainment. As popular and widespread as this storefront is, few people know one of its most useful functions: Offline mode. Just like Netflix, this feature requires an internet connection to set up.

Head to your Steam settings and account and disable the “Don’t save account credentials” checkbox. Offline mode needs this information saved to verify you’re the account owner. Also, make sure you have Steam set to remember your password.

Now that the setup is complete, navigate to the Steam drop-down menu and select Go Offline. The next time you start Steam, the application will launch in offline mode. It’s best to ensure the games you want to play are completely updated beforehand, or else you may not be able to enjoy them.

3. Save Podcasts for Later

Are you fond of podcasts? Then you should know you can listen to them without an internet connection. This is great if you have spotty internet or want to use your mobile device without eating up all your data.

The Apple Podcasts app comes pre-installed on many devices. You can also find it in the app store. This is your ticket to future offline entertainment.

Scroll through the available content on the Podcasts software. You can download these podcasts by selecting “save episode.” Depending on the size of the show, your download may take a few minutes.

Don’t own an Apple device? Then use the Stitcher app instead. It offers the same core functionality for Android phones.

4. Stay Informed

Hundreds of popular news sites put out fantastic content every single day. Yet few people have the time to enjoy even a fraction of these articles during their busy lives. When the internet goes out, that’s a perfect time to get caught up.

See an article you’d like to read? There’s a good chance you’ll never actually find the time to get around to it. You may even forget about it entirely.

That’s why you should use an app like Pocket. Pocket makes it easy to download text-based files from popular online text sources like news and blogs. With a single click, you’ll have access to the story whenever you’re without internet.

Not sure what to read? Start your search with the basics, such as the New York Times or New Yorker.

Pocket also has limited video functionality. However, it can’t download Youtube videos, which makes the feature moot for our purposes. But you may find some value in syncing it with your Youtube account.

5. Read Your Kindle

Want to catch up on your reading? Now’s your best chance.

If you aren’t in possession of physical books, then you likely have a Kindle or a similar e-reader device. By purchasing and downloading your books in advance, you’ll be ready when the internet drops out.

But what if you use the Kindle Cloud Reader instead? This app allows you to access your Kindle books on a variety of devices. Although it normally requires an internet connection, it doesn’t need one.

You can enable offline reading on the Cloud Reader. The process differs depending on your browser of choice.

On Safari, it’s as simple as clicking the Library button and following the app’s prompts. If you use Firefox, you can allow Maintain Offline Storage under your Permissions tab.

Internet Explorer users can navigate to their General Settings and activate Allow website caches and databases, which tells the Cloud Reader to download books straight to your device.

Accessing Online Entertainment Offline

Unless you have a mobile data plan, there’s no special way to access the internet when your home router turns red. Since almost everyone relies on online entertainment, it’s a good idea to prepare movies, articles, and books in advance.

It only takes a few minutes to prepare, and you’ll be glad you did when you experience your next internet outage.

If you enjoyed this article, then scour our website for more entertainment tips and tricks.

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