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Article written by Kendra Beltran

It’s the first thing we do when we wake up and the last thing before we head to bed. Checking our phones has become the norm, but what are we to do when our phones can’t connect? I know, the thought is a nightmare but that’s a reality one has to face when dealing with a myriad of potential possibilities. Like the protestors in Hong Kong. They’re dealing with some insanity right now and don’t feel safe online, so they’ve headed offline to be able to stay in touch with their fellow protestors about what’s going down.

That’s just one instance, elsewhere people have to think about how to reach home when they’re abroad and also how to check-in and make sure everyone is okay during natural disasters. Be it hurricanes, earthquakes, tsunamis - you get the idea. When cell service goes down or isn’t available for one reason or another, like at your least favorite airport or most favorite concert, people panic. But they don’t have to! There is a cascade of apps available that let you say in the know when you’re off the grid.


The best way to explain Firechat is like a game of telephone. Remember that? One person starts with a phrase and it has to go through the rest of the group. Then, in the end, you see how well y'all remembered it? Yes, only with Firechat the right message always gets through because it utilizes signals from one device to another. So when you hit send, it then bounces off of other phones until it reaches its destination. So the more people using, the better it works. The only downside is that it can only reach 210 feet max. So this isn't ideal when it comes to traveling abroad when you want to check in at home, but it's great during natural disasters to reach loved ones. Something to think about getting in your family and social circle to stay in touch - just in case!


If you want a little more coverage, then Bridgefy is the app for you. Similar to Firechat, Bridgefy uses peer-to-peer connections to get your message where it needs to be. Only Bridgefy gives you 20 more feet than Firechat.


As long as you have 3G, 4G, or even a WiFi connection, you'll be able to work with Vojer. You can send texts and photos like you normally would, as well as voice messages.

The Serval Mesh

When it comes to adventure, The Serval Mesh is one of the best apps to have. Whether you're in the comfort of your living room or backpacking through the rainforest, you'll be able to use The Serval Mesh. This app is perfect for travelers who don't want to mess with those overseas charges when trying to reach someone back home.


Now that kids as young as kindergarten have phones, they too need apps to keep them safe at all times. From traveling with family to natural disasters to being on lockdown in school, they need a way to reach someone. Hike is a great app for younger phone users because it not only works when you need it most, but it has the most entertainment-packed in with all the stickers and emojis to boot.


On the flipside, Briar is for the more adult users who are often on the road for work. There is no telling when and where you may breakdown and need roadside assistance. Thankfully you can use Briar to get the help you need even in the middle of nowhere.


What's great about WhatsApp is that when you hit send, your message heads off to the WhatsApp headquarters (we're not sure if that's a physical place of just in where it's then saved until it's able to be on its way to whomever you intended it to be for. So while it may not be instant, it gets it there eventually.

Be careful out there and remember to let your loved ones know you're safe!

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