What Equipment do you need for Remote Work?

You can only work remotely when you have the right equipment. At the very least a phone, but preferable a smartphone, tablet computer, laptop or desktop computer. Optionally you might need printers and/or scanners. You can find them all in the shop for any budget.

Smartphones

We start with the smartphone. The smartphone has of course one core function and that is making and receiving telephone calls. That's the minimum, but it's not what makes the smartphone ... smart. The real good thing about smartphones is that you can install apps (or applications), which will extend the functionality of a smartphone, and in many cases for free. The other important function for a smartphone is the ability to access the Internet.

When you buy a low-budget smartphone, you might run into some problems, and depending on your use, maybe not. This depends on the following:

  1. Do you have a modern smartphone from this or previous year?
  2. Does your smartphone has enough memory?

For example, a smartphone you bought in 2015 is still working, but many apps are not able to run on your smartphone. Also the updates of your operating system is likely not working anymore.

The memory of a smartphone is the main problem, which reduces its capacity dramatically. For example the smartphone for $40 looks great, it has 2 Gb of memory and why is the smartphone's memory running out when I install additional apps? In smartphones, you have two different memories: the internal memory (RAM) and the external memory (this can be gigabytes). Apps are normally and by default installed in the internal memory.

For example, a fancy smartphone with 2 Gb of memory and the price $40 has only 256 Mb of internal memory and 2 Gb of external memory. You might install only Facebook (lite) on the phone and that's it, its memory is full.

  • And example of a smartphone is the Alcatel phone. It has 1.1 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 210 quad-core processor with 16 GB Internal memory and 2 GB RAM with expandable up to 32GB with microSD card, 5” HD display with Asahi Glass, plus an 8 MP main camera and 5 MP selfie camera for a price of $60. This model has 16Gb of memory (and 1 Gb of internal memory)!
  • Another example of a low-budget phone is the Sprint HTC Evo 4G. Wi-Fi networking (with optional hotspot capability); 8-MP camera with HD video capture; front-facing 1.3-MP camera for video chats; microSD expansion to 32 GB; Bluetooth stereo music, the EVO 4G adds 3D screen and camera, including video, plus a faster 3rd-generation dual-core Snapdragon processor. Other features include WiMAX 4G data, Android 2.3, HTC’s Sense interface, a huge, high-resolution display, and HD video output to TV. Other features include WiFi, memory card slot, and 3.5mm audio jack. Memory is 4Gb and 1Gb of internal memory.

The above examples of low-budget phones will do the job and you can add your Facebook, WhatsApp and all the popular (social media) apps into your new phone. The speed of usa is okay and acceptable.

But if you really want to have a professional phone, try the Apple smartphones or stay with the standards in Samsung phones.

Computers: Tablet, Laptop or Desktop?

And here we go. Next to the smartphones, you really need a computer to perform remote work. Today, with the advancements in computing you have three candidates:

  1. Tablet computers
  2. Laptop computers
  3. Desktop computers

If you look for capacity differences, I must tell you that over the years, the capacities of tablets, laptops and desktop computers are fuzzy or merged. With other words, there are tablet computers, which have a ch bigger capacity than laptops and desktops!

Some years ago, prices for tablet computers were mainly under the $200, laptops under the $6,000 and desktops under the $10,000! Today, you can find tablet computers for already several thousands of dollars and the reason is that the capacity of all those types of computers went up dramatically.

Several years ago everyone talked about megabytes of memory, than gigabytes and now we're talking about terabytes of memory. At the same time, the minimum system requirements of memory for software went up as well. For example, the earlier Windows operating systems were working fine with a couple of megabytes of memory, today Microsoft advises at the very least one gigabyte of memory, preferable 2 gigabytes.

People who are using computers for programming need at least 16 Gb of memory. People working with heavy graphics need 32Gb or 64Gb!

And that's is only memory. We're also talking about storage capacities. Normal people save their data (pictures, mail, documents, etc.) on their storage and have more than enough space with 10 Gb. It becomes different when you want/need to store movies, and high density and resolution images in your storage, than they need at least a terabyte of storage.

For those who are working with only internet, without any large software installed, a computer with 2 gigabytes and some 20-30 Gb of storage is more than enough.

You can easily use a tablet computer, because those tablets have the basic configuration of 2Gb. You can always some flash memory to extend the additional storage capacity up to terabytes if needed for a couple of dollars. There is a collection of tablet computers under the $100 in the shop.

Remote work with Tablet Computers

In 90% of all Internet remote work jobs you need a tablet computer. A tablet by itself might not be enough or convenient, because the tablet computer is working fine by itself, but it might be more convenient to extend the tablet computer with accessories like a physical keyboard (the tablet comes with a virtual keyboard), an external mouse (otherwise you rely only on the touch-screen), a tablet stand (to install the tablet computer on a wall, or in a car, or close to your face), maybe you want to use external storage, or you want to install filters for better viewing, etc.

Also there is always the constant battle with the batteries. Cheap tablet computers work for four hours on batteries. That's what the factory or supplier claims. Theoretically this is true, as long as you don't use the tablet (much) or not too many software processes are running in the background. In practice, a cheap tablet computer works for two hours on battery and you need to recharge. An average battery time for a working tablet computer is about four hours.

You've the option to or buy a more expensive tablet computer or you buy an additional charger. Such tools allows you to have additional hours of battery life, and those varies from a hour till eight additional hours.

  1. Here is you see collection of tablet computers.
  2. Here you see a collection of cheap tablet computers.
  3. Here you see a collection of accessories for the tablet computers.
  4. Here you see a collection of chargers and adaptors for tablet computers.
  5. Here you see a collection of keyboards for your tablet computers.
  6. Here you see a collection of mouses for your tablet computers.
  7. Here you see a collection of screen filters for your tablet computers.
  8. Here you see a collection of stands for your tablet computers for at home, on route or in your car.
  9. And if you have kids, and you want to give them their own tablet computers, indestructible and fun for them, here is the collection.
  10. And if you regularly break your tablet computers (like the touch screen), here is a collection of repair kids to fix it yourself instantly.

Memory, look out!

Just like the smartphones, there is a possible problem with memory with the tablet. This is not the case with laptops and desktops, because the internal memory is clearly defined. With smartphones and tablet computers, the salespeople and advertisement easy like to confuse people claiming that their product has 2 or 16 or 32Gb of memory, which is by definition always correct, but in practice the internal memory is not mentioned.

Too low internal memory

When you buy a tablet computer, the most important aspect is the internal memory. Who cares about the external memory, because you can buy cheap flash memory to extend the external memory. The internal memory of 512Mb for tablet computers is not acceptable. At the very minimum, one gigabyte for the cheapest tablet computers is the minimum, but you'll have a slow tablet computer. With other words, it takes minutes before an average webpage is loaded. And when you want to add many apps into your tablet computer, this speed will be even more reduced. It's advisable to have a minimum of 2Gb of internal memory. The speed of the pages are still not so fast, but it's acceptable. It takes a tens of seconds before a default webpage is loaded.

When you have a tablet computer with 4Gb of internal memory, it takes a couple of seconds to load an average webpage.

Operating system

The most common operating system out there (for smartphone and tablets) is the Android operating system from Google. This is a perfect acceptable operating system. But there are tablet computers with the Windows (10) operating system from Microsoft. If you choose a Windows operating, be aware that this operating system needs more (basic) memory. I advise to have a tablet computer with at least four gigabytes of internal memory. The very minimum is 2Gb.

If you run a tablet computer with 2Gb of memory and a Windows Operating system, you run into problems when you need to update your operating system. Updates are always performed remotely by Microsoft (over the internet) and will demand many hours of updating. And it will always complain that your space in memory is not enough.

Laptop computers

Laptops can have a basic configuration or can have a very advanced configuration, For remote work, a laptop is nice, but many times it's overkill. For example:

  • Mary was able to find remote work. Her new remote job is data entry to an external website from the employer. She uses a nice Lenovo laptop with 64Gb memory and a terabyte internal disk. The price she paid for the laptop is $3,256. She could do the same job with the same speed and convenience with a 12" tablet computer with 4Gb of internal memory, flash drive, monitor, keyboard, mouse and stand for $280.

It's quite different if the remote work demands testing computer games. Than it's a requirement that you have a strong computer (laptop or desktop) with loads of memory, storage space and processor speed.

For programmers, it's also a requirement that they use laptops with at the very least 32Gb or more and a half terabyte of storage space and a fast processor.

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