Is It Possible to “Store” Wifi and Use It Later?

In Matt's Musings by Matt Chiera10 Comments

This is something I’ve been thinking about a lot since the recent Net Neutrality repeal.

Is it possible to “store” wifi and use it later? For example, let’s say I’m in the airport waiting for a flight. What if I could download an app that would “store” some of the wifi at the airport so that I can then use it on the no-wifi flight?

Due to the nature of the Internet as a network, the conventional answer to this question is “no, it’s not possible.” The Internet is nothing but a network of interconnected computers, and you can’t store a network on your device.

However, though no app or device is invented yet to perform this task, with the current accelerated state of Internet technology I think this is worth thinking about.

There are workarounds, for instance, you can save webpages and access them later. For example, there are apps that will save the current articles on your favorite news websites so you can access them later without Internet.

There are obvious limitations here. the Internet is currently over 12 Petabytes of information, so it’s not realistic (at least not for the next few decades…or centuries) to “store” the entirety of the Internet. It’s simply too massive an amount of data.

However, it is very feasible to store “sections” of the Internet to use later. With Comcast, AT&T and other big ISPs likely shifting towards a policy of throttling Internet speeds and charging users more to access their favorite apps and websites on the Internet, it may make sense to “store” Internet-connected apps, games, and websites on your devices and then access them later. You could download in-app data (on a slower network) and then access it (at fast speed) once the information is already stored on your device, therefore circumventing the data throttling on that app by the ISPs.

That being said, how would this work without a live “feed” of Internet packets? For instance, how could online gaming function without connectivity via the Internet?

I think this is becoming a more and more important question, especially now that Net Neutrality has been repealed. Our current technology isn’t able to “store” Internet, and there are theoretical limitations on whether storing a network is possible, however, I’m looking forward to seeing if there are developments around this in the future.

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Matt Chiera

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Matt Chiera is the Founder and CEO of Ice Nine Online. Since forming the company in 2014, he’s helped Ice Nine Online’s small and mid-size clients generate millions of dollars in sales from digital marketing. Matt taught digital marketing strategy and tactics at the Tribeca School’s Digital Professional Institute. Matt’s book “Digital Marketers Sound Off” has been ranked as the #1 book in the Web Marketing category on Amazon.

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  1. Avatar

    I am from the Philippines and in fact there are still houses which doesn’t have internet connection. We are all aware that some courses (or subjects) can be offerred and implemented via LMS or other online services. Now we are facing this global pandemic COVID-19 and there are places in my country which are under quarantine. I am thinking that classes can still continue thru online learning. However, internet connection is a major problem to address. If there are on-going development relative to “internet storage,” please let us know? Moreover, if there are on-going research studies, we are very willing to participate. Thank you very much!

    1. Avatar

      In general, that is not possible, even in theory. However, it’s usually possible to save specific content for offline viewing / listening. For web pages, see Google makes it easier to read offline in Chrome on Android.

  2. Avatar

    Actually i also thought this same related question onced,when my house no wifi connection four days. That time i was thinking if i can save some data from router,i can use it later.I also thought about mobile memory card (sd card),in memory card jusr reserve amount of data.When we use any webpage, just loading the information of that page (packet data).
    When we dont have wifi or mobile data,that time we only want to browse some specific website (as i am a student on that time need to browse educational webpage). So i want to reserve that website all data into card similar to memory card.It is my thinking,if any webpage is possible to check offline.Then why it is not possible to full specific website not possible to reserve that full website data.

  3. Avatar

    But they is a chance to download data from WiFi to the sim Carrier we can use till the maximum limit (5gb) it depends.
    So that we can create a chip like wifi in phone
    Like this slowly we can able to fix in the motherboard of the phone
    They is a lot of theory where k have reached on this topic
    However I just have a therorical part

  4. Avatar

    I am also searching for this but i cannot find a proper answer for this..
    so i just find a application which is “DATA BACK” application.. this app is for android you can try this almost 100 mb data store or may be more …
    I hope it’s will help you….

    1. Avatar Author

      Ah, interesting! I had not heard of this, but it sounds pretty cool.

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