• Tethering allows Internet access from anywhere

    2010-06-28

    Hate paying for a Wi-Fi connection in the hotel room? Sick of conducting all of your business from a Starbucks? Business travelers have picked up all sorts of travel tips and tricks over the years, but none might be more important for businessmen than having a reliable Internet connection from anywhere.

    Thanks to tethering, that's now possible. Tethering is the concept of connecting a smartphone to a laptop in order to use the phone's 3G capabilities. High-speed public wireless connections are tough to find, but 3G covers most of the nation, especially business centers.

    There are a couple of options for tethering. The new iPhone 4 supports tethering for one device. The upcoming Droid X from Motorola will have support for up to five devices. Other phones are capable of the practice, but vary widely. Those interested in utilizing their phone's 3G network on a laptop should ask about it when buying the phone.

    Alternatively, a new Android application known as PDANet promises to turn any Android smartphone into a tethering device. It costs $20, and users should be aware that using their laptop on their mobile phone's network will likely require an upgrade to their data plan to allow for unlimited or high-volume usage.

    Many phone companies currently sell 3G wireless access cards for this very purpose. But rather than buy the card, business travelers can look into smartphones that will give them the same service more cheaply.

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