Tethering: How to use your smartphone as a modem
Entering a world without wires has a number of benefits and tapping into the power of wireless mobile communication technology will enhance the functionality of any computer
Entering a world without wires has a number of benefits and tapping into the power of wireless mobile communication technology will enhance the functionality of any computer. Every full-functional laptop ships with built-in support for Wi-Fi that enables broadband speed access to the internet when connected to a Wi-Fi network or public hotspot.
As long as you remain within range of a network, you have the freedom to work or play from just about anywhere. In fact, if you use a laptop to access the internet, you will probably only do so using Wi-Fi. This is because the majority of laptops do not have a built-in modem. Of course, it is sometimes possible to use a PCMCIA card as a wireless modem, but not all laptops have a PCMCIA slot.
But what if there are no wireless networks in range? What happens then?
This is where tethering can prove invaluable. In short, tethering is the process of using a PDA or smartphone to gain internet access for another device, typically a laptop computer. Tethering works by connecting an internet-enabled BlackBerry, iPhone, Windows Mobile or other handset to a laptop that has no internet access.
This can be done using either wireless Bluetooth technology or via a good old fashioned USB cable. In essence, the device without internet access uses the connected device as a modem.
Tethering can be very useful and more than a few mobile professionals still tether a mobile phone to their PDA, usually because their employer refuses to pay for a converged smartphone, but are willing to fund mobile data access. The set-up can then be used to check for email or to browse the internet.
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