Tethering, or Plan B

tethering The hotel I stayed at during my recent business trip to Alpharetta, Georgia (an Atlanta suburb) promised wired Internet access. I chose that hotel primarily because of my bad prior experience with hotels with flaky wireless Internet access. Unfortunately I did not count on flaky wired Internet access. While the Internet access worked fine the evening of my arrival, when I woke up bright and early, the modem I plugged into displayed a blinking red light. Not a good sign, and it wasn’t. Nada Internet access. I called the front desk, explained the problem, and got duh as a response. Time for Plan B.

My Touch Cruise came to the rescue. Its Windows Mobile 6.1 OS supports Internet Sharing, and I have a data plan. A few stylus clicks, and I had Internet access! Even better, my phone supports HSPDA, which I could use since I had an excellent cell signal. Indeed, my speed test (on speedtest.net naturally) indicated that I had close to T1 download speed!

Internet Sharing supports two connections between your cell phone and your PC; Bluetooth and USB cable. I chose the USB cable. Since I was at my hotel room desk, the cable was not a hindrance. Also, I’ve found that I get faster speeds with the USB cable than with Bluetooth. I’m curious if anyone else has tested this. Also, the USB cable charges your cell phone from the PC. This is important as Internet Sharing sucks battery life out of your cell phone like Dracula.

One word of caution. Your cell phone provider may charge you extra if you overdo it and use your cell phone for all your Internet access. But your data usage in an emergency like this shouldn’t set off any alarm bells. I think …

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