04/09/2011, 12:41 AM
I am posting this article not just because of the article itself....but because of one of the comments about the article itself.....(the comment is why I have posted it in the Pre section of the forum section, (unless the Mods, think it should be moved)).
Here is the comment (in blue text) and the article follows just after it....
One thing the article does not mention is that, at least as of last year when I tried it, Verizon shuts off the GPS in the MiFi which makes it pretty useless when traveling. I had the displeasure of discovering this when i tried to look up something in Google Maps on my iPad while on a drive to Maryland. As soon as I got home, I returned the MiFi and exchanged my phone for a PalmPre which has the hotspot feature with GPS enabled. It isn't quite as fast but it does the job.
Here is the article:
The Newcomer’s Guide to Wireless Tethering
By JOHN BIGGS, April 6, 2011, 7:15 am
Wireless Tethering, a Newcomer's Guide - NYTimes.com
Verizon Wireless’s MiFi 2200, a wireless-tethering device that shares a 3G connection with up to five devices over Wi-Fi.
What it is: Your smartphone has a high-speed, 3G data connection. Your laptop may only have Wi-Fi. Tethering turns your smartphone into a wireless router, sharing the phone’s 3G connection with other devices over Wi-Fi. No more wireless data cards for laptops, and devices like Wi-Fi-only iPads can get on the Internet via a phone.
With the arrival of iOS 4.3 for iPhones and iPads, AT&T subscribers are now able to use their iPhones as wireless hot spots for up to five people, something that Verizon users have been able to do for a few weeks now. But what does tethering mean for the average user and should you enable it on your phone?
Why you would want it: First, public Wi-Fi is spotty at best and dangerous at worst. While “Free Public Wi-Fi” may seem like a good deal at the departure gate or hotel lobby, many times these free access points are slow, buggy or insecure. Tethering also gives you fast speeds when there’s no Wi-Fi around — not to mention the added bonus that you and your co-workers or friends can share one connection. Most tethering features support three to six devices on one signal. Just know that this becomes problematic when one of your friends is into downloading high-resolution pictures of kittens (true story) — one data hog can slow down the connection for everyone else.
If you don’t have a smartphone that supports tethering, companies like Verizon, AT&T and Sprint have already released minihot spot devices, about the size of a deck of cards, that act as tiny base stations and can be used in a single room. The range is quite low, but the speeds are fast and stable. Verizon’s MiFi 2200 (Free with two-year data contract) was one of the best and most robust solutions I tried during tests while traveling.
Why you wouldn’t want it: All is not sunshine and roses. Tethering plans cost extra. The most expensive AT&T plan for the iPhone is about $45 for 4 gigabytes of data and, although many may not burn through that much in a month, it’s still a little more than $10 a gigabyte on top of what you already pay for data access on your phone itself. Plans can cost as little as $15 for 200 megabytes, which is enough to download a few songs and maybe some e-mail. Virgin Mobile sells the MiFi 2200 for $150 and offers an unlimited-data plan at $50 a month, no contract.
Also remember that Verizon and Sprint devices do not work outside United States and some specific countries. AT&T and T-Mobile use the internationally popular GSM technology, while Verizon and Sprint use CDMA. If you plan on traveling abroad, this is an important consideration.
You will also pay an arm and a leg to tether overseas. Roaming costs are quite high. Your best bet for tethering while traveling is to buy a SIM card and device in the country you’re visiting. AT&T and T-Mobile offer international roaming plans for about $60 for a few hundred megabytes (give your carrier a call before you fly to check in on the deals), but if you plan on doing a lot of surfing, Wi-Fi in a cafe may be the cheapest way to go.
Finally, remember that tethering is a real battery drain. Devices like iPhones work well when serving up data just for their own browsers but tend to run down quite quickly when pouring megabytes out to devices like laptops and PCs.