As a blogger, connecting to the internet is essential. You need access to update your blog, respond to visitors’ questions, and give feedback. However, if you are away or in a remote place without internet or Wi-Fi access, you have two choices: purchase a wireless broadband stick for 3G or 4G wireless access, or save yourself the trouble and use your smartphone to achieve the same effect. Smartphones, such as Apple’s iPhone, several Blackberry models, and any phone powered by Android, can be turned into a broadband modem and be tethered to your notebook for wireless internet access.
How to Turn a Smartphone into a Wireless Broadband Modem
Smartphones today are equipped with data capability for high speed internet access. The process of setting up a smartphone as a modem to another device, such as a notebook or desktop for connecting to the internet, is called tethering. First, you need to make sure you have a wireless data-access plan. The tethering fee for each carrier is different; you need to do your research. You can check if your wireless carrier includes tethering in your current plan. If it is not, you can request this for an additional fee. Many phone carriers such as Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint offer tethering plans in their wireless services. Additionally, make sure to subscribe to a data plan that gives you a large amount of bandwidth—such as 5 GB per month.
Next, you will need software to tether your smartphone to your notebook. Usually, the wireless provider will include the software when you choose their tethering plan. Alternatively, Android users can use an open source application called PdaNet. You can connect your smartphone directly to your notebook through a USB cable, or Bluetooth.
Benefits of Having a Wireless Broadband Smartphone
Having your smartphone as a modem for your notebook is beneficial when you are stranded in a remote place, especially when you need internet access. In another instance, say in an environmental disaster such as a flood or earthquake, a wired internet connection may be slow to get restored. Using a smartphone to tether is convenient and helpful to connect to the internet.
Most free Wi-Fi hotspots are not secure, and chances your data will be intercepted can be high. However, using your smartphone for wireless broadband access is more secure. This is important if you want to log into your blog or use your email. The traffic is encrypted, so you do not have to worry about anyone stealing your data.
The use of a smartphone as a modem for tethering is a great backup for your regular internet service. You are still able to access the internet and can continue updating your blog in the case of power failure and other circumstances. This has become a life saver for bloggers.
You can receive a phone call and still remain connected to the internet if you are using your smartphone. Furthermore, you can save the battery life of your smartphone and your notebook, when you are connected through a USB connection.
Despite the advantages of using your smartphone as your wireless modem for your notebook, it has several drawbacks. First, you can only access the internet where the wireless carrier has coverage. Second, if you subscribe to a small bandwidth the connection will be slow. However, these drawbacks do not eclipse the many benefits in making your smartphone a modem for your notebook.
For a blogger, the ability to use your smartphone as a wireless broadband modem to tether your notebook for accessing the internet is convenient. It is secure and you will not have to worry about not being able to access your blog. You can log in into your blog account virtually anywhere your phone service is available. A smartphone can be a wireless broadband modem that allows for mobility while you maintain your blog.
Blake Sanders writes tech at Australian broadband comparison site Broadband Expert and specializes in wireless broadband, mobile phones, and the latest in wireless internet provider news and information.
Note: Photo courtesy of smurfmatic via FlickR Creative Commons.