By Chris Guld
If you’ve been reading our articles here, you probably know that you can tether your cell phone (if it’s the right model with the right service) to your computer. Tethering your cell phone to your computer will give you Internet access on that computer. What you may not know is that you can tether it to a router, as well.
The Cradlepoint cellular router is popular among RVers. Most people use it for their data cards. Plug the data card in to the router and configure the router for your hotspot. Several computers can use that same Internet connection. The router that we have will accept a data card, an Ethernet cable from DSL or cable Internet, or a cell phone USB connection.
While we are parked for the season at Paradise Island RV Park in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., we decided to spoil ourselves and get a month-to-month DSL Internet connection. The telephone cable comes in from the post outside and plugs in to the modem and then to our Cradlepoint router. The Cradlepoint creates a wireless network called GeeksOnTour. We can both connect to that network and we have Internet supplied by the DSL cable.
Recently, as we pulled into an overnight site at Thousand Trails, Orlando, I felt a bit of panic. I wouldn't have my DSL Internet there! I called Verizon before we left Fort Lauderdale and asked that they turn on the Mobile Broadband Connect feature for the two weeks we’d be gone ($49/month), but I was wondering if I would remember how to get it set up. I knew I had to plug the special cable into the phone, and then into the USB port on the Cradlepoint – but there must be something more?
Amazing! As soon as I plugged the phone into the router, the phone started sending and receiving data. I turned on my computer and it automatically connected to the GeeksOnTour network and I was browsing away. Every once in a while, technology just works, and it is good! Of course, I’m sure I owe this simplicity to the real geek of the house, my husband, Jim, who decided which router to buy and set it up in the first place.
Jim recently got the Droid phone from Verizon and he has successfully tethered it to his computer via something called PDANet. But, it doesn’t work to tether it to the Cradlepoint. He’s still working on it. I’m holding out for the Palm Pre Plus or Pixi Plus, which will have the ability to be a Wi-Fi Hotspot without plugging into anything!
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