I took my laptop to a meeting last night, knowing it would be useful to have live e-mail and calendar available during the discussion. WiFi was available, so I didn’t need to take a Wireless Broadband dongle or anything like that with me.
I didn’t expect to have this issues I did with the WiFi – it’s connected every time before. But not last night.
Feeling totally unprepared without access to my precious information (I didn’t bring any paper based info with me) I almost thought I should just go home. Fortunately, the coordinator of the meeting pulled out his iPhone and said ‘Connect to my network!’ Within seconds, his WiFi network was available, he’s typed in the password for me and I was checking my e-mail and updating my calendar. It was great.
There are many names for it, but this is usually called ‘WiFi Tethering’ and is a fantastic feature. Your phone effectively becomes a mini modem/router combination, allowing your WiFi devices to access the Internet through your phone’s Wireless Broadband connection. Depending on the phone, there is usually a limit of about 5 WiFi devices that can connect. This is a fantastic way of sharing a mobile broadband connection among multiple computers or other WiFi devices, rather than needing a separate connection (and dongle or SIM card, with their associated costs) for each device.