Smart Phone Tethering Expands Laptop Reach

Smartphone tethering allows business owners to connect their laptops to the Internet via a smartphone, expanding the reach and computing power of both devices.

Smartphone tethering offers users a number of advantages. Smartphones offer high-speed connections from virtually anywhere, but have smaller screens and keyboards than full-featured laptops. Laptops are fast and powerful, but sometimes you may need to work in an area or venue without a reliable broadband or Wi-Fi connection.

Smartphone tethering helps users bridge these gaps. The most common approaches allow a smartphone to act as a broadband wireless modem by connecting with the laptop, typically by treating the smartphone as a Wi-Fi access point or through a USB cable.

For casual users, adding a tethering option to their smartphone's data plan may offer an affordable option to a dedicated "hotspot� mobile broadband plan. If most of your computing takes place in a location with a reliable Internet connection or Wi-Fi access, tethering can serve as a valuable backup for times when you need to get online from the road.

Tethering can also help users save money over the often-expensive broadband access plans available in many hotels. Purchasing Internet access for as little as two days in some hotels can cost more than a month's worth of access through a tethered smartphone connection.

In addition, because your wireless data is transmitted over your carrier's wireless broadband network, a tethered connection is more secure than it would be at a public Wi-Fi hotspot. Data is sent quickly and securely, without being exposed to the casual snooping or other security risks possible at unsecured public hotspots.

Smartphone tethering has been possible for several years now, but used to require considerable technical expertise to connect the devices and configure the necessary settings. In addition, using a smartphone as a modem often precluded people from receiving phone calls or text messages, which wasn't an acceptable trade-off for many business travelers.

Some potential drawbacks to watch out for include the potential for tethering to drain your mobile device�s battery quickly, or to use considerable amounts of your mobile plan�s data allowance.

But despite these drawbacks, the added convenience and ability to get online when you have to can make smartphone tethering a worthy addition to your mobile computing toolbox.