Our world is one that increasingly demands we be connected. While some folks can get away without an Internet service at home, the fact of the matter is that many peoplesí professions require them to be able to access the Internet on a momentís notice. There are a couple of different ways you can get Internet service via your cell phone, each with its own benefits and problems.
Native Internet access
If you have a smartphone like a Blackberry, iPhone or Android, you have a built-in way to access the Internet. You can probably use a web browser, as well as email and maybe even some other applications. This is a good option for folks that need access to a limited amount of Internet services, and donít need to do things like create files and share them via the Internet from their cell phone.
If you need to be able to do more than just sort of basic email and web browsing, however, you need another option. You need to be able to connect your laptop to the Internet via your cell phone, for those instances in which WiFi is unavailable. This is known as ďtethering.Ē
Tethering lets you use your cell phone as a modem for your laptop, and taps into the broadband service on your cell phone. This lets you do a number of things that you canít do with the smartphone alone. It allows you, for example, to be able to share documents, send files and run other applications that you canít on your smartphone.
Tethering can also be more secure than when youíre using a WiFi connection. WiFi connections, if they are unsecured connections, can create a situation in which someone could, in theory, hack into your laptop. With tethering, youíre connected right to your phone providerís network.
Depending on whether you have 3G or 4G network access, you may find that the tethered application is slower than WiFi, however. If you need to use streaming video or if you need to use some other application thatís data-intensive, you might consider not using tethering.
Usually, your cell phone carrier will charge you an additional monthly fee if you choose to use Internet service via tethering.