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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Pros and Cons of Wi-Fi tethering

One great feature of a modern smartphone is its Wi-Fi tethering fuction - its ability to share its mobile data connection with other devices via Wi-Fi. In a few simple clicks, your phone turns into a Wi-Fi hotspot. You can connect your iPads, iPod touchs, PSPs, netbooks, laptops to your cell phone via Wi-Fi to get online.

Windows Mobile/Phone and iPhone already support Wi-Fi tethering. With the official release of Froyo OS 2.2, Android phones can now become Wi-Fi routers. It is becoming a must-have feature of smartphones. Let's discuss the benefits and limitations/cautions of this wonderful function.

Note: I am referring to the same things when I say access point, hotspot or router.
 
Benefits
1) Your iPads, iPod touchs, PSPs, netbooks, laptops can get online when there is mobile phone coverage.
2) You do not have to look for and pay for public Wi-Fi hotspots anymore.
3) You can have your own secured Wi-Fi network, as some free Wi-Fi access points do not have encryption enabled.
4) You can share one mobile connection with multiple devices. Simply share your access point's password with your friends.
5) You do not have to carry another dedicated portable Wi-Fi router
6) One phone bill does it all.

Limitations & Cautions
1) Wi-Fi tethering significantly increases battery consumption. You'd have to charge your cell phone battery more frequently, which will shorten the overall battery life.
2) Purchase a phone with HSDPA 7.2Mbps and HSUPA 2Mbps or above. Otherwise, the download and upload speed will be too slow.
3) Remember that if you are sharing one mobile data connection with several devices, the download and upload speed will be further compromised.
4) Beware of extra or hidden mobile data charges. Check carefully with your network operator. 
5) Beware of roaming data charges. It is probably not a good idea to use Wi-Fi tethering when you are on a beach in a foreign country. 
6) With Wi-Fi tethering enabled, your smartphone will can get very warm or hot. Plan ahead should your phone rings. Are you going to put that sizzling hot radiator onto your face?

Here you go, a dozens of suggestions on how to fully enjoy the Wi-Fi tethering function on your smartphone. Have fun!