Best Phone for Tethering

To know what is the best phone to use for tethering, it is necessary to understand what tethering is. Tethering is the use of a mobile device such as a cell phone to provide internet access to another device. In other words, the cell phone is acting as a modem for the unconnected laptop. Usually this is done using Blue-tooth technology. It can also be done via USB cables.

Tethering is useful for those folks who don’t like to constantly look for wireless hot spots that might be free. One problem with these hot spots is that they don’t always work. Then you have the “Internet Cafés” that have cropped up all over. Many times, you have to pay to use their services. You may also be required to sign up with their providers.

So is there a phone that will provide the best tethering experience? That depends on what your concept is of ‘best’.

Some cell phones have a modem feature that you can enable, which allows you to both plug it through a USB cable, or wirelessly via Blue-tooth, and operate it as a modem to the laptop. It depends on the cell phone model.

AT&T is eventually planning to offer a tethering app to the iPhone, however there is one catch. It will cost $30.00 a month. This is great if you plan to use the iPhone to tether quite a bit, however, if you only tether once in a while, this would add up to $360.00 a year.

Some people have used Jail broken (hacked) iPhones to tether to a laptop. A word of caution: Once you hack an iPhone (or any cell phone), you void the warranty.

Not all cell phones can be used as a tether. Most Smart Phones can be used in this fashion. Verizon, Sprint, and AT&T do offer phones that are capable of tethering. All three of these networks do charge an extra fee for tethering that is over and above the const of data transfer.

Sprint for example charges $15.00 per month, and you must also have their “Data Pack” which adds another $30.00 a month.

Verizon charges $49.99 a month for a non PDA style phone, and $29.99 a month if you have a PDA phone such as a Blackberry. You still have to pay the $30.00 a month for the Data Pack.

AT&T charges are similar to Verizon, except for a non PDA phone, they charge $60.00 a month for 5GB, $40 a month for 200MB, and $20.00 for 10MB. Keep in mind that the less expenisive plans give you very little in the way of data capacity. If you have a PDA style phone, AT&T charges $30.00 a month. Again, like Verizon, AT&T charges another $30.00 a month for the data pack.

As you can see, the idea of tethering is good, while the costs can be rather high. So if you really want to use your mobile phone as a modem be aware of the good and bad points. It can work, if you are willing to pay the price.

What phone is best? As long as you have a phone that is a PDA or Blackberry style or a Smart Phone, best is in the eye of the beholder.


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