Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Apple iPhone Internet Tethering - thumbs up!

I've been using Internet tethering on my AT&T iPhone for several months now but I had my first business trip where I depended on it and it really performed.  I was at Lotusphere 2011 last week and I have to say that the conference wi-fi overall was excellent.  Much better than in past years and better than other conferences I attend.  However, when I went back to my room at Disney's All Star Sports at night, I needed to get online and get some work done.   Sure, I could have paid the hotel $9.95 a day for wired ethernet access but I'm already paying for a data plan on my iPhone.  Apple makes it incredibly easy to connect and the AT&T speeds were averaging 1.5Mbit/sec - not bad.

I had my Lenovo X201i Windows 7 laptop with me (my favorite laptop for traveling), connected the USB cable to the iPhone (Bluetooth works also but I wanted to charge my phone at the same time), go into the network setting on the iPhone and turn Internet tethering "on."  That's it!  After a few seconds, a blue bar with the words "Internet Tethering" will display at the top of the iPhone to show that my laptop was connected to the Internet.  I was able to start up my VPN software and connect to the IBM intranet.

I'm excited about the upcoming ability for the iPhone to act as a wi-fi hotspot.  This feature should make it easier for me to get online with my iPad or Samsung Galaxy wi-fi only tablets.   At this time, I have no plans to migrate from AT&T to Verizon.  I'm happy with the AT&T data speeds and I don't need to spend more money for essentially the same phone on Verizon.  I am, however, eagerly awaiting the new iPad as well as the new iPhone later this year.  I'm also eager to get my hands on the new Motorola Atrix.   And while I'm interested in the Motorola XOOM tablet, I'm not interested in the $800 price target.  In fact, I'm not aware of any plans for a major vendor to release an Android tablet in 2011 that matches the Apple iPad's $499 price point.  That should bode well for iPad sales in 2011.

9 comments:

Luis Benitez said...

but you had to pay to get this service right? i guess it's better to pay the $20/month instead of the $9.95/day * 5 days.

Chris Pepin said...

Correct. Tethering is an extra charge ($20 a month) but less expensive than paying the hotel or for a second data service (e.g. USB data card)

Barb Mathers said...

Can you pay month at a time?

Toby said...

I jailbroke my iphone 4 so I could use it as a wifi hotspot, performed very very well, Thankfully I was grandfathered into the unlimited plan that AT&T had before June.

Chris Pepin said...

I'm trying to avoid jailbreaking the iPhone but the free hotspot capability is tempting. I've never tried canceling the $20 tethering and re-adding it later but it might be possible.

Henke said...

It is a great feature and in Sweden we get it included in the unlimited data plan ($15/month).
It is also very usefull that you can use the device as a phone at same time as you teth

Luis Benitez said...

I'm pretty sure you can cancel/add the $20 / month any time.

Paul said...

He chris, I am ibmmer without the luck of a pc with w7. I didnot got it working on my xp tp. Any clues?

Chris Pepin said...

Paul - with the release of iOS 4.3 you can use the iPhone as a wireless hotspot and connect up to 5 devices. You don't need to connect the iPhone to your PC/Mac. I highly recommend this feature.