Accessing Internet While on the Move

People constantly on the move, either due to professional or personal reasons, often find the internet their only companion on long travels and visit to any alien places. The web allows such people to not only keep a watch on their professional commitments but also stay in touch with folks back home. However, for first time travelers, finding a decent internet connection can be a real pain. Here are two options to help you out if you have or are about to face similar situations.


Use Smartphone Tethering

This is downright the cheapest method for accessing internet while on the move. Tethering your PC/laptop via your smartphone refers to the former feeding on the latter’s data connection through Wi-Fi. So basically, your smartphone works as standalone Wi-Fi router. This could be 2G, 3G, or even 4G/LTE. However, for decent speeds and better productivity, you should at the very least have a 3G data plan subscription on your smartphone.


All Android and iPhones can be used for W-Fi tethering purposes. On Androids, this option can be found in the following path, Settings>Wireless and Network>Tethering and Portable Hotspot). For iPhones, the path goes like this, Settings>General>Cellular Data>Personal Hotspot). There are also some third party tethering apps available for Android like PdaNet and FoxFi. Apps serving those functions by third party developers are also available for iPhones but you need to jailbreak your phone to be able to use them.

Setting up tethering is just as simple as setting up a Wi-Fi network on your phone or any other device. Once you have it working, tethering will serve your requirements quite well without actually burning a hole in your wallet.

Use Mobile Hotspot

Also popularly known as MiFi devices, mobile hotspots work much in the same manner as tethered phones. These devices access the data network of the carrier to whom you’ve subscribed. After this, the devices set up a Wi-Fi signal for auxiliary devices like laptops, tablets and even desktop PCs. Most decent data plans cost in the region of USD 50 but you can also get some subsidized plans when buying a new hotspot.


One of the drawbacks of smartphone tethering is that it eats massively into the phone’s battery. This could lead to some difficult situations when you are travelling and power availability to recharge your smartphone isn’t available that easily. Mobile hotspots work wonderfully well in such situations. Hotspots are also suited to instances when you want to switch to another network altogether. Some of the better mobile hotspots can handle close to 10 devices at the same time and run for hours before needing a recharge. These devices also let you work around secure networks.

Both these options have their own strengths and weaknesses. Choose one that suits your traveling requirements and budget the best.

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