Secrets for staying connected while traveling
By Leo Notenboom
In a podcast a few years ago about mobile connectivity, I briefly reflected on some of the secrets for staying connected while traveling. Even then, that podcast was an example of how I stay connected while traveling because it was recorded, written, and posted from my RV in a state park many miles from my home.
Since that time, while many of the techniques remain the same, the overall landscape has improved significantly. Staying connected while you’re on the road is easier than ever.
Perhaps the single biggest change in recent years is that of technology related to mobile phones. Not only has coverage increased significantly, but speeds now sometimes rival that of low-end landline connections.
One of the most obvious signs of this trend are the phones themselves. Many are now not only small, powerful computers in their own right, but they’re also constantly connected to the internet.
Use the phone
That naturally leads to the first and perhaps the most common approach to staying connected: simply use a smartphone.
In fact, this is what many people now do every day as they go about their lives. From email to Facebook to the most popular online activities, mobile phones and to a lesser degree mobile network-enabled tablets are rapidly becoming the primary means that many people connect. By the very nature of the technology, they’re mobile and can connect wherever their provider has coverage.
Tethering is the act of connecting your phone to your computer in some way that the computer can use the phone’s internet connection. Sometimes inaccurately described as a “modem” in these situations, the phone simply acts as a gateway of sorts, connecting to the mobile network on one side and to your computer on the other.
Not all phones (or providers) support tethering. When available, it may use an actual physical cable (typically USB) to connect the computer to the mobile phone.
An option that’s becoming more popular recently is the ability of some phones to act as a Wifi hotspot. When enabled, the phone itself becomes a Wifi access point, and laptops and other Wifi-enabled devices can connect to the internet just as they would via any other hotspot.
This post is excerpted with permission from Leo Notenboom.
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