Bring Your Own Signal

It’s interesting to watch businesspeople who have to work while traveling. They have strange rituals that they go through, including finding restaurants and coffee shops to spend 90% of their time away from the hotel at. Those restaurants and coffee shops all have one thing in common; WiFi. In fact, that seems to be the only qualification that matters when you do business from the road, even to the point where the health and nutrition provided by the food is obviously nonexistent. I know that it used to be a major factor for me when I traveled. That is until I discovered that I’ve had the secret to those problems in my pocket all along.

If you’re a traveling businessperson and have a smartphone, I think you need to look in to your settings panel right now. There should be one there for “internet sharing” or “phone tethering”. This is the secret sauce you’ve been missing out on. Many times when you visit your cell phone provider’s physical location, they offer up a product called a “hot spot”. It’s basically a wireless router that gives your computer a cell phone data signal. It never seems of much value because it has two major flaws; it’s another piece of equipment to buy and carry and it has another data plan to buy. That just doesn’t make sense. But that setting I just told you to look for? It turns your phone in to a hot spot.

Phones have actually had this ability for several years now. When I had my first Windows Phone, the T-Mobile Wing (a truly powerful pocket computer), I had dug into the settings and discovered this feature that I’m not even sure the cell companies knew about. I could, at no additional charge, siphon the data plan from my phone and access the internet using a laptop. As long as I had a cell signal there was no problem. Well, it seems that the cell phone companies have figured it out, because there is usually an additional charge to add wireless tethering to your phone. However, that cost is way lower than the cost to your health of having another Big Mac. Yes, occasionally you’ll have a limited cell connection and have to find your way to a bastion of free WiFi, but your options are vastly expanded in most cases. It’s much nicer.

Have you used your phone’s wireless tethering option? If you have, share your opinions in the comments and, if you haven’t, go ahead and ask us some questions. Might as well know about it, right? Make sure you share this with your friends, too. It might save them from a McHeart-Attack. Have an awesome weekend, and we’ll see you Monday!

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About the author:

Michael McNew
Web developer, marketing innovator, technology enthusiast, and founder of Visceral Concepts, Michael McNew has developed a passion for delivering value to small business, turning his creativity towards branding and content marketing for small business owners.