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Using your mobile phone as a wireless broadband modem
A word of caution first
Before we go any further, it’s definitely worth clarifying that unless you have a sizable data plan attached to your phone (at least 300mb or more), tethering your laptop to it is not a good idea. This is because the internet can get expensive when accessed via mobile outside of a plan. In addition, if you’re going to give it a try, make sure that you have no programs running on your laptop that continually use the internet (Windows automatic updates for example). While these programs are great when bandwidth is not an issue, over the air, they can become quite costly.
Another thing to keep in mind is that mobile broadband performance fluctuates wildly. Signal is not always available and, if you’re using it while moving fast (on a train for example), unless you’re on the Telstra NextG network you are likely to drop in and out frequently. That said, most carriers’ connections work well if your stationary and in a strong signal area.
On the subject of carriers, it is generally worth giving them a call and asking them about the least expensive way to use the internet through your phone. Most carriers offer data packs that provide you with a pre-defined amount of data for a set price. It’s important to keep an eye on your usage though, as once you go over the cap limit prices tend to increase.
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