For those of us who tote our laptops around, it really is important to have access to the internet whenever possible. Don’t get me wrong, it’s fun finding local free wireless hot spots at various cafes and such but sometimes it’s just not feasible. Sometimes we want internet access while we’re sitting in the car waiting for the kids to get out of school (ahem, that’s me), at the airport where there isn’t any free wifi or wherever you need instant access. That’s where Tether comes in handy (as long as you have data service via your BlackBerry carrier).
Now before you get nervous thinking about how hard it will be to set the application up, DON’T. Tether takes the pain out of tethering. It’s as simple as that. It’s a super easy to use application that you download in two spots…your laptop and your BlackBerry. I do want to add that Tether is best for those who have unlimited BlackBerry data plans. Otherwise, you’ll be charged through the roof.
I downloaded the trial version from their website and was instantly sent instructions as to what I needed to do. First, I had to download the PC version to my laptop (there’s both PC and Mac versions) and then an app for my BlackBerry. Took all of 5 minutes. On my netbook home screen I simply clicked on the Tether icon and it asked if I wanted to connect via USB or Bluetooth. I chose USB (note you need your USB cable that came with your BlackBerry to do this). If your BlackBerry has a password, it will ask you to enter that. Then you will have to open the Tether app on your BlackBerry and connect the same way. You’ll see it immediately hook up and indicate you have access. Now you can go to town.
OK, so many of you will want to know speeds. I don’t have specific numbers for you but I will say I was impressed with how fast internet worked. Keep in mind, it only works as fast as your network allows but I had no issues. Downloading (PDFs, etc for example) may take a little longer but I was able to do it. Basic surfing however, worked really well. Some basic information is below but there is a lot more to be found at their website (link above) so I suggest you head over there for specifics. Also, there is a 7-day trial application you can test out so you can ‘try before you buy’.
• Tether allows you to use your existing BlackBerry smartphone data plan to access the internet on your computer or laptop.
• Tether helps users connect their laptop to the Internet via their Smartphone, maximizing the data plan they are already paying for.
• With Tether, you are able to access high speed internet that is as fast as any solution available, can get cell phone reception.
• Tether enables users to quickly connect through their cell phone for an affordable one-time fee.
• Tether is seamlessly usable across all carriers, without the hassle of having to change settings.
• Tether’s download process is simple and be installed in minutes on both your smartphone and laptop.
• Tether works via a USB cord, or can be configured to work wirelessly over Bluetooth.
• The Tether software can support both PCs and Macs and is compatible with all BlackBerry smartphones.
• Tether eliminates the need for the traveling user to create a new profile for each network they encounter.
My own personal experience using Tether has been great. I think only one or two times did I get ‘kicked off’ the internet but again, since Tether works via your carrier’s internet it could have been a carrier issue. Other than that, works like a dream. I continue to use it as often as I can.
I know many of you will see the $49.99 price and think, “wow, that’s high”. I thought the same thing. Think about it however. For a one-time fee of $50.00 you get unlimited internet access (again, you need an unlimited BlackBerry data plan through your carrier). Compared to many monthly-fee internet cards that several carriers have, Tether really is a ‘no-brainer’.
In addition to what’s listed above, Tether is super easy to set up and works great. Speeds were decent and I had no issues.
I have to say, any cons were not the fault of Tether but of the carrier itself (ie, internet speeds, etc.)
In summary, for what Tether is and does, it is A+ in my book. Just to say it again, speeds depend on your carrier and you need an unlimited data plan so you don’t get charged. If you’re at all interested, download their free 7 day trial and give it a go.