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April 4, 2008

Tethering For Dollars

Tether your mobile a check. Basically.

There are a lot of awesome features in Windows Mobile 6.x.

The interface of Windows Mobile didn’t get a big hot-n-sexxay makeover in 6.x, not at all. Nowhere near it.

But the era of WM6 has ushered in some seriously great stuff over WM5.

Top of my list, without a doubt, has to be the dead simple tethering that Windows Mobile 6.x provides.

That’s the feature that lets me use my Treo 750, connected via either Bluetooth or a USB cable, to get an Internet connection on my laptop anytime I want, no matter where I am.

So for an extra $15 a month, I’m covered. Peace of mind. If I need it, it’s there.

Also, it frees me from paying the ridiculously exorbitant daily price that certain hotels, airports, coffee shops, and massage parlors want to charge for WiFi access.

With the amount of traveling that somehow materialized seemingly out of nowhere this year…I’d estimate that a year of tethering equals about what I’d be shelling for WiFi service, just while I’m travelling on major trips. But the tethering service covers me a full 365 days a year, 24×7.

And since tethering uses my mobile device, I’m not paying anywhere near the amount a completely separate wireless data card and account would. In fact, I pay a fraction of what something like that normally costs. Which works for me, since I’m not typically needing separate voice service on my cell when I’m connected.

But looking at it another way…

Adding the tethering service gave me more options for getting more work done, and staying more productive, while removing the uncertainty of a decent Internet connection. Enough so that it not only recoups its cost, but actually generates revenue. At a minimum, roughly 20x-50x what it costs me per year.

That’s working money, folks. The kind of expense that turns itself into more money.

Which I think is the secret to successful businesses.

Is it important to keep a lid on expenses? Absolutely.

But do I think it’s just as important to recognize expenses that are actually working money?

You better believe it!

|| posted by chris under business, mobility, more cowbell, rx, thumbs up, utility belt || comments (3) || ||


  1. Do you get 3G over the tether? I’d love to drop my cellular card is the phone could do the job with speed.

    comment by Amy B — April 4, 2008 @ 7:11 am

  2. Plus it’s insurance money if you lose your hardline.

    Telcos are more inclined to fix a downed mobile tower (or set of towers) than come rushing because some-one’s backhoe-faded your hardline (well, those of us in regional areas anyway).

    Mobile data costs are insane here in regional Aus, due to an incumbent player, but the 3/3.5G take-up means more players and lower costs over time.

    I ditched my emergency backup wireless data card for my 3.5G mobile. Plus with RDP and SSH clients I’ve got emergency remote access even if my laptop’s not with me.

    comment by Chris Knight — April 4, 2008 @ 7:33 am

  3. @ Amy…

    Yep. It’s not quite as fast as a full-on datacard, but pretty freaking close. Being tethered using Bluetooth, while sexxay awesome for its lack of cables, sucks battery power like a vampire. For long sessions, I tend to use the USB cable connection, if I remember to bring it. Otherwise, I just plug-in the Treo to some juice and away we go.

    Most carriers will let you sign up or turn off tethering on your account without restriction. So you could prolly sign up for tethering and try it for a bit before you cancel your datacard.

    @ Chris…

    Great point. Totally meant to include that, since I’ve used it for that purpose here at the office at least half a dozen times already this year. That’s becoming more and more important here duing March AKA Killer Tornado Season. Altho, since I have Comcast, Loss of Broadband Connectivity Season is year ’round.

    comment by chris — April 4, 2008 @ 12:22 pm

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