Bring Your Own Bandwidth

Tethered Android Phone

While in Washington State last week I didn’t have good Internet access. Laura’s mom still uses AOL dial-up. Neighbor Duff offered access to his WiFi, but we were just out of range. So this was the perfect chance to try tethering my laptop to my HTC Android phone. It worked brilliantly!

I had explored several options for phone tethering. The current crop of broadband modems just seemed like an additional expense for something with limited capabilities. I had almost bought the Palm Pre, which can set itself as a WiFi hub, before settling on my HTC Incredible.

I knew I didn’t want to do anything crazy that involved root access to the phone. I needed something fairly simple, so I first tried PDANet. I’d had some success using the free version connecting to my netbook. However, it was very buggy and kept wanting to crash when I tried connecting it to my larger laptop.

I finally settled on EasyTether, and it worked like a charm. The phone connected to the laptop with no problem, and I was even able to access the drive space on the phone over the USB cable – something that I couldn’t do with PDANet. I wound up purchasing the full version of the program for under $10, which gave me access to https and secure sites. With that I was able to check GMail and remotely log into my district’s network to do some simple maintenance.

I’ve read that 3G speeds are nowhere near as fast as cable or DSL speeds. However, the speeds I got over my phone were pretty darn fast. I didn’t try watching lots of video, but I did see a couple of clips, and they played just fine. I also uploaded lots of high resolution images to Flickr, and those went without a hitch fairly quickly. As far as I could see, there was nothing I couldn’t access that I would normally access from my home Internet connection. Continue reading “Bring Your Own Bandwidth”

That’s Incredible

HTC Incredible

I’m no stranger to smart phones. I’ve had a Blackberry for several years now for work. Not being tied to a computer just to get e-mail seems normal now, and as it should be. However, it has it’s good and bad points. I’ve started referring to the device as my “leash” since it keeps me tied to the office where ever I go. Even though it would be useful while I’m out and about exploring, I’ve to where I leave it at home when I’m not on duty. To me, it represents work, and occasionally I’d like to escape. Laura had wanted to get me a new smart phone of my own at Christmas, but that didn’t work out. I recently got a bit of cash from a singing gig, and decided that now might be the time before we start some summer traveling.

After some debate and research, I decided upon the HTC Incredible. Since we are on Verizon the iPhone wasn’t an option. At first I was intrigued by the Palm Pre. I liked its ability to act as a WiFi hub for multiple devices. However, I wasn’t as sure about the availability of apps for Palm. That narrowed it to either the Motorola Droid or the brand new HTC Incredible. While I really liked the Droid’s physical keyboard, the speed and overall specs of the Incredible won out, especially since they were the same price.

I won’t go into a detailed review of the Incredible. Others have done a much better job. However, these are my impressions so far, and my impressions about smart phones in general. Continue reading “That’s Incredible”