Genuine Curiosity

Author Dwayne Melancon is always on the lookout for new things to learn. An ecclectic collection of postings on personal productivity, travel, good books, gadgets, leadership & management, and many other things.


Portable Wi-Fi access for my iPad

In spite of my initial desire to wait for version 2, I caved and decided to get an iPad. I got the Wi-Fi only version, rather than the one with built-in 3G.

The quandary now, is that I sometimes find myself in situations where I don't have access to a Wi-Fi signal (I travel a lot). For my laptop, I have a USB broadband modem which allows me to get on the internet. The iPad, however, doesn't have a USB port, so I couldn't use the USB broadband modem with my iPad.

I have found a great solution, though: the Cradlepoint PHS-300 personal hotspot. This is a small, battery powered device (rechargeable) that I plug my USB broadband modem into. It provides power to the modem, which then connects to my wireless carrier's broadband network. The PHS-300 then acts as a wireless hotspot, enabling me to share my broadband connection among up to 16 devices.

So far, this thing has worked like a charm. I used it for about 3 hours yesterday because I didn't want to pay $14.95 for a daypass on the local Wi-Fi provider. I surfed on my iPad the whole time, and it worked flawlessly.

cradlepoint PHS-300.png
The device works with just about any 3G or 4G USB modem you can throw at it, worldwide. I happen to have AT&T (as you can see from my picture above, but have verified that it works with my friend's WiMax (4G) modem without problems. The Cradlepoint product page has an extensive list of devices from around the world.

Enjoy your freedom!