Having access to email and the Web on your smartphone is super convenient, but it still can't quite compare using a laptop over an extended period of time, especially if you need to access to more than a mobile version of a site, or have to write out a long email with attachments. Typically, if you're using a laptop, you'd just hop onto a Wi-Fi connection. But if you're out on the road without access to Wi-Fi, you're sunk. Same if your power goes out. And even if you do find a Wi-Fi hotspot, it can be costly. Many coffee shops and airports charge by the hour ($1 to $5), while hotels typically ask for as much as $20 per day for Internet.
What if you just need 15 minutes of web access? That's where tethering comes in - using your cell phone signal to get web access on your laptop. Aside from the convenience factor, another benefit to tethering is security. You don't have to connect to a dodgy, unsecured Wi-Fi hotspot and worry that someone's stealing your passwords. Finally, if you recently purchased an Apple iPad, tethering means you don't have to wait for the 3G version to come out - and you don't have to limit yourself to AT&T's network. Read more