Tech travel tip: Turn your Windows PC into a Wifi travel hotspot – FREE!

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Last week my fellow BA blogger Gary put up a post about this tiny little gadget that you can plug in to your computer and then use it as a hotspot at locations that limit your ability to use more than one device for a connection like a hotel or Gogo.

I was “this close” to buying one as I liked the idea of the device, but then there was the issue of yet one more device. You see, I already have a very nice and strong external battery to charge my phone as well as my tablet for watching movies on Delta Studio. Then I also have, for the many Delta flights that have no power, a nice big battery brick for recharging my laptop. Then for hotel use I have a power / USB splitter surge protector for charging all “that stuff” overnight. Toss in a set of noise canceling headphones and I am starting to look like travel pack rat and yet one more device to tether, say on-board in coach, is just too much.

Now over 2 years ago, thanks to being both a Windows based PC user and Android based phone user, I showed you how you could use your phone to either via USB tether or via Bluetooth share your Gogo connection. Simple, plus the side perk of keeping your phone charged when you did it via USB as it slurped power while providing Internet for both your phone and your PC. But again, Gary’s post got me thinking and I did some searching. And I found:

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Something truly amazing. Connectify <-LINK. WoW! is all I can say again and again. This little gem is simply amazing. Forget the cords and having to have yet another gadget, this puppy, while somewhat limited in the free version, does what you need, that is, it turns you Windows 7+ PC into a Wifi hotspot and a FAST one at that under my test. For example, I fired it up in the AMEX Centurion club in LGA the other day and the first shot is the speed test with my PC and the next with my phone connected to my PC as a hot spot:

speed on phone via connectify hotspot

Laptop speed test

speed on phone via connectify hotspot

Phone speed test via Connectify

The download speeds are just about identical (in this test the upload was much slower as you can see). Having said that, I was VERY pleased with the performance on Gogo sharing it out to my phone.

Now sure the free version will work just fine for most needs but I went ahead with the current discount and code “DEAL75” to get lifetime use for up to 3 PCs. For me, this simple little tool just fixes one more travel frustration for me and gives me the flexibility to stay connected with all my devices when on the road! – René

 

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7 comments

  1. Rene I am amazed at how well this worked on our recent flight! In fact the speed was unbelievable. The agonizing part was the 2 flights I took to get home the next day had me using regular gogo which took over 3 minutes to load my Delta flight details on my phone. I have ordered the “3 Pack” and plan to tell others about this great find through you link.

  2. @Kevin — yes and no. Macs have internet sharing built in already. Anyone with a Mac can share the internet connection via the Sharing preference pane with no additional software needed. The trouble is most of the Mac models don’t allow you to share Wifi to Wifi on the same built-in Wifi card. You could, however, share Wifi to Bluetooth and easily connect your phone that way. Or share Wifi to Ethernet, Thunderbolt etc. If you want to share Wifi to Wifi then buy a tiny Wifi dongle and then you can share from the Mac’s internal Wifi to the Wifi dongle. These dongles are really tiny so it won’t take up much space or weight.

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