Tech Toy of the Month: Mobile Broadband Internet Router (Linksys WRT54G3G-ST)
What do you do if you need Internet access anywhere, anytime? You probably opt for a mobile broadband Internet service from a cellular company. These types of services allow you to use their networks for Internet data at relatively high speeds through the use of PC card that you insert into your laptop. For most people, having one computer with mobile Internet is enough. However, for mobile groups of individuals, having one computer with Internet access is not enough. Sure, they can each purchase their own PC cards and each subscribe to their own mobile broadband service, but that can get quite costly. So what’s the answer?
Enter the Linksys WRT54G3G-ST. This device allows you to share a mobile broadband Internet connection among several computers. Currently, this product only works on the Sprint network, but I expect that more products like this will become available for other carriers. The WRT54G3G-ST works just like a normal cable/DSL router that many of us have in our homes and businesses. You basically plug your Sprint PC card into the router and that connection is available to any computer that connects to the router, either wired or wirelessly.
The Linksys WRT54G3G-ST comes with all the features that one should expect from a modern wireless Internet router, such as a DHCP server, WPA/WPA2 wireless encryption, an SPI firewall, and VPN passthrough. It has 4 wired ethernet ports and also allows you to connect to an existing cable or DSL service if one is available, just like a normal Internet router. Additionally, because all the computers connected to the router are on the same network, they can share files or printers among them as well. Basically, the Linksys WRT54G3G-ST allows you to set up a secure LAN complete with Internet access anywhere you go.
This device could be very useful for companies who send groups to tradeshows. Each individual can bring a computer and have Internet access available to them on the floor of the show. It could also be very useful for companies that send out groups to temporary offices or client sites where they may not have Internet access available to them. Contractors especially work in environments where Internet access may not have yet been installed.
If you have the need for multiple computers to have Internet access anywhere, anytime, feel free to contact me to discuss your options.