How to share a mobile 3G connection with others

How to share a mobile 3G connection with others

When in a meeting or waiting around in an airport lounge, it makes sense to be able to share a single 3G connection with your iPhone®, iPad® and laptop all at the same time. It’s not difficult, especially if you use D-Link’s Mini 3G USB Router (DWR-510), which simply plugs into your laptop to both connect to a 3G data network and share that connection over a fast and secure WiFi network.



Use it as a dongle

Looking much like a highly portable 3G dongle with no external antennae and a neat fold-away USB connector, the Mini 3G USB Router can be used to connect a single laptop to the Internet. All that’s needed is a data SIM card, from any network operator, in any country, on either a pay-monthly or pay-as-you-go contract.

The necessary drivers and other software are pre-loaded onto the router itself, so to get started you just have to plug it in and work your way through a simple one-time setup. It can also be used on both Windows laptops and Apple MacBooks, providing quick and easy wireless Internet access with a download speed of up to 7.2 Mbps.

But that’s not all this nifty little device can do. It has a built-in phonebook and SMS manager, making it possible to create and edit contacts, compile groups, send, reply and forward SMS messages, all without the need for a mobile phone.

Use it as a router

Simply flick the switch located on the side of the router and it turns itself from a standalone 3G modem into a WiFi router, much like those used to share home broadband services.

Think of it as a kind of private WiFi hotspot to which up to six laptops or other wireless devices can be connected to browse the Internet, send and receive email, share files and so on.

To support this, there’s a built-in WiFi interface designed to use the latest Wireless N technology to provide fast wireless connectivity. It is also backwards compatible with earlier 802.11g and 802.11b standards meaning that just about any WiFi enabled device can connect to the tiny D-Link router. And do so securely, thanks to the usual support for data encryption to ensure that only users with the necessary authorisation can get on.

You will need to set up a couple of things to get started, such as security, but that’s done from a web browser with a wizard to help with the trickier bits.

Another plus is that there’s no need for batteries, messy cables or a separate power adapter, as the Mini 3G USB Router draws what power it needs from the USB interface. You don’t even need a laptop; instead the D-Link router can be plugged into a standard USB power adapter and used standalone to provide shared WiFi connectivity in a small office, meeting room or even in your car.

A highly portable and affordable device, the Mini 3G USB Router is small on the outside, but big on features, and it makes sharing a 3G mobile connection very simple indeed.