Walt Mossberg

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Movable Internet Service

Q:

I have two homes and travel frequently. I would like to use a smartphone’s hot-spot capabilities to totally replace the two Internet services I have to buy for my two homes and to also have when I travel. What are the options?

A:

Many phones that use Google’s Android operating system, as well as Apple’s latest iPhones, can be used as a hot spot to take in the Internet connection from a cellular data service and then pump it out to personal computers and other devices as a Wi-Fi network.

However, in most cases, speeds are slower than home Internet connections and this service usually requires an extra monthly payment to the cellular carrier and data consumption may be limited.

If you want the greatest speed, I would advise using a device on Verizon’s new 4G network, called LTE, if it is available where you live and travel. So far, it’s only offered in one phone, the HTC Thunderbolt. But Verizon also sells dedicated 4G mobile hot-spot devices.

You can find Mossberg’s Mailbox and my other columns at the All Things Digital website, http://walt.allthingsd.com. Email mossberg@wsj.com


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