I’ve been en-route quite a bit lately and mostly separated from an Ethernet cable. What I’ve really got to appreciate is my Trekstor portable WLAN Hotspot (a.k.a Huawei E5) which, apart from having confused it with a box of peppermints the other day, has been tremendously useful. Switch it on, and I have Wireless LAN wherever I am. I can keep it in the pocket of my jacket or drop it onto the desk in a hotel, it provides WiFi for up to five devices in its vicinity. Martin is quite right in his review of the E5 when he writes:
the E5 completely takes the pain out of mobile internet. No dongles, no makeshift Windows drivers, no Bluetooth PAN, no PPP configuration on Linux, no scripts gathered from years-old forum entries, no expensive connection manager software for your Mac, no Wifi hacks on your mobile phone, nothing.
So far I’ve been able to get up to four hours of operation from a single battery charge, and that is more than acceptable. Furthermore, I can charge it from a USB port (and thus from an iPhone charger) so I don’t have to carry an additional charger along. Another device I’ve got to appreciate, particularly in some hotels (those that don’t have WiFi), is an AirPort Express which I purchased out of desperation while abroad and while being out of 3G range. Plug it into a power socket, attach and Ethernet cable, and presto, I have a hotspot. I don’t need the music streaming iTunesy stuff, so I’ve disabled all that; just plain Internet connectivity suffices for me. These two devices take up little space in my bag and they’ve provided Internet connectivity in most situations: They.Just.Work. Another device I’ve been testing is a dLANÃÂ® Wireless extender Starter Kit. This isn’t for me, but I know where it’ll be used. The product’s package contains the two little blue boxes you see above and an Ethernet cable. You plug one of the boxes into a power socket and connect it with the supplied Ethernet cable to your network. The other blue box goes into a power socket elsewhere in the house. The network is passed into the mains and out on the other end (Powerline). This is for when you have WiFi devices which are too far away from your wireless LAN router. As I said: I’m surrounded by hotspots.