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Using a Smartphone for Laptop Internet

April 1, 2007

Filed under: Internet,review,travel — Terry Wohlers @ 08:34

A short time ago, I downloaded and installed PdaNet on my Treo 700. It allows you to use the smartphone’s broadband Internet connectivity as a wireless modem for your laptop computer. So, anywhere you get a cellular signal, you have free Internet access on your laptop. This includes hotels, airports, and traveling down a highway.

The download and installation of PdaNet was fast and simple. The product is available for a one-time cost of $34 at It works with several smartphones, including devices from Palm, Motorola, Samsung, T-Mobile, Cingular, and others. After installing PdaNet on my Treo 700, I was surfing the web within seconds with my laptop. The connection between the Treo and laptop is made using the sync/charge cable. One click (tap) on the Treo connects your laptop to the Internet.

Using the Treo 700 with Sprint cellular service, my laptop registered download speeds of about 150–250 kilobits per second, which is almost 3-5 times faster than the best dialup connection. Upload speeds were about 25–70 kbps. I did the speed tests at, an excellent website for checking the speed of an Internet connection. PdaNet also works with the older Treo 650, although speeds are closer to a dialup connection.

If you have a smartphone and are tired of paying Internet fees at airports and hotels, consider PdaNet. I found it to be much easier than using the Internet services offered at most hotels, which can be a hassle. You could even use it as your regular Internet connection at your home office or as a backup in case your regular Internet services go down. It is the best $34 I’ve spent in a long time.


  1. Hi, Terry! I’ve known you for many a year, but . . . I never knew those five things about you. My mom LOVES French dressing.

    Hope all is well!
    Debbie Simpson 🙂

    Comment by Debbie Simpson — April 10, 2007 @ 14:02

  2. […] 1) PdaNet. This is a fantastic application that runs on Palm Treo handheld devices. For a one-time cost of $34, it turns your Treo into a broadband modem for your laptop or desktop computer. Read about it in a April 2007 commentary. […]

    Pingback by Wohlers Talk » Favorite Products of 2007 — January 19, 2008 @ 08:33