Hotspot Software vs. Hotspot Hardware
Contributor - Level 1

For those who are  considering  carrying around a piece of hotspot hardware, there is an alternative.    A notebook PC,  with a connection to the internet and  hotspot software can provide  internet service to several devices.    Why wait for  firmware upgrades for dedicated  hardware when you can use a netbook pc for this purpose. 


PC sofware "virtual" wireless routers are available.  In Windows 7, Microsoft provided a service that allows simple hotspot sofware to be added.  In windows XP,  it's a little harder but available.    Free and paid software is available.     Fancier paid software allows a coffee shop to set up a PC based hotspot with billing and data limits.  All that's needed is an internet connection.     Check the web for reviews of these software products and their requirements.


If you have a mobile broadband modem - such as Verizon's LTE,  VL-600 USB,  or older 3G device,  you can turn your PC into a hotspot.     These USB modems, are smaller and lighter then  MiFi devices and use USB power.  Of course, the  Vzam and driver software, along with the hotspot software (and wifi hardware) must be installed on the PC.  


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