If you live in an area where the availability of WiFi hotspots is limited, it is possible to create an instant WiFi hotspot with 3G broadband access in any location where DSL or WiFi access is not available by using a 3G modem and wireless router. This type of setup can make accessing high speed Internet more convenient for locations such as RV parks, construction sites, or even at home as a backup for DSL cable Internet.
3G Modem and Wireless Router
To create a WiFi hotspot with a 3G modem and wireless router you must use a 3G USB modem and a wireless router that is mobile broadband compatible and USB-enabled. A 3G modem can be acquired through a mobile broadband provider such as T-Mobile, Verizon, or any other cell phone carrier. Mobile broadband wireless routers that are USB-enabled are available through providers such as Netgear and others that manufacture wireless routers. Additionally, you will need a USB cable for establishing the connection between the modem and the router.
Creating the Connection
It is possible for a 3G modem to be connected to other devices such as laptop computers, netbooks, and other mobile devices that are equipped with WiFi capability to share a WiFi connection. This can be accomplished when you set up the connection with a wireless router using the required devices that we described above.
- Set Up the 3G Wireless Router: To create an instant WiFi hotspot you can begin by setting up the wireless router. Unpack the router from the box and then connect the electrical power cord into the AC port located on the side panel of the router. Connect the opposite end of the power cord into the nearest electrical outlet. The router may also include a car power adapter that you can connect in your car to achieve wireless connectivity.
- Create USB Cable Connection: Once the router is enabled use the USB cable to establish the connection between the modem and the router by plugging the 3G USB modem into the USB port on the wireless router. If a USB cable is not included with the modem you can purchase one at your nearest electronics store.
- Configure the Network Connection: When the first two steps above are complete it is necessary to create the network connection with the wireless capable devices you want to connect to the WiFi hotspot. If you are connecting a laptop you must access the application that allows you to configure network connections. If you are using the Windows operating system this is typically located in the Control Panel under Network Connections. Once you find the wireless connection you want to use choose it from the list by clicking on it.
- Establish the Connection: To establish a connection to the wireless network click on the network you want to use and then enter the network password. If your wireless router is brand new you will need to use the default password that is provided in the router manual. If you have already been using your wireless router you will use the password that you changed after logging in with the default password.
- Connect Other Devices: You can use the 3G modem and wireless router to provide a WiFi hotspot for multiple devices if necessary. Simply follow the steps we described for establishing the connection for each device you wish to connect to the network.
As an added tip, most wireless routers that are mobile broadband compatible and USB-enabled are also equipped with a host of security features that provide extra protection if you are establishing a WiFi hotspot for multiple users. Some of the security features include WPA and WPA2 encryption for protected access to the network, double firewall protection, Virtual Private Network or VPN capability, and settings that you can customize so each person that connects to the network can configure their own settings for added security.
The customizable settings for multiple users are also known as SSID guest networks and provide separate security and access restrictions. Additionally, if you have young children some of the wireless routers are equipped with parental controls with settings that are flexible and customizable. Most of the routers also offer installation that does not require a CD which makes it easier when you want to create a WiFi hotspot for multiple users.
When you use this wireless connectivity with a 3G modem it makes accessing a WiFi hotspot easy and convenient. This type of connection can be used in your home office as an alternative to DSL or as a backup connection in the event the DSL service is down for any reason. You can also use it when you travel to ensure access to high speed broadband while on vacation or to continue work productivity while you are on the road.