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Virtual Real Estate Office, Part 2: Personal WiFi Hotspot

As I travel to and from different appointments everyday, I often find myself in need of wireless internet access. My iPhone is great for checking email, but I’ve never cared for writing email or doing any serious web browsing with it.

As I travel to and from different appointments everyday, I often find myself in need of wireless internet access. My iPhone is great for checking email, but I’ve never cared for writing email or doing any serious web browsing with it. Plus AT&T can sometimes be spotty in our area. For those tasks I choose to use my laptop instead.

Cradlepoint PHS300 Real Estate Router

In order to get online with my laptop I used to have to find a nearby coffee shop, but with my new Personal WiFi Hotspot from Cradlepoint I always have access to a wireless network. The Cradlepoint router is powered by a rechargeable battery, so I just slap my 3G wireless card (it also supports 4G but I haven’t bought a new card yet) in there and I’ve instantly got a WiFi network set up. Now, I could just put the 3G card into my laptop, but that creates a few problems. First, it is a bit awkward to have something sticking out of the side of your laptop when you are trying to look something up from the car (I’m always worried I’ll break the card or laptop or both). Second, connecting to a 3G wireless network is much slower than connecting to a local WiFi network. If I have the card in my router ready to go, I can just open my laptop and connect pretty quickly. Lastly, the connection seems to fail a lot when used directly on the laptop versus using the router and generally seems to be more stable with the router. This is probably an issue with the software that comes with the 3G card which is another great advantage of the router – no software to install. Everything the router needs is installed on the router, including lots of great security features.

Another feature I like about the router is that a second person (well, up to 16 really) can also log onto that network at the same time. When my brother and I went to the National Association of Realtors Conference we were both able to get online with my router at the same time instead of paying for the hotel’s internet access (~$20/day). This feature can also be helpful at open houses, especially in new home subdivisions where you can’t easily access a nearby WiFi network.

Having a cellular wireless card is a necessity for a virtual office and a the Cradlepoint PHS300 is a great compliment to it, making it much easier to get online while running around in your daily real estate routines.

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