Homebrew WiFi-to-3G router

January 10, 2008 | 09:18

Tags: #3g #router #smartphone #wifi #windows #windows-mobile

Owners of Windows Mobile 6 smartphones may be interested to hear of a new package which turns your 'phone into a no-fooling WiFi-to-GPRS/UMTS/HSPA (delete as appropriate for your connection) router.

Going under the rather laborious title of WMWifiRouter, the software is designed to get your laptop online no matter where you are. In many ways it operates the same as a 3G datacard in your laptop would, but with several advantages. For one, you don't have to have two SIMs and therefore two contracts on the go. Secondly, when the software is set up any WiFi-compatible device can use it to connect to the Internet.

That bears repeating: any WiFi device can use WMWifiRouter to get online. The software even supports multiple devices at once. Although many smartphones offer the capability of being hooked up to a larger device as a modem they will only work with one device at a time, typically via a Bluetooth or USB connection. This natty bit of kit gets around that problem nicely.

The operation of the software is pretty simple. When you install the package it creates an Ad-Hoc WiFi connection named “WMWifiRouter” which offers a gateway connection to whatever data service is offered by the 'phone: GPRS if you're 2G, or UMTS or HSPA if you're lucky enough to live in an area covered by the high-speed services.

The software works on most models of smartphone, although it does seem to struggle with anything by Samsung for some reason. Development on the project is still ongoing, so I can only see the software getting better over time. I'm sadly unable to test it myself as I'm still stubbornly using a decidedly un-smart Toshiba phone until someone invents an affordable smartphone with GPS and decent battery life.

If you're lucky enough to own a compatible smartphone and one or more WiFi devices (plus I'd recommend having an unlimited data tariff if you don't want to see astronomical bills) give it a go and let us know how you get on via the forums.
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