Nexus One

One of the reasons I like and still use my Google Nexus One, despite it’s age, is that I can use it for tethering. I am also lucky to have a legacy mobile phone contract that means tethering is included as part of my monthly payment.

I actually thought that I had unlimited data, but when I was on holiday and I did a fair bit of video streaming over 3G I did for the first time ever get a text from my phone company telling me I was reaching my fair usage data limit. This actually surprised me as I didn’t think I had a data limit.

Generally the connection is very good with very little latency. I have encountered a couple of issues that happen enough to be annoying.

The first one is when the connection just seems to stop. I am assuming that this is something to do with the 3G connection, and usually very quickly it comes back. Can be annoying when streaming video or if you are in the middle of posting a blog post.

The second issue is that the 3G connection just dies and stops working. The only resolution is to reboot the phone and start all over again.

It is only a 3G connection and until there is a lot more 4G (and it is a lot cheaper) I think I will continue with my current solution. Battery life isn’t perfect, but it generally lasts me for my daily needs and when I need more juice I plug the phone via USB into my laptop.

I like tethering over a dongle as a dongle can only be used by a single laptop, whereas with my phone, my laptop and iPad can be used at the same time, really aids productivity for me.


I noticed on the O2 website that tethering on your iPhone or Android phone is now “free”, well free on the assumption you stay within your data limits.

Whilst my work iPhone is now on Vodafone, I still have my home iPhone, a 3GS model on an O2 simplicity contract. However in order to get “tethering” I would need to sign up to a new contract and they are more expensive than my current rather cheap monthly contract I have now.

I usually use tethering on my “other” home phone an Android device which I now use instead of a 3G dongle or MiFi. The 3G dongle was limiting as I could only really use it with my laptop and not with other devices (read iPad). Also my MiFi has stopped working properly, but I think that’s because the battery has died. So as I have tethering on my Android phone, I am probably not going to change the contract so I can have it on the iPhone. However it is nice to see that if you got a new iPhone or changed contract, tethering is now seen as “normal” and it’s up to the user to decide how they use their data allowances and tethering is not seen now by O2 as something special they can charge more for.

What I would warn though, is though 500MB is enough for most people for internet on the iPhone, you will go through that data very quickly if you use your allowance through tethering using the web on your laptop.