USB 3G modems are becoming more and more common, but sometimes you want to easily share the connection between more than one machine. That’s where the Cradlepoint PHS300 steps in, a compact battery-powered WiFi router that portions out a 3G connection. Just Another Mobile Monday have been reviewing the $179.99 PHS300, and aside from a few reservations the judgment is good.
The Cradlepoint PHS300 will actually work not only with USB modems but tethered cellphones, as long as they can operate as a USB-connected modem (and your carrier data plan supports it). The simplest way to get going, though, is to use a 3G dongle: slap it into the PHS300’s single USB port, power on, and it automatically creates a WiFi b/g personal hotspot. You can limit access either by a simple password or more complicated WEP/WPA/WPA2 security.
Thanks to the replaceable Li-Ion battery you can use the PHS300 cable-free for more than three hours; the only real drawbacks are the case and in-car power adapter being optional extras and the fact that the USB modem is left hanging out the side, which could be a little precarious. Something like the Novatel MiFi will address that latter point, but of course loses the flexibility of the generic USB port.