As we head into the long weekend here in the States, I caught word of a newfangled freeware called JoikuSpot Light that might appeal to traveling owners of laptops and 3G phones that can't get their Wi-Fi connection to, you know, connect.
Joikuspot, and its Windows Mobile sibling, WMWiFiRouter, let laptop users wirelessly connect to their phones' 3G signal, piggybacking on it to your messages out and get fresh data in. If you're stuck in an airport or hotel room with a crappy or nonexistent Wi-Fi signal, JoikuSpot will enable to you to connect. If you've got an unlimited data phone plan, this could be extremely cost- and time-effective.
Originally, this was going to be a "hands-on" style write-up, but Joikuspot has some strict device limitations and can only be used by certain phones. However, the program's publisher does make it easy to determine if your phone will work with it. Head on over to the JoikuSpot Light page at Joiku.com and select your phone model. If it's not there, it's not supported.
If it is supported, you can have Joiku SMS the software to your phone, or download it directly. According to the JoikuSpot Web site, they have more than 200,000 users since the product was released a few months back. It appears to be reasonably secure, too, as it supports encrypted hypertext protocols (https).
Once installed, your laptop's Wi-Fi router should find your phone as an available Wi-Fi hot spot. Activate the connection and surf knowing that, in the relationship between you and your devices, you wear the pants.