In a pinch and need a data connection on your tablet or laptop? You can use Open Garden to sneak a connection from your smartphone without needing to tether. Setup is easy, but the connection has enough hiccups and jumps to sometimes be more frustrating than it's worth.
Before you can use Open Garden, you have to download another program for your desktop. Once you set up the network, your gadgets will connect automatically whenever they're nearby. It can even work through NFC if your phone has it. However, owners of modern phones can have a more reliable connection on their phone automatically, and most phones can tether. Either one will provide less frustrating access to your phone's data plan. Those two won't connect without asking, either. While automatic connection is convenient on your laptop, it can be frustrating on a limited data plan. You might snag an overage accidentally.
Open Garden may come in handy for anyone looking to have access to a smartphone's data when Wi-Fi isn't available. However, there are other options that pull the connection off much more easily, and this program comes with too many errors that need attention.