Turning a Nokia phone into a hotspot

Free app shares your connection with the world

A new piece of freeware can turn a Symbian S60 handset into a Wi-Fi hotspot, removing the need to muck about with Bluetooth connections to get connected when on the move. Just don't tell your service provider.

JoikuSpot installs on a S60 handset with Wi-Fi and, when activated, turns that handset into a hotspot for any, and all, local devices. This first version of the application is being distributed free in the hope of encouraging people with unlimited data plans to share their connection wherever they go.

The application works as advertised, and we were able to get a laptop and iPod Touch connected easily enough, though only HTTP and HTTPS are supported and there's no security at all - you'll want to be very sure your tariff really is unlimited.

With so many devices having Wi-Fi these days the ability to share a 3G connection makes sense, though whether we'd want to share that connection with all and sundry is more debatable. Windows Mobile devices recently gained the same capability with their WMWifiRouter application (also free).

Many of the data tariffs specifically exclude access from a laptop or other device, and the operators will be most annoyed if you ignore their terms and conditions by connecting your own laptop over their network, let alone the laptops of everyone within 100 metres. ®

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