DUN

It works, but barely.

One of the reasons I have a Treo and not an iPhone or other cool, trendy communication device is because it supports DUN — dial up networking. This is a feature that enables me to use the Treo’s Internet connectivity to connect my MacBook Pro to the Internet via Bluetooth.

So as long as I’m in a place where my Treo can connect to the Internet, I can connect my computer to the Internet. I’ve successfully used this in off-the-grid locations such as our vacation property on Howard Mesa, on a cruise ship off the coast of Alaska, and in various hotels, motels, and restaurants all over the country. In fact, I used DUN to post this blog entry from a B&B in Girdwood, Alaska.

If you’re wondering how to do this, read an article I wrote about it for Peachpit Press.

DUN works. And yes, it works better than regular modem dial-up. But not much better.

The connection speed is slow and inconsistent. It might work well for a short time, then get bogged down. And if you don’t actively use the connection, you’ll get disconnected. (I wrote “Ping to Keep Your connection Alive” on MariasGuides.com to explain my workaround for this problem.) You’re also likely to get disconnected after a certain amount of time even if your connection is kept active — I seem to get cut off after 30 minutes or so. Or if you get an incoming call. And it seems to me that it takes multiple connections to get any task done.

Doesn’t sound very good, does it?

Well it isn’t. But it is better than nothing.

What do you think?