After the profound disappointment of finding that my new iPhone can't tether to my laptop (how developers of such a slick instrument could over llok a key smart phone function like that is beyond me) I really need to find a work-around because I need to download large spreadsheets and data to my laptop when traveling,
Is there another USB device that I can use without having to buy a whole new phone and sevice plan?
My laptop has built in wi-fi, but it often does not get service, in areas when I can still get cell service.
Well, he did ask if he could buy something but not have to get a new service plan. The answer is yes, you can buy another dvice, but no it will not work with your existing iPhone data plan. So you would have to get a seoarate line of service for the other device.
As Jameson said, AT&T sells devices for laptops. Click on "Shop" at the top of the page.
I have a USB 881 device and am very pleased. Added a second line to my account and service is $59.99. Plan is stated as unlimited, but recent threads in the forum indicate that there is a soft cap of 5Gb per month (still quite a lot of data usage).
If you travels take you to the same areas I would check the coverage viewer (link at top of forum page) to be sure that their is adequate 3G coverage, because as was stated above, the EDGE speeds and downloading spreadsheets would not be pleasant, doable but slow. If there is 3G coverage indicated then I have found the download / upload speeds and performance to be great.