From: June Fabrics Technology
Price: Free for a limited version that blocks secure Web sites; $23.95 for a full version (though it's currently on sale for $15.95)
Have you ever been unable to find a reliable Wi-Fi signal when you were working in the field? PdaNet can help. It lets you tether your laptop to your smartphone so you can use the phone's 3G network to connect to the Internet -- without rooting your phone or paying your carrier a monthly tethering fee. With it, you can access email, Web apps and anything else you need to do your job, just as you would if your laptop were connected directly to a Wi-Fi access point.
The app supports both USB tethering and Bluetooth dial-up networking (DUN) and can handle download speeds of up to 35Mbit/sec. over USB. However, you will, of course, be limited by the speed of the 3G network you're on.
From: Eric C. Tampellini
In many organizations, IT staffers are spread rather thin. It doesn't help that end users often ignore policies about filing help-desk tickets and instead go straight to the most technically knowledgeable person they know -- you -- every time they hit a snag with their tech gear. And being bombarded with trivial questions pulls you away from focusing on your organization's bigger technology problems.
To save yourself from such minutiae, offer to install the Pocket I.T. Mobile Help Desk on users' Android phones. This tool from Arizona App Design provides answers to simple IT questions. Users select a specific type of device to troubleshoot, such as a laptop, an iPhone or something else, and then search for answers by keywords or key phrases to find solutions to particular problems.
It's not a cure-all; support staffers will still need to handle more advanced problems. But Pocket I.T. can save you from being interrupted every time someone wants to know how to force quit a program or change a password.
Wireless network slow? This handy tool helps you find the best channels on which to run your wireless routers and access points.
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