Many carriers offer the ability to connect your laptop to the Internet by using your mobile phone as a sort of modem. It's often called tethering. That way you need not be in the vicinity of a wireless hotspot to go online with your laptop — you're able to connect wherever you can get a cell phone signal. This functionality is very convenient — but hasn't yet been available to the iPhone. However, an AT&T executive recently mentioned at an event that tethering was coming. You can read more at the CIO web site. Unfortunately, tethering usually entails an extra $15-30 per month on your plan, so it's not cheap. But if you travel a lot, it may be worth the expense.