This is designed to explain the basic approach to using your cell phone with your computer to connect to the internet. It is not intended to be an in depth coverage of the topic. Rather it is intended to help folks get acquainted with what is necessary and a suggested resource or two. The first step in this process would be to check with your cell phone carrier. Make sure there is no reason you can’t use your phone like a modem. Some carriers can provide this for an additional fee.
It is the most cost effective way to keep up with your email and favorite web pages from nearly anywhere. In most cases you do not need a separate or different phone plan. You will use your plan minutes and can manage it to take advantage of the unlimited nights and weekends just as you might for conversations. Regular cell phone roaming charges may apply depending on where you are and whether your carrier has an agreement with the local service provider. This is no different than any other situation.
The key components needed are your cell phone, a special USB cord designed specifically for your cell phone. It will connect your cell phone directly to your computer via a USB port on the computer. Finally you will want software to manage the connection and compress the data being sent. There are many sources for this equipment. You can check with your local cell phone retailer. Radio Shack is a good source on this topic as well. But they will only be familiar with the phones they sell. I have been using SnapDialer. I have been very happy with the combination of Verizon and SnapDialer to connect to the internet.
Once your software is installed and configured for your internet service provider, you will only need to click on the Icon to launch your internet session. What service provider you use is not part of this topic. However there are many low cost or free email services such as Google’s Gmail, Microsoft’s Hotmail, or Yahoo.
Looking for a boost in your signal? There are third party systems that can enhance your cellular signal and/or facilitate the use of a cell phone in your RV or your home. One example of this is Wilson Cellular Antennas & Amplifiers. Properly installed, these systems can enhance your range of coverage.
Great Topic, I use verizonwireless mobile office kit and it works exactly as you describe. Ito also allows me to download email, but I cant seem to send it. Any thoughts? The settings appear the same as receive. You seem very knowledgable, so any tips would be apprecited.
John, Lisa & Tara
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The key components needed are your cell phone, a special USB cord designed specifically for your cell phone. It will connect your cell phone directly to your computer via a USB port on the computer.
Great post! One small thing to add. Instead of the usb cable you might check on a Bluetooth conection. Wireless and easy. If your phone is already bluetooth it would be much easier. If you have never heard of bluetooth I won't bore you with all the details, just do a google!
Thanks again DanaMc
Chris & Bonnie
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Thanks for taking the time to address this rather complex subject. It seems the practicality of the "tethered laptop" approach depends on which wireless carrier and wireless plan a person is dealing with. In my case I have a Cingular Nation plan. I have spent a fair amount of time investigating this subject on this forum, the Yahoo forum, and the Howard forums. To make along story short it seems that a Cingular customer will be charged data by the kb when tethering to a laptop. kb usage can be very high. One report on this forum indicated a Cingular customer received a one month bill for $1500. An obvious option is to buy the Cingular Media Works package for $19.95 per month which has unlimited wireless internet. This should solve this problem-right? Nope, it seems Cingular says this is plan is only for direct cell phone internet access and anyone wanting to "tether" a laptop is supposed to buy one of their even more pricey data plans which cost up to $80/month.
I know there are people on this forum who state they are charged only air time minutes when hooked to their laptops. I have no reason to disbelieve their claims but I have no explanation either. The only thing that comes to mind is maybe these folks have an older Cingular plan that does not charge for data by the kb.
At this point I have just about decided to forget about the "tethered laptop" approach and will continue to use WiFi when it is available or find a place to use my trusty dial up connection in the campground.
Please let me know if I am in error on any of the above and keep in mind I was referring only to Cingular Wireless.
Bill in Florida
For everyone's benefit, please add a post with the details of the Bluetooth option. I know there are many folks who have more recent equipment than others including myself. So I'm very interested in anything along these lines.
Ok this can be a little confusing since it is ANOTHER wireless technology. Bluetooth is a replacement for cables. It has a range of about 30 feet. If your cell phone is bluetooth equipped then you can buy a bluetooth "dongle" for your laptop. This does the same thing as the usb cable. It allows your computer to talk to your cell phone wirelessly. They make bluetooth headsets for the cell phones so you can talk on the phone without ever taking it out of your pocket. They make bluetooth keyboards, mice and printers. I can send you a digital photo from the other side of the room using bluetooth.
I have the unlimited data plan with T-mobile for $20 a month. I have a Sony Ericson T610 phone with bluetooth. I never have to get up and find my phone to get online as long as it is within 30 feet of where I am sitting. It truly works great!
[quote]Great Topic, I use verizonwireless mobile office kit and it works exactly as you describe. Ito also allows me to download email, but I cant seem to send it. Any thoughts? The settings appear the same as receive. You seem very knowledgable, so any tips would be apprecited.
You problem sending mail is probably due to your provider who is handling your email account. When you send mail you connect to a what is called an SMTP server. Due to excessive SPAM, most providers only let a computer on their network send mail through the SMTP server. So when you are at home on your cable or DSL modem, or when you are dialed up to your providers network, you are allowed to send mail. When you use the cell phone to connect to the internet, your provider prevents you from using their SMTP server as you appear "foreign" to them.
Since you use Verizon, they have a SMTP service available to you, but you have to know your vtext.com password (sign up on vtext.com if you haven't already). Once you have your vtext password:
SMTP Server: smtp.vzwmail.net
User name: [9-digit phone number]@vzwmail.net for example firstname.lastname@example.org
Password:Your www.vtext.com password
I suggest you write down your current smtp server setting in your email program before changing them to use Verizon. That way, when you go back home, you can easily get back, although the Verizon server will most likely continue to work.
Note: Due to invalid formatting, all formatting has been ignored.
* This post was
edited 02/15/05 08:16am by Pushin40 *