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Topic: tracfone for laptop

Posted By: pinesman on 10/20/09 07:17am

I want to tether a cell phone to a laptop. In my area, us cellular is actually the preferred carrier and I have been with them nearly 15 years. I am looking for internet access for my laptop when there is no wi-fi. I probably would not use it 4-5 times /year and don't want to pay monthly fees. Is anybody using something like a tracfone or some other prepaid phone tethered to a laptop? I have high speed at home with embarq and there is no way to dial up with them so I need the phone and isp all in one package. Any ideas? Again, at this point in my life I can't justify $50/month for a plan that I would not use but 4-5 times/year.


Posted By: sch911 on 10/20/09 07:21am

Don't think that pre paid phone plans allow any form of tethering....

Have you heard about Verizon's "Day Pass" data plan?

Here...


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Posted By: kaydeejay on 12/25/09 12:44pm

I have bought a "Straight Talk" (link) phone with a cable that connects to my lap-top. It connects as a "Modem" so I'm hoping I can use the phone to connect my PC to the Net.
I have not activated it yet (my 2 year Verizon contract has not yet expired). It uses the Verizon network so hopefully coverage will be OK.
It's a prepaid phone - $30/month for 1000 mins/1000 texts and 30GB of data. or $45 unlimited)
Anyone done this?
How well does it work?


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Posted By: Dutch_12078 on 12/25/09 12:54pm

kaydeejay wrote:

I have bought a "Straight Talk" (link) phone with a cable that connects to my lap-top. It connects as a "Modem" so I'm hoping I can use the phone to connect my PC to the Net.
I have not activated it yet (my 2 year Verizon contract has not yet expired). It uses the Verizon network so hopefully coverage will be OK.
It's a prepaid phone - $30/month for 1000 mins/1000 texts and 30GB of data. or $45 unlimited)
Anyone done this?
How well does it work?

Straight Talk does not permit tethering for Internet access. The cord can only be used for synchronizing contact lists and such with your PC.

"Straight Talk Unlimited talk, text and data plan Features cannot be used: (1) for access to the Internet, intranets, or other data networks except as the device’s native applications and capabilities permit, or (2) for any applications that tether your device to laptops or personal computers other than for the use of Wireless Synch."

Straight Talk Terms and Conditions

Dutch


Posted By: kaydeejay on 12/25/09 01:08pm

Dutch_12078 wrote:

Straight Talk does not permit tethering for Internet access. The cord can only be used for synchronizing contact lists and such with your PC.

"Straight Talk Unlimited talk, text and data plan Features cannot be used: (1) for access to the Internet, intranets, or other data networks except as the device’s native applications and capabilities permit, or (2) for any applications that tether your device to laptops or personal computers other than for the use of Wireless Synch."

Straight Talk Terms and Conditions Dutch
Hmmm, interesting! I plugged in my computer and it sees a modem, not my contact or other phone info.!
So what functions can the phone alone perform to use the 30GB/month?


Posted By: pinesman on 10/21/09 06:03am

I guess that is what I am trying to find out-if those type of phones allow tethering. Thanks.
kb


Posted By: Dutch_12078 on 12/26/09 05:48pm

kaydeejay wrote:

Dutch_12078 wrote:

Straight Talk does not permit tethering for Internet access. The cord can only be used for synchronizing contact lists and such with your PC.

"Straight Talk Unlimited talk, text and data plan Features cannot be used: (1) for access to the Internet, intranets, or other data networks except as the device’s native applications and capabilities permit, or (2) for any applications that tether your device to laptops or personal computers other than for the use of Wireless Synch."

Straight Talk Terms and Conditions Dutch
Hmmm, interesting! I plugged in my computer and it sees a modem, not my contact or other phone info.!
So what functions can the phone alone perform to use the 30GB/month?

The phone alone can check your email and browse using the built in apps, although 30MB isn't going to go very far.

Seeing it as a modem on your PC doesn't mean it will connect as a modem if the phone's firmware has been programmed not to allow it. I suppose you could try using the Verizon VZAM settings to see what happens. Don't be surprised though, if that triggers a service termination.

Dutch


Posted By: JJnLilly on 12/26/09 05:28am

Back to the orginal post, BIL does it with his tracfone. Think he has an LG.


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Posted By: kaydeejay on 12/25/09 10:49pm

I'm having second thoughts about this Straight-talk product.
No roaming (so useless when I visit Canada)
No International texts (so I can't reply to texts I get from the UK)
No International calls

OK, so I can understand these functions not being available but the bit I really don't like is they cancel the service if you even attempt one of the above.
There's a very grey area in the Port Huron/Sarnia area where I have to check my phone VERY carefully to see if I'm roaming or not.
Seems if I accidentally make a call while roaming I'll be terminated.
From their terms and conditions:-
"Your Straight Talk service is restricted such that you will not be able to make or receive calls on your Straight Talk device when you are located anywhere outside of the United States, offshore or in international waters and in Puerto Rico or the U.S. Virgin Islands. Any such calls are considered unauthorized usage by Straight Talk for which your Service will be immediately suspended. In the event of suspension for this or any other unauthorized usage, your minutes, text and/or multimedia messages, megabytes of data and Service days balance previous to deactivation will be forfeited from the account and you will not be entitled to receive any refunds for your phone or unused Service. "
As I was roaming on the Canadian network IN MICHIGAN (Whitefish Point in the UP) last September this could be a problem.
I have 30 days to return it and get my money back.


Posted By: kaydeejay on 12/25/09 10:57pm

MrWizard wrote:

30 MBs is not going to go very far IF you do you manage to tether
So the $45 Unlimited Plan might be OK???


Posted By: MrWizard on 12/25/09 11:03pm

IF you can get tether to work, i would certainly use the $45 plan instead of the $30 plan

but i don't think you can make tethering work on those phones


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....

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Posted By: Jim & Betty on 12/26/09 12:26am

A couple years back probibly a little more Verizon had a thing called Verizon Office it was software and a tether to connect a cell phone to the internet. I had one but found that wifi was around enough not to justify the cost of a second cell phone (I did not want to give up my old carrier, Yet). It worked OK and there was no extra cost as far as data use per month. On the Yahoo forums there was a forum just for the Verizion Office and how to work it.

As I said the cost was the reason I did not keep it and I am sure things have changed. But Now I need somthing like that as next summer I am going to an area where wifi is a long ways away.

JimR


Posted By: MrWizard on 12/25/09 01:27pm

30 MBs is not going to go very far IF you do you manage to tether




Posted By: MrWizard on 12/25/09 01:41pm

phones will show as MODEM or as USB mass storage, this option requires that you use the phone settings and choose what the USB connection will do.

to do contacts etc.. requires additional software on the PC.

mass storage is access to memory or sd-card where PICTURES & music & video is stored, NOT your contacts


Posted By: MrWizard on 12/26/09 06:01pm

for info regarding trackfone and other pre-paids
read here

guide to tracfone, net 10, straight talk

http://www.howardforums.com/forumdisplay.php?f=330

* This post was edited 12/26/09 06:19pm by MrWizard *


Posted By: fpresto on 12/26/09 06:07pm

The prepaid companies such as Straight Talk, Tracfone, Net10, Page Plus, etc who are not tied to a larger company such as Verizon InPluse or AT&Ts's Go Phone are what is known as mobile virtual network operator (MVNO). They don't own towers of infrastructure, they rent time from the big boys. For example Straight Talk buys time from Verizon and uses their network, except for a few isolated zip codes Tracfone uses AT&Ts network. If anyone thinks that Verizon or AT&T would allow a MVNO to undercut their own (very profitable) data plans by allowing tethering you are wrong. That is why their Terms of Service forbid tethering and they will terminate your service if they think you are. Their entire business model depends on keeping the network owner happy.


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