Cell phone as a modem

Discussion in 'Technical' started by monkeyman, Nov 17, 2007.

  1. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Im fed up with Sprint/Embarq and the internet providers they work with for dial up (any they dont partner with cost long distance to use) so am looking at my other options. Cable is not available in our area so any of the stuf that goes through the cable lines is out, and the dish network type satalite service wont work from our location/isnt available. So as far as I can figure that leaves us with options of direct satalite which we cant afford, dial up which mean you HAVE to go through Sprint which TOTALY blows, or useing a cell provider.

    We have had EXCELENT service for our phones from T-Mobile and get a full strong signal from them here at the house and apparently I can put internet service on my cell phone and plug it into the USB on my computer and use it as the modem for the PC OR I can get an air card and hook up stuff to use that to get internet service through the cell company.

    What Im wondering is, has any one here used a cell phone with the USB wire to get online with their computer, and if so how dose the speed compare (assumeing you have a GOOD signal) to dial up/56k modem and to the air cards? Are there any other issues with this kind of service?

    Internet dial up is the only reason we keep a land and it would actualy cost the same or less to have internet on all 3 phones than what we pay Sprint now or a lot less if we just had 1 line set up for it but most important we could get rid of the A$$HATS at Sprint.

    So any suggestions or comments on wireless internet?
  2. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    Unless you pay the Cell provider for a Data Plan, It will be as slow or slower than dial up. Most Data plans run about $50 to $60 a month. I don't know if t-mobile has this or not. My provider does not offer Data services yet. Verizon and ATT have a really fast broadband service.

    Just checked and it looks like you have a plan available for $39 a month. "Wherever T-Mobile Has Coverage" You need to make sure that you are actually on a T-Mobile tower at home or it will be as slow as walking the internet.

    Maybe they can let you test it out. Scroll down to the bottom and look at Internet Only and Sidekick. Might be best to call them as well.

    Good luck. I'm in a similar situation and was walking around the property yesterday with a WiFi PDA trying to find a secret signal to grab.
  3. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Im basicly just wanting to be sure its not SLOWER than dial up. I know the air cards they had on computers at a job site were way slower than dial up but it was a weak signal.

    I know we have T-mobile tower signals here since they are generaly the only phones that get much signal around here.

    My internetwas down since Wed because Sprint (AKA embarq) screwed up and told Earth link to shut it off then both companies wanted to point fingers at each other untill I finaly got both on the line at the same time today and it was on when we hung up. For a land line with them that cant call ANYPLACE over 10 miles away (les than a mile in 3 directions) and dial up service (no DSL or anything as thats not available here) we have to pay them like $60/month and deal with realy crappy customer service and such. With the Tmobile iwould be $20 per line/month and each of us could use our phone directly to surf the web or as a modem for a computer with a USB cable and their people are a pleasure to deal with and will bend over backwards to help. So Im thinking as long as its not a situation of waiting 10 minutes for a siple page to come up with it will be WELL worth makeing the switch.
  4. sheen_estevez

    sheen_estevez Monkey+++

    Not sure about T-Mobile, I know my brother is getting around 2-3 Meg download on his Verizon cell data plan where he lives, darn thing is faster than the DSL I can get where I live. In my area Alltel is our big provider at the moment, they offer PC cards for their data service so as long as you get signal you can get internet without having to plug your phone in and use it as a modem. Maybe T-Mobile has something similar
  5. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    They also have the air cards that you can use with a laptop but you would have to have special adaptors to use it on a desktop. With the phone as the modem you just use the phone and a USB cord like you have for a camera.
  6. zarraza

    zarraza Survivalist in training

    verizon has a TETHERING service available - but it doesn't work with all their phones - i only have experience using it with blackberry handhelds - it's not broadband fast - i think they say the fastest it can really go is 300K but steps are being taken to increase that speed. with the blackberry (they REQUIRE data plans already) i think it's an extra $15 per month for tethering service - and the blackberry uses the mini USB cables, so it plugs right into your laptop or pc for that matter, and charges the handhels while it's plugged in!
    - no special cable required
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