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CELL PHONE INTERNET ACCESS

DanaMc
Explorer
Explorer
CELL PHONE INTERNET ACCESS

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.

Below is some additional reading on this topic:

HOW-TO: Use your CDMA cell phone as a USB modem

Cell Phone Internet Connections

Cellular Fills Gap Between Hotspots


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.

DanaMc
Matthews, NC
2013 Tiffin Phaeton 36GH


769 REPLIES 769

pete42
Explorer
Explorer
Wikibooks - AT&T Mobility FAQ/MEdia Net Configuration - how to
AT&T appears to tolerate, or at least not to monitor actively, tethering of phones that have the Web access feature installed. The feature was called MEdia Net, and is now called just Data Plan. It costs $15. per month, or when combined with 200 text messages per month, $20. per month. As noted, you use it by creating a dial-up connection. I have two phones with this capability, one of which used it almost daily for several months with no problem. AT&T's 3G service is pretty limited, but where it is available, the tethered connection operates at 3G speed.

I just looked up the AT&T data plan it's called "Data unlimited"
and is meant to be used on a cell phone.
If I understand you I can hook my cell phone to my computer using an USB cable then connect to a ISP via their phone number and use my phone as a modem.
I just hooked my phone to the laptop it said I now have a Motorola modem. what do I do now and how do I do it?
any help would be appreciated.
Pete

Caseydon
Explorer
Explorer
garym114 wrote:

For AT&T the data plan for tethered phones is Data Connect. The $60 plan is 5GB. The feature can be turned off and on but I don't know about prorating. You don't need their software. Just create a dial up connection to the phone via bluetooth or USB cable.
AT&T data plans for plane phones. Not for PDAs or smartphones. The have another for them.

Wikibooks - AT&T Mobility FAQ/MEdia Net Configuration - how to

AT&T appears to tolerate, or at least not to monitor actively, tethering of phones that have the Web access feature installed. The feature was called MEdia Net, and is now called just Data Plan. It costs $15. per month, or when combined with 200 text messages per month, $20. per month. As noted, you use it by creating a dial-up connection. I have two phones with this capability, one of which used it almost daily for several months with no problem. AT&T's 3G service is pretty limited, but where it is available, the tethered connection operates at 3G speed.
Casey

clinthia
Explorer
Explorer
BCam wrote:
Good news! I'm finally online via Verizon with my LG VX8360 tethered to my laptop and am posting this message via that connection.

I did have some problems with getting VZAccess to work properly but Verizon tech support was able to get me working.

Thanks again to everyone who helped me walk through this sometimes difficult process.

Oh, the tech support guy did confirm that I can turn the feature on and off at will and that I'm not limited to once a month as I was previously told by Verizon. This is consistent with what StuartT previously reported.


BCam, do you recall what number you called and the options you chose in order to get to the right person?

Thanks, Clint
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garym114
Explorer
Explorer
BCam wrote:
It's me again.

I was telling two of my travel buddies about my success with getting tethered internet access Verizon and now they are interested in getting tethered access as well. The catch is that one is on Sprint and the other is on AT&T.

I'm sure that someone out there can give me a succinct answer.


For AT&T the data plan for tethered phones is Data Connect. The $60 plan is 5GB. The feature can be turned off and on but I don't know about prorating. You don't need their software. Just create a dial up connection to the phone via bluetooth or USB cable.
AT&T data plans for plane phones. Not for PDAs or smartphones. The have another for them.

Wikibooks - AT&T Mobility FAQ/MEdia Net Configuration - how to
2000 Sea Breeze F53 V10 - CR-V Toad
Some RV batteries live a long and useful life, some are murdered.
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BCam
Explorer
Explorer
It's me again.

I was telling two of my travel buddies about my success with getting tethered internet access Verizon and now they are interested in getting tethered access as well. The catch is that one is on Sprint and the other is on AT&T.

Do either or both have an option that can be turned on-and-off for a prorated fee like Verizon's broadband connect feature? If so, what's the name of the feature or application they should ask about? I tried searching this forum but couldn't find anything specific.

Also, a poster on another Open Roads thread (Least Expensive Way to Get Internet in the 5er) tells me that the ability to prorate Verizon isn't applicable if "you're a new customer and sign a 2-year contract." Is this true?

I'm sure that someone out there can give me a succinct answer.
Bob C.

Jodum
Explorer
Explorer
Verizons coverage area just got much bigger with their purchase of Alltel. Alltel covers all the rural areas that Verizon lacked. By the end of June they should have the networks merged.
JOHN AND MYRA
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StuartT
Explorer
Explorer
BCam, glad to see you are up and running, and I agree with you on the difficulties Verizon needlessly presents to customers. If it wasn't for their superior area coverage, I'd drop them in a heartbeat like I did with their residential phone service and DSL (went to the cable provider for both). Your comments will also help others try to sort through all the flack since we can't rely on Verizon to do so.
StuartT
2006 HR Imperial
42 PBQ

BCam
Explorer
Explorer
Good news! I'm finally online via Verizon with my LG VX8360 tethered to my laptop and am posting this message via that connection.

I did have some problems with getting VZAccess to work properly but Verizon tech support was able to get me working.

Thanks again to everyone who helped me walk through this sometimes difficult process.

Oh, the tech support guy did confirm that I can turn the feature on and off at will and that I'm not limited to once a month as I was previously told by Verizon. This is consistent with what StuartT previously reported.
Bob C.

BCam
Explorer
Explorer
I'll chime in (rant) once more and let this drop. I understand and appreciate the intricacies and necessities of adding/modifying plans, new phones, etc. However, I, for one, think that the issue goes beyond that. I could be cynical and think it's designed to confuse but I think it's probably less intentional but nonetheless bad business.

There's something wrong with the industry's approach to all this if technologically savvy people, like many, if not most of us on this forum, need to call customer service several times, sort through conflicting information, spend several hours reading the postings on this forum, all to figure out what one needs to do to get the access he/she wants at a reasonable price.

Once you run the gauntlet, it is fairly simple, as many tried to tell me when I started posting my questions. I, however, had read about so many horror stories and had obtained so much conflicting information from Verizon that I wanted to be absolutely sure before signing on the dotted line. The last thing I wanted to happen was to find out that my monthly bill had jumped by $XXX instead of $XX because I'd signed up for a "plan" instead of activated a "feature" or had exceeded a monthly GB limit on my "unlimited" plan, had used "mobile web access" instead of "broadband connect", etc., etc.

Maybe I'm too cautious and too informed and should just do what I suspect most do who visit the "phone store" and buy the prettiest phone that the sales person tells me that everyone is getting.

Actually, what I should have done is believe what Mr. Wizard, Stuart T., Alex and others on this forum were telling me and proceed rather than try to confirm things with Verizon, but it's my nature to be cautious.

And don't get me started on why buying my new phone at the Verizon store down the street would have cost me somewhere around $80 more than ordering from Verizon online. The store wasn't able to provide me with any more effective customer service than I was able to get online. I'm just happy that I knew that before I walked into the store.
Bob C.

MrWizard
Moderator
Moderator
lest see. keep it simple

never add new services or features,

never upgrade the available phones

have only one calling plan and one price for everybody .. no matter what

when you change the phone service force all customers to buy new phones and switch to the new plan
I can explain it to you.
But I Can Not understand it for you !

....

Connected using T-Mobile Home internet and Visible Phone service
1997 F53 Bounder 36s

BCam
Explorer
Explorer
Heaven forbid they would just make things simpler so both consumers and their employees could understand things.
Bob C.

MrWizard
Moderator
Moderator
this is very common, and a major 'gripe' topic on phone forums,

but when you consider all the issues a CS rep has too deal with, and the number of plans being offered and the wide range of plans offered in the past and still active on millions of accounts, it can be confusing for the CE reps trying to look things up on their computers.

there is just NO way for them to remember it all.
they have too look it up and some of it is not easy to verify
I can explain it to you.
But I Can Not understand it for you !

....

Connected using T-Mobile Home internet and Visible Phone service
1997 F53 Bounder 36s

bill_h
Explorer
Explorer
BCam wrote:
It's a bit strange that they have this wrong ........


Verizon phone answerers are full of conflicting answers. I just hang up and call again and again and get different information each time. Somebody there must know what they are doing, but the must be several levels up.
NOTE: Any incorrect spelling is intentional to prevent those annoying popups.

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BCam
Explorer
Explorer
Well, I just ordered the LG VX8360 w/USB cable online. I did some checking of some other forums and found out that the Verizon stores are being told that they can't sell the 8360 until they've exhausted their stock of 8350s. I also got a better deal online through Verizonwireless.com.

As we've discussed here, the other forums confirm the functionality of the 8360 for tethering and that Verizon's online information to the contrary is incorrect. It's a bit strange that they have this wrong since the 8360 replaces the 8350 and the 8350 which is on their list for mobile broadband connect.

I'm assuming that Stuart is correct on the issue of being able to turn the mobile broadband connect feature on and off several times per and haven't tried to re-confirm it myself.

Thanks again to everyone for their help and patience as I worked through this. Hopefully I'll be able to post on a favorable experience with my new phone once I get it.
Bob C.

BCam
Explorer
Explorer
StuartT wrote:
In reference to posts above:

I have a LG8360, not 8630. It does support BBA.

I had to change from Friends and Family Calling Plan to Nationwide Basic Family Shared Plan. Not sure why but it was required.

Once again, I called customer service and reconfirmed that you can activate and cancel BBA multiple times in a billing period without charge. It is changing calling plans in the same period that they don't like. Verify at #611.


I stand corrected and realized my mistake after visiting my local Verizon store a few minutes ago. When they checked their info on the 8360 it did show as having the necessary feature. The store is telling me that the LG8360 is new to them and the online person may have been using an outdated list. The store had a display model but none in stock so I'm going back online, which I think will be the cheapest alternative.

I'll double-check on the multiple activation issue. It sure is frustrating to be getting so many conflicting stories from Verizon, especially when it might cost us so much for a mistake.

Thanks for the follow-up.
Bob C.