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Help with Laptop Internet Access via Mobile Phone

Discussion in 'Laptops' started by Robert, Jun 6, 2004.

  1. Robert

    Robert Guest

    Hello all. I am going to buy my first laptop. I have always used desktops
    but plan on doing a lot of travelling soon. From my research it seems
    possible to connect to the internet via a cell phone. My questions are:

    The computer I am buying has a PMCIA card so what else will I need to
    connect the cell phone to the laptop?

    Will AT&T allow me to use their network for long data calls?

    What kind of speed can I expect to get? Will it be fast enough to do online
    gaming like poker playing?

    Thanks in advance for any help,

    Robert
     
    Robert, Jun 6, 2004
    #1
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  2. | Hello all. I am going to buy my first laptop. I have always used desktops
    | but plan on doing a lot of travelling soon. From my research it seems
    | possible to connect to the internet via a cell phone. My questions are:
    |
    | The computer I am buying has a PMCIA card so what else will I need to
    | connect the cell phone to the laptop?
    |
    | Will AT&T allow me to use their network for long data calls?
    |
    | What kind of speed can I expect to get? Will it be fast enough to do
    online
    | gaming like poker playing?
    |
    | Thanks in advance for any help,
    |
    | Robert
    |
    |

    I use my phone to connect regularly to the internet. I do not, however, dial
    in. I use Cingular's GPRS connected to my phone via bluetooth (wirelessly).
    My speeds are about the same as dial up. I get an average of about 45kbps.
    If you use the phone as a modem to dial in to the internet (assuming your
    phone and AT&T support Circuit switched data), you will likely only get
    9.6kbps, depending on what AT&T's CSD is set for. My phone is capable of
    dialing in at up to 28.8, but Cingular's CSD will only allow 9.6, which is
    why I use GPRS instead.
     
    Jason Cothran, Jun 6, 2004
    #2
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  3. Robert

    Dave Guest

    If your mobile has infra-red, and the laptop has infra-red, you can connect
    that way, using dial-up at 9,600 bps (that's pretty slow, dial-up on a
    normal phone line is usually 50 to 56 kbps..) or you can use GPRS (general
    packet radio service) which is a bit faster, but network-dependant; ie: not
    all networks have it, and you get charged for how much you download, not how
    long you're connected, which is a good thing in some ways!

    As well as infra-red you can also buy cables to attach your phone to a port
    on your computer. However, in windows xp, if your phone has a built in
    'modem' (nokia 6100 for instance has a built in modem and infra-red) then
    when connected via infra-red, this modem will be available, so you can use
    that.

    A cheaper phone, like the nokia 3310 (go to nokia.co.uk to see pictures if
    you're more familiar with the looks of phones than the names) does not have
    this built-in, as it's not seen as a business phone.

    AT&T do allow long data calls, phone them prior to using the service though
    to make sure it's enabled on your SIM card ( the card that goes in the back
    of your phone that contains your phone-book and phone number, etc )

    As for poker-playing, GPRS would maybe allow 'poker-playing', but i wouldn't
    recommend it, it's a slow method of internet-access! Same goes for
    dial-up...

    There's a facility on some networks called "HSCSD" - which allows
    internet-access up to 48kbps i think, but that needs a call to your AT&T or
    other network-provider, as that'll need to be set up especially for you.
    That would allow poker-playing, presuming this poker-playing lark that you
    talk of is relatively simple...
     
    Dave, Jun 8, 2004
    #3
  4. Robert

    Robert Guest

    Thanks for the input. I guess the mobile phone connection won't be suitable
    for speed reasons. I would like to get the GPRS unlimited internet option at
    ATT but at $80 a month its too expensive. I guess I'll need to hang out at
    WiFi spots like Starbucks unless I can come up with an alternative.

    Thanks,

    Robert
     
    Robert, Jun 8, 2004
    #4
  5. Robert

    A4144ever Guest

    I have a Motorola V60 and a data cable with Alltel and use it for internet all
    the time. Not near as fast as my cable at home, but very usable. It does
    seem to be faster than the internal modem going thru a landline. Alltel's
    package I have is 1000 anytime minutes and free night and weekends. $39.95 a
    month. The data minutes just count as regular minutes and come off the 1000
    or on nights and wknds Free.
     
    A4144ever, Jun 8, 2004
    #5
  6. Robert

    Jim Guest

    I just got T-Mobile unlimited data for $30 per month after $35
    connect fee. It's GPRS and so far I get 56K connects w/40-50 K
    transfers,
    never less than 42K so far. Don't buy the $250 modem card T-Mobile
    trys to sell you, go to EBAY and buy a T-Mobile MERLIN G100 card. You
    can get this card for $85 delivered. When you activate the card
    T-Mobile will give you a little SIM card to put in the G100. I have
    not taken mine on the road yet but I did a test the other day on a
    7.5meg audio file and it started off at 4.2 KBPS and kept creeping up
    until most of the transfer 5.2 KBPS. Apparently the G100 card has 5
    times the power output of the Sierra card, according to the specs.

    Before this I had been using my Sprint Motorola phone, and the max I
    ever got from that was 14.4 KBPS connects only in my home town, but
    on the road max you can get is 9600 baud connects and transfers are
    usually much slower than that.

    Jim
     
    Jim, Jun 11, 2004
    #6
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