July 12, 2007

When you absolutely, positively have to get online

Let's suppose that you have a wireless enabled laptop. Let's also stipulate that you don't have an EVDO card and that there isn't a wifi hot spot in sight. Is it possible to get your computer online? It is: use your cell phone as a modem. Excerpt:

While specific setups will vary depending on your phone, plan and carrier's software, turning my Sprint PCS phone into a wireless modem for surfing on the go was just about as easy as pie.

What you'll need

A PC or Mac
A CDMA phone
A phone to computer data cable

First, plug the phone into your computer using an USB data cable. My Samsung came with the cable in the box. If yours didn't, do a quick search for the cable that fits your phone model on Froogle or Cellular Factory.

Windows knows you just plugged in something new and wants to know what it is, so the Add New Hardware wizard appears, eager to get the question settled. If you're lucky, your phone came with a handy CD that contains your drivers. I wasn't so lucky, so I had to Google up the drivers for my particular phone model, install them, and then point the Wizard in the driver's direction on my hard drive. Once Windows says, "Oh hey Samsung [or insert your model here] CDMA modem," you're practically there. My Mac (running Tiger) recognized the phone as a modem right away.

Next you'll need connection software provided by your carrier. Again this might be on that CD that came with your phone, or you can download it from your plan's web site. Me, I grabbed the Sprint PCS Connection Manager for phone as Modem software from the Sprint site. Once that baby was installed, it was a matter of hitting the "Go" button and I was online using Sprint's data network at 230k (translation: slower than broadband but way faster than dial up.) Of course, depending on your location, plan and service, your mileage may vary.

No more driving around searching for dumbass open network broadcasters.

Posted by Physics Geek at July 12, 2007 10:42 AM | TrackBack StumbleUpon Toolbar Stumble It!