How can I get wireless Internet service wherever my cell phone gets a signal?
November 8, 2006 6:26 AM   Subscribe

I've read about wireless Internet services that allow your PC to connect to the Internet wherever your cell phone carrier has a signal. How do these services work, and which one do you recommend? Does anyone have experience using SnapDialer?
posted by zembla3 to Computers & Internet (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I used SnapDialer with my Sprint phone. It worked very well and was pretty easy to use. It was a slow connection, of course, but worked well enough for checking e-mail and brief web expeditions.
posted by jeffmshaw at 6:27 AM on November 8, 2006

My wife had wireless internet service with Sprint for a long time and it worked pretty well; all you had to do was insert a card in the laptop and run the software supplied by Sprint (which served the same functions as Snapdialer appears to). At that time (over a year ago) the speed was better than dialup but slower than a wired broadband connection. Of course, there is the fact that you need a cell phone signal but you are aware of that. It seemed a little pricey at the time, but I would not be surprised if rates have come down and speed has gone up since I last used it.
posted by TedW at 6:34 AM on November 8, 2006

I have Sprint EVDO and it rocks.
posted by rbs at 7:16 AM on November 8, 2006

Also, if you're in the USA, Verizon also offers EVDO, but they're evil and best avoided.
posted by rbs at 7:17 AM on November 8, 2006

both Cingular and T-Mobile offer this too (MEdiaNet and T-Mobile Internet respectively) using EDGE, which is like EVDO (they use different underlying networks than Sprint and Verizon) but not as fast. FWIW, with most companies, you can do this over a cell phone too, either by using a cable or Bluetooth if your phone supports it, so you don't have to buy a card. setup in that case can be a bit of a pain, though; I found this site pretty helpful when I was trying to do it (though I'm a Mac user).
posted by mrg at 8:17 AM on November 8, 2006

a lot of new cell-phones you can just plug in the baby to your computer via USB and use it as a modem. I have a SE k790a from Cingular that is running EDGE. I don't have to use a PCMCA card and I get aprox 25k/s (of course its a bit bumpy). I also have to have an unlimited data plan to save myself from ridiculous overcharges.

If you're interested in using this as a dedicated service, Sprint offers HDSPA connections which are far faster than EDGE/3G. I would look into that direction
posted by stratastar at 8:56 AM on November 8, 2006

I had this for a work laptop with TMobile, similar to what TedW mentioned. I had it earlier this year, in a major metro area. It was still hella slow. I wasn't a fan.
posted by misanthropicsarah at 9:41 AM on November 8, 2006

i've got a ppc-6700 phone on sprint and i love it as i get EVDO on the phone/pda and can use it as a modem with my laptop. However, the thing to know is that it's not necessarily easy to set up and the damn thing is god awfully expensive ($400, though for the geeks in the house it's awesome). If you're looking for cheap and quick i'd suggest buying a evdo modem ($100 with contract) from sprint. Be sure to check what the monthly data connection costs are though (sprint is $15 or $25 a month). I'd also like to second the comment that verizon is evil as they have a tendency to cripple their products (example being removing bluetooth from their phones).

To clarify stratastar: cingular is coming out with HDSPDA which is a beefed up version of UMTS. sprint is coming out with evdo revision A...and it's all way too confusing.
posted by NGnerd at 4:20 PM on November 8, 2006

« Older Queer travel in Florida.   |   who said this? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.