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Thread: Wireless internet access w/ a laptop

  1. #1
    beingbobbyorr
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    Default Wireless internet access w/ a laptop

    When I last looked into this about 4 years ago, the mobile phone companies were:

    a) charging about $80/month for their internet plans.

    b) selling PCMCIA cards (small form-factor parallel PCI cards) that you plugged into your laptop w/ about 1" of them still extended out the side (the antenna that tranmited/received directly into their network .... the same network that carried their voice traffic). At the time, laptops were no longer carrying PCMCIA slots, having moved up to the next-gen technology ExpressCards (small form-factor serial PCI-Express cards), but the mobile phone companies weren't selling ExpressCard modems yet, so I gave up on pursuing this.



    So, over the last few days I've wandered into several local mobile phone stores (Verizon, AT&T, Sprint), to inquire about what today's schemes are for wireless internet, and the kids they've hired to man their stores don't know what I'm talking about when I bring up ExpressCard modems. They talk about how "their" laptops all have the internet hardware built-in.

    What the hell's going on? Since I can't get a good answer from the clueless kids the mobile phone companies hire, can someone fill me in on what is the state-of-the-art in wireless internet? Have the mobile phone companies given up on the internet and expect everyone w/ a laptop to go hang out in Starbucks to use their Wi-Fi? That would be re-friggin-diculous.

  2. #2
    Trouble Will Find Me Big Red's Avatar




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    couldn't you use one that connected via USB?

    like these: PC Cards & Laptop Connect Cards - Wireless from AT&T
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    MVP SuxBeingU's Avatar




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    Wireless cards are alive and well Its just the idiots that work in the retail stores have no clue. All they know about is what is on the little tag in front of them.
    A wireless card runs from free to 100 with activation. The monthly for unlimited is roughly 50 a month. The cell carriers are all pushing their netbooks but cards can had with little research Best Buy Mobile would probably be your best bet though they also sell the netbook option

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    Win it again..for Tanner! nosoupforyou's Avatar




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    some laptops do have phone company cards already internal. I've had a few thinkpads with the verizon card already in there, all someone had to do was activate it. not sure if laptop manufacturers embed those chips as much any longer.

    I use a USB AT&T card right now.
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    Sick Geno ya plug P. Diddy's Avatar




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    Quote Originally Posted by SuxBeingU View Post
    Wireless cards are alive and well Its just the idiots that work in the retail stores have no clue. All they know about is what is on the little tag in front of them.
    A wireless card runs from free to 100 with activation. The monthly for unlimited is roughly 50 a month. The cell carriers are all pushing their netbooks but cards can had with little research Best Buy Mobile would probably be your best bet though they also sell the netbook option
    Yup exactlly! They even have a router type set up where five devices can sync up at once! If you're in north San Diego come see at best buy in San Marcos!

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    Raising a toddler johnmac44's Avatar




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    AT&T now sells a device that allows you to link to your 3G network. I think it was $20 a month. Better than the $65 I'm paying Verizon for my USB one.

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    Waiting for the night Creeping Death's Avatar




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    If you have a smart phone or a newer mobile phone you can like upgrade your phone's internet package and use a USB cable to "tether" it to your laptop. Since I have blackberry service, it costs an additional $15/month for this feature, and its well worth it.
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  8. #8
    beingbobbyorr
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    Quote Originally Posted by Creeping Death View Post
    If you have a smart phone or a newer mobile phone you can like upgrade your phone's internet package and use a USB cable to "tether" it to your laptop. Since I have blackberry service, it costs an additional $15/month for this feature, and its well worth it.
    I imagined tethering to use a wireless bluetooth or WiFi link between laptop & smartphone .... surprised you have to use a wire to make the link .... even more surprised that your phone would have a USB port (the connector for which would be kind of a big space-eater for today's state-of-the-art smartphones).

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    Video Game First Liner Ecktore's Avatar




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    Quote Originally Posted by beingbobbyorr View Post
    I imagined tethering to use a wireless bluetooth or WiFi link between laptop & smartphone .... surprised you have to use a wire to make the link .... even more surprised that your phone would have a USB port (the connector for which would be kind of a big space-eater for today's state-of-the-art smartphones).
    I'm trying to figure out if your response was being saracstic, or just not well informed.

    Either way, most smart phones (even the not-so-smart ones) come with a micro-usb port which takes up very little space. Also, some of the newer smart phones have the ability to create a wireless hotspot, which lets you connect multiple devices at once.

  10. #10
    I grew a Fatmanchu. Kingsfan626's Avatar




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    Evo + root = Free Wifi Tethering

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