Looking for advice on connecting laptop to internet via mobile phone
Thread poster: Amy Williams

Amy Williams  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:32
Italian to English
+ ...
Jul 14, 2004

I'm looking for advice on connecting my laptop to the internet when I am away from the office.
In the office I work on an LAN with a Broadband connection and I have set up a pay as you go connection so I can link up to a phone line when I'm away, but I would like to be able to access the internet (esp. for e-mails) using my mobile to connect.

I am wireless-enabled, so I can access the WWW at various points around the UK such as service stations, but I want to be able to do it anywhere.

My computer doesn't have infra-red, but I'm happy to get an adaptor. I have a Nokia 6100 mobile phone. I went to my local mobile phone store yesterday and they didn't have a clue, telling me I should set up an e-mail address with them blah blah blah, but I wasn't convinced. Someone at another store started talking about Wi-fi, and Bluetooth was mentioned, too.

I'd be grateful for any advice - I would only be connecting momentarily to download e-mail etc..


Gillian Searl  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:32
Member (2004)
German to English
3G/GPRS datacard is what you need: Jul 15, 2004


You simply plug it into the laptop and you don't have to use the mobile phone - you access the internet/email from the PC via the mobile phone network.


Phakawat Padungsil  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:32
Member (2004)
English to Thai
+ ...
Buying USB-Infrared adaptor is cheaper. Jul 15, 2004

GPRS card is more convenient, but higher cost.
If you use USB-Infrared adaptor plugged in USB port, it is cheaper.
Just plugged in, install software for dial-up, setting all informations recommended by your mobile service provider, align your infrared port and dial up to corrected No.(ask your mobile SP). That's all you need to do.


Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:32
English to German
+ ...
Separate datacard is great, but requires second SIM card Jul 15, 2004

Hi Amy,
Gillian is right: using a UMTS/GPRS datacard is the best solution available. Youd should, of course, be aware that this solution requires a second SIM card: most mobile carriers offer special data-only tariffs, where the SIM card cannot be used for voice telephony.

I have been using GSM access for about ten years now, starting with cable connections and a measly 9,600 bps bandwidth - just about enough for e-mail, but forget large attachments.

Most modern phones should be able to use the faster GPRS standard, with bandwidths up to around 40Kbps (comparable to an analogue modem line). If your laptop runs on Win2k or XP, connecting the phone via infrared isn't that difficult. You should find the driver software supporting GPRS connections on the Nokia website.

I have personal experience with two datacards: I started out with the Nokia D211, which supports WLAN, GSM and GPRS (great, but not UMTS-enabled) and am now using the Vodafone UMTS datacard (which also switches to GPRS whenever there's no UMTS access available). Provided there is UMTS (3G) coverage, you get download speeds of up to 350 Kbps - almost six times ISDN. Apparently, the next thing down the line is a card that also supports WLAN...

The great thing about GPRS/UMTS is that you don't need to change settings when travelling abroad (provided there's a roaming partner of your provider): simply connect and off you go. Works a charm.

Contact me privately if you need more details.

HTH, Ralf


Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:32
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
No problem via COM or USB either Jul 15, 2004

I have used two Siemens mobile GPRS-phones, one with IR-link and one with a cord to the COM-port of a Windows98 PC. No problem when installed properly. The problems came with the firewall programs, which have to be told the right connection in use, otherwise they can block the traffic.
The speed is better than a 56k modem, somewhere at 7 kb/s, compareble to ISDN.
Be sure to check the GPRS option in the menu of your phone, otherwise you'll run up huge GSM-bills. I pay for these connections a fixed rate per month.


Amy Williams  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:32
Italian to English
+ ...
Thanks Jul 15, 2004

Thanks everyone for your advice - I'll look into all the options you've suggested and let you know how I get on.
Thanks so much,


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