How to Connect to the Internet using a Tethered Cell Phone
Question: "My cell phone lets me browse the web, so it seems I should be able to use that connection from my laptop. Is there a way to connect my laptop to the Internet using my cell phone?"
Answer: Yes, you can use your cell phone's internet connection to browse the web on your laptop, by connecting your cell phone to your laptop with a USB data cable and software that handles the connection(also known as "tethering").
Here's what you'll need:
- A web-enabled cell phone with a data plan (which you already have). If you can browse the web on your cell phone, then it's web-enabled already, but you still need to have a data plan with your wireless service provider (e.g. AT&T) in order to use your cell phone as a tethered laptop modem.
- A USB data cable or a Bluetooth adapter. You'll use the USB data cable to connect/tether your cell phone to your computer, or the Bluetooth adapter to connect without any wires.
- Tethering software like Mobile PhoneTools that uses your cell phone as an Internet connection for your laptop.
- Connect your web-enabled cell phone to your laptop
- Connect to the Internet using your cell phone as a modem.
If you're using a USB data cable, then you'll plug your phone into your laptop which will also charge your phone's battery while it's connected.
If your phone is Bluetooth-enabled - and most new phones are - then you can connect your phone without any wires by pairing it with your laptop (instructions covered here:How to pair a computer with a bluetooth device).
Once your phone is connected to your laptop with a USB data cable or Bluetooth, you'll need software like Motorola Phonetools to handle the dial-up Internet connection.