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Using a vzwireless phone as a modem, some Q's
Posted by: reezekeys
Date: August 29, 2006 03:48PM
I'm up for the "new every two" deal so I'm gonna get a new phone soon. I would like the ability to use it--very occasionally--as a wireless modem for my PowerBook.

I had a data cable for one of my older phones that I used a few times for this. It worked OK--but was very slow. I was OK with this because it only used my plan minutes--IOW I paid no extra money to use the phone as a wireless modem (as long as I stayed in-plan of course).

Now, it SEEMS that VZ has changed this. I couldn't get a straight answer from the CS guy at the VZ store (he was unsure, not evasive). What he said is that VZ now requires you to spend $15/month extra to do this (you do get broadband speeds though). Then the CS rep confused me by saying "this only applies to the new 'V-CAST' phones, if you get a NON-VCAST phone you MAY be able to connect the old way and only use your plan minutes."

I'm hoping that an actual USER knows the real deal. I don't do enough remote surfing/email to justify $15/month extra on my phone bill--and I also don't want to buy the wrong type of phone if there is one that will actually do what I want. TIA for any help!
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Re: Using a vzwireless phone as a modem, some Q's
Posted by: microchip13
Date: August 29, 2006 04:51PM
Step 1. Ditch the money-sucking cdma-using evil that is verizon and get a real provider.

Step 2. Switch to GSM.




I suppose, if you must, try this. [homepage.mac.com]



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Re: Using a vzwireless phone as a modem, some Q's
Posted by: onthedownlow
Date: August 29, 2006 05:14PM
You still can always use the 'old' way (National Access or 'Quick2Net'...whatever you'd like to call it) with your new plan/phone...no matter what.

For the $15/month...you get free MobileWeb 2.0, free TV/videos ("V-Cast Video), as well as free V-Cast Music access (have to purchase full songs though, if desired), and Get It Now access...and all of this is completely AirTime free, no matter what day/hour you are connected. You can tether your phone, or use BlueTooth, to recieve DUN (Dial-Up Networking) via the National Express and/or EVDO, airtime free.

As much as I use it, the $15 is worth it for the complete AirTime free-ness for the Mobile Web and Get In Now apps. I have been using their video service for a while now too, and the content is great and great quality too.

Using an LG-VX9800 here.



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Re: Using a vzwireless phone as a modem, some Q's
Posted by: Fritz
Date: August 29, 2006 05:19PM
with regard to VZW, rather then the whining....

most Moto's and LGs and others VZW offers will do "modem".
a good place to research the phone choices available, out of the mother hens box, is [www.phonescoop.com]

With a data cable or bluetooth phone, you can connect for purposes of email.

The $15 bit refers to adding the Vcast stuff to your acct and making email available on the sly, as it were.

VZW cripples bluetooth to a degree in that you must "discover" the phone from the Mac rather then the other way round. A bit of a pain, but it can be done.

This is a good place to get help for your particular phone.
[groups.yahoo.com]

The newer EVDO (broadband) phones can sometimes be configured as a modem, but not always, in that same manner of signing up for Vcast.

Otherwise, I believe National Access (http://support.vzw.com/faqs/VZAccess/faq_natlbrdbandaccess.html) will most likely only get you a 1xRTT speed, (something between 28K and 60K, dialup essentially) but good enough to check mail. I've been doing it for a few years with my previous Kyocera and current LG. It will work with most of their current phones. It uses your minutes and a bit of a data charge. For infrequent use, it's fine.



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Re: Using a vzwireless phone as a modem, some Q's
Posted by: onthedownlow
Date: August 29, 2006 05:40PM
An even better place to go, and how to enable Verizon phones (fairly easy) on the Mac, and definitely Windows-side, is: [www.howardforums.com]

Vist the FAQ forum for easy How-To stickies.



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Re: Using a vzwireless phone as a modem, some Q's
Posted by: reezekeys
Date: August 29, 2006 05:59PM
Thanks to all of you for making things much clearer! You guys should get a commission from VZ. Haven't had time to check out all the links yet, will do tomorrow. It's good to know I'll be able to do the occasional wireless modem thing without paying the $15/month extra.
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Re: Using a vzwireless phone as a modem, some Q's
Posted by: jawg
Date: August 30, 2006 12:12AM
I'm posting this via my Verizon Motorola E815 and Bluetooth on my 15" PowerBook G4 1.5 GHz. I use it when travelling. Checking the Howard Forums under Verizon and Motorola will give you the information you need.



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Re: Using a vzwireless phone as a modem, some Q's
Posted by: reezekeys
Date: August 30, 2006 11:42AM
OK I've been wading through the Howard forums, lots of stuff there.

From what I saw, it looks like the "official" VZW policy is NO tethering, even with the Vcast $15/mo. plan, unless you spring for the $60/month broadband access (e.g, turn your phone into an EVDO card). However, those doing the older 1x access are apparently being tolerated for now.

What I haven't found out definitively (yet) is if any/all newer VCAST phones can be set to do the older 1x accessing (jawg, it looks like you're doing just that with your VCAST phone, correct? That model is not offered to me when I'm on VZW's page showing my upgrade options).
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Re: Using a vzwireless phone as a modem, some Q's
Posted by: onthedownlow
Date: August 30, 2006 05:21PM
Pretty-much any phone you can get for Verizon, within the last 3-4 years, can handle the 1X Access fine. No worries.



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Re: Using a vzwireless phone as a modem, some Q's
Posted by: reezekeys
Date: August 31, 2006 07:47AM
Thanks onthedownlow!
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Re: Using a vzwireless phone as a modem, some Q's
Posted by: jawg
Date: August 31, 2006 10:09AM
No problems from VZ for over a year tethering with the 1X access. I find the 1X is quite adequate for email and web surfing. Sometimes the connection will be dropped on their end if idle for a few minutes (like when reading a lengthy web page). I leave my email program set to check for email every one minute and that seems to help maintain the connection. This set up (Bluetooth phone/Powerbook) has been great for my situation; I don't need the high speed access on a daily basis.



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Re: Using a vzwireless phone as a modem, some Q's
Posted by: reezekeys
Date: September 01, 2006 09:45PM
Sounds good jawg. Now I just have to start comparing all the phones and checking the specific forums.
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