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Tethering Cell Phone to Laptop

Joey Ketcham

I'm attempting to tether my cell phone to my laptop to use my phone for internet connection, this is my first attempt at doing so and I'm not really having much luck. I know a few on here have done so successfully so thought I might see if I could get some tips.

I have a Motorola QA30 through Alltel and I have it connected to my laptop using bluetooth. I can't seem to figure out how to get it setup so that it uses the phone as a modem and get it to connect to the internet.

Any tips?

Thanks,

Joey
 
I got it setup as a modem and it shows up in my network connections, one thing I'm confused about is what to use for username, password and phone # to connect? I would think that using a cell phone would be much like using a datacard, it just connects to a tower like a wireless NIC card does with a WiFi network.
 
I downloaded software from Alltel's website to use for the tethering, but just can't get it to connect.. it says authenticating and then says remote computer not responding.

I'm guessing this is because I need to subscribe to an actual data plan?
 
I don't have the data plan unless I am going to be in IA for the month. But w/o the data plan, I can still use my phone to connect to the internet. No problem; but then Alltel will charge you by the minute as if it were a phone call. The data plan isn't necessary to make internet access work. I use a USB cable to tether - not bluetooth. Maybe that is where you can look to troubleshoot. I'm not saying that is the problem, I'm saying it may be part or the primary cause. Do you have the Alltel software for this application? You didn't say...
 
Yes. There is no free lunch.

But see, I've heard it both ways... I've read some people saying $25 unlimited data, though I didn't see that on Alltel's website, but I also saw a handful of people saying you do not need to buy any data service that you can plug in and go but it just uses your minutes.

So I'm reading mixed opinions on this.

Yeah I downloaded the Alltel software and have it installed.
 
By chance...do you also have the tethering/USB cable?
Since you have the Alltel software installed; then I would look to the bluetooth as the problem area.

I can tell you w/o any doubt - that my cell phone will hook right up to my laptop right now and can be on the internet in a minute or less. Charging me by the minute...

I use my PC most of the time and usually fire up the laptop just charge up the battery from time to time. I go on the internet with it and check for updates. Did it a few days ago. But I use the cable tether. Blue tooth and my laptop always seems to have issues - so I don't like using it. Maybe your mileage varies - dunno...
 
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ALLTEL data was down last night for a few hours, service rep said it went down about 16:30 CDT.

You still have to pay for a plan.
 
You dont have to have a plan, because I used it on my phone just a few days ago without one. The only place the data plan shows up is when your in your account online where you can add texting plans and such. They also bumped the price to $30 last year.

If had to guess, I would say that message is showing up because there is no data coverage where you are at. When you are in an area of no coverage it will give you weird messages like "your username or password is incorrect" when infact the only problem is that there just is no data available there. Make sure you have plenty of bars and you also might try going somewhere down the road to where you will pick up another tower.
 
You dont have to have a plan, because I used it on my phone just a few days ago without one. The only place the data plan shows up is when your in your account online where you can add texting plans and such. They also bumped the price to $30 last year.

If had to guess, I would say that message is showing up because there is no data coverage where you are at. When you are in an area of no coverage it will give you weird messages like "your username or password is incorrect" when infact the only problem is that there just is no data available there. Make sure you have plenty of bars and you also might try going somewhere down the road to where you will pick up another tower.
Makes sense.
I know some parts of IA have l o u s e y coverage too. To resolve that issue, I bought one of those amp kits with the external antenna. I don't always use the amp; but I always use the external antenna. Even if you don't have an amp - the external antenna is pretty inexpensive and works quite well. Well worth the small amount it cost - imo...
 
My guess is that it's the bluetooth, I've been reading on howardforums and a lot of people said they didn't need a plan at all that they just installed the drivers and software and used a cable and was able to connect. I am gonna try getting a data cable for my phone and eliminate the bluetooth.
 
From my understanding you need to at least have a smart phone with the smart choice plan. I have the Altel Smart Choice 500 family plan and I tether with a USB cable, it's faster than bluetooth. You can use a normal phone but you want the data plan otherwise you'll get a huge bill and on the nightly news as being that guy.
 
"If had to guess, I would say that message is showing up because there is no data coverage where you are at."

Or he hasn't activated that part of his plan.
 
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From my understanding you need to at least have a smart phone with the smart choice plan. I have the Altel Smart Choice 500 family plan and I tether with a USB cable, it's faster than bluetooth. You can use a normal phone but you want the data plan otherwise you'll get a huge bill and on the nightly news as being that guy.

I have the basic roaming plan when not chasing. Saves $$$. When I need to get the data plan, I call them up and ask them to turn it on. I have the Alltel 'Hue' with the data port. The data cable & software was real rip when I bought it - $65! I sure hope that it is cheaper now. I know that the cable can be purchased on eBay for less than $10 or so. But I didn't know that when I bought the other one from an Alltel shop. Joey - you might want to look into this - and see if you can avoid the same $$$ mistake that I did.
Just dos centavos...
 
I purchased Motorola Phone tools which included the cable. I think it also cost about $65 back in 2007. Now I mostly us the Blue Tooth dongle for communication with the cell phone modem. The BT is nice because you can also use for a BT GPS connection also.
 
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