Use Your Cell Phone as a Modem for Your PC

Using AT&T's Phone-as-Modem Service

AT&T charges $60 a month ($40 for supporting use of a standard cell as a modem, and $20 for providing unlimited Media Net access). For BlackBerry, Palm, and Windows Mobile phones, AT&T's phone-as-modem packages (which include Media Net access) range from $60 to $80 a month more, depending on whether you have a voice plan with AT&T; the cost is lower if you do.

To use AT&T's service, first download the company's free Communication Manager software. Install the application on your phone, and connect the phone to your PC via USB. Some handsets require that you enable the modem feature before linking to the PC. For example, to activate the modem on a Samsung BlackJack, go to Start, Settings, Connections, USB, scroll to the Modem option, and click Done three times. (Visit AT&T's online Support center for tips on how to set up a specific handset.) In the Search field enter phone as modemyour phone model, and press Enter. After the AT&T software identifies your device, launch the Communication Manager app and click Connect in the setup box, as shown in the image below.

Once AT&T's Communication Manager software has recognized your cell phone, you can begin using the handset to perform a variety of standard Web browsing tasks.
Once AT&T's Communication Manager software has recognized your cell phone, you can begin using the handset to perform a variety of standard Web browsing tasks.

Connecting Over the Sprint Network

Sprint's Unlimited Phone as Modem plan costs $50 a month; and its Flexible Phone as Modem plan, $40 a month. The flex option lets you transfer up to 40MB of data monthly. If you exceed that limit, you pay $0.001 for each additional kilobyte to a maximum fee of $70. You must sign a two-year service contract to use a Sprint phone as a modem.

To get started on this service, first download the free Sprint PCS Connection Manager software and install it on your PC--but don't open the program yet. Instead, connect your phone to your computer, and then launch the Connection Manager app. Click the Go button, and you're done.

For comprehensive coverage of the Android ecosystem, visit Greenbot.com.

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