Use Your Cell Phone as a Modem for Your PC

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T-Mobile's Phone-as-Modem Plan

Internet access via the T-Mobile service costs $40 a month, excluding voice calls. If you use a BlackBerry with the service, monthly plans range from $40 to $90. T-Mobile doesn't officially support using its phones as a modem, but some of the company's handsets--including the Dash and the Wing--work as modems, and using them in this way doesn't violate your service agreement. I used the Wing in my tests. Here's how to set it up:

1. Plug the phone into the PC's USB port.

2. If Windows automatically finds a driver for the handset, skip to step 3. If it doesn't find a driver, download ActiveSync and install the app on your computer. Step through the setup wizard, and then restart your machine.

3. On the Windows Mobile device, go to Start, Programs, Accessories.

4. Click the Internet Sharing icon.

5. In the PC Connection dropdown, select USB.

6. In the Network Connection drop-down menu, select T-Mobile WModem Link.

7. Click Connect at the lower-left side of the screen.

Modemize Your Verizon Wireless Phone

If you have a PDA phone, Verizon's BroadbandAccess Connect costs $30 a month; the service costs $60 a month if you use a standard cell phone.

First, install the VZAccess Manager software on your phone; it should already be on the handset, but if it isn't, you can download the app. Most standard cell phones also need the Mobile Office Kit ($40), which includes a USB cable and PC software.

Next, install and open VZAccess Manager on your computer. Step through the wizard, then click Next, Detect WWAN device only (as shown in the screen below), and finally click Next twice more. Select Data Cable (For tethered handsets and PDAs/Advanced Devices), and Next again.

Choose the 'Detect WWAN device only...' option in Verizon's VZAccess Manager software to link your PC with your cell phone in order to gain Internet access through your phone.
Choose the 'Detect WWAN device only...' option in Verizon's VZAccess Manager software to link your PC with your cell phone in order to gain Internet access through your phone.

Now physically connect your cell phone to your PC, using a USB cable. When the app identifies your phone (showing your handset's manufacturer and model name in a pop-up window), click Yes and then Next. Your cell phone number will appear on the next screen. If it's correct, click Next and Finish to exit the setup routine.

VZAccess Manager launches automatically. Highlight NationalAccess - Broadband Access, and click Connect. In the following screen, click Continue. Then browse away.

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