Telstra mobile as internet modem

Is there many people using there mobile phone as a modem for there laptop?
We will be heading of in a month or two, just got our laptop and now looking at mobile internet.
We'll be using it mainly for email, updating a blog (that I'm yet to learn how to do) and I guess a bit of researching on here and other great sources of info.

Is using the mobile slower than a dedicated modem? I guess this would be the main issue, and also reception to the network.

Any ideas or alternatives would be great

Cheers
Troy
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Reply By: MrBitchi (QLD) - Monday, May 31, 2010 at 19:13

Monday, May 31, 2010 at 19:13
That's all I use. I have a Samsung A411 prepaid, Telstra NextG on a pre paid plan and just buy data packs to suit.

Probably a bit dearer than a dedicated modem but I only use it occaisionaly so it's cheaper than the upfront cost of the modem.

Speed is OK, connects at 115K.
AnswerID: 418970

Follow Up By: Member - Keith C (NSW) - Monday, May 31, 2010 at 19:22

Monday, May 31, 2010 at 19:22
Spana,yes, we use an LG phone as our modem and find it very good,we can get 'net where there is phone coverage,simple and easy to use,disconnect when we get home ,and reconnect when we travel.
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Follow Up By: Member - John and Val - Monday, May 31, 2010 at 19:37

Monday, May 31, 2010 at 19:37
As Mr Britchi said - the Samsung works fine for emails and occasional other web uses.

Val
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Follow Up By: Spana - Monday, May 31, 2010 at 19:38

Monday, May 31, 2010 at 19:38
Yeah I guess one of the big things for me is not wanting to get stuck on a 24 month plan, so this is the reason to use the existing mobile. I saw some cap plans which include 1Gig data too, I'm hoping this will do us?
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Follow Up By: Spade Newsom - Tuesday, Jun 01, 2010 at 19:26

Tuesday, Jun 01, 2010 at 19:26
Should be no dearer than a dedicated modem Mr Bitchi. The casual plans are the same price whether you use your phone modem or USB modem.

I not sure about pre-paid though.

If you still use your phone as an actual phone then it will be cheaper as the modem is sort of free.
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Follow Up By: MrBitchi (QLD) - Wednesday, Jun 02, 2010 at 07:35

Wednesday, Jun 02, 2010 at 07:35
Spade, I think that on my pre-paid I pay more /MB than if I was om a plan, but yes, I'm not paying for a modem or a seperate service.
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Reply By: Isuzumu - Monday, May 31, 2010 at 19:19

Monday, May 31, 2010 at 19:19
Depending on which phone you have mine is a ZTE 165i and it will not work on Windows 7.
Cheers Bruce
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Follow Up By: Spana - Monday, May 31, 2010 at 19:43

Monday, May 31, 2010 at 19:43
Hi Bruce, do you know if it was the phone, or Windows 7 being the problem?
We will be getting the new laptop with the latest windows (still yet to be delivered) and hoping this won't be a problem?
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Follow Up By: Isuzumu - Monday, May 31, 2010 at 20:41

Monday, May 31, 2010 at 20:41
The problem lies with ZTE, I would imagine they will get it going at some time.
Cheers Bruce
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Follow Up By: William W. Wakefield - Monday, May 31, 2010 at 21:10

Monday, May 31, 2010 at 21:10
Latest version of JoinMe from ZTE website functions perfectly on Win7
Typing this using T2 ZTE on Win7
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Reply By: DesF - Monday, May 31, 2010 at 19:53

Monday, May 31, 2010 at 19:53
Hi Spana. I have a nokia 6720 on Next G , and have a $10.00 data pack which now gives me 200mg each month, I have been using this system for about 2years ( was on a Nokia 6120), and it works great, just plug the phone in and in 10 seconds you are connected .
You asked about the speed , at home we have 256 Adsll and it down loads at about 58 to 68 kbs and using the phone as the modem it is 410kbs . really fast.
we found that the old 150meg pack was plenty to do our Emails and look up maps , go on Skype and chat and send photo's home etc while in QLD on Hols.
Just dont watch any singing and dancing type data as that really eats up you time.
This is for phones on a plan ( they just put the $10.00 on your bill) , If you are on Pre Paid I reckon it is $20.00 for the same package.
More than happy with the Next G coverage, have not found a town without it , and it works heaps in between , even on the nullabour.
Cheers Des.
AnswerID: 418980

Follow Up By: Spana - Monday, May 31, 2010 at 21:07

Monday, May 31, 2010 at 21:07
Cheers Des, that sounds great! just what I'm after too, so do you also use an external antenna to get those speeds?
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Follow Up By: DesF - Monday, May 31, 2010 at 21:11

Monday, May 31, 2010 at 21:11
Hi, No just use the phone , was online at Cobar as well last August. was on the Net doing my Emails on the way home from Adelaide the other day. Cheers Des.
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Follow Up By: Spade Newsom - Tuesday, Jun 01, 2010 at 19:30

Tuesday, Jun 01, 2010 at 19:30
200 MG is bugger all, so be careful what you actually want to use it for. I am on a 25gb pack for home so I just look at the computer and it goes through 200mb

Unfortunately Telstra Next G data is very expensive but if your travelling widely you don't have much choice.
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Follow Up By: DesF - Tuesday, Jun 01, 2010 at 19:40

Tuesday, Jun 01, 2010 at 19:40
It has proved plenty for normal mails etc as I said dont use google earth , music etc , you will suprised how little only text and a few photo's use.
I have unlimited at home and use it everyday and seldom use over 2 or 3 gig a month for everything. mate used 40 odd gig in a week, downloading movies.
These are actually bigpond data packs, Telstra was dearer, they have both on the Telstra site.
Cheers Des.
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Follow Up By: Spade Newsom - Tuesday, Jun 01, 2010 at 20:06

Tuesday, Jun 01, 2010 at 20:06
I keep a 200mb on my phone for emergencies which is only internet not e-mail. Blackberry has its own e-mail plan. I am too scared to use it 'cause it costs to go over. My laptop does all sorts of updates and stuff all by itself so just chews data all by itself. I use about 20gb per month at home and do not watch movies, but the missus loves facebook.

Telstra data pack vs bigpond data pack. I thought one for for using your phone (by itself or as modem) and the other for using bigpond wireless hardware I didn't know there was interchangeability.
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Reply By: ExplorOz - David & Michelle - Monday, May 31, 2010 at 19:54

Monday, May 31, 2010 at 19:54
GIven that you specifically ask about Telstra mobile as modem, I can confirm that for the past year, I have had a telstra $10/mth data pack which gives me 150MB of data per month. THis is a month to month plan so you can turn if off at any time you don't need it. It works great - I just plug my nokia usb cable to my laptop, connect via my nokia datasuite and I can browse EO, check email, etc as fast as my desktop computer it seems. The only problem is whilst I've got enough data to stay online all day, I run out of phone power quickly so best if you can charge your phone at the same time, or remember to put it on charge soon after.
MM
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AnswerID: 418981

Follow Up By: William W. Wakefield - Monday, May 31, 2010 at 21:14

Monday, May 31, 2010 at 21:14
ZTE phones charge simultaneously on USB cable as using the phone as modem.
ZTE can be connected to net and used as phone simultaneously.
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FollowupID: 689162

Follow Up By: bruce - Tuesday, Jun 01, 2010 at 09:55

Tuesday, Jun 01, 2010 at 09:55
The Samsung can also be used to make or receive calls whilst connected to the internet...son rang me the other night while I was on the net , did not make a bit of difference to the reception of either (or seem to to) and charge as well...cheers
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FollowupID: 689212

Reply By: Cruiser 2091 - Monday, May 31, 2010 at 20:21

Monday, May 31, 2010 at 20:21
I had considered doing it that way but ended up cancelling my broadband connection and signed up with Bigpond wireless.

I use my wireless connection now whether I am at home or travelling. 2gig of data, Speed varies but usually around 1.75 Mb/s.

So for me no restrictions when travelling other than some areas have no coverage, I then use the HF radio.
AnswerID: 418985

Reply By: Spana - Monday, May 31, 2010 at 21:06

Monday, May 31, 2010 at 21:06
Thanks heaps for the quick responses! This really is a great source of information!

So far this idea looks to be a good one, well a cost effecient one anyway.
So do most people go for an external antenna then too? What happens when the reception gets down a few bars, does the internet stop or go slower?
AnswerID: 418999

Follow Up By: William W. Wakefield - Monday, May 31, 2010 at 21:22

Monday, May 31, 2010 at 21:22
External antenna considered essential equipment for regions away from coast.
Suggest ZCG for correct info advice and Aussie made.
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FollowupID: 689166

Reply By: Ozhumvee - Monday, May 31, 2010 at 21:19

Monday, May 31, 2010 at 21:19
I used a Nokia 6120 with data pack for our trip last year and often ran pretty close to the mark on going over the data allowance which costs heaps!
When Telstra dropped the costs on the wireless broadband I went for the cheapest one, free dongle thingy and if you go over the speed is capped rather than costing you more.
Also second the post that mentioned the phone going flat very quickly when used as a modem, about an hour or so with a full charge.
Peter
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AnswerID: 419004

Reply By: Muddy doe (SA) - Monday, May 31, 2010 at 23:25

Monday, May 31, 2010 at 23:25
The "next big thing" in mobiles is to have your mobile act as a wireless hotspot. Most phones now can be connected to the lappy as a modem via a USB cable. Some will even charge their battery while connected (as mentioned it can really drain the juice).

Using your mobile to create a wi-fi hotspot allows you to use more than one device (share connection to two laptops).

I recently acquired an Android HTC Desire and am very happy with it. This model still needs to be connected to a USB port to be used as a modem. I believe the HTC Incredible (yes that is actually the model name!) that is just out in the States has the wi-fi hotspot ability and is also 4G capable (the next iteration of mobile data networks capable of 100Mb/s internet but not in Australia yet).

The rate of advances in mobile tech is still staggering.

I have a Telstra Bigpond 3G USB modem on a 3Gb monthly plan and am putting a wireless router on the cargo barrier of the 4WD. The 3G modem plugs into this with a 6db antenna mounted on the roof and provides a wireless a hotspot around the car. Great for camping in range of NextG. Can use smartphone or laptop within 50m radius of the vehicle.

Just using a mobile attached to a laptop is great too but there is so much you can do these days. You can enjoy a great location and still access the net. Or of course you can just turn it off and tune into BushTV!

Cheers
Muddy
AnswerID: 419034

Reply By: patsproule - Tuesday, Jun 01, 2010 at 05:55

Tuesday, Jun 01, 2010 at 05:55
I use a Nokia E51 on Telstra which works well as a modem - quite decent speeds. But the main difference to all of the above is that it allows me to share it's net connection via Bluetooth. So I don't even need to take it out of my pocket or the car to connect to the net. This one can also scan for open wireless networks (eg - Maccas), and switch to delivery through those automatically, which can be handy.
AnswerID: 419044

Reply By: missy - Tuesday, Jun 01, 2010 at 17:03

Tuesday, Jun 01, 2010 at 17:03
Sorry I'm really lacking knowledge in this area.

Do you need a special phone to do this?
I have a Motorola that is about 6 years old. I can get the net on it.
It is prepaid. 3G

You all talk about data packs and USBs etc.

Where can I go to find out if my phone would do this?
I've also thought of just using my phone with no lappy because all I will be doing is e-mailing.

We were not going to have the net at all but rather just visit maccas and cafe's. Some people have said NT and WA have few of these and we will be traveling weeks before we can get wireless internet.
AnswerID: 419134

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