Verizon Cell Phone Internet Connections
After reading your cellphone Internet article, I decided to give my phone a try, for which I purchased Verizon's Mobile Office kit, some time ago. At the time (it must be at least 1-1/2 years ago) the Internet access was horrible. Many dropped connections, and very, very slow. Since then, I have upgraded my phone, but currently there is no "Mobile Office Kit" for my new LG VX-4400 phone. I was a little frustrated, but my local radio shack had a USB data cable for the phone for $19.99. The software which was separate from the phone, was $39.99. Being adventourous, I decided to only purchase the cable, and use Win2K's built in DUN software to try and connect. After installing the USB drivers (separate download from www.futuredial.com), and creating a DUN connection to Verizon's "Express Network", I was up and running. No extra $39.99 needed. I'm not sure what the software does, but I'm guessing it's probably a bunch of "wizards" to help the more technology challenged folks. That's fine. I spend a lot of time on the computer, and I owe it to myself to bypass extra charges here and there, for the time I spend on the PC.
I then verified with Verizon that there is no additional costs
for using the "Express Network" which claims speeds up to 144k. I
usually average between 20-40k, which really blows away my normal
dial-up connection at home, since we still do not have any
broadband options in my area. During normal "peak" usage, the time
spent using the data is billed against my normal minutes. I have
unlimitted night and weekend usage, so I could be connected to the
network all weekend without additional charges. That's when I plan
on downloading O/S patch upgrades.
I plugged this phone into my Redhat 9 machine, and it immediately recognized the USB connection, and loaded the right drivers. What? Easier than Windows? I was impressed. I could easily use the phone as a regular data modem on linux, without downloading USB drivers.
With the coverage for the Express Network, I am able to use my laptop just about anywhere to connect to the net, and create a PPTP connection into work, and fix just about anything.
Well, Comcast promises cable modems to our area by September, but I've heard that one before. If that doesn't pan out, there's always wireless!
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More Articles by Bruce Garlock 2003-06-01