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Accessing internet from laptop

989 Views 7 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  ebackhus
Hi, please bear with me as I explain my confusion. I am hoping someone here can help me out.

I am wanting to access internet when away from home, preferably without having to stop at a hotspot. I know this is possible with some cell phones/pda's but would prefer the bigger screen, etc. of a laptop.

So, can anyone explain to me (from beginning to finish?!?!) on how to accomplish this. I have been researching this all day and can't seem to find an answer. I see many 'wireless' laptops but they all mention using a hotspot. Isn't there such a way that I could access the internet from a laptop without a hotspot?

Any and all help is so greatly appreciated!!

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Hi, and welcome to TSF!

There is one other solution but it can be costly. Most modern cell phones can double as a modem. Downsides include low speed and high cost. Other than that I don't know of any other good and cheap/affordable alternatives.

One cool thing I've seen is that companies are now working to make entire CITIES hotspots. Verizon is said to be doing that soon to San Antonio. That's one big hotspot! I'll still keep my own network, though.
Thanks for the quick response! So it looks like I was thinking this would be easier than it actually is. So if I chose to go to a hotspot how does that work? Do I have to hook up to somtehing? Could I just plug into a phone jack at someones home and be internet ready? I really am sorry for all these questions but as you can see, I really have no idea how the whole wireless thing works....I just know I want to do it! lol Thanks again.
I like answering questions so don't think it's bad of you!

Some hotspots allow for automatic connection. Some you may have to speak with an employee at the establishment to be configured because of security or encryption. As for dial-up, if you have a dial-up ISP account then you can do that from anywhere provided you have access numbers.

With my laptop I can walk into most hotspots and it will tell me that the computer has detected a wireless network and will ask if I'd like to connect. I turned off automatic connections in order to not be a pest to my neighbors who also use wireless networks in their homes.
Most all cell phone providers have wireless access cards that work just like a fast modem - separate from your cell phone. A number of folks I work with have them and like them very much. Kind of expensive at 60/Month but for them it's worth it.

Just call some of the cell phone providers in your area and I'm sure the nice (knowledgable ?) sales professionals will be glad to set you up.

And another welcome to TSF.
Thanks, yustr. I'll have to look into this as well. So to make sure I understand this correctly, I can get a wireless access card from my cell phone company (with a monthly fee, of course!) and put this into a laptop and then be able to access the web when I am out and about...without a hotspot? I sure hope I have this right because it sounds like a great solution. Is that exactly what I would ask for: A wireless access card?

I thought I might chime in a help out a little bit.
The company I work for has 35 tablet PCs ( basically a laptop with a screen that swivels around). All these PC have Verizon cards in them. Some have cell cards and others have broadband cards. Depending on your location you can get either or. The broadband cards are capable of up to 384 KBps and the cell cards are 158 KBps or 14.4 KBps. Right now only some major cities have the broadband cards and the cell cards only works where the company has supported cell towers (on the 158 KBps). the 14.4 KBps works almost anywhere there is roaming, but try and pull up one of todays websites with a 14.4 connection.
The one thing you must understand is the cell phone providers do not charge by the minute on these things. They charge buy how much data is passed. They do offer unlimited for about $80/month. To me this would be a little to much at a consumer level to pay. I would rather find a hotspot. Plus trying to find a good signal is a pain in the A**

Now if WiMAX was ever implemented, we would not have this problem.
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That's what it's called!! WiMAX is what they're brining to San Antonio. We've already got oodles of hotspots but now the entire city will be an insane ball of data streams.
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