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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 11-02-2010
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phone as modem

im a sprint/nextel customer and have a samsung instinct. i subscribe to the 'everything unlimited' plan, but was informed that i cant use my phone as a modem--which various sites say used to work. i can, however, buy their air card and get access for an additional 40 bucks a month--seems kinda silly to me when i pay for unlimited everything.

anyway to hack my phone?

my buddy apparently has an app for his iphone allowing him to set it next to any computer and be on line. im considering paying the early termination fee and switching to another carrier, as the 40/mo not paid for an air card savings would recoup my early term fee.

so:
do any of you use phone as modem? how well does it work?
which carrier/phone? any way to get around my 'block,' as the phone auto shuts down when plugged to a pc?
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Old 11-02-2010
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Sure, just google how to jailbreak the phone you have. I have a 3G IPhone on ATT which I tether all the time.
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Old 11-02-2010
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Just be aware, that if they say you can't use the phone for tethering and you do jailbreak it to tether, you might end up incurring massive data charges. The reasoning for this is simple, computers generate far more bandwidth use than a phone possibly could... and by tethering it on your "unlimited" phone plan, you're no longer using the connection the way a phone would.

See here for how to do it.
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Old 11-02-2010
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Seems pretty clear the wireless carriers are not running to let you do this unless you pay an extra "tethering" fee for your theoretically already-unlimited wireless.

It's easy to do with a rooted iPhone, even easier on an Android phone, will be a (pay-extra) feature on newer iPhones/Androids.

And here's the link you're looking for for the Instinct:
Samsung Instinct Applications • View topic - How to tether Samsung Instinct with Windows PC

YMMV
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Old 11-02-2010
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I've been using PDA Net for years (Windowz Mobile & now Android). Woreks great and never had any issues with my carrier.

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I'm tethering an old AT&T 3G phone - slow but utterly reliable. I tried their aircard briefly, faster, but often it couldn't get signal in the same place the old phone worked fine for voice or computer (or both simultaneously). I can't be of much help to you though, because I don't think the phone is sold any more - obsolete.
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Old 11-02-2010
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I'm thinking of going to an Ipad with their 3G plan, which is less expensive than an aircard.
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You will only incur charges if you exceed the data limits of your contract. You could have your account cancelled if they feel you are violating the contract.

Why a company would sell you a data plan on a USB dongle and not allow you to just add that plan to your phone is mind boggling. But what makes sense about wireless?

Monopolies are simply bad.
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Old 11-02-2010
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I'm using a wifi tethered Motorola Droid on Verizon to post this right now. Yeah, it's not allowed on Verizon either, but after jailbreaking my Droid, it's as easy as downloading an app.

I'm losing patience with it. Slow would be OK, but it is not reliable. Some days I can have an hour long Skype chat with no issues. Other days, I can't even get Google to come up without refreshing a few times. Don't really know why. I get good service in my apartment.
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Old 11-02-2010
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I used Sprint phone for tethering for a number of years (before I switched to iPhone). It works just fine. For "dumb" phones there is usually a "hack" that allows your phone to be used as a USB modem. You normally need to get a "secret number" to unlock system features of your phone from Sprint, but it is an official process - they have to give you this number if you need to reset your phone, for example.

For blackberries and android based devices tethering is a normal functionality. Sprint occasionally tries to block it on the phone, but there is pretty much nothing they can do against that on the network. Just don't use it way over the limit (to stay under their radar).

Caveat: it'd be hard to use it a lot because Sprint data connection speeds are pretty slow (as are all other mobile networks, especially when you are not right under one of their towers) - when compared to high speed internet like cable/dsl. You may think "oh sure, I'll just use it lightly" but you'll probably quickly see that most modern websites don't do too well with that sort of speed.
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