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Old 03-20-2007, 01:14 PM   #1
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Cool mobile wireless solution

I know this might seem like old news, but I was excited about it.

I have an LG vx8100 phone with a regular America's Choice blah blah blah plan through Verizon. I have a data cable that I have used to "hack" the phone that is MY property that Verizon feels the need to castrate with "necessary" upgrades. Today I decided to try something new with it.

I went to netzero's site and subscribed to their free dial up plan which gives you 10 hours per month of free access. I then hooked up my cable such that the phone is recognized as a modem on my computer. It is in fact the only dial up modem on my computer as I have a regular cable connection.

I connected with this connection, but got scared. I have read way too much on other forums about people using BitPim and other programs to connect at broadband wireless speeds for "free" over their phone only to get absolutely nailed. Long story short, I called customer service and they said that because of the way I'm doing this, I am just using minutes. How cool since I have free night and weekends! The connection is only about 14.4kbps which is PAINFULLY slow, but I'm writing this message from it right now.

I know it's not an ideal solution, but for the few times per year I'm actually on the road and would want an internet connection and a wi-fi hotspot is not available, it is pretty darn cool. Anyone else with a Verizon phone made in the last few years should be able to do the same thing with a $5 eBay data cable, some drivers, and the Net Zero download.
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Old 03-20-2007, 01:24 PM   #2
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Ok....I had enough of THAT connection. As it turns out, the phone is perfectly capable of running as a V.92 56kbps modem, but Verizon castrates it down to 14.4 kbps. Here are the results of a speed test I did before reconnecting on my cable connection to post this.

Communications 10.7 kilobits per second
Storage 1.3 kilobytes per second
1MB file download 13 minutes
Subjective rating Very slow
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Old 03-20-2007, 03:45 PM   #3
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Ugh....so I called again....several times....and now I've been told that it is both free and that it costs money. I will have to see when my bill comes or get someone to go on record as saying it was free.
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Old 03-20-2007, 03:54 PM   #4
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I use my verizon phone when I am on the road. They have two types of connection the ExpressNetwork and NationalAccess. I find that they faster speed is not available in a lot of rural areas but the slow speed is better than nothing when you need to a look up directions on the web.
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Old 03-20-2007, 08:17 PM   #5
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Who really needs internet to get directions from while on the road unless you need to get a address for the place you are looking for?
I have street and trips 2007 (dvd drive required and 1.2 gig hard drive space to install full version) and it is just as good as any of the free online versions such as msn google or map quest. But the best part is it does show a bunch of different places on the map through out north america. It doesn't show all the campgrounds but it does show a good share. It shows a good share of gas stations but it doesn't specify if it has diesel or not. But over all it does help find what you might be looking for and no internet connection is required and if you install the full version you don't need to bring the disk everywhere you go.

It is also nice to be able to plot out a coarse with the time spent at each stop and if you are staying overnight.

On the down side the setting for your average speed you will be traveling needs some work since it doesn't show exect speeds you wish to travel.
I had a older map program that wasn't as good with the maps but it at least showed a number for the speed you wish to travel at. rand mcnally.

As for internet I use a orinoco gold card with an external antenna jack with a cantenna and park outside coffee shops or anyother simular place that gives it to thier customers. Even a nearby pizza hut has a free connection.
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Old 03-20-2007, 09:19 PM   #6
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We've used Streets and Trips several times. Unfortunately the receiver is VERY particular about where it is mounted inside the bus whereas it has never been an issue in a car. There is also always the internal wi-fi. What I was talking about was being able to get my skoolie.net fix in the middle of nowhere.
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Old 03-20-2007, 10:44 PM   #7
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I do the same thing with my Alltel Motorola T720 via a cable & software purchased from Motorola. Yes, it's slow, but it doesn't cost me a penny or minutes, no matter where I am or what time I call. I can't argue with the price!
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Old 03-20-2007, 11:08 PM   #8
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I sure can argue with Verizon. I'd like to get the same answer from all employees....or even most.

If you're looking for a good read, google or look on digg.com for the Verizon .002 dollars versus .002 cents blog. The mp3 is WELL worth the time to listen to it.
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Old 03-20-2007, 11:09 PM   #9
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Actually, Verizon has 3 networks... If you get mobile web for your phone, which I pay $5 per month extra for...I can access the web via my phones browser using my free nights & weekends... I can also plug in my Mobile Office Kit and connect via Verizons 14.4k "Quick-2-net" on my free minutes too.

For a small fee I could use the National Access plan and connect via 1xrtt at speeds up to 288k but they will charge for KB's used. Or, for $59 per month I could add an air card and use their EVDO Wireless Broadband with unlimited minutes...and do away with the cable connection!

For what little I need it, the $5 per month does fine...it is only 14.4k but I rarely need it. Most campgrounds I go to these days have WiFi available...
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Old 03-21-2007, 12:07 AM   #10
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See I think that's where the confusion comes in on their part. They aren't sure if I am using Q2N, 1X, or EV-DO. To be perfectly honest, I'm not sure either. I know I have the America;s Choice II Family Plan and all I did was hook my cable in and let Net Zero take over. I know it was NOT connected at EV-DO speeds. It was not even connected at 1X speeds, but I my phone can only be in 1X or EV-DO. It is one of the newer style (though the phone is old) digital hybrid models. Perhaps I will just have to keep calling and start recording my phone conversations so I have some ammunition when that $1200 phone bill arrives. For the amount of time I would be using it I think Verizon should just let me for free to keep me happy.
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Old 03-21-2007, 06:50 AM   #11
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When I first got my software & cable from Motorola, after I got it all set up and logged on for the first time, I noticed that the connection went through Verizon as opposed to Alltel (my plan provider). As my Alltel plan is pretty much a no-frills basic package, I suspected that I would get charged for using a service by Verizon (like access fees or roaming charges).
I immediately logged off and waited until my free nights & weekend minutes started, logged on for 10 minutes and noted the date & time I logged on. Then, I went to my local Alltel office and had them look at my account to see what if anything I had been charged for that date & time (I feared the big bill, too).
Alltel's answer was: "NO CHARGE". I performed the same experiment during prime peak hours and received the same answer, so I continue to use this method today despite the slow 14.4 speed. For the most part, I can work around the slow speed as a trade-off for free, unlimited internet.
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Old 04-03-2007, 10:55 PM   #12
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I like to use Wild Blue. I used it last year while on the road out west. i was able to get dsl speed anywhere I wanted. It was alittle costly $300 for the dish and modem, $125 for the install (they insisted on doing. wich was good all i had to do was point where I wanted it and it was there in 15 minutes.), and $65 a month. I found it worth the $$$ for I was allways able to stop and work when I needed. I have to be able to have my work with me in able to be able to keep the $$$ coming in.
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Old 04-04-2007, 07:47 PM   #13
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I also bought a wireless router and hooked it up to my satellite modem and I am able to connect all 4 of my computers. That way I was able to use my 2 desktops or my to laptops. I can sit in the middle of Wyoming and surf like I am in a house.

I had to add 2 more cents
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Old 04-04-2007, 11:01 PM   #14
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See I think that's where the confusion comes in on their part. They aren't sure if I am using Q2N, 1X, or EV-DO. To be perfectly honest, I'm not sure either.
Well, if you are dialing up to Netzero then you are just using plan minutes, or free minutes... If you are dialing up #777 then you may be on one of Verizon's networks.... at that point it should ask you which net you want to use...and only the quick-2-net is going to be free or cheap, and that will only connect at 14.4k... You are not on Verizon networks if you are dialing an ISP's number...you only get charged data fee's when dialing #777....

If you click on National Access which is their 1xrtt net, then you will have much faster speeds, up to 288k and an average around 100k++ which twice as fast as a 56k dial-up...this is the one they try and nail you on. To get on their EVDO you would have to have a phone capable of EVDO (my new phone is, but I haven't tried it yet....don't wanna get nailed for $$ either)...
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Old 04-05-2007, 12:53 AM   #15
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My phone is capable of EVDO but I disabled it using menu 0000000 and network select. It EATS batteries to be on EVDO, especially in a spotty area like mine where it will hunt. My old phone was the same way switching from analog to digital. 4 hours of doing that constantly and my battery was a goner.

I've never tried the 777 thing....I know some people manage to do it for free, but it comes at a huge risk that I'm not willing to take.

As for dialing my own ISP....sometimes I think I know more than Verizon. The most intelligent sounding person I got was with tech support, not customer service meaning he spoke English and knew what I was talking about without flipping through some flowchart in front of him. He is the one that said it would be free.
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Old 04-22-2007, 06:05 PM   #16
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I'm using the EvDO air card and it's everything I dreamed it would be. My company pays $69/mo and despite hearing some horror stories about bandwidth capping from Verizon, I have never had a complaint from them about my rather heavy usage. I don't do file trading, but Second Life and internet radio fairly often on the connection with no issues.
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Old 04-22-2007, 06:39 PM   #17
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That's interesting to hear because I sure have heard plenty of horror stories. The connection is unlimited in terms of time of connection, but is capped in terms of actual bandwidth usage or something like that. Either way...I sure can't afford $70 per month for service that can't keep pace with my $20 per month 3mbps cable at home and I don't even have a laptop. It was easy to tether my phone to the desktop, but a wi-fi card would be a bit more tricky.
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Old 04-22-2007, 11:10 PM   #18
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Actually, a USB WiFi external unit like I use is simple enough...just pop it into a USB port....

I've looked at the Air Card, and if push comes to shove I'll get one...I'm already on Verizon now, so I'd only have to pay $59 per month...but right now I've got a free connection at the campground via my WiFi and it's been working great (and free) for 9 months now!!
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