Use your smartphone as a modem and connect your laptop to the Internet

You can use your phone-enabled Windows Mobile device to check your e-mail and browse the Web, but doing so on a small screen can be hard on the eyes. Fortunately, it may be possible to connect your laptop PC to the device (via cable or Bluetooth) and use the smartphone as a modem, which would allow you to browse the Web from your laptop.
Unfortunately, most wireless carriers don’t encourage this type of usage. (It may even violate your contract.) Furthermore, even when the Windows Mobile device has an application dedicated to doing this (Modem Link, Internet Sharing, etc.), the initial set up can be painful. The directions for making the connection vary with each phone, each desktop operating system, and each phone service. Check the CD that came with your device for instructions and the laptop PC “drivers” that will allow it to communicate with the phone. However, even if the CD contains information about using your smartphone as a modem, it is usually best to search the Web for the latest driver along with real world instructions and experience. Here are a few general suggestions to get you started. However, you will still probably need specific information.
  • Take the time to set the connection up and test it before you leave on a trip.
  • On your device:
    • See if there is a “Modem Link” or a similar application in Programs.
    • In Settings, you may need to go to Connections >USB (or Bluetooth) >Modem.
  • On your laptop, you may need to:
    • Disable ActiveSync.
    • Install a driver on it so that it can recognize your phone.
    • After the driver is installed (if necessary) and the smartphone and laptop are connected (on an XP laptop), you may need to go to Control Panel >Phone and Modem options. Click on the Modems tab and select the appropriate modem. You may need to add advanced initialization commands.
    • In Control Panel >Network Connections in XP, create a new dial-up connection: Network Connections >Create a new connection (wizard) >Connect to Internet >Setup Connection Manually >Connect Using Dial-up Modem. Next, you may have an option to select your phone. Give your connection a name on the following screen. If you have AT&T, the dialing the number is *99#. Finally, choose the usage (no user name or password).
If you know of specific solutions, please add them or post links to them in the comments area following the VIP version of this tip. We’ll try to add a few to get this thread started.
By Hal Goldstein
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Using your smartphone as a modem

This was not much of a how to.

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