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Laptop Mobile Internet

  1. Aug 2, 2017 #1
    I currently use my phone's data plan (T-Mobile) for doing some work on the road, but I have some larger projects coming up that could really benefit from being able to use a laptop. I still can't get used to texting/typing on the ultra small keyboard of a tiny cell phone and hate doing it (plus, the small screen sucks for viewing things anyways). As an aside, has anyone ever hooked up a traditional sized computer keyboard to their cell phone to use?

    But, the main question is simply what options I have for a laptop with mobile internet? Any recommendations? Don't know what's out there and any pros/cons, comparisons, etc. My apartment internet (and my parent's home) is Verizon Fios.

    I'll be researching this over the weekend, but thought I throw a question out to see if any experienced folks have some recommendations/insights. TIA everyone!
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 2, 2017 #2


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    On occasion, I would turn my phone into a hotspot, then just turn on Wifi on the laptop. With my previous phone, that feature was not an option, but I could tether my phone to the laptop, via USB cable and share the mobile internet.
  4. Aug 3, 2017 #3


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    Yes, I do this too as my ipad has wifi only so I tether it to my iphone and wah lah I have internet over cellular. One caveat though is that you should be careful not to use up your monthly band limits if you have them by streaming music or video content.

    Doing work though like emails, social media posts... should be okay. However, some apps may stream in the background (music apps) and then your monthly bandwidth will disappear and could cost you some real money as some folks found out when they let their kid stream a movie while the phone was roaming...

    In one case, a friend got caught in bandwidth dilemma because of an email that kept failing each time his phone tried to send the picture laden email because he was traveling through areas of spotty cellular coverage while on a Natl Parks tour.
  5. Aug 3, 2017 #4


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    Some of the phone companies offer devices which will plug into a laptop, to allow it to directly access the carrier's mobile internet. Care should be taken, as @jedishrfu pointed out, that there are not some background applications "eating up" your data.
    Also, I have heard of Bluetooth keyboards, but have not seen one in use.
  6. Aug 3, 2017 #5


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    The things above work, but the easiest solution, unless you are traveling away from civilization, is to go into a restaurant/coffee shop/etc that has WiFi and use this. It is usually faster and cheaper.
  7. Aug 3, 2017 #6


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    Nooo! Don't use public wifi. It can be spoofed too easily by someone sitting nearby with a hotspot matching the public one and your session will be compromised.
  8. Aug 4, 2017 #7
    Agreed. I don't use public Wifi - much less for work that involved auditing a top pharmaceutical company! :wideeyed: One compromise of private info. and I'd be toast!

    Does tethering a cell phone's mobile plan to your laptop decrease the speed of it by chance?

    I don't need to access videos too often (maybe occasionally) for my work, but do need to get online to company webpages to into data. A stalled connection would suck if there's any speed decreases.
  9. Aug 4, 2017 #8
    Very useful, jedishrfu.

    I did some light searching last night (more this weekend) and saw that was an option. Good warning about background apps too.

    But, is there any way to know what apps I have that may be running and eating up my data? I really don't have anything other than factory installed stuff and two apps for work.

    Finally, does anyone know how much 4GB vs. 6GB, vs. 8GB of mobile cell phone data translates into in terms of web surfing hours? I won't be using my data plan much to do videos (only on rare occasion), but will be filling out spreadsheets and doing data entry for my company audits that require several hours per day or inputting info. on various websites.

    I'm debating a new plan (I only have a pre-paid month-to-month right now) and they offer 4, 6, 8, ...unlimited mobile data at increasing fees. Just seeing what would fit my needs best.
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