Carriers sell modems that can be used to access the Internet using you a cell-phone signal. The devices connect with your laptop and use the same radio frequencies and data pipes that your cell phone does. Two distinct types are available: USB modem sticks, usually with an internal antenna, (often called "dongles"). And battery-operated personal mobile hot spots that work like a wireless router, enabling you to connect multiple laptops or devices. Connecting computers to cell phone services involves using one of these devices.
USB Modem Stick
Turn the laptop on and then insert the USB modem stick into a free USB jack on the laptop.
Watch the screen of the laptop for prompts that will enable you to install drivers and software. The modem stick will mount in much the same way as a thumb drive or printer. Allow the stick to mount and then agree to the prompts to install the software. The software will be branded “Access Manager” in the case of Verizon, or "Connection Manager" in the case of Sprint. Other carriers use other designations. In many cases, the software is preloaded on the stick, sometimes it will be on an included CD that you need to insert into the computer and follow prompts to install.
Open the software when it has completed installing (if it doesn’t automatically launch) and look for a tab or button labeled “Connect.” Click on the “Connect” button and launch a Web browser to access the Internet.
Look for a tab or button labeled “Inbox” to see SMS text messages that are sent to the unique phone number that is used for the stick. Often the inbox is used by the carrier to advise you of account and billing-related messages.
Personal Mobile Hotspot
Turn on the personal mobile hot spot and allow the lights to stabilize. Check for an “Internet” light that indicates that the device is connected to the Internet.
Turn the laptop on and open the wireless settings manager. Look for the personal mobile hot spot list of discovered wireless networks. Refer to the personal mobile hot spot for the SSID — the network name — and the user ID an password. Enter the details.
Connect by clicking on “Connect” and then open a Web browser and browse the Internet. Connect in the same way that you’d connect to a home wireless signal. Some Personal Mobile Hot Spots require that you configure some security settings after connecting. Check the documentation. Sprint's Mi-Fi requires you open a browser and then type in the Mi-Fi's IP address which is http://192.168.1.1. Then enter the password which is "admin" and follow the Wizard to configure security. Press "Finish" when done.
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