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How to Use Your Smartphone as a Modem

Most people seem to have no idea that that their cell phone can be used as a modem…really.  Whether you’re trying to be thrifty or perhaps resourceful (in a situation where internet access is essential), there are a few ways you can connect a computer or additional device to your cell phone in the hopes of using it as an internet portal.

 

smartphone

Having said that, not all cell phones might be suitable for this task, and you’ll also need to have purchased a data / access plan that allows your phone to connect to the net as well.

There are essentially 2 ways to set your phone up to act as a modem (there are other ways, but for now let’s concentrate on conventional methods that don’t involve violating the terms and conditions associated with your phone):

  1. An official tethering plan that’s offered through your phone / wireless carrier
  2. Downloading an app that provides functionality

If you’re going to go with an official plan / strategy offered through your carrier, these are often referred to as “hotspot” plans.  Once you have purchased your package you can then set things up to work through WiFi, Bluetooth or even USB.  When starting off you’ll need to check and see if your phone is on some type of list of compatible devices which are capable of delivering internet service to other devices.  Usually this entails locating the carrier’s, or even device manufacturer’s website to search for product-specific information.

Next, you’ll want to see what connection options you have at your disposal.  If, for instance, you need to pick up a USB cable or Bluetooth adapter you’ll want to do that ASAP.  There might be additional software that you’ll need to install on your device which allows the phone to connect to it as well.  Note* – some carriers might demand that you purchase an entirely separate plan for deploying your phone as a hotspot, if this is the case and you can afford it, then everything should be fine. However, if the costs of such a move are too hefty, you might want to consider other avenues.

Lastly, we have the App option.  If you’re interested in buying an app that will let you turn your phone into a modem then you should know that they range in price from free to up to $30 or more.  As with the previous method, you can also expect to connect the devices through WiFi, Bluetooth or USB as well.  In some cases this strategy might allow you to avoid having to pay extra carrier costs and fees associated with specific plans (as you would be tapping into your phone’s data service plan).

Arguably, going with an app is the best option out there if you’re interesting in turning your phone into a modem, especially considering that this also includes some form of automatic configuration.  Good luck and happy surfing!

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