How To Use Your Bluetooth Cell Phone as a Modem

With most people going on the road these days, connecting to the Internet is essential. This is true whether you are an executive on a business trip or a student doing research on the field. So how do you connect to the Internet without using cables? If you can set up your phone and laptop correctly, you can be online anywhere in no time.

Here are the requirements for this to work:

  • A fully-charged bluetooth-enabled smartphone
  • A fully-charged bluetooth-enabled laptop or a bluetooth dongle for your laptop

Bluetooth is protocol used by small devices to connect other devices within a 10-foot radius without wires. We emphasize here that your gadgets should have enough charge, because Bluetooth usually consumes a lot of power.

Connecting with your phone as a modem: Now we're ready with our Bluetooth enabled laptop and modem, here's what you do to connect.

  • First, go to your laptop's official support page, and check for any driver updates. If there are updates, these would help make your connection faster and more reliable.
  • Turn on Bluetooth both on your laptop and smartphone. Add a shortcut to your start page or desktop for convenience.
  • Confirm that both devices are adequately charged.
  • Ensure that your phone plan can cover the charges.

Connect while on the road:

1. Turn on bluetooth on both devices and pair your devices. On Windows, a Bluetooth icon will appear on your taskbar. Right click on this and click Add a Bluetooth Device.

2. Turn on "discoverable" mode on your mobile phone, and then start the device search on your laptop.

3. You will see nearby Bluetooth devices, and you should select the one that corresponds to the name of your mobile phone. Take note that there might be other Bluetooth-enabled device users in your location.

4. You will be asked to input a passcode. Be sure to input the same code on both devices. This can be any number from 4 to 8 digits long. You don't have to remember this always, because once your devices are paired, they will remember the settings.

5. Once your devices have been paired, your operating system will install and enable the Bluetooth stack, and will search for Services available on your phone. The important service here to note is Dial-up Networking.

6. Open Device Manager and look for the item that corresponds to your modem. You will need to set up the APN or "Access point name." This is usually provided by your mobile carrier. Under the "Advanced" tab, type this under the "Extra initialization commands" text box. Be sure to replace XXXXX with your network's access point.


7. Go to Control Panel and open the Dial-up Networking window. Create a new connection, using the newly installed Bluetooth modem as the modem.

8. The username and password here would usually be provided by your carrier. But for most cases, these can be left blank.

9. Be sure to turn on GPRS, 3G or HSDPA on your mobile phone. In most cases, these are automatically turned on, and your phone will be set to select the connection type with the strongest signal.

10. Use the following as your dial-up number: *99#. This signifies that you will be connecting via packet radio, instead of a regular telephone call.

If you encounter problems, it's best to contact your mobile phone's customer service hotline. Sometimes, it's a matter of changing the Access Point Name, or the access number to make this work. Happy surfing!


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