Using phone as modem for laptop


Legendary member
6,858 1,416
I may be off contracting again.

Do I get a dongle for away from home heavy-duty streaming (trading data as well as porn)?

Or learn to use my phone as a modem?

I am interested in the latter, for no other reason than to see how it works, and cos I haven't done it before.

So, how does it work, exactly?
Any extra wires or plug-ins?

ZEN archer

Experienced member
1,528 241
It must be more than 4 years ago when I used phone as a modem. It was all right, but you have a wire to connect (usb cable) and a mobile at the end of the wire. Dongle is much better imo - just a stick that you plug in usb port. Also at that time phones were reasonable, but dongles were much faster.

PS Connection process was automatic (idiot proof) and reasonably fast

PPS Maybe phones nowadays have wireless connection thing - why not read the instrucions


Legendary member
6,858 1,416
- why not read the instrucions
Because I only have 1 X chromosome. :cheesy:

I guess I was eliciting experiences of those who have done this.
You are right, dongle deals better, but was curious as to mechanism.
And maybe just as a "good to know" thing.


Junior member
35 4
Depends upon the phone and contract.

Need to check that you have tethering included as part of your contract and that you have sufficient data allowance (unlimited obviously best).

With most smartphones (iphone/samsungs at least) you can effectively switch them on to become a wireless access point (in the settings) - hence your laptop can connect to the phone via it''s wireless connection - no needs for cables. Works as well as your 3G connection.


8,655 981
What phone are you using ?


Senior member
2,176 878
If you have a smartphone you should be able to set up your phone as a portable wi-fi hotspot. Then your computer can connect wirelessly to the phone as if you were connecting to a regular wifi router. No need for cables or special software.

You need to check whether your mobile company allows this. Years ago they used to stop phones from doing this but nowadays I believe it's ok with all companies provided you don't start abusing bandwidth. Even with an unlimited contract, if you spend all day downloading HD vids then you might find restrictions being put on your account.


Legendary member
8,072 1,303
Just tried it on an iPhone 4S.

Settings>personal hotspot>on>wifi

Creates a wifi network called iPhone and you phone shows the password required for login.

It seems some providers may not allow it, though it does work for me and I'm outside Europe using a pre paid SIM.


Legendary member
6,858 1,416
At client site. Since y-day.
They havent organised a pc for me to work on.
Only have phone for browsing.
Essentially being paid to surf web.


Legendary member
6,858 1,416
At client site. Since y-day.
They havent organised a pc for me to work on.
Only have phone for browsing.
Essentially being paid to surf web.

Dick Lexic

Veteren member
4,954 124
i have a samsung europa i got it cheap £20 i set it up using picked up sim card from tesco) pay as you go "all you can eat data" with text&phone i hardly use. Get better value with an Add-on. - Phones - Discover - Three

i switched off my broadband and used it for a couple of weeks and it was just as good....i did not notice any difference ...i can also connect my i pod/lap top in the car using the phone.....uses up battery quite fast when you are tethering tho....i average 10-15 gig for my market data ect but i have been playing movies/you tube and it's a smooth as a babies butt:)

all you can eat data costs £15 mth pay as you go

this wi fi thing can only get better ....look out land line companies like talk talk/bt

a freind had problems trying this on his i phone ...not sure but i think it was going to cost him
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