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wireless internet without a cell phone

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by rfenik, Oct 28, 2003.

  1. macrumors regular


    Airport is awesome, but way too limited.

    You can use cell phones to connect to the internet on your powerbook via bluetooth - but i don't have a cell phone and have no desire to get one. That would be too slow of a connection and cell phones are still way to expensive for me.

    Has anyone found a way to connect to the internet and get a reasonably fast connection from *anywhere*? Satallites or something? Are there any USB adaptors that can connect to a direct internet connection off of some kind of open bandwidth? I would love to have a connection that's as fast as airport but without having to be close to the base station. I can deal with paying $10 a month or something.

    Does this technology exist yet?

  2. macrumors 68020


    $10 a month? You are dreaming. Regular dialup is about $20. Cable is about $50. Satallite internet acces is available, but it will surely cost as much, if not more than a cable modem, and it requires a dish.

    Wait for 3G phones and infrastructure to come out. That will be what you are looking for, until then, get airport for home and hotspot use, and a cell phone for anywhere else.
  3. TEG
    macrumors 604


    To my knowledge, the following compaines sell PCMCIA/Cardbus Cell Modems to allow you access to the internent anywhere on their network. There may be others, and these may have the info burried deep in their web sites.

    Verizon Wireless
    AT&T Wireless

    There may be more.... Not sure internationally. Some charge per KB, MB or $XX for XXMBs then $XX there after.

  4. macrumors 68020


    Those are basically cell phones that go in your PCMCIA slot. Little difference between those and using a cellphone with bluetooth, usb or infrared connections to your laptop.
  5. macrumors 68020


    The 3G phones are faster than you think - much faster than a land line and a modem. If you really want a fast(er) internet connection, 3G cellphone is the way to go.

    If you're asking for high speed access you can install anywhere, then Sat is your man. Specifically, DirecWay. They're "mac compatible", in that the modem outputs ethernet, which goes right into the airport.

  6. TEG
    macrumors 604


    True, but it answers the question asked. Not giving an answer that doesn't relate to the question.

    PCMCIA Cell Modems work on any Cell network, are cheaper than cell phones, and actually answer the question of an internet service you can use almost anywhere. Plus, speeds of 128k to 1M+.

  7. macrumors 68020


    are they faster than a cell phone? i thought they were the same, just stuck inside your laptop...
  8. macrumors regular


    My powerbook doesn't have a PCMCIA slot.

    I want my powerbook to always be online. I want to be at home and be online. I want to be at school and be online. I want to be in the car online. I want to be sitting the middle of lake erie with a fast connection to the internet.

    TV is wireless and we've had that for forever. GPS is wireless. Phones are wireless. Isn't it time there is technology developed that allows for an always on internet connection without being bolted down?

    I live right next to a big nextel cell phone tower. They are constantly working on that thing. I know there has to be some signal i can connect to for an internet connection via that big white tower.

    Handsprings have an always on internet connection, and they aren't too slow.... is there a way to connect to that network somehow???

    I am willing to pay for this sort of thing, a reasonably small monthly fee. there should be some company making this technology right now.

  9. macrumors 68030


    If you have a PowerBook then you must have a PCMCIA slot... if you dont then you dont have a PowerBook.
  10. macrumors member

    (crazzyeddie, for starters, the 12-inch PowerBooks DO NOT come with a PC Card slot.)

    You've ruled out using a mobile phone (Bluetooth or otherwise) or a PC Card-based solution. There aren't any other alternatives at the moment, and certainly none at a $10/month pricepoint. The Handspring Treo you mentioned is basically a souped-up phone that connects via the standard cell phone providers -- such as AT&T, cingular, Sprint or T-Mobile depending on your contract. There's effectively no difference between this and connecting your PowerBook to an external mobile phone.

    In Australia, a technology called iBurst (http://www.arraycomm.com/iburst) that uses unpaired 3G frequencies has been in trials for a few months, and works fairly well. You need to use a proprietary PC Card to connect to services like this though.

    The everywhere, seamless and integrated (and low-cost) solution you describe is at least a few years off, and will need a new concerted iniative on the part of the telecommunications and computer industries. However, it wouldn't really surprise me if current 802.11-based (ie. AirPort) technologies will proliferate to such an extent over the next few years that you'll be able to receive a signal in almost any populated area.
  11. macrumors newbie

    You should check out Bluemobility.com. I believe you have to have later version of OS X (2.4 or later) to use their technology, but they have very low cost cell phones you can tether to the USB port and you can buy x MB of data for not quite as low as you want but its a start. Then, you can add voice to the service later if you need a cell phone. I blew up an imac using an airport card so I went on a search for a better deal and found this. Hope this helps.

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