Laptop Diaries, onto the internet with 3G

I have just moved my laptop forward to an improved build. This proves that this article only works if the bluetooth drivers are the microsoft drivers on XP. I have written about the toshiba drivers at Laptop Diaries, more bluetooth on this blog.

My colleague at work Sean Harris, helped me configure my laptop and phone to use the phone's 3G capability to connect the internet. Sean was guided himself by this article at 'crackistan'. While that author writes about Mac OS, and I am using Windows XP, we both use sony erricson phones and vodafone as our service provider.

I really did this for times where I have no internet access, but as 'Bodoggy' points out, it may come in useful in airport lounges or other places where the wi-fi costs are outrageous, or their credit cards systems broken.

So the process is

  1. Create a connection channel between the phone and laptop, and I used blutooth
  2. Create a dial up agent for vodafone and select your new modem

The only tricky bit is that you don't use a phone number to connect to the internet, there is a special code instead.

Attaching the phone

Firstly, I opened the control panel and activate the bluetooth devices applet. This then advises you how to configure the phone, i.e. turn bluetooth on and make it visible. This assumes that it isn't already visible. There's nothing security geeks like more than displaying the fact that people have their phone's visibility turned on. I was quite surprised at the number of phones I found turned on. The 'add device' applet then displays all the bluettoth devices it can see, select your own, and you need to approve the connection on both devices by exchanging a password. Actually the computer challanges and the phone responds.

bluetooth devices -> add device

The add device will report which COM: port the phone modem is associated with.

The visibility menu is found on my vodafone SE K610i using [Menu] # [<-] 1,2

Creating a dialup agent

I then opened 'Network Connections' control panel applet, and used the 'create new connection dialogue'. This needs a name. I included called it "Vodafone 3G".

add connection properties dialogue box

Note: The string in the phone number box, \*99\*\*\*3#. The number 3 needs to agree with the position of 'Contract Internet' in the 'Data Accounts' list, which can be found in the Data comm menu, in the Connectivity menu, in Settings, in other words

Menu -> Settings -> Connectivity -> Data comm -> Data Accounts or
[ Menu ] # [<-] 41

This worked, but I don't like the fact it prompted me for the connection; it doesn't do that for ethernet or wifi connections, so I opend the 'options' tab and turned off the prompts

add connection properties options dialogue box

So, now I can connect to the internet using Vodafone's Data Services, I wonder if all this works abroad. Probably; Sean's got more frequent flyer miles than I do.

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