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A Few More Tips

Here are a few more things to consider if you plan to take advantage of this service with your cell phone provider:

  • On my setup, broadband access is pretty slow, so I use it only when no other access is available. For example, if I’m in a hotel with free WiFi, I’ll always use that service with my computer’s built-in AirPort card before I even think about connecting with my phone. The phone connection is for those instances when there’s no other option—like at our tiny off-the-grid cabin on top of a mesa 40 miles south of the Grand Canyon. It’s pretty remote, and I consider myself lucky that Verizon provides any service there at all.
  • Broadband access service probably isn’t available everywhere your cell phone works. For example, I was recently in Monument Valley, which finally got a cell tower in May 2007. For once, my cell phone worked absolutely great, with a nice strong signal. (Before that, no Verizon service at all.) But Internet service wasn’t available on my phone. Fortunately, Gouldings Lodge has WiFi in most lodge rooms, so I was covered.
  • Once you’re connected, if you don’t keep the connection active, you’ll get disconnected. I use the Ping feature of Network Utility to keep my connection alive. You can learn more about that in an article on my blog, "Ping to Keep Your Connection Alive."
  • While you’re connected, you probably can’t get phone calls. That’s a good reason to disconnect when you’re finished. Choose Disconnect Bluetooth from the Modem menu (see Figure 13) or click the Disconnect button in the Bluetooth screen of Network preferences.
  • Figure 13

    Figure 13 Choose Disconnect Bluetooth from the Modem menu to disconnect.

Good luck, and I’ll see you online!

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