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 Choose Disconnect Bluetooth from the Modem menu to disconnect.
Good luck, and I’ll see you online!