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You mentioned you used a Verizon tethered link. What is that? I am not a full-timer, so I can't see paying $60 a month to Verizon, my cell phone provider, for an Internet connection for my computer through my cell phone.

In early 2000 I connected my computer through my cell phone using a program called Snap Dialer. I bought the program disk and cable at Radio Shack for $39 and it worked great. As I upgraded my phone and computer, Snap Dial no longer worked and it appeared as if they didn't update their programs to work with newer equipment. I have e-mailed Snap Dialer several times but don't get a response. I have a feeling that some cell phone provider has bought them out so people will have to opt for the more expensive alternative.

Here in Oregon, many state parks have reasonably priced Wi-Fi connections, but I am frequently not where I can get a Wi-Fi connection. So I am interested in a solution that doesn't require a contract and isn't so expensive.

Thanks for any help you can provide.

Dixie Huffman


You are correct that Snap Dialer no longer works with new phones. It used minutes and was sloooooww.

The Internet is very different now. You need broadband to get anything done.

The tethered cell phone option is great for connecting to the Internet if you are on the road part-time. It is a phone feature you can turn on and off and your bill will be prorated for the time it is on -- $49.99 per month for 5 GB data. No separate contract. You must have the right phone and plan.

Visit to see what might work for you.

Decision: data card or tether for laptop


I have been using an old LG phone tethered to my laptop using my regular Verizon voice connection. Positives include no charge during off-peak hours. Negatives: 14.4 KB speed and this is no longer available with the new Verizon software.

Should I simply get a data card or continue to tether with a new phone? Which phone are you using?  What is the monthly fee to Verizon?

Ed Houser


The decision to go with the card or tethered phone depends on several factors. A faster connection is so much more enjoyable, you may find yourself using the Internet more.

We have been recommending that full-timers go with a data card because it will probably be your primary Internet connection.

If you have more than one computer to connect, I think the MiFi is a great solution. It is a card and Wi-Fi router in one.

The tethered solution is really good for folks who don't need a dedicated connection. And, it is a feature you can turn on and off without penalty. Your monthly bill will be prorated. It uses no minutes.  If you leave it on, it is $50/month. The dedicated card is $60/month. Both are limited to 5 GB per month data.

We both have the Verizon LG ENV phone. Chris uses hers for tethering to a Cradlepoint wireless router so we can share. If she needs to use her phone, we are off the 'net while she is talking.

There are newer phones out now that take advantage of the highest speed EVDO Rev A. Ours only do EVDO Rev 0, which is just a bit slower.


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