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Ask Dr. Internet

Apr 21, 20032 mins
Cellular NetworksMobileNetwork Security

My G3 iBook uses dial-up to connect to the Internet. I’d like to get a cell phone instead of a land line. What kind of cable would I need to connect the laptop to the cell phone, and how much do these cost? Or can I use an AirPort connection, since the laptop has an AirPort card. The current land-line connection is around 48K bit/sec, so I’d like to get at least the same speed.

The best way to find cell phone-based Internet service that works is to take the iBook to the cell phone store and say “Show me.” Cost, coverage and cabling varies by phone and provider.

Another approach is to find someone using such service successfully in your area and get what they use. EarthLink and others are starting to offer wireless Internet service that might be the answer, if you can get it. The services are like wireless DSL at speeds of around 144K bit/sec.

Your AirPort card could connect to a wireless LAN, but you would need a broadband connection (cable or DSL) to get to the Internet.

Many cell-phone Internet connections today are still slower than land lines and rely on compression technology to improve throughput. Documents could move pretty quickly, but images and multimedia files might not.