Sunday, March 09, 2008

Motorola ROKR (MOTOROKR Z6m) + Alltel EVDO == "Finally, broadband in my home!"

My family and I live in one of the few remaining middle-of-nowheres. There's plenty of nice things about our middle-o-nowhere: it's cozy, it has just about everything you need and it's surrounded by pretty much nothing but beautiful sites for at least 100 miles. Heck, it even has bandwidth options out the wa-zoo: cable, DSL, and even line-of-sight wireless DSL. Naturally, we bought a house that's just far enough out of town to not have access to any of these options.

"But I work in front of a computer all day...surely I don't need/want broadband at home?" Yeah...I kept telling myself that for the last 8 years. The winters are just too long around here to not have broadband. Of course, I've always had the satellite option, but it just wasn't for me -- large initial setup costs, and then hefty monthly fees, mixed with latency issues.

Thankfully, finally, as I sit here and type this, I'm on something other than dialup, and man, I gotta say, Alltel has got a decent thing going right now. I wish I could say I'm being paid for this free advertising, but I'm not. I'm just thrilled to the core to have bandwidth!

I recently got a new cell phone, the Motorola ROKR Z6m. I won't go into the snazzy details of the phone -- click that link if you want details.

We've had an Alltel contract for nearly two years now. A while back, as I drove home from work, I noticed the Alltel store had a banner outside proclaiming "$25 HIGH SPEED INTERNET FOR YOUR PC!" Huh. I eventually got around to checking it out. It's just that. $25/month, for, as far as I can tell, truly unlimited data transfer. I've heard it called 'tethered' internet because you have to hook your phone to you computer via USB (or possibly bluetooth...) Anyway, it's nice in that it's not a contracted service - you can turn add/remove it from your plan whenever you want.

Now, if you're reading this and you don't have broadband, and you're considering going with this Alltel-route, maybe I can save you some money and trouble. Visit the alltel page for some brief details. Scroll all the way to the bottom and you'll see the "Wireless Internet Kit" which strangely, includes a cable. All this kit has are cable(s) for hooking your phone to your PC's USB port, and some software/drivers on a CD.

If you have a phone that has a USB connection on it, just pick up the most affordable USB cable you can find. If not, well, you may want to spring for the $60 kit...or maybe splurge and upgrade to a new phone? Make sure it's an EVDO phone! For the software, all you need are the USB drivers. You can download these drivers directly from Motorola (free registration required to download.) After downloading and installing the drivers, but before hooking your phone to your PC, make sure your phone is set to work as a modem when hooked up via USB, this should be buried under the "Connection" settings. Now hook your phone to your PC.

Assuming you have your internet plan turned on, your phone has signal, your drivers are 'happy' with the phone, all you need to do to get connected is to setup a new dialup internet connection in Windows (sorry, I'm not a Mac guy, and I've not the desire to make this work under *nix.) The number you need to dial will be "#777". For username and password, use "[YourPhoneNumber]", ie: The password should be "alltel".

Dialup and you should be connected!

Check me out! It's not amazing, but you must admit it's a ton better than dialup. :)

PS: I've left out some details here as it's getting late, but big thanks to Mikie and mom for helping get my contract squared away, and thank you interpipes for offering up the answers as you always do. ;)


James said...

sweet! Glad to see you're finally got something better than dialup :)

have you decided whether you'll connect your 360/wii through EVDO yet?

Anonymous said...

Welcome to the internet my friend

Jason Poll said...

360: Yes, have already done that via ICS and an old-school 10mb dumb-hub (I *KNEW* I'd find a use for that thing some day!)
Wii: No wireless at the moment
Although, I've heard that they have EVDO routers...just connect your EVDO device whether that be a PCMCIA card, or a USB phone, and bam...802.1a/b/g/n out the other side. Noooiiice.

I was terribly excited when I got the 360 hooked up and saw that it was working...and then was crushed when I remembered that you don't get any gaming love w/o a Gold Live membership. :(

Xamox: "iz 'bout dam time" is how I feel.

Toxic Sea Monkey said...

I am interested in doing this as well because i have decent cell service but cant get anything else. Does your phone still notify you that you are receiving a call if you are on the internet? I know that it cant do both but will it drop the internet so you can pick up a call?

Jason Poll said...

I'm not sure if it's dependent upon your phone, but with my phone it still rings when I'm online. If I take the call, my internet connection acts like it's on hold - things spin, but the dialup connection doesn't immediately drop.

If I stay on the call too long (no idea what that time limit actually is,) the dialup connection drops and disconnects. If it's short-n-sweet it pops back without so much as a blip.

evdo said...

thanks for share :)