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Old 03-22-2009, 10:46 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default USB Modem or Tethering??

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My dad is with ATT (Pearl) and yesterday he purchased a laptop and was also suckered into getting a USB Modem through Verizon. He got the modem for free but will be paying $60/month for the service for 5gb plan. I am with sprint and my curve has the tethering service for only $15 extra a month on my plan, according to them is unlimited. Should my dad have just added the tethering service to his plan instead of paying for the $60 service? While the salesman at Bestbuy was suckering him in, I brought up the tethering service that ATT has available but the guy totally through all negatives towards that option in favor of the USB modem. He says that you will get cut-off while online if someone calls. I use my tethering service while out of town and am happy with it. I admit its not as fast as the USB Modem but its fast enough to surf the web and do what I need to do.

My dad has 30 days and if he is unhappy with it, he can return the modem and cancel the contract, no questions. I'm just trying to save him some money. Is the USB modem service worth the $60 compared to the add-on of the tethering option?? He plans to use this as a dedicated connection to the internet instead of subscribing to home internet service.
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Old 03-22-2009, 10:57 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Well the VZW modem is faster, yet with 3G (does that Pearl have 3G), you can do voice and data at the same time. If you are in major cities with solid 3G, I think the tethering is fine. If you are not on 3G, EDGE only, then the VZW modem will kick ass.
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Old 03-22-2009, 11:08 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Stinsonddog View Post
Well the VZW modem is faster, yet with 3G (does that Pearl have 3G), you can do voice and data at the same time. If you are in major cities with solid 3G, I think the tethering is fine. If you are not on 3G, EDGE only, then the VZW modem will kick ass.
He is located in the San Francisco Bay area so I'm pretty sure thats a 3G area. Looking at the data plans for ATT, for $30 more he can add the tethering option instead of paying $60 for the USB service on top of what he is already paying for his share plan (w/mom). Is tether secure compared to using the USB service? I mean will it be safe for him to buy things online or do his online banking?? I guess that would the bigger concern aside from saving $30.
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Old 03-22-2009, 11:36 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baldie View Post
My dad is with ATT (Pearl) and yesterday he purchased a laptop and was also suckered into getting a USB Modem through Verizon. He got the modem for free but will be paying $60/month for the service for 5gb plan. I am with sprint and my curve has the tethering service for only $15 extra a month on my plan, according to them is unlimited. Should my dad have just added the tethering service to his plan instead of paying for the $60 service? While the salesman at Bestbuy was suckering him in, I brought up the tethering service that ATT has available but the guy totally through all negatives towards that option in favor of the USB modem. He says that you will get cut-off while online if someone calls. I use my tethering service while out of town and am happy with it. I admit its not as fast as the USB Modem but its fast enough to surf the web and do what I need to do.

My dad has 30 days and if he is unhappy with it, he can return the modem and cancel the contract, no questions. I'm just trying to save him some money. Is the USB modem service worth the $60 compared to the add-on of the tethering option?? He plans to use this as a dedicated connection to the internet instead of subscribing to home internet service.
He should return the card, switch to a Bold, tether from that, and keep his home Internet service. No carrier provides truly unlimited service anymore. They all have a cap. Verizon and at&t have a hard cap of 5 GB, while T-Mobile and Sprint have soft caps and fair use policies.

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Originally Posted by Stinsonddog View Post
Well the VZW modem is faster, yet with 3G (does that Pearl have 3G), you can do voice and data at the same time. If you are in major cities with solid 3G, I think the tethering is fine. If you are not on 3G, EDGE only, then the VZW modem will kick ass.
No Pearl that at&t sells is 3G-capable. Further, the 3G service (EVDO) on the Pearl 8130 that Sprint and Verizon sell is not capable of simultaneous voice and data. Only UMTS BlackBerry devices like the 8707, Bold, and Storm can do simultaneous voice and data (provided they are in a 3G service area), and out of those, only the Bold will work on at&t 3G in USA.

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Originally Posted by Baldie View Post
He is located in the San Francisco Bay area so I'm pretty sure thats a 3G area. Looking at the data plans for ATT, for $30 more he can add the tethering option instead of paying $60 for the USB service on top of what he is already paying for his share plan (w/mom). Is tether secure compared to using the USB service? I mean will it be safe for him to buy things online or do his online banking?? I guess that would the bigger concern aside from saving $30.
Tethering and data cards provide the same level of security that a home broadband line provides: fundamentally insecure. The security of the things you are talking about are done by the website he visits, and the security measures in place on his computer.

Also, he does not need the tethering plan add-on to tether his at&t BlackBerry.
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Old 03-22-2009, 01:13 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Also, he does not need the tethering plan add-on to tether his at&t BlackBerry.
I know you can tether without actually adding the option but won't ATT say anything?
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Old 03-22-2009, 01:39 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I know you can tether without actually adding the option but won't ATT say anything?
Not if you don't abuse the privilege.
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Old 03-23-2009, 11:20 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I used to have an aircard with Verizon and paid $60/month for that service. Then, I switched to a Storm, dropped the aircard, and went from $60/month for the aircard, to $15 for tethering via my Storm. No regrets there, at all.

Then, about 2 weeks ago, I bought TetherBerry(.com) and dropped the $15 a month for tethering and just use TetherBerry now for connecting my laptop to the Internet via my Storm.

TetherBerry has been virtually flawless, so far. If tethering works through his ATT Pearl without paying any extra, go for that. If it doesn't, I would definitely try out TetherBerry before paying ATT.
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Old 03-23-2009, 03:24 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Won't you still get charged by your carrier for using data for your laptop through tetherberry?
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Old 03-23-2009, 03:45 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Won't you still get charged by your carrier for using data for your laptop through tetherberry?
Not normally, no. With an unlimited plan, all data transfer is included. You simply need to use discretion and not over-use the connection.
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Old 03-23-2009, 08:33 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by dc/dc View Post
Not normally, no. With an unlimited plan, all data transfer is included. You simply need to use discretion and not over-use the connection.
If you can tether your blackberry without opting for the tether service, why get tetherberry? I guess thats what I'm getting at. Whats the difference between opting for the tethering service vs tetherberry? Is it that tetherberry is only a one time charge while tethering is a monthly charge?

Also my dad planned to use this as his everyday internet connection instead of getting home service. He basically just uses it to surf the web and an occasional video stream or music download. Do you think he will use up the 5gb in a month?
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Old 03-23-2009, 08:42 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baldie View Post
If you can tether your blackberry without opting for the tether service, why get tetherberry? I guess thats what I'm getting at. Whats the difference between opting for the tethering service vs tetherberry? Is it that tetherberry is only a one time charge while tethering is a monthly charge?

Also my dad planned to use this as his everyday internet connection instead of getting home service. He basically just uses it to surf the web and an occasional video stream or music download. Do you think he will use up the 5gb in a month?
Tetherberry is aftermarket software, and the Verizon network does not see it as a tether connection, just a standard BlackBerry connection. The software is not authorized by Verizon, and could result in additional charges by Verizon at some point.

If he plans to use the connection to replace his home Internet, it is very possible that he could hit 5 GB. I HIGHLY recommend against replacing landline Internet.
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Old 04-24-2009, 01:02 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baldie View Post
If you can tether your blackberry without opting for the tether service, why get tetherberry? I guess thats what I'm getting at. Whats the difference between opting for the tethering service vs tetherberry? Is it that tetherberry is only a one time charge while tethering is a monthly charge?

Also my dad planned to use this as his everyday internet connection instead of getting home service. He basically just uses it to surf the web and an occasional video stream or music download. Do you think he will use up the 5gb in a month?
i have the bold 9000 and want to be able to pop out my sim card and use it in the "option wireless gt ultra express" without paying the extra 30$ a month
is this possible and how do i do it??
thanks
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Old 04-24-2009, 07:22 AM   #13 (permalink)
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i have the bold 9000 and want to be able to pop out my sim card and use it in the "option wireless gt ultra express" without paying the extra 30$ a month
is this possible and how do i do it??
thanks
Please see my answer in the thread.

How Can I Use At&t Gt Ultra Express Without Paying More Than Bb Service??
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Old 04-24-2009, 09:04 AM   #14 (permalink)
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I was a long time TREO user and had used PDANet for tethering. I checked their site recently and they now offer a BB version.

It uses your standard data plan, and is USB or Bluetooth connectable.

The TREO version was just as fast as the Verizon Air Card (had that too for a while). The current BB version 1.20 is designed for the Storm, but works with all BB devices. It seems much slower than the TREO version, and I have reported that to them. They are working on speed issues with the non-Storm devices so hopefully is gets up to par soon.

Great software and I will be using this for my tethering needs when it gets up to snuff.

Junefabrics.com is the website for PDANet.

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Old 04-24-2009, 10:34 AM   #15 (permalink)
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