If, like me, you found your new Treo 700p to be AWESOME, except for the $39.99 or $49.99 ADDITIONAL monthly charge to actually USE the Bluetooth DUN feature (that wasn’t mentioned ANYWHERE in the marketing that I saw) so that you can hook up your laptop to it and surf the internet using your phone as a connection, (which I only found out about by calling support and asking why using DUN wasn’t working) then you will probably be VERY interested in this handy $24.95 application from Mobile Stream:
USB Modem allows you to use Treo 600, Treo 650 and Treo 700p smartphones as a USB modem for connecting a desktop or notebook computer to Internet. To surf the Internet from your PC you will need only a USB cable and a Treo with GPRS/EDGE service or CDMA 1x/EvDO data plan.
* Support for Treo 600, Treo 650 and Treo 700p smartphones
* Support for Windows XP, Windows 2000, Mac OS X and Linux operating systems
* Support for USB and Bluetooth connectivity
* Support for background mode so it is possible to make outgoing voice calls or perform other activity on the Treo without disabling the modem mode
* Support for Fax modem operation
* Small memory footprint (30 KB)
I couldn’t get the Bluetooth connectivity option to work. The USB connection option seems to do the trick however. I’m now able to use my phone now exactly as I wanted to without paying the extra EVDO connection fees (hopefully).
Also, I found a bug where if you have Menu Meters installed and the Bluetooth indicator in the menubar as well Menu Meters keeps on restarting while you are connected. If you turn off display of the Bluetooth icon then everything is fine.
Hopefully this won’t get shut down, since it basically enables exactly what you want — internet access on your laptop (in my case a Mac OS X G4 Powerbook) using EVDO speeds.
- First, download the trial of the USB Modem software to make sure this will all work for you.
- Follow the User Guide instructions to configure your laptop, and install the USB Modem .prc onto your Treo 700p.
- Go to Prefs, click on Networking. Make sure that you are currently disconnected. Otherwise the USB modem won’t work.
- Click on the USB Modem application
- Click the Enable Modem Mode button. Leave the Connectivity method set to USB, and the Background mode set to checked.
- Under OS X, open Internet Connect application, and select the Treo 700 USB Modem option. You should see #777 in the Telphone Number, leave everything else blank.
- Click Connect.
- You should see it saying Contacting PPP Server… then Authenticating, then Connected.
- Use the internet on your laptop to check your email, ssh, surf the web, instant messenger, whatever
- When you’re done using the internet, click Disconnect in Internet Connect, then click the Disable Modem Mode in USB Modem. If you don’t do this, the next time you try to sync using the USB cable you will get an error message stating that the connection is already in use.
- Enjoy super-fast EVDO speeds on your laptop wherever you go…!!!
I did find that occasionally you will need to turn the phone off and then back on again to reset the internal networking features after you’ve used it as a modem.
I purchased the software since it seems like exactly what I need, and I’d encourage you to do the same. Also, I haven’t gotten my first bill with the new phone yet, so I’m not 100% certain that there won’t still be a charge for using the phone as a modem. But you may as well give it a shot.
I’ll update this post if I see anything on my next bill — I don’t expect to be using the phone as a modem all the time since I’m usually in the vicinity of a WiFi connection.
Update 1: I haven’t seen any additional charges on my bill, so this looks like a pretty great solution.
Update 2: Warning: please see comment #23 below for a problem that David had with this where it “fried” his hard drive. I’m not sure exactly what happened, but please use caution when following these instructions. I haven’t had any problems with it at all, but you may want to backup your hard drive before you proceed.
Update 3: – Jan 28, 2008 – Note: it appears that Sprint / Nextel has changed their terms and conditions to specifically exclude using workarounds like this. Here is the exact text of their current T&C as it applies (emphasis added):
Vision/Power Vision: Services are not available with all Sprint phones. Usage is calculated on a per kilobyte basis and is rounded up to the next whole kilobyte. Rounding occurs at the end of each session or each clock hour and, at which time we deduct accumulated usage from your plan, or assess overage or casual usage charges. You are responsible for all data activity from and to your phone, regardless of who initiates the activity. Estimates of data usage will vary from actual use. Your invoice will not separately identify the number of kilobytes attributable to your use of specific sites, sessions or services used. Premium content (games, ringers, etc.) priced separately. Services are not available for use in connection with server devices or host computer applications, other systems that drive continuous heavy traffic or data sessions, or as substitutes for private lines or frame relay connections. Except with phone-as-modem plans, you may not use a phone (including a Bluetooth phone) on a plan with unlimited Vision/Power Vision as a modem in connection with a computer, PDA, or similar device. We reserve the right to deny or terminate service without notice for any misuse. Availability of downloadable or streaming content is subject to change.
You can read my response below, but basically I think they’re shooting themselves in the foot here. I haven’t heard anything from them about this, and probably they’ll only use that T&C to address specific problem usage (for them) where they have a customer using too much of their “unlimited” data plan. I don’t think it’s a real great strategy to tell some of your most fanatical customers and fans that they are basically screwed. Because heres the thing: we have options, some great ones. It’s probably time to look at shopping for a different carrier if you care about regular computer usage without having to pay their extortionate fees for using your computer with this phone as a modem.