AT&T / Cingular 3G HSDPA Internet on your laptop for $19.99

Friday 12th of July 2024

AT&T / Cingular 3G Internet on your laptop for $19.99 with 1.3Mbps 3G HSDPA Speeds

I've had many people ask me to help them setup internet on their laptops using their AT&T (use to be Cingular) Internet connections.
What you need to first know, is that there are a couple of plans to choose from.
Actually they are officially over 14 and that doesn't include the subtle differences found in the differences between the personal and business plans

The different cingular Data plans break down to:
1) Internet for your phone. (With contract or PrePaid)
2) Internet for your laptop.
3) Internet for your blackberry (PDA).

These also break down to "adding it to your current voice plan" or having it seperately from a voice plan.

In this article I hope to help you setup your laptop using the cheapest of this services, the one for your phone.

There's three plans that are perfect for this solution:
Add internet to your Contract - $15.00 w/ current plan
PrePaid - $19.99 w/ no Contract - You just need to "add it" every month as a "Media Net Package".
It's Own plan - $35.00 for a data only new contract

The basic information is as follows:
Data plan:MediaNet Unlimited for GoPhone (prepaid)
or MEdia Net Unlimited (on contract)
Phone Number:*99***1#

These are CASE SENSITIVE, so don't think my Caps lock got stuck ;-)
These settings ARE the key to this trick. If you have the more expensive internet options, which only cost more but doesn't give you more, then you'll setup your cellphone, and laptop with different parameters.

Setting up your laptop

This is surprisingly easy.
That said let's go through the 36 steps to get it done:
Just kidding
The trick is to first "pair" or connect your laptop with your cell phone.

This step can be skipped if you get a "3G PC Card" like the AT&T Quicksilver USB Connect Or the Sierra USB Lightning 305 , or any "3G PC CARD" you find in ebay which is HSDPA compatible and with the "Cingular" or "AT&T" logo
If you have a PC Card simply look at the information about which you can fill into the "Cingular Communication Manager" which should have come with your pc card, or can be downloaded for free from cingular's site.

Connecting with a bluetooth headset

If you have a bluetooth phone getting your phone setup with the APN shown above will require you to look at the manual, or have the Cingular AT&T customer Rep do it over the phone.
With bluetooth once you "pair" your phone with your laptop (or desktop for that matter) you'll have the option to use it as a "headset", "Serial, and "Dial-Up Networking" (and maybe others)
You want to choose it at least as the "Dial-Up Networking" (no advanced options are needed to be typed.)
If it asks you for any extra information simple look at the "basic information" above.

Connecting with a cable

This requires a step (always) on your phone that essentially "starts" the internet on your cellphone.
On a nokia (for example) simply go to: "MENU->Services->Start Connection"
On windows mobile phones there's an option to use the "USB Modem"

Once you've put your cellphone in "connect to your laptop and give it internet" mode (never really called that)
To start setting up this dial-up connection you go to your control panel, then Phones & Modem Options
Choose the Modem that is for your phone (you must have it connected for it to show up) and choose Properties.
Then go to the "Advanced" Tab and add this line into the "Extra Initialaization commands":
Clicking OK to all the windows that were open and you're almost done.

Go to your Control Panel and to the "Network Connections"
create a new connection: (Manual connection - Dial-Up Modem)
Phone Number:*99***1#
That's it. You can create a shortcut on your desktop to quickly connect when ever you've connected your cell phone and put it in "modem" or "connect" mode and you'll be surfing with no changes to your internet explorer or firefox browsers.
(note internet explorer needs the "Automatically detect settings" turned on in the "Internet Options -> Connections -> LAN settings")

Also every other internet program should be work (like skype, AIM, Messenger, and of course your RPG Games that need internet access)

The software you need

To download the software for your phone and get it to work with these special settings here are the instructions:
First download the older AT&T Communication Manager (the 6.10 and above won't let you put the right APN:

Once installed do the following.

Go to "Connections" and choose "Edit connection Profiles"
Click on the ADD button
Choose "AT&T Internet" and press "Next >"

Fill in this information exactly as shown (case is important):

Access Point Name: wap.cingular
password: CINGULAR1
Press Next

Press Next Again.

the the "profile name" give it a name that makes sense to you. (Like "AT&T through my PHone")
Then change the "Connection Options" to "Automatic
Click Finish.

Choose "close"

and back in the main application Menu choose the "CONNECT" button and you'll be connected.

Next time you just have to plug in your phone and start the AT&T Communication Manager and in a couple of minutes you'll be connected.

Soon you too will be surfing at DSL speed on your lapto while at the park or bookstore without paying much more than just getting internet on your phone.

(click for a larger image)

Note: My speeds might be different than you. I live in a neighbourhood where cingular already has their HSDPA service. But as an example Cingular doesn't have Fort Lauderdale as a 3G spot but we do have the HSDPA service here.
Now that doesn't mean you won't be able to surf, but simple be surfing at 150kbps which is acceptible (if you're patient ;-). Nokia N900 Unlocked With USA warranty is just $350 on amazon?

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