Web Culture

How To Use Your GPRS Cell Phone As A Modem

Dean Sherwin 01-10-2009

cellphoneI would say that roughly 90% of my work is published online and all my work must be submitted by electronic means. Such is the way for millions of other freelancers, businessmen, consultants and footloose operators the world over. The internet has revolutionized how we work by making us available almost all of the time. This comes with a fatal flaw; the internet can fail.


Over the weekend, the modem provided by my ISP packed up. This is my first day being back to normal. However, I did manage to survive without my own internet connection. And no, I didn’t use someone else’s WiFi connection or scurry down to the local Starbucks. In this article I’m going to show you how to use your basic GPRS cell phone as a modem for your PC – and achieve fast speeds from it. I don’t mean a smart phone with 3G or anything of the sort – just any old cell phone from 2004 onwards.

The most basic way of doing this is to use the disc that came with your phone. My Samsung came with software for loading music and files as well as changing the phone’s settings. Look around on your phone’s software. See if you can find anything about “˜Connections’, “˜Network’, “˜Modem’ or “˜Communications’. If you do, there should be detailed instructions on how to use your cell phone as a modem. Mine was easy to set up, I just told it I lived in Ireland and it detected all of the necessary settings for me.

how to use cell phone as modem

However, what if your phone didn’t come with a CD, or there was nothing on the CD about turning your cell phone into a modem?


First, connect your phone to your PC using the USB cable (if one didn’t come with the phone there are loads for sale on eBay for many different makes and models of phones for low prices). You can also connect it via Bluetooth, however this will cause the final download speeds to be slower. Your computer should recognize that your phone has been connected to it and begin to install the “˜Drivers‘. When this has finished, open the start menu and select “˜Connect To‘. At the bottom of the window which opens opt to “˜Create a new connection‘. Then select “˜Create a Dial-Up Connection‘.

The window shown below will be displayed. For the phone number enter in *99# (this is a kind of universal GPRS number that your carrier will redirect). This will tell your phone to access its GPRS function.

how to use cell phone as wireless modem

For the username and password you’ll have to do some research on the internet. These are easily found by simply Googling “˜GPRS Setting for [Network Name]”˜ or “˜Wap Settings for [Network Name]”˜. I am on a network called Meteor so we’ll use them as an example for this article.


Username: my

Password: WAP

how to use mobile phone as modem

One you have done this, finish creating the connection. Then, select the connection from the “˜Connect To‘ menu. When it asks for the username and password, enter in the ones appropriate for your network. This will then connect you to the internet.


Because mobile phone technology is at its height, you’ll get fast speeds, especially if you’re in the US. I had assumed that it would be slow like GPRS mobile internet it but this is only slow because of the phone’s browser’s limitations. Not the networks.

I easily checked e-mails, surfed the web and submitted work. Don’t get me wrong, you won’t exactly be streaming HD video How to Play Video Smoothly on Your PC: Here's What You Need Are you having video playback issues on your PC? Solve choppy video with these troubleshooting steps and tips. Read More but it can be handy when your normal internet goes down. I found that loading complex pages such as makeuseof.com took around 10-12 seconds where as simple pages such as my blog or Twitter only took a couple of seconds.

As with all my articles that require the use of GPRS, I advise you to see if your network has unlimited access for a set fee or capped costs per day like mine does as overusing GPRS can be costly.

Have you done this with your phone? If so, what method does your phone use to connect to the net?


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  1. venkat
    October 17, 2016 at 8:41 am

    though I connected cell phone to PC by a usb cable the cell phone is not recognized by the PC. my cell phone is NOKIA ASHA 210 and my OS is windows 7. I tried with different cables. no cd is available

  2. Wolfgang muller
    October 26, 2009 at 11:18 am

    High immediacy is a very important feature for time critical applications such as remote credit card authorization where it would be unacceptable to keep the customer waiting for even thirty extra seconds.

  3. sandeep sinha
    October 5, 2009 at 4:30 pm

    well, i think this is a pretty old news and I have used this facility in almost all gprs enabled mobile phones...

    I think it will be nice if u would have given an article about enhancing the speed of such connections also.

  4. Reverse Detective
    October 3, 2009 at 1:32 pm

    It's pretty amazing what you can do online ..It was not that long ago that you were wondering who just called your when you were not
    at home. Now you can only see who's the unknown caller .. and also spy on who's talking to your lover :))

    It's crazy ... You can even find the address by a simple phone number.. Wonder what's gonna come next ?

  5. Alyssa Myers
    October 1, 2009 at 8:51 pm

    I've done this with my old Sony phones. I had a T610 and a W800 that I configured like this and connected to my laptop via Bluetooth. It was fine for surfing pages without a lot of pics or ads on them and it was fine for checking email. I was pretty stoked at the time, to be honest!

    With the iPhone, I don't need this anymore, but thatnks for taking me on a trip down memory lane!

    • Wykedengel
      October 2, 2009 at 11:12 am

      I agree Alyssa, though I will say before the 3.0.1 update, I used my iPhone as a modem when I needed to do a quick video conference with coworkers on my netbook. Unfortunately, the update killed my tethering...