Internet through Blackberry device; cancel DSL?

I can connect my Blackberry to the computer via a USB cable and set up a high speed internet connection. Since I only use the internet for browsing and email, is there any reason I shouldn’t just cancel the DSL and connect all of the time through this method?


The main thing is that, ofttimes, your “unlimited Internet” actually has a cap. You could run into a problem with that. Browsing is still pretty high bandwidth these days.

Basically, I’d suggest trying it out for a month or so before you cancel, and see if you can live within the restrictions.

If you have a data plan with tethering, keep in mind that “unlimited” data plans usually come with a 5GB per month cap. If you go over that, you could be kicked out of your cellular service contract and/or charged overages at the rate of about $.05/MB. That comes to about $5 per 100MB over.

If you do not currently have a tethering plan, but use your device to tether with a laptop, and they detect that, you could again be kicked out and/or incur additional charges.

If you’re happy with your data connection speed, don’t mind the degradation to your BlackBerry battery life due to continuous use, are not inconvenienced by incoming phone calls during web surfing activities, don’t need an always-on Internet connection, and can stay well within the 5GB per month limit, then you don’t necessarily need the DSL connection.

Another thing to consider is latency, which means the time it takes packets to reach the next hop. The latency between your phone and the cell network is really high, on the order of 200-800ms. In DSL its around 10-100ms. A high latency means VOIP applications wont work correctly (skype, magicjack) and video games will suffer from incredible lag or will just be unplayable.

Bandwidth is another concern. Sure, when you download a webpage it runs pretty quickly, but once your cell provider realizes you are doing sustained transfers of files they will throttle you pretty quickly. Ive found the major carriers will throttle you down to near dial-up speed and there’s nothing you can do about it.

Lastly, dropped packets and reception are problems. One day you’ll have great reception and the next you wont.

If youre willing to live with these limitations then go for it. You can do the BB thing for a week and see how well it works for you. I would first call the cell company and tell them that you dont want to pay any data overage fees. Tell them to just disconnect you if you hit the cap. They will happily send you a $5,000 bill if you go over.

The EULA for most carriers specifically states that Tethering is not to be used as a landline replacement.

You can use it that way if you want, but I wouldn’t recommend it.

Using tethered internet over a landline tells me OP is a glutton for punishment.

Do be aware that transferring data over the phone will eat up the battery faster than the puny USB can recharge it, so not only will you end up with a dead battery after a few hours you’re going to be putting excessive charge cycles on your battery and your battery will also get hot from the discharge/charge cycle and you will need to replace it prematurely.

Don’t know who your provider is, but my contract with Verizon prohibits any tethering via my BB. (They want me to buy their MiFi device and service to do that, naturally.)

You do not need to purchases the tethering option if you really want tethering. You have two option, use DUN, which will use your minutes, or use your data plan. The thing is though you usually cannot receive incoming calls if you are using your dataplan to connect.

Strange since I am right now tethering with my BB hooked up to my laptop; verizon even helped me set it up. Now they may not want you to do that with one of thier netbooks, but those are pretty much just cheap/almost free devices designed to draw you into internet account usage.

Short coming that I have is that everytime I recieve a phone call I need to judge wheter or not I want to pick it up and break my internet connection. Also, I cannot get work email on my BB while I am using it as a modem; but this really isn’t a problem since I can get it on my work laptop. When I tether it to my home computer (which I do as well and Verizon knows this) I can not get work emails because I don’t have Outlook loaded thru my corporate server, but can check it thru WebMail if I really want to.

So the biggest drawback I have is losing full use of my phone for phone calls; speed is just fine for surfing and I’ve never gone over my data limit. But then I don’t do any interactive gaming or much streaming video.

Is the data you use via tethered line counted the same as the browsing right on the device itself?

I remember a story a few years back of a guy who had “Unlimited browsing” on his phone with Bell Canada, only to find out that “Unlimited browsing” wasn’t applied towards using it as a modem, and he ended up with a $20,000 bill downloading movies in Northern Alberta. It was funny, but I don’t wish it on anyone. :smiley:

No, it’s a separate data plan that cost $15 extra per month. I’ve never gone over the limit even though I use it both for work and personal use; pretty much all day at work and a couple of hours each night. Like I said, I don’t download movies or do any internet gaming; just simple web browsing and downloading/uploading some rather large files at work.

I’ve been using mine for over two years as a tethered modem and have seen no such damage to my battery. Of course YMMV.

Yes, the data is counted the same. That is, usage is combined and the carrier does not keep track of which data is which. However, if you use the device for tethering without purchasing a plan that includes tethering (some require this for an extra charge, some don’t) and the network carrier detects your use as such, you will be dinged by expensive overage charges. In practice, carriers do not vigilantly enforce this as long as you stay well within 5GB per month.

I can’t really comment on the OP as I’m in Australia and it seems that things are different here (for example a 5GB plan is advertised as 5GB not “unlimited”.) I can comment on this though, I used to use my Palm Treo Pro for my laptop internet connection and never had any problems with it using battery faster than it could charge. I could also take phone calls at the same time and didn’t have any issues using Skype but that’s probably due to different infrastructure.