Is there some way to connect to the net away from wifi?

I don’t even know how to phrase the question. My wife has a Chromebook that works just fine when it’s home and connected to our home network, or when it’s around a wifi spot. But is there something we can plug into, say, the USB port, that would allow her to get to the internet when she’s not near a hotspot?

There are USB ethernet connectors, but I don’t know if ChromeOS has drivers or support for them. Your only option may be a portable access point that can plug into a wired network, or a smartphone that has hotspot capabilities.

Welcome to the world of, “Of course there’s always net connectivity. What are you talking about?” followed by “Wait a minute… where did the cloud go?”

I think what you’re looking for is mobile broadband, which is the marketing term for connecting to the Internet using the cell phone network.
I’d expect most service providers will be happy help you with a modem when you sign up with them.

I read it as the OP wanting to be able to plug into that old “wired” networking thing, too, but I could be wrong.

I think ChromeBoxes have an ethernet port, but ChromeBooks don’t. It’s wifi or nothing, whether it comes from a mobile hotspot or a portable AP. In any case, I don’t think the ChromeOS machines accept the USB “modems” or other connectivity devices directly.

Yeah, what Mogle said. Before wifi and smartphones that was how you had to get the internet on a laptop away from home (and there was a foot of snow on top of it!) :smiley:

If you go this route be prepared for connections speeds much slower than usual, as well as a higher cellular bill (wifi connectivity is free, cellular internet is not).

Not necessarily. I regularly get 35 Mb/s over LTE on my phone. I almost never get that over public Wi-Fi, which is often connected to the net via some crappy, oversubscribed DSL connection. Mobile broadband USB sticks also often do better than phones due to better antennas and more power.

Your phone may have a personal hotspot feature that will share its data connection with a laptop over wifi. Depending on how much and how often you need to use it, that could be a better option than buying a separate mobile broadband device.

I’ve done this easily through my iPhone supplying cellular internet data to my iPad by enabling Personal Wi-Fi Hotspot in the phone settings.

There must be something similar?

You may have detected a primitiveness in my OP. I don’t have a smart phone. My phone’s so old, it’s made out of wood. It runs on kerosine. I’m seeing that there are no good options with the Chromebook where true wireless is concerned except to find a wifi spot.

You don’t need a phone–just something like this.

There are good options, but there are no free options.

What are you talking about? Why won’t mobile broadband work? It IS true wireless, truer than WiFi even because it has much more coverage. You don’t get much more coverage than that unless you go with a satellite hotspot.

Some Chromebooks have a cellular modem built-in. If yours doesn’t – and you’d probably know, because you’d have paid extra for it – you can always get a standalone mobile hotspot like one of these. They take the cell phone signal and make it Wi-Fi that your Chromebook (or any other Wi-Fi device) can use. That’s it. No further devices or setup needed on your Chromebook.

They have wired to wireless adapters (usb), but drivers may be a issue

Your old cell phone may actually be able to ‘cable connect’ to the USB port and work as a modem, this was common technology with cell phones since Noah got off the ark, but you may be limited to slow speeds (perhaps sub-dialup) and you may need a dialup account, but not always.

You can get a cellular modem hotspot, Netzero is amount the cheapest I know of and they used to give you a small amount of data for free each month (after buying the device), they may still do that.

I use a huawei USB “dongle” on the Three network (UK) for my chromebook. It just plugs and plays into the USB port, cost about £25 and you can top it up just as a mobile phone and about £10 for a Gig and that lasts for a month. or you can pay extra for more data with a longer life (no need to sign up for a contract though)
I think the networks in the states tend to be a little more restrictive and expensive so I don’t know if that option is open to you.

Can I do this for my MacBook? I have an iPhone 4s.

Yes - if your carrier allows it. Some charge extra.

Your carrier isn’t going to know that you are tethering an iPad or Chromebook to you phone, it is a hardware feature of the phone. They will be quite happy to charge however if you go over your data limit so be aware or prepared.

I often will create a ‘Portable Wi-Fi hotspot’ on my android phone for my laptop. This is called tethering and you can also do it over Bluetooth or even USB cable. My phone has an alarm if I reach my data limit, which seems to be large enough that I never do. I am sure it is the same with iPhones.

If I needed this more often I would just get a wireless broadband USB stick like a hundered people have already mentioned in this thread.

It’s (of course) different for an iPhone. Although it *should *just be a hardware feature of the phone, Apple lets the carries restrict it so they can charge you more if you want to enable it. You can get around this by jailbreaking.

From what I’ve heard, Google also lets the carriers restrict it. They didn’t plan to originally, but they eventually knuckled under on it.

This is wrong. I can get a report from our tech group that shows devices and operating systems tethered through a user’s device. It comes in handy when dealing with data usage disputes.

Can you do that if the traffic goes through a VPN?