GPRS Wireless With Windows XP
By Chris De Herrera
Did you know that
you can connect your Smartphone 2002/2003 (Motorola
Instructions and driver for the MPX200 are available here) or other cellular phone to
your Windows XP, Tablet PC Edition or Windows XP notebook to access the internet?
Well you can and it works at similar speeds and experiences to using a
modem connection (about 40k bits per second). During my recent
vacation to Orlando, Florida, I used GPRS as my exclusive method of
accessing the internet. The concepts discussed here can be used on
any network connection (including dialup modem) to improve performance.
Here are my thoughts
on how to optimize your Windows XP's connection to the internet:
pictures, video and sound downloads. You can turn these off in
Internet Explorer using Tools - Internet Options - Advanced and
uncheck the options you want. To make this quick and easy check
out the No Flash
freeware which allows you to control pictures and videos by pressing
F8 to turn it off and on by pressing the F-8 key.
Microsoft should require 3rd parties such as Shockwave to support the
ability to temporarily disable the download and playback of their
files. This is a huge drain on a slow speed connection.
offers users the ability to disable the downloads of Flash files
easily as well.
If you have
installed Windows XP, Service Pack 2, turn off Popups. This will
reduce the amount of data you download since most Popups are
up the internet connection for GPRS carriers such as T-Mobile do not
require a username or password. Well to avoid entering data into
the username and password screen store a blank username and no
password. Also, you can uncheck the option to display the name
and password or prompt for phone number such as the screen shot below:
Recommendations for Microsoft
should be able to optimize the picture and sound settings based on the
connection that is attached to the internet. IE: If I use GPRS or a
modem I don't want these features while if I use Ethernet or a Wi-Fi
network I do.
developers to provide just the bits that have changed with their
updates. Examples of long downloads include lengthy downloads for
Shockwave or the Norton Antivirus updates via GPRS.
users what to do when they don't need a username or password such as
when using T-Mobile GPRS. Ideally provide standard connectoids for
T-Mobile via SmartPhone/Pocket PC as well as 3rd party phones. I
had to setup a dummy username that was a space and store it to avoid
seeing the username/password screen.
I was unable
to easily see whether a new modem has been plugged in via USB. The
connection reverts to other modems in the system instead of staying
with a specific selected modem. Ideally modems that are plugged
in via USB should be shown in the Taskbar with the Safely Remove
Hardware icon like other devices.
Overall I was pleasantly surprised at
how well e-mail via smtp/pop3 worked and how fast the internet can work
if you turn off the pictures and sound and disabling Flash downloads.
And also when it comes to hosting
colocation hosting can provide you the greatest flexibility.
I would recommend that users consider using GPRS for internet access
whenever they are unable to access high speed internet.
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