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Chapter Seven. Getting Online with Your ... > Connecting Your Cell Phone and Lapto...

Connecting Your Cell Phone and Laptop

You connect a data-capable cell phone to a laptop computer either with a USB cable or wirelessly via infrared (IrDA) or Bluetooth. All three of these connection options are more than fast enough to handle current, real-world cellular data transfer speeds, so speed-wise it doesn't matter which one you use—the data transfer rate between your carrier and your phone is usually slower than that between your phone and your computer. There are other factors to consider, but the choice will probably be made for you based on which connection method your phone and laptop have in common.

CDMA phones

If you have a CDMA cell phone (see the Phone Carriers chart in Chapter 1), you probably don't have Bluetooth—they tend to have USB and IrDA ports instead. Of the two non-Bluetooth options, USB is the way to go because it's easier to maintain a connection over an inexpensive (less than $30) data cable than it is over infrared. IrDA connections, because they need to stay aimed at each other, can be iffy at best. For example, maintaining an IrDA connection in a moving vehicle is a challenge.


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