Should OnePlus start making laptops

This is how you bring tablets and laptops to the mobile Internet

Everyone knows it from the smartphone: The use of mobile internet in the flat rate model. But apart from cell phones, there is also the option of accessing the WWW with a tablet or laptop while on the move - even if there is no WiFi hotspot nearby. We clarify the questions how users can connect to the mobile Internet and whether it really always has to be an LTE tariff or 4G hardware. In the second part of our series of articles, we will then present suitable data tariffs with 3, 6 and 10 GB from the mobile network providers.

Check access requirements: is my laptop or tablet ready for mobile internet?

Tablet and laptop: ready for mobile internet access?
Image: dpa Anyone who has a conventional laptop or a 2-in-1 device with WLAN cannot connect to the mobile data network without additional accessories. Because the devices are not designed for SIM card use. But despite this restriction, users do not have to do without access to the Internet outside their own four walls. Numerous manufacturers offer UMTS or LTE sticks that can be connected to the laptop via the USB interface. There is space for a SIM card in the sticks, which are usually only a few centimeters in size.

Depending on the hardware provider, the user is informed in a web interface about the network, the current connection speed and the data consumption. In many cases it is not necessary to enter the SIM PIN to use the Internet. Therefore, users should make absolutely sure that the stick and SIM card do not get into the hands of unauthorized persons. Depending on the model and network support (3G or 4G), interested parties from around 20 euros can find what they are looking for in online retail. Before buying, make sure that the stick has the required LTE frequency bands. In some cases, users also receive the appropriate stick as a set together with a data plan.

Tethering: Use your smartphone as a WLAN access point

Tethering as an alternative to purchasing accessories
Image: teltarif The alternative to using a UMTS / LTE stick is using a smartphone as an Internet access point. To do this, the user places the data SIM in the cell phone, which is then used as a mobile modem for the laptop or tablet. The tablet or laptop accesses the mobile data connection of the cell phone via WLAN, Bluetooth or USB cable. But what do you have to pay attention to? Modern smartphones have a tethering feature that is activated via mobile phone settings, whereby the user can specify which name and which password the WLAN hotspot generated via the mobile phone should have. It is important to ensure that a different password than the standard ID is used.

The hotspot that has just been created then appears in the available WLAN access list on the PC or tablet. The user then opens a web browser as usual and can start his surfing session. When tethering, users should make sure that when surfing on a tablet or laptop, a larger amount of data is usually loaded from the network than is the case with mobile phone surfing. This means that calling up complex desktop websites can noticeably reduce the data volume available in the tariff after a few minutes.

Anyone who is only occasionally dependent on the use of mobile Internet with their tablet or laptop can also use tethering with their conventional smartphone tariff.

MiFi: Mobile hotspot with WiFi

Mobile LTE hotspot from TP-Link
Image: TP-Link If you want to access the mobile internet with several devices, for example to provide fast internet for your guests at an outdoor party, you might be interested in a mobile hotspot "MiFi". This is a small device into which the user inserts a SIM card. Optionally, MiFis are offered with 3G or 4G support and start at around 40 euros. But how exactly does surfing via a MiFi work? The hotspot establishes a WLAN network and users can connect to it via tablet, laptop or smartphone. Since the MiFi hotspot is operated by a battery, it can also be used in places without a power supply. With somewhat more opulent devices, it is also possible for the user to set up a separate WLAN network for his guests. This means that after the party is over, you can simply change the guest WiFi password again.

On the next page we will explain how you can bring your tablet to the Internet using a UMTS / LTE stick and clarify whether there is an "LTE obligation" for data tariffs.