Tech help - mobile internet on my laptop

  1. Kayos

    Kayos Member

    Messages:
    4,456
    Location:
    Yorkshire
    I've landed myself a few weeks of assistant project/site management work

    I need my laptop and it needs internet, tried using my phone and ipad as a hotspot but its just too unreliable

    I've seen the dongles but how good are they?

    The laptop is a decent spec, Lenovo T430 so not brand new but not ancient, it has a slot on the side and even a mini pci slot under a cover, would they be better than usb? Internal would be my first choice but no idea what to even google
     
  2. aguycalledsteve

    aguycalledsteve Member

    Messages:
    464
    Location:
    Mansfield
    They are same thing minus the screen & phone.

    I'd look at signal coverage for each of the providers. for where you're working and then choose one that suits your needs.
     
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  3. gaz1

    gaz1 Member

    Messages:
    7,850
    Location:
    westyorkshire
  4. armalites Member

    Messages:
    3,775
    Herefordshire
    I use an Ipad as a hotspot with work and it is rock solid, the wifi signal is very good to the point you can put the Ipad somewhere to get the best 4G signal and use the laptop elsewhere. I leave my Ipad outside machine rooms to get a signal and I am able to connect to the hotspot even through a wall and 20-30 metres away.

    I used to a dongle and that worked but you lose the benefit of being able to site the machine to get the best signal. I carried on using my dongle until I tried the Ipad and I've never gone back to the dongle.

    My work laptop is Lenovo T series. We often have to be connected to machine and have internet access so we can share screen with support team for hours.
     
  5. angellonewolf

    angellonewolf Member

    Messages:
    4,020
    Location:
    bristol england
    as above if the phone dont work then the dongle is no better

    if you go the way above and buy one that will work in that area your better off buying 4 sims cards use an unlocked phone and try each for how good the signal strenth is before buy a sim contract dongle
     
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  6. Maker

    Maker nEw mEmBeR

    Messages:
    6,550
    Location:
    Don't ask questions
    Just had a look and that laptop is available from new with a WWAN card, they're available cheaply but they plug into internal aerials (Connectors labelled main and aux in the link) which your laptop won't have, because of this I don't think you can do it internally. I'd use a 4g travel router instead, I don't know if it'll be any better than a hotspot from a phone though, what's the signal like there?
     
    Kayos likes this.
  7. Kayos

    Kayos Member

    Messages:
    4,456
    Location:
    Yorkshire
    Both phone and ipad are on same network so that may be the issue

    Annoying as I get good signal nearly everywhere else
     
  8. JonE Forum Supporter

    Messages:
    87
    Location:
    Central Scotland
    I've had a few wireless WAN enabled ThinkPads, and will say you'll generally get a better signal strength from the internal antenna than you will on a phone. However, as @armalites says above, advantage of a separate phone/tablet is that you may be able to place it remotely for an improved signal. Personally, I stick with the internal WWAN as I find it more convenient.

    There is a configuration checker page, where you can enter your serial number, and see whether it is "wireless wan ready" - i.e. has the antenna options already installed. However, if you've already opened it up, you should be able to see whether the connections are there, next to where the card would go there should be two spare wires with UFL connectors? If so, it's just a case of getting a supported internal card and plugging it in..
     
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  9. Parm

    Parm Metal Tinkerer

    Messages:
    8,263
    Location:
    Towcester
    I use my work provided iphone to tether to my laptop using the hotspot function.

    I find that its ultra reliable but it does need a strong 4G signal to start with
     
  10. Kayos

    Kayos Member

    Messages:
    4,456
    Location:
    Yorkshire

    Seems I have the antenna wires but someone (who shall remain nameless) has installed a 250gb boot drive in the slot

    I could swap over to the 500gb sata ssd if the internal option works, are the likely to just need a sim card?

    20190816_120443.jpg
     
  11. Kayos

    Kayos Member

    Messages:
    4,456
    Location:
    Yorkshire
    Tried this on my induction day and couldnt even send an email, phone was fine and so was tablet but I find the laptop more convenient

    It's also really annoying as CDM wizard is great on my ipad but they insist on using Microsoft Project

    I have suggested they switch to Clickup and I could just take 1 device on site but as im just freelance I doubt they will listen
     
  12. JonE Forum Supporter

    Messages:
    87
    Location:
    Central Scotland
    Yeah, on the T430 you take the battery out to get to the SIM slot..
     
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  13. JonE Forum Supporter

    Messages:
    87
    Location:
    Central Scotland
    btw, if you do go this route, be sure to get a "supported" card (check the Lenovo site for T430 options). They have an annoying habit of whitelisting specific card id's, anything else will give a BIOS error..
     
    Kayos likes this.
  14. aguycalledsteve

    aguycalledsteve Member

    Messages:
    464
    Location:
    Mansfield
    Those antenna could be for a Wifi card. I see this kind of setup with the HPs i service. If you can get a 4g dongle that works then go for it and see what happens
     
  15. Maker

    Maker nEw mEmBeR

    Messages:
    6,550
    Location:
    Don't ask questions
    Yeah you might be in luck then. If they're wifi antenna, wouldn't they be plugged into the wifi card? :whistle:
     
  16. JonE Forum Supporter

    Messages:
    87
    Location:
    Central Scotland
    Can tell it is WWAN from the picture above. The WWAN card sits next to the memory module, red and blue wires are for the main and aux antenna connections..

    Link to service manual: https://thinkpads.com/support/hmm/hmm_pdf/t430_t430i_hmm_en_0b48304_03.pdf
     
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  17. Kayos

    Kayos Member

    Messages:
    4,456
    Location:
    Yorkshire
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