Use mobile broadband to connect to the Internet

Mobile broadband technology, also called wireless wide area network (WWAN) technology, provides mobile Internet connectivity. To use mobile broadband, you need a data card and a data plan with a mobile broadband provider. For more information, see What is mobile broadband?

After you get your device and data plan, make sure you activate your subscriber identity module (SIM) and the mobile broadband service for the SIM. Your mobile operator or device retailer will give you the information to do this.

If you have an external data card, ensure that it's correctly inserted into the laptop. Also ensure that the wireless switch, if present, is turned on. The wireless switch is usually found on the front or side of a laptop. Then, to configure your mobile broadband settings, follow these steps:

To set up a mobile broadband connection for the first time

  1. Open Connect to a Network by clicking the network icon (Picture of the wireless network icon or Picture of the wired network icon) in the notification area.

  2. Right-click your mobile broadband network, and then click Connect.

  3. If prompted, type the access point name (APN) or access string, the user name, and the password. (You can find these in the information that came with the device or with your mobile broadband service.)

  4. Change any autoconnect settings that you want to change, and then click Continue.

To change mobile broadband connection profile properties (APN, access string, user name, password, and autoconnect settings)

  1. Open Connect to a Network by clicking the network icon (Picture of the wireless network icon or Picture of the wired network icon) in the notification area.

  2. Right-click your mobile broadband network, click Properties, and then click the Profile tab.

    Note

    • If the Profile tab isn't available, see "To set up a mobile broadband connection for the first time," above.

  3. Type the access point name (APN) or access string, the user name, and the password. (You can find these in the information that came with the device or with your mobile broadband service.)

  4. Under Autoconnect, select one of the following options:

    • Always connect automatically

    • Connect automatically except when roaming

    • Never connect automatically

  5. If your computer is already connected to the Internet through a local area network (LAN) connection and you want to prevent Windows from automatically establishing a connection, select the Autoconnect only if no other alternate Internet connection is available check box.

  6. Click OK.

To change mobile broadband connection roaming properties (network selection)

  1. Open Connect to a Network by clicking the network icon (Picture of the wireless network icon or Picture of the wired network icon) in the notification area.

  2. Right-click your mobile broadband network, click Properties, and then click the Roaming tab. (The Roaming tab is only available when you are roaming.)

  3. To allow Windows to automatically select a network, select Autoselect (recommended). Or, to specify a network, select the network name from the list, and then click Register.

    Note

    • If the mobile broadband connection manager can't connect to a network you specified, it will automatically revert to Autoselect.

To connect to the Internet using mobile broadband

  1. Open Connect to a Network by clicking the network icon (Picture of the wireless network icon or Picture of the wired network icon) in the notification area.

  2. Click the name of your mobile broadband network, and then click Connect.

  3. Type your mobile broadband PIN, if necessary, and then press Enter.

To disconnect a mobile broadband Internet connection

  1. Open Connect to a Network by clicking the network icon (Picture of the wireless network icon or Picture of the wired network icon) in the notification area.

  2. Click the name of the mobile broadband network, and then click Disconnect.