Set up a wireless network with a USB modem?

Hello, my father has a 2 year old HP desktop computer. He lives in a rural area so connects to the Internet with a Verizon USB modem. (It looks just like a flash drive.) His computer has an ethernet port so I tried plugging in a wireless router that I already had, but Windows never "saw" the router at all. (I also loaded the setup utility for the router, but couldn't ever really run it since the computer didn't seem to know the router was plugged into the ethernet port.) Do I need to add a PCI wireless card to his desktop...or what? If he had a regular cable or DSL modem, I could plug that into the router (which has four wired LAN ethernet ports), and then use one of the ethernet ports to plug into the ethernet port on his HP, and I'm 99% sure that would work with no problems. But this flash drive USB modem has me confused.
TIA, Tim
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  1. Hello, Tim and welcome to Tom's Hardware Forums.

    Would this exercise have a point unless your Dad has more than one PC?

    The USB MODEM is only communicating with his computer via USB and not transmitting anything. That would mean that his PC could act as a router for sharing its Internet connection but would need a transmitting device. Is it all worth it?
  2. What you are trying to do will never work, in the way you are doing it.

    The USB modem you have is probably a cell based one that gets the internet from Verizon's cell towers. You need to setup internet connection sharing on the computer. It's not as easy as just plugging in the router to the computer and go.

    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/306126
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_Connection_Sharing
  3. Get a router specifically designed for 3g devices. Cradlepoint makes some, not sure if there are other manufacturers. 3g providers are also recently offering 3g service in what they now call a "HUB", which is basically just a 3g modem/router combo.

    Edit: Here's a link to the router that's worked flawlessly for me the last 3-4 years:

    http://www.cradlepoint.com/products/ctr500-mobile-broadband-router

    It's seen very heavy traffic, (5 users, torrents for the first year or so) can't remember it needing a reboot ever. It's only wireless g, but they have n routers too now I see.
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