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Tethering the Motrola Droid with PDANet

January 23rd, 2010 No comments

My Airport card started acting up the night before my presentation. For some reason I didn’t think too much of it until I couldn’t connect the the wireless network at the hotel the next morning either. I only started panicking when I had about two hours left and I had yet to test my demo solution. I ran out to Verizon Wireless and after learning I cannot tether my Droid, nor can I rent a MiFi I had purchased one. MiFI is great if you’re traveling a lot and need fast mobile Internet or if you want to share that Internet connection up to 5 individuals in a room. The MiFi costs $99 with a one-time purchase fee, as well as a $59 per month subscription fee. You can return the equipment within 3o days for a full refund.

Then I learned from a fellow FileMaker developer that, indeed, you can tether the Droid via PDANet. So, this morning I have finally had the time to test it out, and as I’m writing this post from my new wireless access, it is verified. You have to download the PDANet desktop, as well as the Android app. Works both on Mac or Windows. You can connect via Bluetooth Dial Up (DUN) or USB. I recommend the USB if you have a Micro USB cable because the connection is not bottlenecked. The free version has one limitation: will not connect to sites that start with “https”. For a mere $30, you can eliminate this restriction. When you connect it might give you an error message “mismatch detected”. I ignored that and it works just like a charm. When connecting, start the PDANet app on your phone and connect, then connect from your computer. When disconnecting disconnect from your computer then turn off PDANet on your phone so it won’t drain your battery.  As customary with Verizon, you cannot make phone calls while using the data connection. The data connection will stay, it will just not pull up websites while you’re on the phone. As soon as you hang up, you’re back in business.

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