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Tethering Is Exhilarating (With the Nexus One) 211

Posted by kdawson
from the free-to-roam dept.
timothy found this link (hat-tip to Tim O'Reilly) to a paean to the joys of tethering. "In a short post, Steve Souders explores the current state of tethering 3G connections via iPhone (on which he basically gives up, for the perfectly decent reason of not wanting to jailbreak his iPhone) and the Nexus One, with which he has great success. His writeup serves as a micro-tutorial ('use PdaNet's Android app') as well as an endorsement."
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Tethering Is Exhilarating (With the Nexus One)

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  • Android is a vastly more open platform. Tethering on WinMo is also effortless, over both bluetooth and USB. I was under the impression that some iPhone carriers allowed tethering ... do they make it difficult to use?
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by a1056 (1296899)
      No it's very simple, its just AT&T that is not allowing it until some vague time in the future. Even then they will likely charge something obscene for it. The iPhone suffers less from being a closed system and more from a poor cellular partner for most of the things that really annoy me these days, not that a more open less convoluted app store wouldn't help.
      • Re:Not Surprising (Score:4, Interesting)

        by natehoy (1608657) on Tuesday March 02, 2010 @11:40PM (#31340088) Journal

        I've been with AT&T for a while, and you go into any AT&T store and look around at anything resembling a smartphone, and every last one of them supports tethering. It's a simple monthly add-on. There are even things that in no way resemble smartphones that do tethering just fine.

        All smartphones except, of course, for the iPhone.

        Can someone please explain the logic behind this? Why would AT&T offer tethering on Samsung, Nokia, RIM/Blackberry (just to name the ones I have used personally over the years), and not the iPhone? What logical reason is there for this? They'll gladly take your money on every other platform and offer you tethering.

        • Because if someone gets crap tethering on a Samsung, Nokia, or BlackBerry they are going to blame the phone because they didn't get the "best" phone in the AT&T lineup which is presented in ads as the iPhone. Every carrier restricts their "flagship" phones somewhat if they don't think that some features aren't the best.
          • T-mobile's flagship phone a couple years back had tethering (it was a Windows Mobile phone). Their Android phones (current flagship) also tether. Maybe AT&T is just horrible?
            • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

              by duane534 (1431259)
              Or, the fact that only 3% of the T-Mobile network is even UMTS (3.0G) takes care of the situation for them.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by beelsebob (529313)

          The reasoning is that even when the iPhone doesn't do tethering on their network the user *still* uses ten times more bandwidth than any of the other phones. AT&T don't want to give tethering to people who will actually use it.

      • by Homburg (213427)

        The iPhone suffers less from being a closed system and more from a poor cellular partner

        Well, it suffers from being a closed system that allows a poor cellular partner to enforce a lot of customer-hostile bullshit. You can tether phones with AT&T (I'm tethering my bog-standard Sony Ericsson phone with AT&T quite happily), unless the manufacturer of the phone has decided to limit what the customer can do based on AT&T's whims.

      • by F34nor (321515)

        Bullshit. I tether right now with AT&T. I bought my phone. Pay up front for freedom or be someones bitch for a discount.

    • by Conor (2745)

      No, I'm on O2 in Ireland, just turn it on in network preferences and voila! It doesn't even cost me any money unless I exceed my normal download limit for the month.

  • His writeup serves as a micro-tutorial ("use PdaNet's Android app") as well as an endorsement.

    I don't think I have every seen a summary admit it is an endorsement before. It even has timothy and kdawson's names on it. Is this some sort of alternate reality?

    • Personally, I love slashvertisements so long as the editors are up front about it and the material is worthy of reading...

      And who cares if they make a few bucks on the side. No skin off my back so long as Slashdot keeps delivering the articles people want to read.

  • Tethering on webOS is also very simple. In Europe, it's enabled by default and on Verizon you have the built-in hotspot app. On Sprint, though, you'll need one of the homebrew solutions.
    • Re:webOS Tethering (Score:5, Informative)

      by ZX3 Junglist (643835) <ZX3Junglist@hotm ... minus physicist> on Tuesday March 02, 2010 @10:48PM (#31339760)
      For Sprint, O2, you can use the one-time-purchase MyTether, which as of the newest version 2.10 is working quite well. From the site http://mytether.net/ [mytether.net]:
      * Allows you to share your O2 UK, Verizon, and Sprint 3G from your Pre to your computer, iPod Touch or other WiFI devices.
      * WiFi network name & WAP key customization options
      * Makes your Pre into a MiFi-like Mobile HotSpot at your convenience to share your 3G connection.
      * Converts Palm Pre into a Wireless Network adapter by letting you share the WiFi connection on the Pre instead of your 3G when tethering over Bluetooth or USB.
      * Network usage graphs and total data usage for the session
      * Reported to work with iTouch/iPhone, PS3, Xbox 360, Eye-Fi, and will probably work with your WiFI device!
      * Ability to turn off the LCD without putting your device into sleep mode.
      * Convenience features such as restoring the old WiFi connection when tethering is disabled, prompts to take care of pre-requesties to tethering, remembering settings and last tether options, restoring modifications to settings back to original value upon exit, and many more to list.
  • Tethering is awesome, as many non-iPhone smartphone users have known for years.

    I used to tether my Sprint Treo with PDANet, when I swore I'd never pay Comcast another red cent. My sister uses PDANet on her G1 to avoid signing up for an internet connection she doesn't use much, and I used my rooted G1 to look up geocaches on the road from my g/f's laptop. The rooting process is pretty painless now, so I'd imagine that it's just a matter of time before the telcos start clamping down with usage caps.

    • by mjwx (966435)

      The rooting process is pretty painless now,

      So long as you follow the instructions (seriously, I misread DO NOT REBOOT as reboot, I had to DL the SDK in order to access fastboot and upload the new bootloader).

      But the brilliant thing about Android is that you don't have to root it for 98% of functionality. Bluetooth FTP, Tethering and a variety of other functions no longer require Root, this was not true in the beginning but as Android matured and the developers became more skilled they learned to make A

  • by MrCrassic (994046) <deprecated@@@ema...il> on Tuesday March 02, 2010 @10:41PM (#31339712) Journal

    Not a particularly interesting article, but I'm eating dinner and my brain is sizzled, so why not?

    Then it all came crashing down. iPhone 3.1 came out. I had to choose between visual voicemail and tethering or consider jailbreaking my iPhone.

    A search [redmondpie.com] on Google points one to the website which holds mobileconfigs for most global cellular providers. Downloading and installing the appropriate profile enables whatever support is needed. (It's also how one enables T-Mobile's MMS and Internet support rapidly.)

    I’m gearing up for some travel so revisited the topic of tethering. I was stunned when I spoke to AT&T tech support two days ago and they told me they support tethering. How did I miss this?! Then the guy said I had to jailbreak my iPhone. It seems weird to have tech support recommend jailbreaking. I guess that’s a result of the AT&T/Apple love/hate relationship.

    They shouldn't be telling people that because (a) that doesn't require a jailbreak and (b) jailbreaking is technically a contractual violation. That could get that CSR in trouble. NOTE: I'm all for jailbreaking; my iPhone certainly is. I'm just being pedantic.

    I tested it last night at home, but the real test was this morning. I stopped for coffee at Peets, booted up Windows, tethered my Nexus One, opened a ssh session, and drove to work. At every stoplight I verified my ssh session session was still active. I was reading email, surfing the Web.

    Reading mail and surfing the web WHILE DRIVING? That almost sounds responsible. ALMOST.

    I really don't see what all the fuzz is about in regards to jailbreaking iPhones. Doing so doesn't seem to cause substantial harm to daily operation. In fact, it enhances usability even more since it allows applications that would never make the App Store, but are incredibly useful, to get installed (ex. SBSettings, which makes toggling all sorts of stuff dummy-proof and FAST, MobileTerminal, Veency for remote control, OpenSSH for obvious reasons, etc. et al). It's not hard at all to do (though it does make upgrading more cumbersome; hardly a disadvantage, though --- wait, isn't jailbreaking an iPhone easier than rooting Android?).

    • by ScrewMaster (602015) * on Tuesday March 02, 2010 @11:13PM (#31339928)

      isn't jailbreaking an iPhone easier than rooting Android?

      No. I used an autorooter on my G1. Jacked the phone in to the USB, ran the program ... and I was rooted. I don't know how much easier it can get, really.

      • Sounds like jailbreaking an iPhone. Plug it in, run the program, wait for it to restart...

        • Sounds like jailbreaking an iPhone. Plug it in, run the program, wait for it to restart...

          Pretty much exactly that.

      • by mlts (1038732) *

        I don't mean to be a party pooper, but be careful when rooting Android phones. For example, one can briq their CLIQ (won't even boot to the USB flash loader screen) if they don't be VERY careful on what version of radio ROM they are on (that may get flashed OTA) versus the main OS ROM. Before grabbing something and flashing willy-nilly, read the stickies on the forum, and look for any warnings. Then check the first few pages out to make sure the latest root method doesn't turn your device into e-waste.

        So

      • isn't jailbreaking an iPhone easier than rooting Android?

        No. I used an autorooter on my G1. Jacked the phone in to the USB, ran the program ... and I was rooted. I don't know how much easier it can get, really.

        Using Blackra1n to jailbreak and iPhone is the same process - plug in phone and run the program.

      • Well for my Hero it was just installing an APK and then pressing, root the phone on the running app, so it can get easier....

  • Droid tethering with PDAnet and MacBook Pro on Verizon network works great. Speed is actually better than my work DSL!

  • by linumax (910946) on Tuesday March 02, 2010 @11:17PM (#31339954)
    and it's virtually impossible to break/brick your iPhone in a way that it won't be restorable. In the rare event you manage to brick it, the only danger is losing the (in most cases useless) warranty. But that doesn't really matter because Apple support will check the humidity sensors and if they are not triggered, Apple will give you a replacement. They will not bother discovering whether the device was jailbroken or not. It costs Apple more to determine an unknown problem than to give you a refurbished or even new iPhone.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Joe Tie. (567096)

      Five minute? It takes more than that just to back up the data on the phone before updating. I'd say it's closer to a full half hour, with the download factored in. More if you take time to read other peoples experiences before doing it. Bricking it might not be a huge danger, but winding up with a half functional system is. So all in all I'd put it closer to 45 minutes. And it's 45 minutes that you'll be repeating over, and over, and over again. While finding some apps don't work, waiting for others to catc

      • FUD, FUD, FUD. I jailbroke my phone a few weeks ago and it took maybe 10 minutes to make a backup beforehand, 5 minutes tops to jailbreak it, then say 30 seconds for the phone to restart. Yes, a long time ago (which is when I'm guessing you had a jailbroken iphone), it was a PITA - now it's dirt simple and safe as can be.
      • by linumax (910946)

        Five minute?

        What tool did you use? There are different ones (quickpwn, blackra1n, etc.) I used blackra1n and it wasn't more than 5 minutes + 1 quick reboot.

        It takes more than that just to back up the data on the phone before updating.

        I don't see how backing up iPhone counts as part of jailbreaking time since it's not mandatory. And the long backup time... well, that is simply not true unless you sync your iPhone infrequently which would result in a longer backup time. I sync two or three times a week and don't notice any significant backup times.

        Bricking it might not be a huge danger, but winding up with a half functional system is.

        How half functional? Please elaborate. It's more o

  • His writeup serves as a micro-tutorial ("use PdaNet's Android app") as well as an endorsement.

    Yes it does, but that's it.
    It amounts to half a page of an anecdote about the guy having a hard time getting it working on his iPhone, but downloading an app and it working fine on his N1...

  • Special app? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Wolfkin (17910) on Tuesday March 02, 2010 @11:26PM (#31340000) Homepage

    Tethering is built into the n900. I had no trouble providing internet for my home network via 3G during snowmaggedon last month, when my internet went down. I use Ubuntu, but I'm sure it would have been about as easy with Windows or Mac.

    • Yeah, I have an N900 and it goes

      1) Plug in to USB
      2) Choose 'PC Suite Mode' (I haven't bothered installing anything of the sort, but it's that or 'Mass Storage Mode')
      3) From the network manager on the computer, select the mobile network (it recognises the network provider and knows the standard login details out of the box)
      4) Done.

      This isn't just a smartphone thing though. My last phone was a K850i, an old-style Sony Ericsson camera-phone. It was even easier with that one; the computer didn't need to

    • by quenda (644621)

      Tethering is built into the n900.

      Only for USB. Most "dumb" 3G phones I've seen at a fraction of the price of the N900 will do tethering over bluetooth or USB.
      Still, there is an "app" for that :-)
      The US really is a special case for 3G data. Special as in what I believe the Americans refer to as the "short bus".

  • That doesn't really sound like an appropriate descriptor - unless you happen to get giddy with excitement whenever you get a low-speed internet connection.
  • Tethering in Palm Linux WebOS on Sprint is easy as pie. Just load MyTether and off you go- no "jailbreaking" (there is no such thing on WebOS, since there is no need) and in minutes you are able to tether with USB, Bluetooth, and multi-client WiFi as a real access point with optional WPA. 3G goodness @ 2Mb/s+ :) Of course, it is under the table and should be used responsibly (especially since if you go over your 5GB "unlimited" data plan, Sprint may come a knocking on your door).
    • by LurkerXXX (667952)

      Or if you are on Verizon and willing to pay extra for the feature, they allow you to use the Palm Pre like a myfi to feed up to 5 devices. Plus the interface for doing it is the easiest/nicest out there. No worries about knocks on your door.

      • by markdavis (642305)
        Unfortunately, Sprint doesn't offer a legit service for doing that. But MyTether enables the same functionality.
  • by black_penguin (621675) <bahathir@noSPAM.gmail.com> on Wednesday March 03, 2010 @02:27AM (#31341200)
    I am using the free alternative way on my locked/unrooted N1, :)
    http://code.google.com/p/azilink/ [google.com]
    • I personally found azilink + openvpn on osx flakey, I use wifi tethering which is built into most custom roms more reliable... Has also the advantage that you simulatenously can tehther to more than one computer.

  • This will get you up and running with USB tethering - the only downside is that I don't see Cyanogenmod supporting multi-touch: http://wiki.cyanogenmod.com/index.php/Full_Update_Guide_-_Nexus_One_Firmware_to_CyanogenMod [cyanogenmod.com] then custom compile and setup busybox, dropbear, ssh, etc. Not too difficult if you can read man pages and use 'vi'.
  • Any news here? (Score:5, Informative)

    by raju1kabir (251972) on Wednesday March 03, 2010 @04:08AM (#31341910) Homepage

    Just got back from a quick business trip to Thailand. I brought my many-years-old Nokia phone, a brand-new netbook running Ubuntu, and a USB cable (Bluetooth drains batteries fast).

    When I got there I bought a SIM card (DTAC/Happy) for US$1.50 and then paid an additional $4 for 30 hours of online time (could have done one week unlimited 24/7 for $8 but I didn't think I'd use that much).

    Stuck in the SIM card, connected the cable, and everything worked straight away. The Ubuntu wireless menu knew the name of the cell company and offered it as option alongside the wifi networks it saw. And that was it. I used it in the airport, on the bus, in taxis, hotels, restaurants, everywhere. Business hotels wanted $10 for one hour's access; I paid less than half that for all I could use in a week.

    I used to hunt around for hotels with wifi; I don't think I'll be wasting time on that anymore. Even in expensive countries the mobile access is cheaper, especially when you start including airport wifi charges.

    • I have spent a lot of time there but only used voice and sms on my phone (also a years-old Nokia phone, but I bought the phone there too because I didn't have an unlocked US phone, and I wanted to be able to input Thai script). Still, I never had a problem getting online... literally every coffee shop (and there are a lot of them) offers free wi-fi. It's much, much easier finding free wi-fi in Thailand than in the US.

      Obviously since the wireless plan is so cheap and painless and convenient it's not a big de

  • Just to add a tiny bit of info about tethering. I was for 2 months without internet connection after moving recently. I have an HTC Hero (Android) with tethering, but my phone provider doesn't allow for tethering... Well, fuck them, except that the web didn't work. All the other protocols did (ping, ssh, ftp, etc...). The providers were detecting the http requests coming from the PC and replacing them with blank pages, pages requested from the phone itself were fine. A simple workaround on Firefox was to in
  • I want to remind folks here that this seems to be an AT&T/Apple issue, not a technical iPhone issue. Here in Sweden all carriers support tethering and activating it is as simple as pushing a button on the iPhone and pressing an OK button in OSX acknowledging that there's a new network interface active. Slide a slider, attach the cable, press OK. Done.
  • My HTC Topaz does tethering without network interaction. I enable connection sharing, plug in the USB cable, and it shows up as a USB NIC to my PC.

    I say my PC, as it works on Windows xp, 7, and Ubuntu 9.10 without any configuration whatsoever.
  • I was doing this "tethering" thing regularly 10 years ago with my old Nokia and a Palm Pilot. It was even easier to do with my desktop PC (I didn't own a notebook at the time).

    Clearly there's a lot of consumers of mobile services out there conditioned to accept being shafted all the time by the telecoms ...

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