Surviving #ISTE: Fix your WiFi Issues with Tethering

June 27, 2011 § Leave a comment

Day 2 of #ISTE 2011 is well underway and I keep coming across people with gripes about WiFi connectivity. Well, if you have a smartphone (iPhone, Android, or Blackberry), this post will show how to utilize the internet ‘tethering’ feature to share your data plan with you other WiFi enabled devices. 

iPhone – The iPhone contains a built-in tethering option called ‘Personal Hot-Spot’. Here are the instructions from Apple:

Sharing your Cellular Data connection

Use the following steps to set up Personal Hotspot:

  1. Tap Settings > General > Network:
    Network settings
  2. Tap Personal Hotspot and turn it on:
    • Note: If you see “Set Up Personal Hotspot”, your wireless plan is not configured for this feature. Contact your wireless carrier for assistance.
  3. Choose whether to enable Bluetooth or USB. On iPhone 4 if Wi-Fi is currently off, you will be prompted to enable it.

After configuring Personal Hotspot, you can directly access the settings from Settings > Personal Hotspot.

Note: You cannot use your Wi-Fi connection for Internet connectivity while other devices are using Wi-Fi for Personal Hotspot. You can only share a Cellular Data connection; you cannot share a Wi-Fi connection.

Connecting other devices

You can connect to your device in the following ways:

  • Mac or PC: You can share your Cellular Data connection using a USB, Bluetooth, or Wi-Fi connection.
  • iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or other Wi-Fi device: You can share your Cellular Data connection using Wi-Fi or Bluetooth.
    • The Wi-Fi network name or Bluetooth name is your device name. The Wi-Fi network uses WPA encryption. Its name is your device name.

Android – Gina Trapani at Lifehacker shares the easiest way to tether you Android phone.

 PDAnet Android application lets you tether Android using an app on the phone plus simple software you install on your computer.

PDAnet costs $30 if you want to access https ports (which the free version blocks). To connect to the internet via the phone, you tap a button to start PDAnet on the phone, and click “Connect” in the PDAnet on your computer.

The pros of PDAnet are that it’s risk-free, easy to use, and requires minimal setup. (You do have to enable USB debugging on your phone, which is the geekiest step it involves, but that’s just a checkbox in your phone’s settings.) The cons of PDAnet is that it requires the PDAnet software on your computer and that it costs $30.

Blackberry – The Blackberry platform also supports phone tethering natively. They explain it on their site here and seen below: 

A BlackBerry smartphone with tethered modem capability can be used as an external modem to connect a laptop computer to the Internet. Dialing and connection is supported by the wireless service provider. Contact your wireless service provider for more information about tethered modem support.

BlackBerry smartphones support the standard modem driver. The driver is installed with BlackBerry® Desktop Manager. After installing the BlackBerry Desktop Manager, the modem appears in the Windows Device Manager. To check the Windows Device Manager, complete the following steps:

  1. Right-click the My Computer icon on the desktop, or right-click My Computer from the Start menu.
  2. Click Properties.
  3. In the System Properties window, click the Hardware tab .
  4. Click Device Manager.

If the standard modem driver is not shown in the Device Manager, see KB04129.

  • To connect a Windows computer to the Internet using a BlackBerry smartphone as a USB tethered modem, see KB05196.
  • To set up the BlackBerry smartphone as a tethered modem in Windows using Bluetooth® wireless technology, see KB12544.

For more information on each of these device, hit up the sources here: (iPhone, Android, Blackberry).



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