How to Tether Your Cell Phone Using PdaNet

Cell phone connected to computer
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PdaNet is a free app (available for iPhone, Android, BlackBerry, and other mobile platforms) that you can use to turn your smartphone into a modem for your laptop. Tethering capabilities mean you'll never have to worry about finding a wi-fi hotspot or be in the range of a wireless access point -- as long as you have cellular data coverage (3G/4G), you'll be able to work online on your laptop wherever you are.

The screenshots here use the Android version as an example (Android 2.1 and Windows 7). PdaNet's Android version enables tethering via USB cable as well as over Bluetooth DUN (Dial-Up Networking). Although you can use PdaNet for free, the full version ($14.94 as of December 2017) allows you to access secure websites after the trial period ends.

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Download and Install PdaNet on Your Mac or PC

To use the PdaNet app for tethering your Android phone, you need to install the app on both your Android phone (download it from Android Market) and also install the software on the Windows computer (Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7 -- 32-bit and 64-bit versions available) or Mac OS X (10.5+) computer you want to go online from using your cell phone as the modem.

Step 1: Download the PdaNet Android Windows or Mac installers from makers June Fabrics. (Alternately, you can download the installation file to your Android phone's SD card, connect your phone via USB and mount the SD card, and run the installation package from there.)

Step 2: Install PdaNet on Your Computer: Set up on the computer side is pretty straightforward though there are several steps involved. During the installation, you'll be prompted to select your cell phone manufacturer and also connect your device via USB (enable USB debugging on your Android phone in Settings > Applications > Development). You may be warned by Windows Security that the publisher of the driver software can't be verified, but just ignore that prompt and choose to "Install this driver software anyway."

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Download and Install PdaNet on Your Cell Phone

Step 3: Download PdaNet to Your Android Smartphone: After installing the PdaNet software for your Windows or Mac laptop/computer, you'll need the app on your Android smartphone. Search for "PdaNet" (not case-sensitive, actually) in the Android Market, and install the app (made by June Fabrics Technology Inc.).

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Tether Your Android Phone to Your Computer

Step 4: Connect Your Android Phone to Your Computer to Share the Internet Connection: Once the software has been installed on both your Android phone and your laptop, you can share your phone's Internet connection with your computer. To connect over USB:

  • Go to the PdaNet app on your smartphone and select "Enable USB Tether," then use the USB cable to connect the device to your laptop.
  • You'll get a pop-up window on the laptop that you can click to connect the phone to PdaNet.
  • You may also, or ​alternatively, have to click on the PdaNet icon in your taskbar, and select "Connect Internet."

To connect via Bluetooth, the steps are pretty much the same, except you will select "Enable Bluetooth DUN" in the Android app and pair your Android phone with your laptop via Bluetooth rather than via the USB cable.

You should then see the joyful "Connected!" notification on your laptop and be able to surf the Web (albeit not that fast) using your Android's data connection.