How to Tether Your Android Smartphone Using PdaNet+

Use PdaNet+ to turn your smartphone into a modem for your laptop

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 Richard Drury / Getty Images

PdaNet+ turns your smartphone into a modem for your laptop in a procedure known as tethering. This capability means you never have to worry about finding a Wi-Fi hotspot or being in the range of a wireless access point. As long as you have cellular data coverage, you can work online on your laptop wherever you are.

PdaNet+'s Android version enables tethering via USB cable or over Wi-Fi via its Direct Hotspot connection feature. You can use the free version of PdaNet+ if you don't mind interruptions, but the full version costs less than $10 as of late 2018 and allows unfettered access to secure websites after a 30-day trial period.

Note

Many smartphones now offer built-in hotspot functionality, which you can usually find in Settings > Tethering (or similar term). If your phone has this capability, you don't need a separate app.

Download and Install PdaNet+ on Your Windows PC

Setting up PdaNet+ is a matter of installing it on both your smartphone and your Windows computer.

  1. Download the PdaNet+ Windows installer from the June Fabrics website.

    Download PdaNet on Windows 10
  2. Install PdaNet+ on your computer. The setup on the computer side is straightforward, although there are several steps involved. Start by running the installer. The first part will ask you some basic questions about how you want to install PdaNet+. Generally, the defaults are alright.

  3. During the installation, PdaNet+ will ask you to connect your Android device. Stop, and turn your attention to your phone.

    Windows 10 PdaNet Install connect Android
  4. Download PdaNet+ to your smartphone. Search for "PdaNet" in the Play Store. It's made by June Fabrics Technology Inc., but it's probably going to be the first result in your search, so it's not hard to find.

    Install PdaNet+ on Android
  5. In order for PdaNet to connect, you're going to need to enable USB debugging on your Android device. If you haven't already, take a moment to do that.

  6. Connect your phone to the computer via USB.

  7. Open the PdaNet+ app on Android, and select USB Tether.

    Run PdaNet+ Android and connect
  8. Press Ok back on the Windows installation window.

  9. Next, Windows will warn you that the PdaNet+ installer is looking to install a new device. Press Install to continue.

    Windows 10 PdaNet+ install device
  10. The installer will then ask you to allow USB debugging when prompted on your Android device.

    Windows 10 PdaNet+ allow debugging
  11. Open your Android device, and you should see the debug request. Select Always Allow from this computer, and press Ok.

    Android allow USB debugging PdaNet+
  12. The Windows installer will let you know that the install completed successfully. Make sure the Connect PdaNet+ after installation is selected, and choose USB mode. Then, press Finish.

    Windows 10 PdaNet+ install complete
  13. Turn to your Windows PC. You'll see that you've successfully connected. In the future, you'll use the PdaNet+ icon in your system tray to connect on Windows and the App on Android.

    Windows 10 connected to PdaNet+

You should then see the Connected! notification on your laptop and be able to surf the web using your Android's data connection.

Notes

  1. Previous versions of PdaNet+ supported Bluetooth connections, but Bluetooth is deprecated in PdaNet+ in favor of the faster USB and Wi-Fi connections options.
  2. PdaNet+ for the Mac is no longer available from the App Store. To use it, you must jailbreak your iPhone and install the app using Cydia, an alternative iPhone app store.