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App for tethering without a fee?


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#1 the2bachic

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Posted 19 July 2011 - 03:56 PM

I took the plunge and joined the 21st century. I have a smart phone. First time ever. I can't remember how to dial a number half the time, and I certainly can't find anyone's numbers in my contacts, but I have a smart phone! :)

It's a Motorola Citrus, which was advertised as a great entry level phone for people new to smart phones and the Android platform. So far, so good.

The next step: I'm jumping into this after doing a bit of research, but not enough to feel comfortable with proceeding without some opinions.
1) I learned what "root" and "jailbreak" mean. I don't like the idea of having a "brick" for a telephone. Therefore, I can't bring myself to do it.
2) I have paid my ISP the last penny I am going to pay them, after 6 months of incorrect bills and every time I call them I spend two hours being transferred from department to department being told "there is no indication on your account blah blah blah." You mean to tell me that I have called you 5 previous times, and the credits on my account are not indication of that? But I digress.
3) I don't want to pay an additional $20 a month to my cell phone provider just because I want to use the unlimited internet they promised me on a computer instead of on my phone.

So, given all that, after some serious googling and reading, I found the following at http://lifehacker.com/5447347/how-to-tether-your-android-phone
--
Method 2: Tether Android with Proxoid (Free, no root required, some configuration)

If you don't want to gain root but know enough to get around the command line and use proxy servers, the Proxoid Android app can tether your phone for free. Proxoid turns your Android device into a proxy server that your computer uses to make internet requests. Proxoid is free in the Android market, but to get it working you have to install the Android SDK or device drivers onto your computer, tweak some of the settings, and then configure your browser to use a proxy server whenever you want to tether. Here are the installation instructions.

To connect to the internet via Proxoid, on the phone you tap a button to start the proxy server. On your Mac you enter a command in the Terminal and on Windows you run a batch file to start the tunnel, then you set your web browser to use that proxy.

The pros of this method are that it's free and you don't need to gain root, so it's less risky. The cons are that you've got to install the Android SDK (something really only developers should have to do), and set your browser to use the proxy server each time you want to tether.

Note: Proxoid is the only method I haven't tested myself on the Nexus One. Proxoid's documentation is a bit rough—the Mac installation instructions are second-hand, as the author doesn't own a Mac—and there isn't a Nexus One-specific listing. Let me know if you're successfully using Proxoid on your N1 and what OS you're using.


--

Seems easy enough.

So I read the instructions at http://code.google.com/p/proxoid/wiki/installationPhone. Again, easy enough. I think I can do this.

So then I read the instructions to configure the computer at http://code.google.com/p/proxoid/wiki/installationWindowsXP. They are long, and some is in French. Thankfully, I was fluent in French at one time... looks like I remember enough to do it.

So tell me, will this work? Or is this a scam of some kind?

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#2 the_patriot11

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Posted 19 July 2011 - 10:55 PM

Sounds like an awful lot of work for no reason to me. What service are you using? I use verizon, and I have a variety of android based tethering apps available on the market-completly free, completly legal, no need to root or install any other fancy software. Go to market and type in tether and see what you get. I use pdanet, you install it to your phone, and then you install it and your phone drivers to your computer, and voila your done no problem whatsoever, as long as you got the USB cable. most of these apps-like pdanet-arnt carrier specific, you should be able to get them through anyone.

The only time you have to pay extra to tether your android based phone-with verizon anyway-is if your using it as a wifi point-as in your computer hooks up to it wirelessly to use the internet, as long as its physically connected via cable you should be able to tether it free using a app such as pdanet It allows your computer to use your phone as a modem-no need for any fancy proxies, rooting, or SDK software.

Edited by the_patriot11, 19 July 2011 - 10:56 PM.

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#3 the2bachic

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Posted 20 July 2011 - 11:09 AM

Thanks for the info Patriot. I did not realize that the tethering fee was only for Wifi. The way Verizon explained it to me was ANY time I connected my computer to the phone to have internet on my computer, it meant a tethering fee. I wonder if that's a change from what is in your contract to my contract (which was just acquired a few weeks ago), or that was just their normal salesperson-scare-tactics. Hmmm...

I looked into PdaNet, but it's incompatible with my phone. Pretty much all of the tethering apps are. The only other one I found that was compatible and came recommended outside of the Android Market was Easy Tether. However, the free version blocks https. I am willing to pay a small one-time fee to have the paid version as long as I knew it worked, but almost everything I would use it for is https. I wouldn't get a true test out of the free version before trying the paid version.

So are there other tether apps on there that are legit? I've been told so much about apps being able to get info from your phone that I am a bit leary until I figure it all out...

I went ahead and set up Proxoid late last night (about the time you were responding, and had not seen your response yet) on one phone and one computer (two of each - mine and my husband's). I was a bit nervous about it, but a friend who knows all about this sort of stuff (at least he seems to, and it's part of his job so I assume he really does LOL) looked over Proxoid and said I should try it. He actually thought I should root and use CyanogenMod (can't remember the spelling for sure), but when I was just too scared of even a slight risk of bricking the phone and I found Proxoid, he said that should be a decent alternative.

So far it's working. It is not that difficult to use. Just plug the phone in, run the app, click one thing on the computer, and it's up and running. If I want to use Wifi somewhere, I have to change back from proxy, but that's no big deal.

It actually wasn't that difficult to install. After reading it and feeling like I understood it, it only took about 15 minutes to have it up and running. Installed the app, installed the drivers on my computer, jumped through a few hoops to check it all out, and that was it.

That doesn't count installing the phone drivers from Motorola onto my computer, which took about 15 minutes as well. Those should have installed when I plugged the phone in the first time (like they did on my husband's computer), but for some reason they would not. I'm assuming it's because I'm running XP. Technology moves forward, but for a Windows OS I like XP too much to change my OS, therefore I have to deal with newer things occasionally failing to install or failing to fully function at times... I'll have to do something about that soon I guess, but I don't want to think about that today!

#4 the_patriot11

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Posted 20 July 2011 - 08:09 PM

perhaps they changed it-I know theyve been making some changes with their data packages. Im on the unlimited data plan with a droid X-so perhaps they did away with that when they stopped offering the unlimited data to new customers. Its odd that PDAnet doesnt work with the citrus, I assumed it worked with any android based phone. As far as android market-use the ones on android market they should work fine. Ive used easy tether in the past to and it works fine.

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Primary system: Motherboard: ASUS M4A89GTD PRO/USB3, Processor: AMD Phenom II x4 945, Memory: 16 gigs of Patriot G2 DDR3 1600, Video: AMD Sapphire Nitro R9 380, Storage: 1 WD 500 gig HD, 1 Hitachi 500 gig HD, and Power supply: Coolermaster 750 watt, OS: Windows 10 64 bit. 

Media Center: Motherboard: Gigabyte mp61p-S3, Processor: AMD Athlon 64 x2 6000+, Memory: 6 gigs Patriot DDR2 800, Video: Gigabyte GeForce GT730, Storage: 500 gig Hitachi, PSU: Seasonic M1211 620W full modular, OS: Windows 10.

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#5 the2bachic

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Posted 20 July 2011 - 08:38 PM

Yes, they did change the data packages big time. I heard through the rumor mill that they were going to, so we jumped on it so we would be grandfathered into the unlimited with a contract. We were actually planning on going to the data plan in August, but we didn't want to lose the unlimited deal so we went early.

We got the Citrus because it was supposed to be a good entry-level smart phone for newbies, and because it's Motorola and my experience has been that a Motorola phone is the only brand phone on which I can get a signal in some of the places I work. Go figure. But the Android Market is hit-and-miss for it. About half of what I have looked at so far is listed as incompatible with the Citrus. It's a small phone by way of memory and processor from what I can tell (and it certainly is slow compared to other Android phones that friends have). I wonder if that's why. Maybe it just can't run some of the apps. [shrug]

One thing I have had an issue with today is that Proxoid seems to disconnect after a while. I went through the settings and set it to always leave the screen on when it is charging, which also keeps it on while tethered to the computer. The app has to be open on the screen for it to work (not just in the status bar as running). As long as I pull down the status bar and click on Proxoid to sort of refresh it on the screen, it stays connected. If I don't do that for a while, it just closes from the screen. It still says it is running, but my computer goes to no connection. Is that normal with tethering? Is there some setting I have missed?

#6 the_patriot11

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Posted 20 July 2011 - 08:52 PM

I dont know, to be honest I have never used proxoid-or the citrus. I bypassed it in favor of the droid X-figured if I was going smart phone I would just go all out.

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Primary system: Motherboard: ASUS M4A89GTD PRO/USB3, Processor: AMD Phenom II x4 945, Memory: 16 gigs of Patriot G2 DDR3 1600, Video: AMD Sapphire Nitro R9 380, Storage: 1 WD 500 gig HD, 1 Hitachi 500 gig HD, and Power supply: Coolermaster 750 watt, OS: Windows 10 64 bit. 

Media Center: Motherboard: Gigabyte mp61p-S3, Processor: AMD Athlon 64 x2 6000+, Memory: 6 gigs Patriot DDR2 800, Video: Gigabyte GeForce GT730, Storage: 500 gig Hitachi, PSU: Seasonic M1211 620W full modular, OS: Windows 10.

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#7 the2bachic

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Posted 20 July 2011 - 09:41 PM

Sorry, I should have been more clear. I was asking in a general sense - as in, does that happen with other tethering apps as well?

#8 the_patriot11

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Posted 20 July 2011 - 10:03 PM

Ive never had it happen with any of the ones Ive tried.

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#9 the2bachic

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Posted 21 July 2011 - 09:21 PM

Okay, thanks for the info. I'll definitely be trying Easy Tether this weekend, then. It is driving us nuts to have to keep reloading it... I'll let you know what happens with Easy Tether.

#10 Sneakycyber

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Posted 22 July 2011 - 11:27 PM

Verizon is cracking down, I used wireless tether in the past with rooted devices. However I havent done so In two weeks so I'm not sure if it still works. Many users on the Android forums are reporting Verizon has detected the application and is forcing a teathering fee if they want to use the phone as an access point.

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#11 the2bachic

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Posted 23 July 2011 - 08:18 AM

Great...

#12 the2bachic

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Posted 12 August 2011 - 08:59 PM

Update:
Proxoid worked, but drove me nuts. For starters, it has to be open on my phone's screen to keep the internet connection, but for no reason it would disappear and I would have to start it again. Thunderbird refused to work with it, as did many other programs that require internet access. Also, a lot of websites would not work fully with it. One caused me to lose about 3 hours worth of work, which REALLY ticked me off.

EasyTether Lite (the free version) worked, but of course the free version does not do https, so it drove me nuts, too. Basically I could not do anything that required logging in on the website or any program that uses internet to function fully. Irritating at times. Except, Thunderbird was fully working again, so I had my preferred method of email access.

So for a while, I switched back and forth between the two as needed. That was, until today, when I encountered a website where step 1 worked with EasyTether and not Proxoid, but then step 2 worked with Proxoid and not EasyTether. I had to turn on EasyTether for step 1, and turn on Proxoid before hitting "continue" to get to step 2. Which also meant going through internet options and turning the proxy on. On the annoying scale, it ranked right up there with Fran Drescher attempting to sing the Star Spangled Banner at the Superbowl - which hasn't happened, but think it proves my point nicely (sorry Frannie, I love ya', but you know it as well as I do...)

I was already planning on paying for the full version of EasyTether once I determined that it was working, so I bought it today. So far, everything I've tried is working with it. :) At this point, I would recommend it. If you are reading this post looking for a solution for yourself, ask me again in a few weeks if I'm still loving EasyTether (paid version). So far, it seems to be the way to go!

Oh, and PS - not a peep out of Verizon so far. :)

#13 the2bachic

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Posted 14 December 2011 - 11:06 AM

Update: A few months later, we have decided that we like the paid version of EasyTether. Our phones are incredibly slow (one big complaint from basically all users of this phone), but when tethering it to the computer the webpages and such seem to load just as well as they did when we had DSL.

There are only two negatives that I have found. Videos and streaming - we have to hit pause and wait, and streaming has intermittent annoying pauses. Multiple tabs open on Firefox at the same time - it cannot seem to handle more than about 6-8. Sometimes I need more than that open at one time, and they just won't load. They sit in limbo until I close a few tabs.

No extra charges from Verizon, so at this point, I'm pretty sure I'm fine. They do slow it to a crawl when you hit 10GB though. Only did that once, so it's not too much of an issue.

#14 the_patriot11

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Posted 15 December 2011 - 11:53 PM

:thumbsup:

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Primary system: Motherboard: ASUS M4A89GTD PRO/USB3, Processor: AMD Phenom II x4 945, Memory: 16 gigs of Patriot G2 DDR3 1600, Video: AMD Sapphire Nitro R9 380, Storage: 1 WD 500 gig HD, 1 Hitachi 500 gig HD, and Power supply: Coolermaster 750 watt, OS: Windows 10 64 bit. 

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