[digg-me]According to PhoneScoop, “tethering is connecting your phone to a laptop or similar data device using a data cable, usually for the purpose of connecting to the Internet on the laptop, via the phone’s wireless connection to the cell phone network. Carriers usually charge more money for accessing the Internet via tethering, as opposed to on the phone itself. Sometimes this is enforced via technology in the phone, although often it is simply the honor system and not strictly enforced”.

In our case, AT&T clearly doesn’t want you to tether your iPhone. Strangely, they don’t even have such a plan you could subscribe to in order to use your iPhone as a modem. So to make it clear, tethering your iPhone is against AT&T Terms Of Services.

At first there was Netshare, that quickly was banned from the App Store. Then iPhoneModem came along but we haven’t heard much about them… Given how uneasy it was to set it up, I didn’t even give it a try.

But here is some hope from a new app called PDAnet by June Fabrics. PDAnet is actually not new as it has been one of the most popular software for Windows Mobile phones and Palm OS phones. It is now ported to the iPhone! The 1.2 version turns your iPhone into a true WiFi router for your computer (MAC or PC), and allows your laptop to go online wirelessly through the 3G network on the iPhone.

What are the benefit of usint PDAnet to tether your iPhone?

  • full Internet access at 3G speed (if available) on your laptop
  • easy setup
  • works with Windows, Mac, and Linux
  • ability to use other applications while using PADnet

How to set up PDAnet?

This is a PDAnet tutorial for Windows XP. I assume steps are very simmilar on Vista. I don’t have a Mac so I can’t help you set up PDAnet on a Mac. I also posted a quick video on YouTube. The video + this tutorial should help you install PDAnet without any issue.

First, you need to create an ad-hoc network.

  1. Go to Control Panel >Network Connections
  2. Right click on “Wireless Network Connection” and select “Properties”
  3. Select the “Wireless Networks” tab
  4. Click “Add”
  5. Give a name to your network in the SSID box, ie. “iPhone”
  6. For security purposes, uncheck the box that says “The key is provided for me automatically”
  7. Enter a “Network Key” and confirm it (this will make sure no one gets on your network)
  8. Check “This is a computer-to-computer (ad-hoc) network; wire less access points are not used”
  9. Click “OK”
  10. On your iPhone, go to Settings > WiFi and your newly create network should show up, unless your computer is already connected to a router. Select your network and enter the WEP key if you set it up
  11. On your PC, go to “View Wireless Networks”
  12. Select the network you created
  13. Now it should just try to establish the connection but not connect; it’s ok
  14. On your iPhone, open PDAnet
  15. Turn WiFi router ON
  16. That’s it!

Ok, now, the not-so-cool stuff… Although it looks pretty easy, it took me a while to have it set up. For some reason, my “iPhone” network wouldn’t show up on my iPhone in WiFi settings. After doing the steps over and over again for like 20 minutes, it finally worked. I’m not sure what I was doing wrong.

The way I did it is that I completely deleted my home WiFi network from both my PC and my iPhone, so there was no conflict between my ad-hoc network and my Wifi network. It now works like a charm. It is very very fast too. I was actually amazed at how fast it was.

PDAnet will drain your battery like crazy so you may want to plug it to your computer to charge the battery. When you’re done using it, don’t forget to turn it off…

  • torn

    Simply Amazing…to be able to use any and all applications with such ease and for free no less, just wow.

  • AN

    problem with pdanet 1.2b and 1.2c on iPhone 3g

    After some data transfer the PDSNet application crashes and goes black with title bar still showing and transfer of data still working.

    Then crashes out to iPhone application icons but still sending data.

    Then crashes iphone into displaying spinning shutdown icon in middle of application icons but still sending data.

    Then spinning icon freezes and data transfer stops and iPhone is locked up requiring power home button forced restart.

    Always happens no matter if power in or on battery.
    Always happens if phone screen set to never lock and if phone face up or face down.

    Does not seem to happen if transfering extremely slow stream of data say 5kb per second but maybe that’s going to crash but I have no patience to wait for it?

  • @An – thanks for the feedback. I haven’t experienced any of these issues. Stupid question that could have its importance…. Did you reboot your phone right after installing PDAnet?

  • musashi

    Oh wow …. so basically it’s a perfect copy of NetShare (you can find it on “alternative” sites) and a little less than IphoneModem (if you only had the decency to try it out)

  • @Musashi – I haven’t had time to try NetShare. And no, I didn’t have the “decency” of trying out iPhoneModem. Did you?

  • ct

    I can confirm what “An” is saying. this app will lock your iphone after some data transfer. usually 3-5 minutes of heavy data transfer.

  • @ct – what do you mean by “heavy data transfer”? Are you guys downloading movies or something? Just kidding. I’ll try to to some heavy data transfer with PDAnet and see if I get the same issue tonight.

  • ct

    Even running a simple ping google.com -t for more than 5 minutes will cause the iphone to crash when using PDANet. I am using firmware 2.1 and vista on my laptop.
    when downloading a file the result will be same after 3-5 minutes.
    Great software but useless if you cant keep it up for more than 5 minutes.

  • Jmp

    Seems that the 1.31 version has fixed the hang. Just updated from Cydia.

  • David T

    I tried to connect more than 1 computer and it doesn’t work. Worse, it causes the first connected computer to stop working while the 2nd (newly attempted to join) not connected either.

    From the PDANet screen, it says “Connected Computer” and so it seems they intend to connect only one computer.

    In contrast, the similar app WMWiFiRouter for WM can serve as many as their DHCP service and subnet is allowed to set for.

  • @David – I havent tried to connect several computers but I always assumed you could only have one computer at a time.

  • thanh

    why is it that when I finished everything and on pdanet screen it says to go back and connect my iPhone to the adhoc network? I already done that

  • Kevin

    One small point, after Step 9, in order for the “iPhone” ad hoc network to be visible on the iphone you have to hit connect on your laptop and the message “Waiting for network” should appear…this is when the laptop starts broadcasting the SSID so that your iphone can pick it up. Cheers!

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  • kfaizy

    hi broo

    i just upgrade the from 1.51 to 1.52 sw version and the sw not running. the msg dislay

    “pdanet wifi router need to be initialized first.please restart your i phone”.

    i tried restart several time and still can use as before.

    please help

  • kfaizy

    hi broo

    i just upgrade the from 1.51 to 1.52 sw version and the sw not running. the msg dislay

    “pdanet wifi router need to be initialized first.please restart your i phone”.

    i tried restart several time and still can use as before.

    please help

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  • edgar_vr

    hey just wonder i pay $60 a month so if i get an iphone dont have to pay no more!!!!
    i need to be 100% sure before i swap, no extra charges!!!???

  • edgar_vr

    my monthy bill 50 phone + 60 tethering= $ 110+tax
    iphone $ 80
    letme know please

  • I can not sing in to anny of my sites when im runing pdaNet i could but now when i go to facebook or yahoo signin or even myspace i can get web page and search annything about the sites but when i signin i get the msg this site is taking to long to load try agen latter or if you cant long into anny site check your internet conecthion or if you have a fire wall or a proxy check to make shure firefox or internet explore can ackses the sites can some plese help me with this thanks

  • Ariana

    I’m having the same issue as code3. I’m not sure, but I think this started after I updated pdanet to version 2.41. Does anyone know a way to fix this?

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  • Yao yiyi

    Why I can not download PADnet? I have jailbroken!

  • Yiyi Yao

    My Iphone has been jailbroken thought, I can not download PADnet through Cydia, Would you mind telling me why?


  • Tim

    I have a router hardwired up to my laptop and I’m useing my iPhone as a wireless wifi thru PDanet but for me to use the internet thru my iPhone I have to diconnect my hardwired router which isn’t working for me because I’m wanting to update my media center that is hardwired to my laptop… Is there anything I can do in the setup to allow me to use both at the same time?

  • Chris

    will you ever have to pay for it???????????

  • Jenandjim

    Can I tether my home computer & my Wii, which I use to watch Netflix both at the same time?

  • Jenandjim

    Can I tether my home computer & my wii, which I use to stream movies, both at the same time using my Iphone?

  • Jimandjennifer

    Does the iphone need to be jailbroken in order for this program to work?