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How to tether an Android phone to an Apple computer

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  macslocum's Photo
Posted Apr 26 2010 05:03 AM

Want to use your Android phone's data connection to access the Internet through your computer? There's a number of options, but one is easier that the rest: simply download a couple programs and tweak a few settings and off you go. That's what we'll cover here.

Note: This how-to assumes you have an Android phone and an Apple computer running OS X 10.5 or above.

Set up your computer for tethering

1. Download and install PdaNet on your computer. You'll receive a "new network interface" message during the installation process. Click the Network Preferences button to continue.

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2. The network settings control panel opens. PdaNet automatically creates a new Ethernet connection -- this is usually labeled en2. Make sure the Configure IPv4 drop-down is set to Using DHCP. Leave all other options set to the default. Click Apply. Exit from Network settings. You'll need to reboot your system at this point.

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3. After rebooting, you should see the PdaNet icon in the system menu bar (top-right part of the screen)

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Set up your Android phone for Tethering

4. Access the Android Market from your phone and search for "PdaNet free edition." Download and install the app on your phone.

5. You need to activate your phone's USB debugging setting to get PdaNet to communicate with your computer. On your phone, go to Settings > Applications > Development. Check the USB debugging box.

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6. Connect your phone to your computer via USB.

7. On your phone, launch the PdaNet application. Click the Enable USB Tether button. PdaNet will activate. You should see a notification on your phone that PdaNet is now running as a background service.

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Connecting to PdaNet from your computer

8. Go back to your computer and click the PdaNet icon in your menu bar. Select connect. The PdaNet icon will turn blue. On the phone side, PdaNet will display bytes sent, connections and battery life. You can now use your phone's data connection to access the Internet.

Notes and caveats

-- PdaNet only activates when all other network connections are unavailable.

-- The free version of PdaNet blocks access to secure websites after the trial period expires. The full version, which costs around $24, offers unlimited access.

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4 Replies

  mjlevitt's Photo
Posted Mar 02 2011 12:55 PM

This was extremely helpful; thanks, Mac! I have a small, suggested amendment to Step #1....

The first time someone realizes that they need to tether their Droid to their Mac, they're likely without an internet connection. So how to get PdaNet onto your Mac?

At the risk of stating the obvious, a huge advantage of the Android OS is filesystem access! One can do this with their *phone* over 3G, and transfer the the software installer file to their computer via bluetooth or USB.
  BrianSawyer's Photo
Posted Mar 03 2011 09:56 AM

This process applies to any computer with wireless, not just an iPad.
  tracy.a's Photo
Posted Jan 11 2014 04:26 AM

These days most of the Android phones support Wi-Fi and USB tethering. So you can easily create a wireless hotspot for sharing the phone’s Internet connection with other devices.
  David_Bergman's Photo
Posted Jan 27 2014 10:34 AM

Do it through USB Wi-Fi tethering. It will be easy for you.