How to Connect Your Desktop to the Internet Using an Android Phone

by: Carl ParkerNovember 13, 2011

Perhaps you don’t know it yet, especially if you’re new to Android: you can use your Android phone to hook up your desktop or laptop to the Web.  In this scenario, your Android phone essentially becomes a modem/router of some sort, which you can use to bring Internet connectivity to your desktop or laptop.

This can only work if you are subscribed to a data plan with your mobile carrier.  If you are subscribed only to a call-only plan, this solution might not work.  Also, before attempting to hook up your desktop to the Internet in the method described here, first make sure that you are aware of the charges for using your mobile network’s data connection.  Most carriers charge for such service.  Some provide unlimited data access, while most others set limits (usually expressed as amount of data either in megabytes or gigabytes).  You can easily go overboard and exceed your data limits, you know.

What You Need

To be able to connect your computer to the Internet using your Android phone, you need the following:

  • your PC and your Android phone
  • a USB sync cable
  • PdaNet 3.02 app on your phone
  • PdaNet 3.02 on your PC

For installing PdaNet 3.02 to your Android phone, simply head off to the Android Market and get it from there.  You can install it for free and can use all premium features for 14 days, after which you will be asked to upgrade to the full version if you want to continue using all premium features.

For the desktop version of PdaNet 3.02, you can get it from the download page on the app developer’s website.  Or, you can go the easier way by installing the app on your phone first.  Once the app finishes installing on your phone, it will ask whether you want to download the desktop version.  Install the desktop version once it’s downloaded.  Installation ought to be smooth and trouble-free.  However, lookout for possible pitfalls, especially if you have the Android Software Development Kit (SDK) installed on your computer.  Here are two very common troubles:

  • Conflict with ADB (Android Debug Bridge).  If you run into trouble with conflict with adb.exe, just look for the process in Task Manager on your desktop and terminate the process.
  • Conflict with existing Android drivers.  In this case, you can safely allow the installer to overwrite the previous drivers with the ones provided by the PdaNet installer.

Connecting to the Internet

Now, get ready to connect your desktop to the Internet through your phone’s data connection.  Here’s how to do it:

  1. Run the PdaNet 3.02 app on your Android phone.
  2. In the app’s main screen, you will see two buttons.  Tap on “Enable USB Tether.”
  3. Plug the phone into the desktop using the USB cable.  Your desktop should be able to automatically detect the phone and connect to the Internet immediately.
  4. If the desktop doesn’t automatically connect, right-click on the PdaNet icon on the System Tray, then select “Connect Internet” from the menu.

Your phone will now be connected to the Internet using the mobile network connection of your Android phone.  This solution is particularly handy if you are in an area where Wi-Fi or a wired Internet connection is unavailable.

Have you tried using the PdaNet 3.02 solution for connecting your PC to the Internet through your Android phone?

  • Elias

    Can I do the same thin the other way around as well? Using the internet connection from my desktop PC on my Android phone?

  • Babieangel8838

    I can’t find this app on the market…

  • Barbie45

    that dont work and the app not on the market

  • Syed Feroz

    its not working in my cell phone

  • Syed Feroz

    i just need the vice-versa. I want to my computer internet connection to work on my cell phone. Please give me any suggestions.

  • Pradeep minz

    mobile to PC internet connection.

  • Skegness1961

    I used these instructions for connecting my HTC Desire phone to my Windows-7 PC, and it all works just fine. I was easily able to find PDAnet in the Android market (which is now re-named as Google PlayStore). PDAnet is now at V3.50.

    This is a great way to maximize use of WiFi, with 3G data as a backup – very useful as the mobile operators in Hong Kong have recently been withdrawing unlimited data plans.

    Thanks for posting this useful article!

  • putpirun thou

    My pc cant install pdanet

  • Caibel

    Can this be done wirelessly using a Wifi adaptor?

  • thanks a billion now i have 2 internet connections great work thanks again.

  • i didn’t understand this

    hey my personal computer has no internet connection. and to install PdaNet in my pc it needs to install ADB that needs internet connection but my pc does not have internet. how to overcome this problem

  • mohamed hakim