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?

Carl Parker
We're all multi-talented and multi-faceted here, but, perhaps, Carl is the most multi-faceted in the bunch. Among Carl's many interests, Android holds a special place. He's particularly fond of reviewing Android apps and writing step-by-step guides for fellow Android fans.