A Tethered Geek is a Happy Geek: PDANet for Android

This winter we decided to enroll the entire family in ski and snowboard lessons. If you follow me on Twitter (@spydergrrl) you probably know by now that during my second snowboarding lesson, I broke my right elbow. Since then, I've been accompanying the family to the hill as support staff (or as hubby likes to tell it, as a snow bunny).

The hill we frequent thinks it's 1997 doesn't have Wifi. Well, it does but it won't make it available to guests. Generally, I am at the hill from 9-3, so I try to keep busy. Without Wifi, that means I've been bringing my Wired mags, working locally on my laptop and relying on my 3G Android phone to connect with the world.

But today, today my friends, I got wired. I figured that since I am stuck here in the chalet all day, I might as well finally figure out how to tether my phone. I quickly got connected to my work Blackberry 8520 but the data plan on it is so low, that I didn't want to risk going over.

I had no luck connecting my Milestone so of course I reached out to the Twitter. @_TotalGeekdom_ suggested I try PDANet for Android and after a few tries, I got online both via Bluetooth and USB.

Here's what I did:
  • Downloaded PDANet for Android to my phone: installed and got connected quickly by Bluetooth but it was having trouble. Suggest reading the online help and instructions first, to make sure phone settings are properly configured.
  • Connection dropped and I had trouble re-establishing the connection so I decided to download the Windows app to my laptop and set up USB tethering (plus my phone could recharge at the same time).
  • This is the key: for it to work, I had to connect the Milestone using "Charge Only" setting. Doesn't work using "Portal and Tools" or other USB connection options on the phone.
  • Installed phone drivers to laptop, finished PDANet install.
  • Rebooted (wouldn't work without rebooting for me).
  • ONLINE!
Two more weeks at the hill and I will have Interwebs.
Happy happy tethered geek. :)