Sep 3, 2010

$29.99 For USB Tethering On My Evo? I Don’t Think So!

So I’m not sure If I told you or not, but I finally got my hands an an HTC Evo 4G phone from Sprint the other day. I’m pretty excited because up until the night of August 30th, Sprint was completely sold out of Evo’s in San Diego! I happened to login to see if by chance they had posted the Samsung Epic yet, and there it was, the Evo with all it’s glory just ready for me to blow $400!

Anyhoo, so long story short, I gots me an Evo. Like any good techie computer nerd with a new toy I began to play with it to see what I could do, and what I could get away with. One thing I noticed when poking around in the Wireless & Networks settings that there was an option for USB tethering. Cool right? I knew that there was a mobile hotspot feature built in, but that costs and extra $29.99 per month! WTF? I am paying for unlimited data right? Why do I have to pay extra depending on what device is using said data? Lame sauce! So I decided to call Sprint to find out if USB tethering was separate from the mobile hotspot thing. you know, since I’m not sharing with a bunch of people, shouldn’t it be free?

Another long story short, it’s not. in fact if you want to use the USB tethering feature, you have to have theandroid160 $29.99 per month mobile hotspot feature enabled on your account. Well, that is unless you read Bauer-Power! You know I’m not just going to sit around and NOT use my unlimited data plan right? You know that I am also not going to pay for something as stupid as a $30 per month mobile hotspot feature when there is a free alternative!

If you go into the Android App market, do a search for a little gem called PDANet. Now go ahead and install it on your device. Now go ahead and visit the PDANet website and download the PDANet desktop application and install it to your computer.

pdanet3 Now on your Evo, just plug it into your computer with your USB cable, or even connect via BlueTooth, then enable PDANet. On your computer right click on the icon in your system tray and select Connect Internet. You may have to enable USB debug mode on your Boom! Now you’re surfing!

Now I am sure that violates Sprint’s terms and conditions. As long as you don’t go over a certain data amount per month, you will probably get away with it. Don’t use this for your home Internet connection and especially don’t use it for downloading bit torrents, or you could get your data plan yanked!

Still though, this or and extra $29.99 per month? What would you rather do?

Know of a better app to tether your Android phone? How about one that works in Ubuntu? Currently PDANet is only available in Windows and Mac, so an Ubuntu one would be nice. Let us know in the comments!

[Updated 9/3/10 5:30pm] - So after reading some of the comments about PDANet not being free after a while I starting looking at some other options. I rooted my phone and tried Wifi Tether, but for some reason I couldn't connect to it from my PC. I tried a few others, but few seemed as easy as PDANet. I did find a cheaper alternative though. EasyTether is only a one time fee of $9.95, and works on Ubuntu!

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