App Review: PdaNet

Title: PdaNet
Developer: June Fabrics Technology Inc.
Available: Right Now,
Price: FREE

Lasting Impression:PdaNet provides an easy way to tether your Android phone as a modem for your Windows PC.  It does not require root access, making it useful to the entire Android audience.

Nitty Gritty:With the recent removal of tether apps from the Market Android users are forced to look somewhere else.  PdaNet provides a great way to tether your Android phone to your Windows PC. Unlike many other tether apps, users do not need root access, but are required to install a small Windows application.

main1PdaNet uses a service app on your phone and a receiver application on your PC to make the connection.  Simply navigate to the June Fabrics website and find “PdaNet for Android”.  Download the client from the site to get started.  The client works with XP and Vista, both 32 and 64-bit versions.  Installing the Windows application prompts you with directions to connect your Android phone to the computer via USB.  The app is installed to your phone as part of the Windows application installation process.

To use PdaNet follow these steps:

  1. Start the service on your phone.
  2. Connect your Android to the PC via USB (Making sure to have USB-Debugging ON).
  3. Right-Click the system tray icon and select “Connect”.
  4. The connection is made and ready for use.

Once done, simply choose “Disconnect” from the system tray icon in your PC and turn off the service on your Android.

I use tethering when my home modem or router goes out, or at coffee shops that do not offer free internet.  I recommend not using the internet on your Android while tethering as it may slow things down.  An added bonus is that your Android charges while simultaneously providing internet access as long as your PC is plugged into the wall.

The download page states that PdaNet can only be used from 3G or Wi-Fi but I connected and used it on the Edge network without any problems.  The speeds vary depending on connection with 3G providing an experience close to a basic broadband connection at home.  The bridge between the PC and Android transfers at 2.4 Mbps, essentially putting a cap on speeds greater than that.

main_onOn the downside there is no Mac or Linux client available right now, only Windows.  In addition, it should be noted to any Android developers that the connection cannot be made if any Android development tools are in use.  Remember to check the Terms of Service with your mobile carrier to determine whether tethering to their network is allowed on your specific plan.

The setup and running of PdaNet is streamlined and easy to follow.  Tethering is useful in various situations but the censuring of the Market gives tethering a negative connotation.  If you are running Windows and ever need to tether try PdaNet.

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