Use Your Cell Phone as a Modem for Your PC

Modem-Software Love When Your Carrier Leaves You Cold

If your carrier's phone-as-modem service does not support your Palm or Windows Mobile phone, don't despair. (For example, AT&T's Communication Manager software doesn't support phones that run the Palm OS.) June Fabrics Technology's PDANet software may be able to help. The program, which is free to try and costs $34 to own, lets you use your Palm or Windows Mobile phone as a modem on any Windows machine via USB, Bluetooth, or an infrared connection. (If you use a Mac, PDANet will run only through a Bluetooth connection.) I used USB to tether my Vista-based laptop to a Samsung BlackJack with AT&T's service.

Download and install the PDANet program on your PC. If it isn't already on your system, download and install ActiveSync. Step through the setup wizard, clicking Next at each screen. Now connect your phone via USB. The PDANet driver will install on your phone automatically. Click OK. In your PC's system tray, click the PDANet icon and select Connect.

Support for Older BlackBerries

Some carrier-supplied apps don't support the use of older BlackBerry models, such as the 8700g, as a modem for PCs. That's where MobiShark's Shark Modem software comes in. The program costs $45, but a free trial is available. According to MobiShark, the software works on all 7000 and 8000 series BlackBerrys.

Before you can use it, you must download and install the BlackBerry Desktop Software (registration is required) on your PC. Then, after loading the Shark Modem program on your phone, open the BlackBerry Desktop app on your PC, double-click the Application Loader icon, and click Next.

Next, connect your BlackBerry to your computer's USB port. The BlackBerry software on the PC will automatically assign the connection (for example, 'USB-PIN: 30191B7D') and display it in the Connection field. Click Next, select the SharkModem checkbox to add the program, click Next, and then click Finish. After the app loads, click Close.

Select the SharkModem icon on the BlackBerry. In the pop-up window, click Yes. In the 'Connect to Internet via' field, choose Direct TCP connect. Under 'Connect to PC via', select USB.

Back on the PC, extract the zipped Shark Modem folder. Next, open the Proxy folder, double-click setup.exe, and click Next. In the 'Choose Install Location' screen, the program will automatically designate its location on your computer (typically in Program Files). Click Next, then Install, and finally Finish.

Now open Internet Explorer, and click Tools, Internet Options, Connections, LAN settings. Under 'Proxy server', enter localhost in the Address field, and 3128 in the Port field. Click OK twice.

For comprehensive coverage of the Android ecosystem, visit Greenbot.com.

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