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Wireless Hotspot App for Droids


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#1 docj

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 11:28 PM

I read about this app on another forum and thought it was worth passing along. I'm not in an area with very good VZW service at the moment so there's no point trying it for a while. Turning your phone into a hotspot isn't going to keep VZW from throttling your "unlimited" usage, but it would be a nice way to get an extra couple of GB.

Here's the app: Droid Hotspot

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#2 Jack Mayer

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 08:43 AM

Nice. They say it actually works on my X. I'll give it a shot sometime. I've been lookinng for a way to connect my Netbook when needed when I am out for the day. And I don't really want to pay for the hotspot - it should be free IMO. I'm already paying for the data. Can't wait for the family data plan.....

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#3 The Lone Ranger

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 01:11 PM

I've used this as well. It seems pretty good, an occasional drop of the wireless signal as multiple connections are made. I also noticed that the battery goes away at a remarkable rate while running. But for a quick fix, it works well.

I set up my WiFIRanger to connect to it as a "Last Option" on wireless, and leave it running in the cradle in the truck. I then carry the BT headset, which allows me about 45 feet of tether from my phone. It would connect to other things first, and if all else fails, jump on the phone for using its data plan. You must have the battery charger connected to use much.

I second the wish for family data plan. 2 Gb on each of my phones would give me about 6Gb per month which is a reasonable amount for normal ebbs and flows of use.

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#4 Jack Mayer

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 04:27 PM

OK, Kelly. You have convinced me. I'm setting it up for the truck with a WFR for the additional range. Maybe try it with the SKY.....

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#5 Johnontheroad

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Posted 17 February 2012 - 05:26 AM

My VZW Rezound has a WiFi option, but it costs $30 per month, so I don't use it. I also have a T-mobile month by month plan, that has it for free. In either case, I can start the WiFi on the phone, pick it up on my Ranger, and broadcast the signal. I don't do this very often, however.

On VZW, I have downloaded the EasyTether app which allows me to easily hook up my PC to phone (via USB cable). The phone does not need any alterations, no "jailbreak". A little more inconvenient, but free, and then I get around 20M download speeds on 4G. And since I have unlimited on both my modem and phone I have no real data limits. So far, I have never been throttled that I could tell.

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#6 Jack Mayer

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Posted 18 February 2012 - 11:16 AM

The thing I object to John is the $30/month to utilize bandwith I am ALREADY paying for. I will NEVER give the providers that money. I will suffer convenience first. As small as my "protest" may be, Iwill not encourage business practices that screw the consumer. JMO. I will likely try the tethered option because off the speed. But I may jsut use the phone connected to the PC wirelessly, even thought the speed may not be there. My bigger issue with using a router is the extra hop and it really does affect the end user experience in a slower 3G area. Not so much with 4G, though.

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#7 Chuck & Elva

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Posted 18 February 2012 - 02:00 PM

I'm using Easy Tether Pro also. Works great when needed. Typically use our Motosat on HughesNet, but this park has it's own HN down link for the park's WiFi. I've never seen Sat / WiFi numbers like these -- typically 12Mbs to 9Mbs download speed from Testmy.net. No those are not typos. I seldom use park WiFi, but it's the preferred pipe here in Falfurrias, TX. Until they get FAPed which does happen.

Jack, I agree with you on the extra cost factor of activating the hotspot app on the phone. Remember my post last month about just that issue. In the interim I've been using Easy Tether Pro via usb-to-laptop connectivity. Works great in the van when shopping and I need to check the bank account or just surf while Elva is shopping and I want something larger than a 4" screen. And in the motorhome I can print and access the NAS units while using the cable tethered Droid via our wireless networks when the Motosat is running at dial up speed.

Everyone keep in mind the manufacturers have caught on and it is now much harder, if even possible, to "root" the newer generation phones allowing you to activate it's wireless hotspot function. Like our two new HTC's. In researching some of the hacking sites, that get very technical, it became obvious that at least the Droid OS manufacturers have begun to close that loophole. That's why FoxFi will not work with certain phones. But if you're willing to tether with a usb cable -- problem solved for most users.

Edited by Chuck & Elva, 18 February 2012 - 02:05 PM.

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#8 BooneDocks

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Posted 19 February 2012 - 08:17 PM

Nice. They say it actually works on my X. I'll give it a shot sometime. I've been lookinng for a way to connect my Netbook when needed when I am out for the day. And I don't really want to pay for the hotspot - it should be free IMO. I'm already paying for the data. Can't wait for the family data plan.....


Jack, as a fellow DroidX owner, would like to hear what you have to say about this ap. I try to use park wifi for the most part as it generally is faster than 3g. I am finding that I use my modem/millenicom plan very little. It would be nice it I could just tether the X for when I don't have wifi and then I could dispense with Millenicom.
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#9 Jack Mayer

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 07:34 PM

I've been using FoxFi for awhile now with my Droid X. It works great. Matching it side by side with my aircard it is every bit as fast. Easy to use. And so far I have had no real reliability issues. One time I had to reboot it....but that was it.

I've ordered a tablet with wifi only. So we will see how that all works out.

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#10 Budd

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 09:26 AM

I have played with all of the various tethering and hot spot apps that I have found. Some are very simple minded and as long as they work.... they work. However, many are just using the builtin hotspot capability of the phone without using the carrier implanted "pay for it" feature set. This works on some phones and not on others.

I have used the USB cable can be a very satisfactory solution for many that do not need much mobility. Using a hotspot capability, adds some flexibility and a take it with you plus.

I often use my Samsung EPIG 4g on 4g connections (where it exists) and can distribute that to my wife's 3g phone, my pc, her laptop and an HTC ERIS that was on Verizon but now, it is just an extra phone. Wifi works fine on it so I can do most of the small stuff I want to do via it and a wifi connection to my EPIC via WIfi. My Nook works fine through this, too and all my devices have direct access to my HP AIO printer if they want to print something to it. It is the concept of the Mifi without the extra cost.

The Google Wifi App I mentioned on another thread, does require Rooting but gives a lot more detail control, like providing access control by MAC address. This is nice because once setup for your specific devices, no passwords are necessary to be entered to get them to reconnect. If a device's MAC address is not in the wifi tether authorized list, the device cannot do anything through this hotspot.

Wifi Tether automatically manages the connectivity as 3g and 4g come and go so from any of the attached devices it is transparent other than maybe a difference in speed on 3g.

Combined with a WFR SKY or Connectify Pro (or both) one has complete flexibilty as the SKY connects nicely through it as well so I can place my 4g phone in the best location for it's 3g/4g connectivity and then that is redistributed via the SKY to a PC, wifi ranger and/or Connectify to limit the number of direct wifi loads on the tethered phone. When I run it like this, it has only 1 client, the SKY and everything else smoothly works through that via the SKY and whatever it has downstream.

Now, if only the ISP delivered connectivity was consistent and adequate.. but that's another thread.

This is the one I use right now: Posted Image
I like that it keeps a running total for upload and download bytes and has Mac Address authorization which lets me easily control access by friends for a time with no passwords and keys necessary.

The home page for this project is: http://code.google.c...id-wifi-tether/

Lots more Wifi tethering apps are here: https://market.andro...fitether&c=apps

enjoy

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#11 docj

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 10:19 AM

Emery--

I understand that WiFi Tether has more bells and whistles than does FoxFi, but I think FoxFi used with a WiFi Ranger/Boost system has most of the same capabilities without the need for a rooted phone. I have used FoxFi with my Ranger the same way I would access any other wifi hotspot. I have WPA2 security on both "legs" of the wifi and all my devices are configured for automatic connection to the WFR. 3G/4G switching is automatically provided by my Samsung Droid Charge.

Am I missing something here? I am reluctant to root my phone while it is under warranty and with FoxFi I see no compelling reason to do so.

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#12 Chuck & Elva

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 10:34 AM

Emery,

When you say "I often use my Samsung EPIG 4g on 4g connections (where it exists) and can distribute that to..." are you saying your Samsung phone feeds the SKY via WiFi for distribution to other devices? If so, are you using your phone's carrier mobile data, or are you using the carrier's hotspot data via the phones hotspot function. If you're using the hotspot function, did you have to "root" the phone to make WiFi Tether work? Thanks.
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#13 Chuck & Elva

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 10:45 AM

docj,

You're post went up as was typing. But basically same question for you. Are you using the "mobile data" from your Samsung or are you using the "mobile hotspot" from your Samsung? It is my understanding the phone has to be rooted to activate the hotspot function (unless you pay the carrier twice for the same data). According to some hack sites HTC closed that rooting loophole during Droid's 2.11.605.9 firmware upgrade. Which unfortunately I have.

Can you tell me in a simple "this wired to that" explanation how your system is set up?

Emery, can you do the same? I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks.

Edited by Chuck & Elva, 02 March 2012 - 10:49 AM.

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#14 BooneDocks

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 11:40 AM

Thanks for info, Jack. I will test it as a prelude to dropping my millenicom plan and just relying on park wifi plus the foxfi and my X's data plan all in conjunction with my
WFRboost.
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#15 Bill Adams

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 12:26 PM

I downloaded and installed FoxFi to my Droid 4 today and it just doesn't get any easier than this. No rooting, no jail-break. Just download it, secure it and connect. It took awhile to connect the first time (will try later to see if it always takes that long) but otherwise it was a one-step wonder that a complete moron like myself can handle. Very nice! Thanks for the link, it's terrific.
Now, if I can just figure out why the phone speeds test sooooo much slower than my air card!

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#16 Bill Joyce

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 12:35 PM

The Google Wifi App I mentioned on another thread, does require Rooting but gives a lot more detail control, like providing access control by MAC address. This is nice because once setup for your specific devices, no passwords are necessary to be entered to get them to reconnect. If a device's MAC address is not in the wifi tether authorized list, the device cannot do anything through this hotspot.


This is giving you a false sense of security since anyone with a bit of tech knowledge and access to Google can find which MAC addresses are valid and fake them. WPA2 is more secure and I put the passcode on a USB thumb drive to cut/paste it into my friend's computers when I need to give them access.
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#17 docj

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 01:10 PM

docj,

You're post went up as was typing. But basically same question for you. Are you using the "mobile data" from your Samsung or are you using the "mobile hotspot" from your Samsung? It is my understanding the phone has to be rooted to activate the hotspot function (unless you pay the carrier twice for the same data). According to some hack sites HTC closed that rooting loophole during Droid's 2.11.605.9 firmware upgrade. Which unfortunately I have.

Can you tell me in a simple "this wired to that" explanation how your system is set up?


Chuck--

I'm using my Samsung's mobile hotspot capability when I run FoxFi. The phone is not rooted and I haven't paid VZW for hotspot usage. I installed FoxFi and ran it and the phone simply started appearing in the list of wifi sources in the vicinity. The rest is easy; the laptops connected to it without issue and so did the Ranger.

The reviews I had read of this app said that it could provide hotspot ability without rooting and without paying the carrier.

Our two phones both grandfathered unlimited data plans so I'm sure VZW will throttle them if we use them too much as data sources. But until the family-share data plan comes along it will help to supplement the air card.

Joel

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#18 Chuck & Elva

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Posted 03 March 2012 - 09:51 AM

Thanks Joel. The FoxFi site states it will not work on HTC phones (we have two). And the WiFi Tether site states it will only work on a rooted phone. And as stated earlier, the carriers are getting wise to that techique and are closing the door during firmware updates. What we have is good for us, and it does not violate VZW's terms of service.

Bill Joyce, is correct. There are many programs freely available on the web that can read a computer's MAC addresses (you have more than one), and very easily "sniff" your login name and password if they are sent in the clear as is the case for most email providers. I have read Gmail is an exception. Even with SSL sign in, most providers don't encrypt email to save on server costs. MAC restriction does work well in corporate settings where many users use the same WPA code.

MAC and WEP can be cracked in a couple minutes with a few sample packets.

Edited by Chuck & Elva, 03 March 2012 - 09:54 AM.

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#19 Jack Mayer

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Posted 03 March 2012 - 10:04 AM

Using the MAC address as the only means of security is not a good idea. As stated, it is easily defeated if someone wants too. But for a short term use for a single user to borrow the connection it might be better than opening up the entire link. But if you are using only that all the time it is not really doing much for you.

Bill, I have now tested in three different tower locations and my speed using the Droid X is essentially the same as the speed with an aircard. So keep looking for your issue. It may just be the phone you have.

So far I am happy with waht I am using....I see no reason to have anything else. For now.

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#20 Budd

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Posted 03 March 2012 - 10:13 AM

OK. Question abound so, there are a lot of Wifi Apps for Android phones. Some do not require rooting and work fine for some folks, no problem at all. Some have their own Hotspot features and some just bypass the blocks in a particular phone and use the hotspot facility that comes in the phone from the carrier. FoxFi may be like this.. there are a lot of them and it is a very simple way to easily get a hotspot.

I have Sprint unlimited everything on my phones. I used their $30/month hotspot for a month or two to see how well it worked. It worked ok. No complaints other than the costs.

Wifi Tether and others that require rooting usually provide a little deeper control of what is going on. I run Rooted and have for some time because there are glitches, bugs and limitations (sometimes called "features") in the phone that will never be improved by Samsung or Sprint. Same for the Verizon and AT&T versions of this same basic phone technology. I can and did fix many of these by rooting and then running kernels from CyanoGenMod, ThunderHawk and/ or ToadLife's CleanGB (presently what I am using). This has fixed a lot of these "features" that come with the stock ROMs as well as made a number of improvements in battery life, GPS capabilities and bulletproofing Wifi, 3g and 4g connectivity lockups and forced close problems.

Rooting, while I am not promoting it, is not usually difficult to do and there are one click root/unroot tools available to put things back to stock if one wants or needs to. I initially rooted because I was tired of waiting for solutions to come through production channels. I pay for full insurance on my phone so it is replaceable if I accidentally ran over it ( but that would really hurt my technical soul).

I am far from an expert in this area but I am also always looking for a better technical experience and am willing to take a few calculated risks to find it.

Yes, Mac addresses are not impervious to spoofing and encryption is more secure, no question. In the real world of RV centric life, I seriously doubt that I will stumble across anyone with the skills and tools to do it, even if I had anything worth trying to hack, which I don't. For me, convenience is a priority. If I was entrenched in massive financial planning, banking, and had scads of $$$ lying around waiting to be usurped, then I would be more paranoid, but a hacker is welcome to any of my debt that they may want. I know I don't want it.

Seriously, FoxFi is fine and I did not mean to dismiss it. I just like more control and visibility already in place if and when difficulties arise. I have been very pleased with how quickly it connects up most of the time.

Ah, but my setup:

Sky to USB wifi Adapter (until I get a working WFR in place) to PC to Connectify to MBR1000(via ethernet cable) to all my wifi and Ethernet devices. SKY I switch from Tengo to Tethering (via Wifi Tether App on phone) as needed.

Eventually, Sky will provide all selection and go into WFR then to LAN and Local Wifi distribution.

Currently, last month Sprint Data was 5.9gb but I only use the tethering when I need either speed or bandwidth volume since Tengo throttles at 750kbps and every 300mb drops speed in 1/2.

I was hoping the SKY would reach some of the Wifi hotspots in the nearby outlet malls but it doesn't get beyond the campground's system. Maybe a bullet would do better but probably not enough to make it worth the cost at this point. I can always add that, later.

So, that is what I am doing and what I have at the moment.

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