Hardware

Tether your laptop with the Droid Incredible

Jack Wallen shows that tethering your Verizon Incredible with your laptop is a simple process. This solution may come in handy if you're on the go and don't need a full-blown portable hot spot.

You're out of the office and nowhere near an Internet connection or an access point -- what do you do? If you have a Droid Incredible, you simply need to take advantage of its tethering feature.

Tethering your Droid Incredible to your laptop will turn the mobile phone into a modem that your laptop can then use to gain a network connection. It's not as simple as using a tool like the Verizon MiFi, but it keeps you from having to carry around yet another device.

What you'll need

Beyond having the actual Droid Incredible phone, you'll need the following:

  • A data plan; the $59.99 per month plan includes tethering for 5 Gb per month.
  • A tethering option for your data plan; this is approximately $30.00 USD per month in addition to the data plan.
  • A Windows-based machine; Mac and Linux support for this feature is coming in the future, although no date has been set yet.
  • The Verizon Wireless Access Manager (VWAM) installed. From the main VZAM Web site, go to the Consumer Downloads and the use product selection tool. Once you download and install the tool, you're ready to go.

Enable tethering on the Droid Incredible

The first step is to plug in your Droid Incredible to your USB port on your machine. When you do this, the Droid Incredible will display a pop-up message asking what you want to do (mount it as a USB device, Sync, Charge Only, or use Mobile Broadband Connect); you should select Mobile Broadband Connect in order to set your phone up to be used as a modem. Once this is complete, you're ready to deal with the computer side of the setup.

Start the VWAM tool

Now you need to start up your VWAM tool. When you do, you'll see an option for the tool to detect your device; if the manager does not detect the phone right away, I've found that if you give it a few more tries, the tool will find it.

Once VWAM finds your phone, you're ready to connect to your phone to use it as a modem. From the main window (Figure A), click the Connect button; a new window will pop up warning that charges may apply -- go ahead and click Continue, and you'll be connected. Figure A

This is where you'll start and stop your connection and monitor your data usage.
When the VWAM successfully makes a connection, a new window will pop up showing your current data usage as of at the start of your plan. (Hopefully, that message won't indicate that you're in excess of your data plan.) While you're connected, you can click the Statistics tab (Figure B) and see the amount of data you have transmitted and received. Do not ignore this tab, as it will be your best friend to keep you from going over your allotted amount of data each month. Figure B

These statistics update in real-time.

Disconnect from phone-as-modem

You'll always want to make sure you disconnect from phone-as-modem any time you are not using it for data transmission. To do this, simply click the Disconnect button and the connection will instantly be broken.

Final thoughts

Tethering with your Droid Incredible is very simple and, if used in the right amounts, can be a real lifesaver in the field or just on the go. If you don't have a need for a full-blown portable hot spot, the Droid Incredible might be the solution for you.

More resources about the Droid Incredible

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About

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website getjackd.net.

10 comments
khentloujohnson
khentloujohnson

I heard it from my friend when he got his new Droid Incredible. We can even share the connection and anywhere we go we can access the net just through his phone. And I find it truly amazing. Reputation Advocate

bob
bob

I would very much like an Incredible, but it is hard to justify when I have an app on my Blackberry that tethers my laptop for FREE! (The app cost $50, but no data charges!)

SoftwareArchitect
SoftwareArchitect

Thank you for providing the information on Verizon's options for tethering with the HTC Incredible and Windows. I'm certain there are many people for whom this set of constraints is not an option; to this point, I would like to recommend a program that I have been using for several months (and have been exceptionally pleased with the results). JuneFabrics (www.junefabrics.com) sells PdaNet, which runs on multiple mobile platforms and in conjunction with multiple operating systems. Please see thier website for specifics. For my part, I have been using PdaNet on Android (2.1) and both Windows and OS/X; I will heartily endorse the product! PdaNet does works with any Android phone (root access is NOT required). The program offers a 30-day trial; after which it costs under $30, or can be used for free, but without secure web (https) access. I am not affiliated with JuneFabrics in any manner; I just wanted to share my good fortune at finding an affordable, reliable solution for tethering via my Android phone. (before finding PdaNet, I was always been frustrated that iPhone and Android phones could not do something my Windows Mobile phone could do -- 3 years earlier!) I hope these comments are helpful.

rainsua
rainsua

Most Blackberrys and Nokias can do this too... Blackberrys requiere you to set up a conecction and input some stuff. Nokia's are really easy with Nokia PC suite.

mkottman
mkottman

This all sounds great unless you've used a Palm Pre with its mobile hotspot. It's free with a $30 data plan and all you have to do is turn it on. It doesn't get any easier than that!

JohnD24x7
JohnD24x7

Just for clarification the smartphone requires a $29.99 monthly data plan the 5Gb MobileConnect service fee is an add'l $25.00mo Apr-Jul 2010 then goes back $30mo afterward. I bought my Incredible a few weeks ago and just signed up for the add'l service. It's been great. :)

lucasm007
lucasm007

Your statement of Windows and MAC but not LINUX is incorrect. The Incredible is only for Windows at this time the VZAM site does not have MAC or LINUX

alec.swan
alec.swan

Try Easy-Tether from the Android Market. Works good.

jlwallen
jlwallen

You are very correct. A data plan is necessary for this to work. As well there is a ~$30.00 per month charge for the tethering. keep this in mind as you watch your data transfers as this number will go up increasingly as you go over your allotted 5Gb.

jlwallen
jlwallen

I was actually told by tech support that Mac was supported. It looks like they spoke to soon. Both Linux and Mac support is planned...so hold on for a bit.

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