A tale of two tethers

Those of you using your Android phone as an internet connection may be paying more than you need to pay. Many phone companies here in the US charge extra to enable tethering capability, either by providing their own OEM tethering app or by enabling the phone to serve as a Wi-fi hotspot.

With some experimenting, I found that my Motorola Droid 2 Global from Verizon can be tethered just fine right out of the box, and without paying anything extra.

Recently I’ve been playing nursemaid to my ill mother, so I frequently take my work along with me on overnight shifts. I’ve settled on connecting to my main desktop machine via remote desktop, and using my 15″ laptop as the client.

The remote desktop connection works great. My 3G connection is noticeably slow, but it’s very workable. Since I’m working on my office computer, there’s no need to sync anything, and I can pick up from one place right where I left off in another. In a pinch I can even use my phone as a client (using an inexpensive remote desktop client from Xtralogic).

To get my internet connection, I installed Motorola’s drivers on my Windows 7 laptop, then enabled the Bluetooth controller on my phone and paired it with the laptop. Now I can connect my laptop to the internet via Control Panel simply by connecting to the phone as an “Access Point”, as shown below.

Connecting to my Droid 2 Global via Bluetooth

I don’t know whether this technique works for other phones or other carriers, but it has certainly worked well for me.