24
Nov
android wifi tether

In the last couple of days, I've been closely interacting with Harald Mueller, the developer behind Android Wi-Fi Tether for root users, a free and open source tethering app for Android. Android Wi-Fi Tether is pretty much a de-facto app when when it comes to tethering on Android devices that have native Wi-Fi tethering disabled (thanks, carriers), and is what I consider one of the most important apps in our supposedly open ecosystem.

In my correspondence with Harald, I have brought up 2 specific issues that have been on my mind for a while now, and to my surprise, Harald solved them both in a matter of days. The latest version, which is currently 3.1-pre105, contains fixes for both of these:

Bluetooth On Start

There is now a setting to turn off automatic disabling of Bluetooth every time the app starts. I started feeling the pain of this "feature" (which was originally implemented due to Bluetooth causing interference on certain devices) after getting a pair of A2DP Bluetooth earbuds (Sony HBH-IS800).

As you can imagine, having my music cut out every time I turn on tethering (or even worse, when Android restarted the tethering service for whatever reason) started getting old really fast, but with Harald's fixes this is no longer a problem.

In order to prevent the app from disabling Bluetooth, just head over to the updated settings and check new "Don't disable Bluetooth" option:

image

Inactivity Shutdown

Another feature I've always wanted to see in Android Wi-Fi Tether is an automatic shutdown after a period of inactivity. This accomplishes 2 things - it prevents battery drain due to a wakelock and continuous Wi-Fi broadcasting as well as allows the device to re-connect to a Wi-Fi network if one is available, thus saving quite a lot of juice. I oftentimes forget to turn off tethering after my morning commute and end up with a dead phone that hasn't been using office Wi-Fi by lunch time.

The new setting is called "Automatic shutdown" - check it, then click "Idle time," and adjust the idle timeout. The way it's calculated is by the amount of data transferred - so if no data is transferred for N minutes, tethering automatically shuts off (it even tells you so in the notification bar):

image SC20111123-181355

WIP: Infrastructure Support

Harald also let me know he's working on adding infrastructure support to the following devices:

  • Droid 3
  • Droid Bionic
  • Droid RAZR
  • Thrill (p925/p925G)
  • Optimus 3D (p920)
  • i9100G
  • Galaxy Nexus

Infrastructure mode, unlike ad-hoc mode, allows multiple devices and devices that don't support ad-hoc mode to connect to the Wi-Fi access point spawned by the app, so it's definitely something we want. I've also asked about getting infrastructure mode on the Epic Touch 4G, which uses a newer Broadcom chipset, to which Harald replied "we will see." Fingers crossed here.

Download The Latest Beta

Don't go looking for the latest beta in the Market - in addition to being blocked by U.S. carriers, the version you'll find there is quite out of date.

Instead, head over to the download page and grab the APK from there directly. Be sure to download v3.1-pre105 or above, as that's the first version with the changes above.

image

Donate

If you're using the app and find it useful, I highly encourage donating at least $5-10 to Harald who has been working on this open-source project on his own time for years. After talking to him and donating this week, I found out that donations to the project are quite scarce, especially considering the hundreds of thousands app users. In fact, my modest donation was more than Harald received all week.

You can find the donate link over at Android Wi-Fi Tether's home page or by clicking here:

Artem Russakovskii
Artem is a die-hard Android fan, passionate tech blogger, obsessive-compulsive editor, bug hunting programmer, and the founder of Android Police.
Most of the time, you will find Artem either hacking away at code or thinking of the next 15 blog posts.

  • Nastybutler77

    This will be one of, if not THE, first apps I get once I root my phone, which will be soon. Thanks for the update, and for including the donate link.

  • taylordd

    First app on my Nexus once I get it? Ayyyyyepp

    • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

      Don't really need this on the nexus, unless the carrier blocks native Wi-Fi tethering, which could happen.

      • taylordd

        Knowing Verizon, I may very well need it :p

  • J

    "Android Wi-Fi Tether is pretty much a de-facto app when when it comes to tethering on Android devices that have native Wi-Fi tethering disabled (thanks, carriers)"...

    So, does that mean the app can bypass tethering restrictions put in place by Verizon, et al... Or will their tweaked iptables or whatever it was they did with the Gingerbread updates still fubar the attempt at tethering?

  • benny32

    I use this on my rooted DX on verizon and completely bypass their ridiculous restrictions.

  • Phonequestion

    Can someone clear things up for me? My phone (a regular Galaxy S) can wirelessly tether due to my custom ROM - ATT can't see that can they? I rarely tether, but I don't want to be 'caught' when I do.

    If they CAN see it, does this app mean they don't?

  • Luke

    Like the above poster, I'm curious as to if the provider can monitor the use of tethering or not. I guess AT&T isn't very happy with my tethering, but I guess I was rather foolish when I first rooted and just used the inherent app that was built into the phone... So does this bypass their ability to view what I'm using my equipment for?

    • taylord

      I really wish that wasn't a question that has to be asked. A carrier shouldn't have knowledge of what you're using your data for.

      • J

        I may be mis-reading your concern, and if I am, I apologize... But... From my understanding, this isn't exactly a privacy thing....

        When we say the carrier can see what we're doing with the data, we're not saying they can see that we're visiting AP, or downloading the latest album release of your favorite group, etc....

        Instead, when you use your data connection the traditional way, your data usage is logged at the carrier's server... That way, they can keep track and know if you've gone over your 2GB/month cap.

        When you tether, the data is passed through your carrier's servers in a different path. This way, your carrier can verify you've A.) paid for a tethering package, and B.) are not using more than the 2GBs of your package.

        What we need is an app that'll force the tethered data via the traditional 'streams'. If all of the data comes out the traditional way, you're carrier won't be able to (as easily) tell if you're tethering your laptop to your phone's data connection, or if you're using your phone's built in browser.

        A downside though, unless you're on an unlimited plan, you'd lose data. The $20/month the carrier charges gives you an extra 2GBs of data to tether with. Without that, you'd be stuck using your regular data package for both surfing & tethering. Though you could upgrade to the 5GB for $50/month, pay the same price & get an extra gig to use however you want...

  • Machineguy2011

    My question is I apparently don't have the root on my phone mine is the HTC EVO 4G with Google how would I do it plz let me know

  • NYC_Dave

    I do feel bad about the lack of donations though. In my case i've since moved on to a NS4G where many of the awesome ROMS (shameless plug to Oxygen and Carbon) have the default hotspot app (infrastructure AP mode) baked in good, so haven't had wifi tether on the mind in ages.

  • Honu

    What's missing in all of this softwares is the possibility to change the user Agent for every http request passing throught...
    The only one having this function seems to be Klink..

  • http://androidforums.com/motorola-triumph/ soundping

    Works on Motorola Triumph [Root] running stock 2.2.2.

    Noticed no icon in notification bar.

  • trevmar

    I see that the Bluetooth Tether capability has been removed from this app. I use Bluetooth tether all the time to my Windoze netbook, as it hardly uses any power at all.

    Oh well, I have backups of the old versions, which still work fine for me...

  • jim

    doesn't seem to work for me. I create a network on my att galaxy s2 and it starts fine, but my ipad never sees it...

    How can I tether my wifi only android to my gs2?

    • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

      Does the iPad support ad-hoc Wi-Fi? If not, that's probably why. Try using your computer to see if it connects.

      The Android Wi-Fi Tether dev is working on bringing infrastructure support to more devices, including the S II. In fact, try to switch the app to Galaxy S mode in the Settings and set the AP mode to Netd, that might work.

      • jim

        thanks for the help.
        i tried your settings but no luck. For what it's worth, I can't get ANY devices to even show the network my phone claims to have created

        • hwd23

          Same problem

          • hwd23

            and would also gladly donate whatever is a fair amount. I really want this feature. I had it on the Galaxy S. The only reason I rooted.

          • hwd23

            I just rebooted the phone and am actually connected. If it works again I am a man of my word. I will come back and donate.

          • hwd23

            Well it sees it but doesn't work now. I'll keep playing with it. I got an error that told me to check log but no error is in the log.

  • http://androidforums.com/motorola-triumph/ soundping

    Beta7 on Motorola Triumph [Root] running stock 2.2.2.

    Icon in notification bar is now working. ;)

    • Markus1249

      What (wifi tether) settings are you using? I am having difficulties getting this to work on my MT. I am rooted, Stock 2.2.2 and have the latest version of wifi tether installed (I have tried pre 105 as well as beta 7).

  • Newphone

    Sorry for being all nooby, but I never actually put different roms on my phones, so I was wondering this, do I have to download the apk thing(from where exactly and which one) and then download this as well, how do I go about doing that as well? Sorry for being all brand new to this for phones, just don't want to brick mine or nothing. I'll be getting a Moto Triumph in a couple days here, being shipped now, so thats what phone it is for.

    ps. I had free thethering on my optimus v through a special app, so never was a concern before and its like one my only concerns with the Triumph Im getting because I knew it wasn't to easy to get on there, ahh, long message I know.

  • Josh

    Any hope for providing infrastructure support for the huawei ascend 1 from cricket wireless?

  • david

    I installed the app on my CSpire Galaxy S (SCH-I500). It's just like the fascinate, but called the showcase on this network. i think its the Mesmerize on US Cellular.

    I can start the tethering once, but after i stop it, if i try and start it again, it just goes into an endless loop of "Please wait while starting..."

    is there anything i can do about this?

    • david

      i might've spoke a bit too soon... i went into the option and started poking around... after disable force reload of wifi driver, and selecting a few other options, things seem to be somewhat normal with it now.

      when i first made the changes, when i stopped the wifi tether, it locked my phone up, and i had to pull the battery to get it to reboot. seems to be working ok now... i'll be testing it out more tomorrow, and for sure once i get my galaxy tab (screw paying for data)

  • allen

    Harald,

    I'd be very glad to donate, I just need this to work for the HTC Incredible 2. If that's possible then please contact me and I will MORE than gladly help out with some financials..

  • Bill Myers1975

    I have the new 4g Galaxy Aviator for US Cellular. I had the last galaxy II and could tether without them knowing and paying for a plan. I loved this feature. Now when I went to do it I got a message stating that I can do it for 3 days, and then after that I'd have to subscribe to a plan. I have 3 Data phones on my account for $160/month. If they get their way they want another $25. Is there a way to block this and get tethering back again? Appreciate all help

  • Bryanpope

    I figured out u wanted me to spell my name all lower case, You kept telling me I need at least 1 number & 5-12 characters for my password. I have 4# and 9 ch. & wouldn't go. Ridiculousness!

  • LarryFL

    Should this app work for my new Boost Mobile Samsung Galaxy S2 ????
    I can't seem to make it work.

  • Ronald Rasch

    Well I bought a Kyocera Rise C5156 from Public Mobile and found an app called "Faveset Klink" which tethering works very well! Only problem is to get netflixs working on my tethered computer. I tried some mobile phone emulators, but nothing yet!

  • hwd23

    I have a samsung galaxy s2. The app downloads and installs fine. I have
    tried several of the versions and they all appear to work fine. My
    problem is nothing is seeing it. I have tried everything I can imagine. I
    have a feeling it has something to do with the software Alltel has on
    the phone to manage tethering. I saw a video for nextel where using
    Titanium backup he just deleted the tether manager. There is nothing
    with that name on my Alltel phone. I have googled and the only person
    who solved it tolled ack to version 7. This did nothing for me. No
    matter what I change in the settings nothing sees the "Androidtether"
    (or whatever the default name is). I would gladly donate if it would
    work. Has anyone ran into this problem? I am defiantly rooted. The App
    actually says the wi fi is on. No errors. I've tried other wi fi
    programs with mixed results. This one seems to be the best. On my Galaxy
    S I ran barnacle but didn't know this existed at the time. What is it
    keeping my devices form seeing the network?

  • hwd23

    Okay I now have my devices seeing the network. I get an error and it says to look at the log. I have an error on Enabling MSS clamping. I went to the page with the patch. I downloaded it. It just opened up a page of script. I tried to follow what this error means but it is way above my head. Any help would be appreciated and I will now stop clogging your forum up. I apologize for that.