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Why I love Tether

Not *my* Mustang, but this one looks lust like it
By Joseph Holder on 25 Jun 2011 04:48 pm EDT
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Friday 1:27 a.m. It's been a long day for me, but I'm not done yet. I'm usually up this late; and tonight is no exception. I'm working on the introduction to the Mobile Nations Podcast that's due to be recorded later in the day. I need to search the internet for some podcast-y music, but there's a problem. There's no internet to be found. You see, I've been away these last few days, visiting my grandparents and helping the family with a few things. They don't have an internet connection; but thankfully, I have Tether.

Tether is an application installed on my BlackBerry and laptop computer that lets me use my smartphone's data plan to connect that laptop to the internet. Most carriers charge an additional fee for doing this. I'm almost always around a WiFi connection, so I don't tether enough to really justify paying an extra $15 each month ($180/year) to my wireless carrier to make use of the data plan I already pay for.

Tether (note the capital "T") is one of the more expensive applications made for BlackBerry, but it well worth the cost. Each and every time that I've found myself in need of an internet connection and no router in sight, I'm thankful that I purchased it long ago. Tether proved its usefullness to me not only at my grandparents' but on the drive home, too.

Friday 2:30 p.m. With the intro completed and emailed, I begin the long drive back home. It had taken a while to find just the right piece of music, and Tether kept up with me the whole time. The internet ran a bit slower than I'm used to, but that's to be expected. The 3G network isn't incredibly fast. Still, I was able sample some 30 pieces of streaming music before I found the right one. Tether never missed a beat.

Finally on the road, I get an email: Rene Ritchie needs the original music I used for the introduction. I have no idea what the song is called aside from some odd number and letter combinations. The file is on my laptop, so I know what to do. Stopping at a gas station, I connect my BlackBerry to the laptop and soon Tether has me on the ‘net. A few minutes later, Rene has the music file he needs.

This is why I love Tether. I'm in the middle of nowhere, a half-mile south of Where? and slightly to the east of Random-South-Carolina-Town-#0279. Because of Tether, I'm browsing the internet on my laptop while stopped on the side of the road. Tether isn't an app I use that often, but it certainly falls in the category of "I'd rather have it and not need it than need it and not have it." And today is certain a "need it" kind of day.

More information / purchase at BlackBerry App World More information / purchase at the CrackBerry AppStore (for a little less)

39 comments

mangcool

I would totally buy Tether, but both of my laptops are running Linux. :P

I can never figure out how to run Tether on WINE, I don't know if it's even possible.

diegonei

I imagine VMWare running a Windows VM would not work either... but worth a try eh?

pennyhorse

AFAIK, there aren't any programs that can tether through WINE. however, there is a free Linux tethering program called Berry4All and it works very well. you might have edit your carrier's config file if it doesn't work at first, but it isn't difficult at all. it also has a GUI, which makes using it a lot easier (although you do have to download an extra python file for the GUI to work). of course, you can run it through command line if you're okay with that. the Berry4all website has plenty of instructions and info for getting certain carrier configs tweaked when necessary.

i've been using Berry4All to tether in Ubuntu for the past two years, using both a Pearl Flip and my current Curve 9300 on T-Mobile. they include config files for almost every major carrier in the world.

the one downside to Berry4All is that it doesn't hide the fact that you're tethering from your carrier, so if they don't allow tethering or charge you for it, they'll know (FWIW, T-Mobile has never charged me for tethering, but they will throttle my connection if i reach 5GB's of data).

chsr40

I don't quite understand why I should buy an application that does what I do for free all day long: connect my laptop and my Torch via bluetooth and use the Torchs data plan to surf the internet on my pc. Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't Tether doing exactly the same thing, but paid?

diegonei

True, you can tether using Desktop Manager. Now if it is for free or not depends on the carrier.

And as of now, both Verizon and AT&T are hellbent on making people pay for tethering.

SnoopTodd

This is why I love Tether as well. Had some work to do when the power went out, killing the internet. Tether saved the day. Same as Joe said, not something I use often, but really glad it's available! Great post!!

shabbs

Doesn't DM do this for free? I use DM for this all the time... never any issues...

blackberry-pimp

I knew there was option for this on DM but was always afraid of additional fees on my phone bill. Does your carrier notice?

shabbs

I have not seen any... I have the 6GB plan so I can't even put a dent in it if I tried... I'm on Rogers and they don't seem to care.

EGerhardt

Only if you either a) have a tethering plan, or b) your network doesn't care.

In the US, probably you have the former (since they'll tack it on anyway if they catch you), if elsewhere, probably the latter.

I have no idea why the US networks are so damn precious about their data. My network (vodafone uk) doesn't even hide the fact that your phone can do that and its in the sticky BB FAQ on their forums. *shrugs* different strokes eh ?

shabbs

So, if you don't have a tethering plan and you use Tether, you're fine? No charges? Is that the attraction of this software?

Joel_Zimmerman

Same here, on Vodafone UK. When I'm in London Heathrow Airport (which I visit regularly) I use DM to tether my 9700. No additional charges. Comes out of my 1GB data plan. Fairer than Verizon and AT&T…

gbsn

For those whose carrier has free tethering, this is a useless app. But, for those on at&t or a carrier where they get extra charged for tethering, then this is useful as it works similar to the bridge browser on the playbook.

FY2Designs

wow nice free advertising for Tether, and nice chunk of affiliate sales commision for crackberry kevin!

gbsn

You must be one of the retards that are always jumping around babbling that using tether is stealing. I wonder why you dont say the same crap about all the other apps that have been posted in the front page. What? shortcutme is also paying kevin commission now?

Either way, not your f*cking problem. Ask kevin to remove the crackberry app store and accessory store, since the website also earns commission from these two.

QQ more

FY2Designs

You must be a retard if you don't realise that all app posts on crackberry are there to help make the site money - end of.

I don't have a problem with people using tether I couldn't care less.

But for everyone app the cb store sells they get a big chunk so that's the only reason for that post, not as a little story about how to use tether, but to make money!!

tuffy100

If I had $50 to spare, I'd buy it.

focker1979

I love Tether. I've been using it for about a year now on AT&T with no surprise charges. The app is 50% off in the CrackBerry store and also on the Tether.com website right now for anyone thinking about buying it.

LuisCast

I have Tether Bridge for Blackberry in my Curve 3G but it appears as "unavailable".
Is it the same program?
I am one of AT&T "victims' and apparently it is blocking its use.
If I go ahead and purchase "This" Tether will it do the same, or is it another version?
Is there any way around, like installing it OTA like we had to do with Bridge ?

focker1979

I have an AT&T Bold 9700 and it works fine on that. It is just called "Tether", not Tether Bridge. It should work fine on your phone.

Joseph Holder

AT&T phones cannot download this app from BlackBerry App world, but you can still purchase through the CrackBerry AppStore or from Tether.com.

kevin1686

I hope Tether app will work with our playbook soon :)

okky_nl

uhm... OS 7 wil do this without an app .... so just wait a few months

Joseph Holder

Most BlackBerry smartphones will do this without an app right now; no need to wait for OS7.  It's been a part of BlackBerry Desktop Software for quite a while.  Tether lets you tether your phone without paying the monthly fee. 

berrygood128

Does the Tether app work with the PlayBook now?

snison

Vz caps Tether and a "free 1GB beta similar program" at 512k. I've used both, then switched to the official Vz tethering, and I get right over 1Mb. I've done this several times.

Vz knows you are using it, which is why they keep you capped down. Rumor is they are going to slow it down to 384k. You can buy the app and Tether, just not at their tethering speed.

toobs623

search cb forums you will find apn settings and initialization strings for most carriers no need for app or plan... now Tether for pb, that would be worth my time

ElSteve9

Am I the only one who loses a couple bars of reception every time they connect Tether? Makes the thing much less useful...wish they'd fix that.

-Stephen

Viridian552

My thing (question/problem) is that in South Africa (Vodacom and MTN) you get charged a fixed amount for using BIS, and this includes unlimited* data on BIS. If you use the carriers APN then you pay for it through your your backside. I'm not looking for something to download torrents or what have you, just regular browsing and email.

AFAIK Tether doesn't do it through BIS, so what does?

stubbornswiss

Tether.......gotta be one of the best apps I ever got for my BlackBerry.

"Never leave home without it".

obooker

Was on vacation for a week on the Alabama coast recently. The condo internet system didn't work. Thanks to Tether, I was able to continue my job search linking to my home computer using the free version of LogMeIn. I am so grateful for this app. The best one I own.

singhsantoshkr

Tethering software :) Seems few countries and operator are still in Stone Age. BB Desktop Manager is good enough here in Singapore and many other countries in Asia-Pacific.

BTW does Tether allows to share data from BIS/BES or you need a separate data plan?

Quiet Genius

I agree DM has been my " Tether " for the longest time. And I don't get it why does some carriers charge extra for tethering. It should be illegal for them to do so. 'Cause you ain't committing a crime or doing anything wrong. Your using the same data you pay for monthy but just on your laptop. What's the big issues in that? Ain't like the speed magically goes faster on your laptop that they need to charge you extra for it. Hmmm...... or maybe that's what they think happens.

fdurocher

WHY DO YOU BUY AN APPLICATION TO TETHER.

I am currently siting in my favourite Lebanese restaurant typing this comment on my PC through an Internet link using tethering and Bluetooth to my Blackberry Bold (9000, I know old stuff but great smart-phone). Yes I am on my providers 3G network. ... for 15 $ per month and up to 35 $ if you watch movies tethering ... works great with Netflix and the likes.

Mind you tethering also allows Skype phones calls without charging minutes to you calling plan.

BUT NO ADDITIONAL SOFTWARE ... basic BLACKBERRY BLUETOOTH AND basic PC BLUETOOTH link.

I don't even use the BB Desk manager ... I do it direct. BB TO PC

NEAR A WIFI ... I DON'T NEED TO TETHER

When I am in range of a WIFI hub ... why should I tether ... I open a link directly using my PC WIFI ... why use my Blackberry Bold (Yes I am waiting for the 9850 Torch). IT'S FREE

Why pay for something that works fine and efficiently without paying and adding an application in my currently already loaded memory of my Blackberry 9000 ... (please RIM release the Torch 9850 ... I need it.)

fdurocher

WHY DO YOU BUY AN APPLICATION TO TETHER.

I am currently siting in my favourite Lebanese restaurant typing this comment on my PC through an Internet link using tethering and Bluetooth to my Blackberry Bold (9000, I know old stuff but great smart-phone). Yes I am on my providers 3G network. ... for 15 $ per month and up to 35 $ if you watch movies tethering ... works great with Netflix and the likes.

Mind you tethering also allows Skype phones calls without charging minutes to you calling plan.

BUT NO ADDITIONAL SOFTWARE ... basic BLACKBERRY BLUETOOTH AND basic PC BLUETOOTH link.

I don't even use the BB Desk manager ... I do it direct. BB TO PC

NEAR A WIFI ... I DON'T NEED TO TETHER

When I am in range of a WIFI hub ... why should I tether ... I open a link directly using my PC WIFI ... why use my Blackberry Bold (Yes I am waiting for the 9850 Torch). IT'S FREE

Why pay for something that works fine and efficiently without paying and adding an application in my currently already loaded memory of my Blackberry 9000 ... (please RIM release the Torch 9850 ... I need it.)

Joel_Zimmerman

I wouldn't bother with Tether. Sure, it's a cool application, but I have no need for it. I connect my phone via BlackBerry Desktop Manager, click on Mobile Internet and away I go. The highlight of this is that it costs literally nothing; I pay no tethering charges with Vodafone UK. I understand that other carriers charge extra for tethering, but why? Why? I see no point in paying extra for a data plan you've already payed for, just to connect it to a computer. The only thing that I get charged for is my monthy bill, £25.00.
If anyone can enlighten me on why most carriers deem it necessary to charge customers extra for tethering, do tell :)

cfoxx

Why would anybody need Tether? The BlackBerry does this without paying for another app.

Also, my carrier (Vodafone UK) says I have to pay more for tethering - how would they know that I'm using my BlackBerry as a modem?!