Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Using an iPhone 2.2 as a 3G modem

PDANet.pngI'm doing a demo at a site that has a totally locked down Windows network so I need a wireless internet connection... Until now, my iPhone has not been jailbroken, but I finally cracked, and it works very well.

Here's the steps:
  • Grab a copy of QuickPWN

  • Run it and follow the on-screen instructions

  • (When iTunes pops up, or says things, just ignore it but leave it running)

  • Run Cydia and let it update itself

  • Under commercial applications is PdaNet, install it (you get a demo period)

  • On your laptop, create a WiFi network

  • On the iPhone, go to settings, Wi-Fi and join the network you created

  • Run PDANet, let it sit for a few seconds to figure things out

  • On the laptop, use the internet, it works!

  • Leaving PDANet running, press the power button on the iPhone to save power, it keeps running

  • When you've finished using it, go to PDANet and turn off Wi-Fi router and exit

This is all much smoother than I read it used to be, starting proxies from a command line etc.

IMG_0007.PNGWhile it's running you get a status display.

On the tethered computer it feels pretty snappy. I used OsSpeedTest, and measured the download of a 3MB image at 169 KB/s which is what they suggest I should get on an ADSL 1 connection.

As I said, it feels snappy, which is often a result of good DNS and low latency as much as raw speed.

Naturally, this whole exercise was an experiment and I wouldn't dream of breaching any terms of use.

PDANet for iPhone has a 14 day trial of "full mode" which proxies all traffic, after that the free version just does HTTP. The full version costs $29.


My iPhone has been acting a little strangely. Three times it has kind of crashed as an email notification comes in. In one case it dropped a call and I couldn't call back until I'd rebooted it which took more than just turning it off.

So I can't say if it's the jailbreaking or if version 2.2 is less stable than 2.1. I've done a restore back to 2.2 native from Apple and we'll see how that goes.


Anonymous said...

That's great, and I look forward to trying it when my new iPhone arrives, but really: why wasn't this feature included from day 1?

I don't know but I'm guessing carriers in the grip of some crazy market segmentation nonsense.

My clunky Nokia is inferior in almost every way, but I've had no trouble using *it* as a 3G modem in the past.

Peter Marks said...

Yes, this is the sort of integration Apple could really do well. I'd have thought they could use Bluetooth as the local wireless link and make it all simple to enable.

The whole idea of crippling a device so that users have to pay extra for something unnecessarily seems like something from the dinosaur era.

Imagine if telco billing executives ran the taxi business?

Roar huet said...

Did you find out if it was the jailbreak or not which caused the in stability? I want to use the modem functionality, but has some doubts about the stability issue...

Peter Marks said...

So far since restoring the phone it has been stable so while it's not conclusive it could be that the instability was caused by the jailbreak.