Thursday 15 August 2013

Smartphone Apps for Boaters (14)

Getting your PC online can be a challenge when there's no Wifi available. But with a smartphone its possible to connect your laptop to the Internet. I use an Android smartphone as my reserve connection to the Net. I also have a USB MiFi dongle as my primary connection when out on the boat. Tethering also adds additional security, unlike connecting to a Wifi hotspot, direct tethering provides a connection between PC and phone. At the same time the USB connection will also power the phone preserving or boosting the available battery power. 

There are a long list of Android tethering apps available at the Google Android apps store. 

NOTE some apps require making significant changes to the software installed on the smartphone. These apps are the ones to be avoided. Get it wrong when setting up and you can trash your phone. Many smartphones come with tethering pre-installed. I have two smartphones from Samsung and both phones work well with the pre-installed tethering software. There is no need for any additional software.
Samsung Galaxy Ace.
  • Connect your Samsung Galaxy Ace to the USB cable which comes supplied with the phone. Then connect the other end of the USB Cable to your laptop.
  • Next navigate to Settings -Wireless and networks - Tethering and portable hotspot - and enable the USB tethering option. Once this is enabled an indication of USB Tethering feature will be displayed on the top of the notification bar.

  • You must activate your data network before you can browse the internet after you have done the above steps. To activate your mobile phone's data network simply go to Settings - Wireless and networks - Mobile Networks - Use packet data.
At this point your laptop should work as if a dongle has been plugged into the usb port. You might find that the laptop automatically loads driver software for the device plugged into the usb port. In this case the Samsung Galaxy Ace.

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