May 24, 2010

Proxoid Great for free tethering

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Written by: Brian Johnson
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Recently, I discovered that I would need to input data into and print from a secure website during an important meeting. I’ve read too many horror stories to willingly use a strange computer or join an unfamiliar wifi network for anything other than simple browsing. Since I knew that I would have access to my own netbook, printer, and Motorola Droid, I decided to try tethering.

There’s a lot of disinformation out there about tethering via Android devices. For starters, as proven by my own experience, the HTC Droid Incredible on Verizon Wireless is NOT the only Android smartphone capable of tethering. As also demonstrated by my own experience, you neither have to “root” your phone nor even pay for tethering apps/service!

Unlike the full version, EasyTether Lite cannot connect to https websites. Similarly, PdaNet Free Edition can only access https websites during a 14-day trial period. So, I ultimately decided to go with Proxoid. I installed Proxoid via Android Market, but there’s a seemingly older version of the app available for manual download via Proxoid’s official website (hosted by Google Code).

Proxoid allows tethering via USB to Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux (configuring Linux to recognize and use Proxoid is definitely NOT for the squeamish!). Windows, Linux, and Mac directions are all available here (don’t forget to install the app on your Android phone first). While configuring Firefox for tethering on my Windows Vista netbook — I prefer Linux, but I was in a hurry — I enabled my Droid’s USB debugging (Menu button => Settings => Applications => USB debugging) and mounted my Droid. Also, it wasn’t until enabling “use this proxy server for all protocols” in Firefox’s network settings that I was able to access https websites.

Upon configuring Vista, Proxoid worked even better than advertised. Try Proxoid for yourself, and then share your insights in the comments area below.

About the Author

Brian Johnson
Robert has nearly 10 years experience as a self-employed technology consultant, though he recently "retired" from consulting to focus on his writing, and has been using a Motorola Droid from Verizon Wireless as his primary cellphone since November, 2009.


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  1. Jerry Hasson

    Hello Robert. I downloaded Proxoid to my Motorola Droid from Android Market with the hope of using it to tether to my MacBook Pro. While I am not a developer, I have been a loyal Mac enthusiast for over 25 years. Despite this, I could not understand and properly follow the instructions that were provided by “g1.pratik” for configuring my MacBook Pro. I managed to download the “android-sdk-606-mac_86″ zip file and then extract it . . . but that’s where I got lost. Any chance you can provide a little assistance? 949-633-8804 Thanks in advance. – Jerry

  2. Robert Biondini

    Hi Jerry… I can’t assist you over the phone, but I’d be happy to help you here in the comments area. If none of my ideas help, hopefully someone will answer the post that you’ve written on the official Proxoid website. Anyway, Step #1 in g1.pratik’s instructions aren’t very well worded, but I think that you’re supposed to extract the SDK to two different places on your Mac. g1.pratik calls the first location “macintosh hard disk home folder”. I think this is his way of saying the “root directory”, which means alongside Applications, Library, Users, etc. Rename this copy of the SDK folder to android. The second location is located in Macintosh HD (or whatever your hard drive is called) => Users => the folder with the same name as your account on the Mac (if your account is called Jerry, put the SDK in the Jerry folder). Also rename this copy of the SDK folder to android. Are you familiar with the Terminal in Mac OS X? Like the DOS prompt in windows, it is a “command line interface”. In other words, you enter text to navigate through folders and execute commands. So, in Step #2, where it says type: nano .bash_profile, copy & paste nano .bash_profile from the instructions into the Terminal window and press the return key on your computer’s keyboard. According to g1.pratik’s directions, this will start another Terminal window. In the new window, paste the export PATH=${PATH}:/android/tools command (don’t include the quotes) and press enter on your computer’s keyboard. Continue to follow the instructions as written, but look at other user’s comments regarding Step #6. Also, don’t forget to follow the special instructions from my article (to give you access to secure websites, etc)… Did this help you at all? Please share your progress!

  3. Stacy

    Hello Robert,
    I was able to get proxoid working great. Able to access both http and https
    sites. However when attepting to connect to my online game clients like starwars knights of the old republic the client doesn’t recognize my connection. When I used the trial of PDA it was able to connect to the game client until the 14 day trial was over. I don’t know how to reach the author of proxoid to get some ideas. Do you have any ideas on this? –Thanks Stacy

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