Although Verizon isn’t going to offer tethering on the Motorola Droid at launch, it will add this feature early next year. This carrier’s Broadband Access Connect service will then allow this Android smartphone to function as a wireless modem for other devices.
This will add a monthly charge of $15, and is limited to 5 GB of data transfers each month.
A Third-Party Option
Those who don’t want to wait for official Verizon support can consider apps like PdaNet. This adds the same functionality, but without the additional cost.
June Fabrics PdaNet for Android is a pair of apps that run on a smartphone and a Windows PC which lets the two share a wireless Internet connection. The software costs $29, and doesn’t come with a monthly charge.
Jun Fabrics says it is working on Android 2.0 support, and a new version will be available soon.
Third-party tethering apps like PdaNet are not sanctioned by wireless carriers, though.
What Is Tethering?
Tethering is the process of using a mobile phone to provide wireless Internet access to another computer, usually a laptop. Carriers have different names for this — like Verizon’s “Broadband Access Connect” service — but the generic term is tethering.
Some smartphones come with this feature built in, but not all. And wireless carriers have a wide range of opinions toward it. Still, there are third-party applications for virtually every smartphone platform that add this feature, no matter what the carriers want.