tethering a tablet?
April 22, 2010 1:16 PM   Subscribe

What currently available smartphones will be best at tethering an Ipad or other soon-to-be-released tablets?

I have a phone upgrade on my Verizon plan coming my way now, and I will be gifted a tablet of my choice when I start grad school this fall.

I HATE the idea of paying for two 3G plans. Yes, I know there are reasons that the carriers force people to do this and that tethering can be a pain and is not always strictly legal, but I will be on a stipend that will not allow the luxury of two data plans.

I will have fast university wifi for the tablet 90% of the time. For the other 10%, I would like to tether the tablet wirelessly to the phone. I don't want to stream Youtube 24/7 via tethering. If I can have any Verizon smartphone, which in theory will be the best at tethering, all other things being equal? I like Droids but tethering involves hacking. Palms come with tethering out of the box. Is that enough of a reason to choose Palm over Droid, or will a hacked Droid tether acceptably? Of course I would never violate Verizon's TOS, but let's just say in theory. Have you tethered your Ipad in the wild, and how well did it work (what phone did you use, was speed and battery use acceptable)?
posted by slow graffiti to Computers & Internet (10 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Yeah, I think the Pre is the almost universally accepted answer at this point (hear the Verizon version is even better at this than Sprint's, which was great).
posted by General Malaise at 1:25 PM on April 22, 2010

Many of the HTC Windows Mobile phone can be hacked (really, just flashing a new firmware) to support non-verizon firmwares. This allows you to do all kinds of stuff that Verizon locks down. However, you might not even have to flash the phone to install the wifi tethering software.

Take a look at XDA-Developers and ask the same question there. I'm not a huge fan of Windows Mobile, but I do have an HTC Touch Pro, and it tethered OK. Battery life sucked though, but WiFi kills battery life. I don't know why Apple took out Bluetooh PAN, but I can only assume it is because of the kickbacks they get on the 3g plans.
posted by Geckwoistmeinauto at 1:26 PM on April 22, 2010

WebOS is way better than Windows Mobile 6.5. I'd go for a Pre if I was forced to stay on Verizon.
posted by Geckwoistmeinauto at 1:28 PM on April 22, 2010

Voting Droid because I think Android is a much more robust OS than WebOS (Sorry, Palm,) and rooting the Droid to allow tethering is hardly "hacking" as this is all it entails. Super, super simple.
posted by InsanePenguin at 1:33 PM on April 22, 2010

Straight from the CEO's mouth: The iPad will not support tethering. So unless you are willing to jailbreak your iPad (and the clever folks come up with a solution) you will be out of luck with the iPad. Now if you had one of those mobile hotspot solutions, that would work with the wifi version of the iPad.
posted by mmascolino at 2:13 PM on April 22, 2010

mmascolino- the mobile hotspot solution is what I am asking about. Palm Pre is advertised as doing this, but with most other smartphones, it involves some change to the firmware.
posted by slow graffiti at 3:05 PM on April 22, 2010

See joikuspot for s60. A nokia n95 (among many others) would work for this.
posted by pompomtom at 3:27 PM on April 22, 2010

@mmascolino - OP is trying to share the data connection to the iPad, not from it.
posted by wongcorgi at 10:58 PM on April 22, 2010

A jailbroken Iphone can do this.
posted by afu at 12:32 AM on April 23, 2010

Late to the thread but WmWiFiRouter runs on any Windows Mobile phone and is super cheap (like just a few bucks). There are also free alternatives (like HTC WiFi Router or something like that) that have issues for some people but might be fine.
posted by monkeymadness at 7:41 AM on April 24, 2010

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