PdaNet 1.31 | Published by June Fabrics | Via Cydia | Free | Released: 10-1-08
So a while back I wrote about how to get Netshare’s tethering functionality without Netshare. Since the original iPhone I’ve been wondering why no one has created a transparent proxy or router program for sharing the phone’s internet connection.
Finally our friends at June Fabrics have answered the call. I have been a long time June Fabrics customer, using their PDANet for Windows Mobile editions on numerous phones throughout the years. Needless to say I was really excited when I saw PdaNet listed on Cydia last week, and couldn’t wait to try it.
PdaNet is a true internet connection sharing application. It allows you to use your iPhone’s 3G or Edge connection with any internet application. There are no proxies to configure and no need for special tunneling programs. It connects to your computer using the built in WiFi connection on the phone, and for 3G users allows you to use the internet at DSL speeds.
Setting up and running PdaNet is a breeze.
On the Windows Mobile version you were required to install both a client on the phone and the computer connecting, however on the iPhone it’s as simple as creating an ad-hoc WiFi network on your computer and joining your phone to it.
If you are worried about others in the vicinity sharing your connection with you, you may set the “Require Password” feature when you create the network. On a Windows machine (depending on the version) you are looking for an option to ‘Create Ad-Hoc Network’ or ‘Create New Wireless Network’.
On both machines you can leave the IP configuration at ‘DHCP’ or ‘Automatically Assigned’. PdaNet will take care of how to they talk to eachother. After you have the two joined together, the only step left is to launch PdaNet and enable the WiFi router.
After a few seconds you can launch your web browser, and browse to your favorite site (we recommend frequent stops to http://www.AppleiPhoneApps.com). Since this is a true routing application, you may also open any other internet application; chat, remote desktop, irc, ftp, and the list goes on.
I ran a few speed tests from SpeedTest.net and they were mostly consistant. The results were great as far as download and upload speeds go, though the ping time is not fantastic if you had planned on using your XBox360 over 3G.
The application runs in the background (another great feature). So even if you’re using your iPhone’s 3G connection on your comp, you can also use the phone for other functions such as texting and receiving or making calls.
Due to the limitations of the Edge network, however, you will not be able to use any phone features while on the net, but you can still play games and run other non-voice applications.
Because PdaNet runs in the background you MUST also remember to shut the router off when you are finished. It will drain your battery faster than you think.
This application blows anything and everything else available out of the water. Due to Apple’s delayed processing and strict rules, June Fabrics was unable to get the application into the App Store (as of yet), so this is only for you jailbreakers at the moment.
The good news about that? PdaNet is free (also at the moment). If you are a road warrior or tired of paying that stupid hourly charge at Starbucks, then this is a must-get application. I applaud June Fabrics for bringing full internet sharing to the phone. I can now sell my Sync since I was only using it as a WiFi router anyway (with PdaNet for Windows Mobile of course).
The only downside to the application is that it will drain your battery. I recommend leaving your phone plugged into your laptop or another power source while in use. This isn’t an iPhone related issue. Most internet sharing applications have the same side effect.
Usability: 5 / 5
Value: 5 / 5
Utility: 5 / 5