Every once in awhile my wife’s family likes to rent a cabin in a park for a couple days and have the entire family over for a nice barbecue. A reliable internet connection is usually hard to come by out in the boonies. So a little creativity was needed when the Iowa Hawkeyes football team played the Ball State Cardinals this past weekend and we were at the cabin.
I know what you’re thinking. Nerds don’t like football. Well this nerd loves football! What’s not to love about four quarters of hard-hitting, bone-crushing carnage?
Why you should tether using USB instead of Wi-Fi
Most Android phones support USB tethering (unless removed by carrier/manufacturer). I prefer USB tethering to Wi-Fi tethering for the following reasons:
- Wi-Fi can be slower and less responsive than USB.
- USB is more secure.
- A USB connection charges your phone while tethering.
Unfortunately, USB tethering may or may not be available on your phone. If you are a Verizon customer on The MORE Everything Plan, you can tether as much as your data plan will allow thanks to an FCC tethering complaint against Verizon Wireless that resulted in Verizon shelling out 1.25 million dollars.
How to USB tether your Android phone
Joshua Wise has created an excellent USB driver for Mac OS X called HoRNDIS (pronounced “horrendous”). This little beauty allows Android’s USB tethering capability to work with Mac OS X. No rooting, hacking or custom apps are required.
Let’s install HoRNDIS and get USB tethering working.
- Go to the HoRNDIS page and download the latest package (release 5 as of 9/11/2014).
- Install the downloaded .pkg, following the prompts in the installer. You might have to go to System Preferences -> Security & Privacy and click the radio button to allow apps downloaded from anywhere.
- Connect your Android phone to your computer with a USB cable, and on your phone open Settings -> More networks -> Tethering.
- Check “Mobile Broadband Connect” to enable USB tethering.
- On your computer, open System Preferences -> Network. Your phone should appear as an active connection in the list.
You should be online now courtesy of your phones 3G/4G connection.
I used my MacBook Pro with OS X 10.9.4 and a Samsung Galaxy S4 running Android 4.4.2. The connection was fast, really fast! I ran a couple speed tests and got results that were close to our cable internet at home. I had no problem streaming the Iowa football game in HD using WatchESPN.
What would you want to setup a USB tether for? Leave me a comment below.