tethering

Internet can almost be called the lifeblood of our society; if the internet goes down or our phones lose signal, it is like a part of us dies. Whether you view the aforementioned statement as a glum view of today’s society or an undoubtable truth – we are going to make sure you get internet onto your tablet or PC as long as you have a Windows Phone by your side.

We are going to dive into two different methods to get LOLcats and the rest of the internet to your PC. The first involves using your phone’s built in tethering ability and carrier support to get the job done; the second involves a bit of a proxy configuration, but we will be sure to walk you through both.

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One handy feature on our Windows Phone devices is Internet Sharing. It allows you to share your cellular data connection over Wi-fi with other devices (laptop, tablet, etc.).

The bad thing is that carriers usually charge you for this service or limit the number of devices that can be tethered (which make no sense seeing that it's your data). We've been tipped that AT&T has made a change to the guest or device limit they impose on their Internet Sharing settings.

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Earlier this year, Samsung Italy announced that the Samsung Omnia W would receive Wi-Fi tethering capability with the Windows Phone 7.8 update. Well... that didn't happen.

Samsung Italy sites that the Windows Phone 7.8 update was issued directly from Microsoft and for whatever reason, the tethering feature didn't make the cut.  That's the bad news. The good news is that Samsung Italy is working on a separate maintenance update for the Omnia W that will bring tethering into the fold. Look for the update to hit the air in the coming weeks.

Source: Windows Phone Italy

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We've been informed by a reader that Orange UK is currently rolling out a number of updates, including 8112, for the Lumia 800 Windows Phone. Included in this update is Internet tethering support, which has been absent from the device since launch late last year. 

This follows the 8107 software update, which the UK carrier released back in March. 8112 is also the build that was being shipped with the AT&T Lumia 900. This is number one of three.

We were also informed that Windows Phone Tango build 8773 was then downloaded and installed. Following the Tango upgrade was a 12220 firmware notification.

Let us know if you've received any update notifications in the comments.

Thanks, James, for the heads up!

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We've reported twice on Nokia getting ready to serve up some Tango ROM updates along with new firmware for the Lumia 710. First was a planned update for China and it was followed by an update for the carrier Proximus in Belgium.

Both ROMs contained  OS 8773 which is known as Windows Phone Consumer Refresh 3 (CR3) or just "Tango" and will have either 12111 or 12120 firmware on board to coincide with the pushed update. But what a lot of folks were wondering is if the firmware enabled Internet Sharing aka Tethering, a feature long missing from the Lumia 710 and Lumia 800.

Indeed we can now report that at least some of these software updates will have this on board as site WP7.nl has installed and verified that this feature in present. Of course, we don't necessarily expect all updates to contain these as it will technically be up to the carriers but a good portion will opt for the pay-in service of wireless tethering.

We expect Nokia to begin pushing these update for both regions and more in a few weeks presumably June, if an earlier report is correct. In the meantime, Nokia will probably begin to populate their servers with more updates for other carriers for the big OS refresh. We'll keep you posted.

Update: Interestingly, Nokia has pulled the 8773 ROMs from their servers. Thanks, Francesco

Source: WP7.nl; Thanks, Niels, for the tip

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We've previously reported on how the Lumia 710 and 800 do not support Internet Sharing, but the 610 and 900 do. It's a slight pain that has separated Lumia Windows Phone owners. Thankfully Nokia has confirmed that tethering will be available on both the Lumia 710 and 800 in a future firmware update - something we're currently on the lookout for.

The folks from Plaffo are reporting that the official Nokia Lumia Update section of the website is reporting that Lumia 800 firmware on Vodafone in Italy is currently in development. The site notes that they've already received 12070 so this alteration on the update page has to be a future version. As well as Italy, both Vodafone Spain (thanks SmartphoneApps.es) and UK are also "software under creation".

Should the manufacturer be working on the next version, this would hopefully include the missing tethering functionality. Are you with Vodafone and already on 12070? You could well be the first in line for Internet Sharing.

Source: Plaffo, via: SmartphoneApps

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Just yesterday we reported that China was destined for some Tango ROM goodness for the Nokia Lumia 710. This was verified by peeking in on Nokia's own servers where they like to toss up the ROMs before they're pushed out (yet another reason to like the company, we suppose).

Tonight, with a quick cache refresh of our NaviFirm software we were able to seen yet another Tango ROM show up, this time destined for Belgium operator Proximus. This ROM has a slightly different firmware as it's labeled 8773.12120 versus the 12111 we saw for China.

We haven't loaded this one up but we feeling a little safer about English being on board. The big question everyone is wondering is Will the bring tethering to the Lumia 710? Our hunch says yes, at least for those carriers who want it.

It was speculated that Nokia did not tie the battery-saver update in the Lumia 800 (and 710) to the tethering feature for fear it could limit adoption by carriers. By separating them, Nokia could get the important battery fix out to the most users while it separately delivers the tethering update.

We imagine we'll find out soon enough. At least it's a good sign that Nokia is pushing out these updates on a wide-scale and we imagine the Lumia 800 will follow soon too.

via: Mi Movil Windows; Firmware image via Francesco S.

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The Lumia 800 (as well as the Lumia 710) is expected to receive a firmware update sometime soon to enable WiFi tethering on the handset, a feature that was introduced in the Windows Phone "Mango" update. We previously reported that Plaffo has confirmed a tethering update is on the way and all Lumia handset owners will be able to utilize the Internet sharing functionality - dependent on their carrier of course.

It would appear (looking at the photo above) that the feature is already active on some handsets, according to a We Love Windows Phone.hk reader. While it's not yet known when the said update will be pushed out to consumers, it's a positive sign to see Internet sharing actually on a Lumia 800.

Source: WeLoveWP.hk (Translation)

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Nokia Lumia handsets are all set sport WiFi tethering with an imminent update, according to a report by Plaffo. We previously touched on the lack of tethering support found with the Lumia 710 and 800, and an FAQ article for the Lumia 900 stated the two handsets should be receiving an update in the near future to activate said feature.

The Lumia 610 and 900 both reportedly support Internet sharing out the box, which was introduced in the Windows Phone "Mango" update. Should Plaffo's source for this news, who's employed by Three in Italy, hold out we should see Nokia work with carriers to push out a firmware update that will address the issue of not being able to create a hotspot with a Lumia handset.

We do not expect to see tethering enabled in any of the current firmware released, which all sport battery improvements. This is due to Nokia ensuring carriers continue to roll out new versions with important stability fixes and do not skip an update to avoid tethering.

Source: Plaffo

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In a Lumia 900 FAQ we recently covered, Nokia has confirmed that the WiFi hotspot / tethering feature will be present on the Lumia 610 and 900 Windows Phones at launch. As for the 710 and 800, which are currently missing this highly desired functionality, we'll likely see an update in the future to activate it. It's pleasing to know that it's actually on the way for owners.

"Q: When will the tethering update for the Lumia devices be pushed out?

A: It will be in coming soon for 800 and 710 via Zune update, for 610 and 900 it will be available at launch."

What's more is that Damian Dinning, camera guru at Nokia, has confirmed on Twitter that the company are looking to introduce a panorama feature on the Lumia 800 - something the Windows Phone lacked for many trigger happy users. Unfortunately, there's no word on a date or if we'll see this introduced on other Lumia handsets, though it makes perfect sense to expect such a roll out. 

Source: @PhoneDaz, via: PocketNow

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File this under odd and speculation, but possible.

The Sprint HTC Arrive has received some love in the in the form of updates--both Mango and a previous security-fix. But as of late, Sprint has bee quite silent on the device and overall not too keen on Windows Phone.

In the Sprint Arrive help forums, a moderator/Sprint tech named Tom Deaver has posted in the past that the HTC Arrive does not support tethering aka phone-as-modem and therefore will not be getting that enabled anytime soon. Obviously, this was false but it was posted way back in November.

Today, two curious things happened though:

  1. Tom Deaver edited his post today and crossed out the "does not support" section
  2. He wrote a new post which simply said "Re: ICS/Hotspot/Tethering? We appreciate your feedback.  Stay tuned to the Arrives' forum for any updates to a software maintenance release."

We agree with reader Todd M. who forwarded us the thread at Sprint--this does seem curious. Why would Tom both edit his post from November and add that note about a "software maintenance release"? Could the Sprint Arrive be on the verge of an update? Perhaps, but we're about 50/50 on the matter at this point. Tom could also just be revisiting old topics and giving the old company line. After all, he did leave in the part that says "Sprint will not offer a phone as modem option or tethering for this device." (We should also point out that Sprint TV & Movies app was just updated too.). Guess we'll just have to wait and see.

Source: Sprint Community Forums; Thanks, Todd, for the heads up

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It appears that Telstra is rolling out the Windows Phone tethering update, and has enabled Internet sharing for customers, following Vodafone AU. We've received multiple reports from readers (some using the HTC Mozart - new FW version: 2250.21.510002.841) that they've successfully updated. It's good to see the Australian carrier still keeping up with updates.

Should you be on the network and have received the notification to update, let us know in the comments below with what handset you're packing.

Thanks to everyone who tipped us on this!

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For those hoping that AT&T may deliver that firmware update to the original Samsung Focus to enable WiFi tethering/mobile hotspot, you may want to temper your enthusiasm just a tad. Over at Windows Phone Down Under, our friend Sheeds has been going back and forth with AT&T over their plans for the Focus in this regard and the results are not positive. At least according to one AT&T PR rep:

"What I was able to secure:  at this time, AT&T has no additional upgrade plans for the first generation Focus.

Know that response doesn’t address your specific desire to know if/when those plans might change or touch on plans for subsequent generations, but I’ve also reached what I think is the limit on what I’m going to be able to secure as responses on this issue."

This was after numerous back and forth with other AT&T folks, all of them signaling that no update was coming for the Focus because it was not part of the final Mango build that AT&T received for testing back in late summer.

Of course, we all know that the Focus can run Internet Sharing just fine, it even performs darn well. In fact, many of us have "hacked" our trusty Focus to do just that (just be careful not to get snagged by big blue). However, it looks like AT&T is putting the Focus behind it (except when they need a stand in for the Focus S) and are solely concentrating on so-called Gen 2 phones.This seems like quite a weak excuse on their part as other Gen 1 phones have received the Internet Sharing update--heck, just about all HTC devices have it on board now. But nothing is written in stone and perhaps AT&T will come around at some point--after all, the original Focus was one of the top selling Windows Phones here in the States, it deserves some respect, eh?

Read the whole saga at Windows Phone Down Under.

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For those who are into the whole custom ROM scene--a small but dedicated crowd--you'll be excited to know that DFT have finally released their v2 of their Freedom ROM. We reported back in October that this was in the works and Dark Forces Team has come through, as usual.

This version has quite a few suprises on board including:

  • Support for 20 languages
  • Internet sharing for gen 1 HTC devices
  • Updated HTC XAPs from Titan/Radar
  • Fully unlock with IE download XAP

The ROM is only available for generation 1 HTC devices e.g. Trophy, HD7, Mozart, 7 Pro and Surround) that are GSM. However, the team has noted that they are working on a CDMA versions for our Trophy and Arrive friends too.

While not for the casual user, custom ROMs offer some unique benefits including the ability to have tethering enabled. If you want to brave those waters, head over to XDA Forums for more info.

Thanks, Chris P for the heads up!

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HTC Mozart owners residing in India are receiving an update to be able to use Internet Sharing, according to a report at welovewp.hk. Aviraj Ajhekar, an employee at Microsoft India, has published an article stating his Mozart received a firmware update and was then able to tether.

Unfortunately, welovewp.hk  reports that a similar update received in Hong Kong doesn't enable the feature, which further confirms the final decision being up to carriers. We've recently covered ThreeUK allowing Internet sharing on the Samsung Omnia 7, as well as LG Germany.

Have you received a firmware update that enables this WiFi feature?

Source: wplovewp.hk, Aviraj Ajhekar  Thanks Simon!

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Good news for Samsung Omnia 7 owners on the Three UK network, we have Internet sharing! An update has been rolled out from Samsung that enables the tethering setting to be manipulated. Users can now create a small network for up to five connections, using mobile data. Simply plug your handset into Zune and update to take full advantage of the tethering capabilities.

Thanks Jay for the tip!

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We're getting word that users in Australia on the Optus Network who are using Samsung Omnia 7's are getting a software update that brings WiFi tethering to their devices.

Reader Sri lets us know that his firmware, radio and even bootloader were all just updated, meaning there could also be a few other tweaks on board that add some features:

Firmware Revision - 2424.11.9.2 (from 11.8.2)

Radio Software - 2424.11.9.1 (from 11.7.2)

Bootloader Version - 5.9.0.6 (from 5.8.0.8)

What makes this interesting is the HD7, also in Australia, received an update but no word on if that brought tehtering to the table.

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We have been keeping an eye out for WiFi tethering to makes its way onto different first generation WP7 devices via Mango and firmware updates, and now it seems that the LG Optimus 7 just got it.  According to users on Plaffo, a new update is being pushed for the Optimus 7, which adds the ability to use your phone as a wireless hotspot.  Sadly, not all first generation devices will be able to do this, but it looks as though the Optimus 7 is one of them. 

We haven't heard anything from our peeps yet.  Has anyone else been able to get this up and running?

Source: Plaffo (Thanks, Antonio!)

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In order for our Windows Phones to ever tether via WiFi, it needs at a minium specific hardware--a BRCM 4329 chipset. A few days ago, via XDA, it was reported that the Dell Venue Pro had a BRCM 4325 chipset and therefor was completely out of the running for ever having Internet Sharing/tethering even hacked on, let alone officially granted.

Now some contradictory information has appeared, information which we are much more likely to believe due to the source, which is the official service manual for the Dell Venue Pro aka Dell Lightning.

Scrolling down to hardware specifications and looking under the WiFi/Bluetooth/FM area on page 7, we can clearly see that the BRCM 4329 chipset is listed, meaning in fact the Dell Venue Pro can have WiFi tethering/Internet Sharing--in theory, at least. Assuming that info is correct, and we have little reason to doubt that it isn't, then all that is needed are the correct drivers--no small feat for such a  unique phone. Still, there's little technical reason as to why Dell couldn't offer the Internet Sharing capability of Mango, if they chose.

Download the service manual here and take a look for yourself. Big thanks to Tom for the tip and the file upload!

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Assuming LG Germany isn't fibbing here, users of the Optimus 7 can expect sometime in the (near) future a small firmware update to enable internet sharing aka tethering. We know the phone's chipset supports the function but since it was a late-added feature to Mango, most OEMs have had only a little time to play with the drivers. Looks like LG though is prepped to enable this for its users, which will involve updating the firmware in a quick and painless fashion.

Lets hope it comes this year.

Source: @LGBlog; Thanks, Cyruss1989, for finding out!

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