Wednesday, October 9, 2013

How to connect to the Internet an Android Wi-Fi only tablet using an old mobile phone

If you have an android tablet without a 3G/4G module, you can usually connect it to the Internet only through Wi-Fi networks. If you want to be online without a wireless hotspot, you can connect it using your phone's Wi-Fi host function; but what about if you have an old phone without the Wi-Fi module? This is my case (I have an old LG KU385 phone and this summer, when I was on holiday, I wanted to use it as a modem for my Asus ME301T tablet); I solved it with an app called BlueVPN, that can be downloaded for free from the Google Play Store, and, once configured, opens a VPN connection through the Bluetooth module between the phone and the tablet, connecting this one to the Internet. Since this app is not very popular, I write this blog post so it can be useful for people in my same situation.
Note that connecting using this app is not exactly like surfing from a good Wi-Fi network: it's slow (this also depends on your mobile's signal strength) and some apps like Skype or Google play downloads don't work; this is because the tablet "thinks" to be offline also if he is online through a Virtual Private Network (in fact, some apps like Facebook display a message saying that there is no internet connection, but then they work well; on the BlueVPN's Google Play page there is a list of what is supported and what not). However, this is the only way to connect your tablet using as modem a phone without Wi-Fi.
Once downloaded BlueVPN, setting up the connection is simple. Here a quick tutorial:

  • First of all be sure you are offline (Wi-Fi module turned off).
  • Now, turn on Bluetooth both on phone and tablet and pair the two devices.
  • Open BlueVPN; you will see a screen like this, with your phone's Bluetooth name instead of KU385:
    BlueVPN's main screen
  • Tap the settings button in the upper left angle; you have to configure the correct parameters for the connection, given you from your mobile carrier. Usually the only parameters to configure are the dial-up phone number and the Access Point (APN). This is the settings screen:
    BlueVPN's settings screen
  • Then go back to the main screen and tap your phone's name; Warning: when you do this, you start the connection, so be careful about the connection fees of your mobile carrier.
  • Now you should be able to surf the internet, so open a browser and test it. If you have problems, disconnect (using the button in BlueVPN) and make some attempts changing the "Connection options" (Modem compatibility, LCP compatibility and Blackberry compatibility): depending on your phone's model, you will need to turn on or off these settings.
If you want more info, this is the developer's site.

2 comments:

  1. I always wondered if this was possible!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Also me, until a day, browsing the Google Play, I found this fantastic app ;)

    ReplyDelete