How to tether your T-Mobile Blackberry as a modem for FREE
Update!!! --- So it seems that leaving the Wifi on while trying to tether somehow confuses the Blackberry and it will occasionally show UMA on it.....make sure to turn off Wifi on the Blackberry if your model has it. The only real reason to have UMA or "wifi" turned on with your Blackberry is if you are using it to make wifi calls or you are using it as a supplement to your T-Mobile data network. I just turned mine off totally as I use it a lot as a tether and don't feel I need the higher speeds while using the Berry to browse or check e-mail. The picture below is same location as the ones farther down but notice much faster speeds achieved just by turning off UMA.
Very rarely do I get completely blown away by technology...but that just happened to me...I recently moved from Verizon Wireless to T-Mobile for my cellphone and have a Blackberry Bold 9700. I moved because T-Mobile was about 40% cheaper than Verizon...I know Big Red has better coverage but I don't go out in the boonies too much, so I would rather keep the cash and deal with any coverage issues that come up....but I digress. The reason I am writing this hub is that I just discovered something VERY cool about my Blackberry. I can use it as a modem for my computer....a high speed modem...without paying anything extra!! I already pay about $20 to have the blackberry feature on my phone (it is part of my all you can eat plan for my family) but until today I thought it was only for using the internet, e-mail etc. on the phone itself...not so!!
I have heard that you can use your phone as a modem, but with Verizon it was extra money to do so ($15 per month) and though there were ways around this, I am not super technical and had no idea how to hack the device to make work without the extra cost. I wondered if this was true with T-mobile as well, so I called them up and the customer service rep basically said...."yep, it can be done, but it is not supported..." i.e "we will not tell you how to do it or help you with it." Ok, fair enough....so I sat down this morning and figured it would take me a couple of hours to maybe get it working....HA!! 15 minutes later I was on my way to Starbucks to do some hub-writing on the fly....Man am I cool now!!!!
I know, I know, I need to stop yammering and get down to the meat and potatoes....how do you get this marvel of technology up and running for yourself? Ok, here goes....
Step #1- I do not know if this will work for carriers other than T-Mobile. I can basically garuntee it will not work if you have Verizon unless you pay them the extra $15 per month for the tether feature on a Blackberry... It may work with AT&T and Sprint, but I dont know. ALSO!! Make sure you do check with your carrier to make sure you have an unlimited Blackberry plan and that you will not incur any overage charges.
Step #2 - Download the LATEST Blackberry desktop manager software from RIM. At this point, the newest version is 5.0.1. Click here to go directly to the RIM website to download it. Download Blackberry Desktop Manager
This is a pretty big file, so it will take a little while. When you have it downloaded and installed. Plug in your blackberry via the USB cable (this also allows your computer to charge the Blackberry which is great!.) Wait for the software to recognize the device. The first screen you see should look like the picture below.
Notice the "IP Modem" button. For those who have used this software before, this button is new. Ok, prepare to have your mind blown with how flipping easy this is! Click on the "IP Modem" button. The next screen you see will have two sides, the left says "Connection Settings" and the right says "Connect to Internet." On the left, under "Connection Settings" you will see a button that says "Configure." Click on this button. The next screen should look like the picture below.
The device should have auto-loaded "T-Mobile" under "Connection Profile" as well as the "Access Point" information...all you have to do is check the box at the bottom to "Keep the IP Modem connection open after the Blackberry Desktop Manager is closed." Then click OK. Now go to the right side and click "Connect to the Internet." It will take about 30 seconds to connect and authenticate......wait for it.....wait for it......BOOM! You are online. That is it....so ridiculously easy that it feels like we are cheating!!!
Step #3 - Now you are good to go! The picture below shows the speeds I am getting right now as I write this hub....sitting at a super crowded Starbucks in downtown Portland during peak shopping time 2 weekends before Christmas....so I am assuming that the network load is pretty heavy and I am still getting darn good speeds, not super fast, but respectable...ALSO I just spent 30 minutes on the phone WHILE still using the computer to surf....so you can use the phone just like normal while usuing the device as a modem (just remember not to disconnect the cable AND this only works on 3G devices like the Bold 9700)...this blows me away as the only draw-back I could think of for using my phone as a .modem was if I needed to use it for calls while I was online...well that is not a concern, the phone worked perfectly and I did not notice any slowing down of the Internet session while talking!! WHO NEEDS A BROADBAND CARD FOR $60 a MONTH??!?!?!??!
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