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Use BlackBerry as PC modem?

Posted on 2011-09-17
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Last Modified: 2012-05-12
Is it possible to use my BlackBerry as a PC modem via USB or Bluetooth?

To keep from scaring people away from reading that question (because it's too long), I'll post the relevant details in the next post to this thread.
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by:WhatWhyIT
WhatWhyIT earned 251 total points
ID: 36554840
This is called tethering and is supported for many blackberry devices you would need to confirm with you carrier that they support it and you typically have to pay and additional fee to use this service.

http://us.blackberry.com/smartphones/features/tethered_modem.jsp

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Author Comment

by:therearestupidquestions
ID: 36554842
I can connect to the internet using my BlackBerry, but the screen is so small, and the keyboard is so cumbersome, that it's very inconvenient to do so.

What I want to do is to use the BlackBerry as a way to connect my PC to the web.  I have a USB cable that lets me transfer data between the BlackBerry and my PC.  My PC also supports Bluetooth.

Some BlackBerries, apparently, have this feature built in.  I don't think mine does.

A quick web search pointed me in the direction of something called Mobishark.  However, Norton flags their site (mobishark.com) as a security danger.  Also, reviews I saw on some site like CNET (not CNET, just one like it--I foget which one) basically say it doesn't work.

Anyway, the phone, I'm almost positive, is a BlackBerry Pearl Flip 8320.  (It's the number only in the model name that I'm not absolutely positive about.)  The carrier is Verizon Wireless.

Can this be done?

BTW, cost is a big issue, at least in the short run, so a 30 day trial (even 10 days would be very good) would be great.  A freebee would be fabulous.

Thanks.
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Author Comment

by:therearestupidquestions
ID: 36554847
WhatWhyIT:

Wow, you're fast!  You responded before I could even post the rest of my question.

My question stands.
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Assisted Solution

by:WhatWhyIT
WhatWhyIT earned 251 total points
ID: 36554860
Verizon does not offer a "trial" but you can always cancel anytime.( I have done this and used it for a weekend only)

This is possible with the Pearl

http://www.blackberrycool.com/2009/03/10/how-to-tether-your-blackberry-for-free-via-bluetooth-mac-and-pc/

According to that site however it is not a supported functionality by either verizon or RIM
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Assisted Solution

by:Brian Gee
Brian Gee earned 66 total points
ID: 36554872
This is very easy to do with T-Mo Blackberry devices, a USB cable and the Blackberry Desktop Manager. Other carriers tend to require a tether fee, but none is required (so far) with T-Mo... we'll see how that changes with the proposed merger with AT&T... :\
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Author Comment

by:therearestupidquestions
ID: 36554950
WhatWhyIT:

"This is possible with the Pearl

"http://www.blackberrycool.com/2009/03/10/how-to-tether-your-blackberry-for-free-via-bluetooth-mac-and-pc/

"According to that site however it is not a supported functionality by either verizon or RIM[.]."

Huh?  So does that mean it can or can't be done?

Thanks (both for the reply and for the speediness).
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by:WhatWhyIT
ID: 36554958
Technically it appears it can be done.

If you called Blackberry (RIM) or Verizon they would tell it cannot be done.

From what I can see you install a modem driver for you phone plug it in then input the correct credentials and it could would.

I do not have a phone to test with so I cannot give exact procedure.
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Author Comment

by:therearestupidquestions
ID: 36555665
WhatWhyIt:

Do you have any sense of the security hole(s) I might be exposing my PC to?  Norton Internet Security 2011 and more running on PC.  Am I going to have to disable at least Norton to accomplish this task?  Even if not, is Norton going to protect my PC when I engage in these types of activities; I mean, essentially, installing a driver.  How qualified do you consider yourself to answer these--I mean this post's, not this thread's*--questions?

Again, thanks.


* But feel free to comment on the latter, as well.



Anybody else have any comments?
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LVL 1

Assisted Solution

by:WhatWhyIT
WhatWhyIT earned 251 total points
ID: 36555670
This would not be exposeing your computer to any more risks than connecting to a public wifi hotspot at the local coffee shop(Actually this would be less) You may have to change some settings in norton internet security but I kinda doubt it.

You will have the same protection you have when connecting to any other internet source.
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Author Comment

by:therearestupidquestions
ID: 36555686
BTW, yobri, I'll toss you a few of the points for at least adding something to the discussion.  Obviously, though, at this point, WhatWhyIt is getting the overwhelming majority of the points.

Anybody out there have anything to say about Mobishark?

Also, I'm considering, in a few months, switching to Android.  Some of those offer a "mobile hotspot" feature.  In general, I don't like wireless connections (in this case, the PC to Android connection, not the Internet via cell-phone aspect).  Do some phones offer this kind of tethered PC access to the Internet, without offering the wireless mobile hotspot feature?  I can revisit this paragraph's question when it comes time to make the switch.  For now, I'm much more concerned with my existing problem; that is to say, the BlackBerry issue.  However, points go to anybody who contributes anything of substance on either issue.
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Author Comment

by:therearestupidquestions
ID: 36555698
WhatWhyIT:

Again...wow!  You are unbelievably fast!  (I really wanted to do some swearing in those past two sentences, but I'm afraid that would violate some Experts-Exchange rule, so I won't risk it.  Describing your speed, though, really does require some above-PG-rated words to begin to do it justice.)

Thanks.
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Expert Comment

by:duffme
ID: 36556181
As mentioned above you can probably do this with BB Desktop Mgr installed to proxy the connection. and the APN for Verizon, who may or may not require credentials for the connection.  I did it with T-Mobile too and it was a bit of a pain.  I tried using a first gen Pearl and it was a PITA as the Pearl was somehow different than the other models at the time.  I  never tried with Verizon.

I don't recall all of those era BB's to be 3G.  If it isn't you are going to basically be using dial-up modem speeds.  That might be fine for WAP and mobile sites, but when using your laptop through it will be painful.

To do this with Android you generally need to root your phone to be able to do this without paying for the tethering plans through carriers.  It isn't hard.  You can then use a wifi hotspot rather than a USB or BT tether.
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Author Comment

by:therearestupidquestions
ID: 36557905
duffme:

Thanks for the response.

"To do this with Android you generally need to root your phone to be able to do this without paying for the tethering plans through carriers.  It isn't hard.  You can then use a wifi hotspot rather than a USB or BT tether."  Huh?

Thanks.
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LVL 4

Assisted Solution

by:duffme
duffme earned 100 total points
ID: 36557965
The Android comment was in response to your added question of Android tethering.  On any phone, Blackberry, Android, iPhone, etc. the carrier will make their own changes to the software to prevent certain functions, apps, whatever, from working as designed by the handset maker.  It is the carriers that essentially disable tethering and hotspots so that you must add their version of such service to your plan and often use additional software of theirs to allow it to work.  If you hack your phone, or "root" it (gain admin access to) your phone you can very often re-enable these features and/or customize them.  What I was referring to in Android was that Android natively supports both USB and BT tethering and also wifi hotspotting (which is much easier and usable IMHO than the other two).  By rooting your handset you can use these features without getting the tethering plan.  If you use (read: abuse) this they can realize by the nature of the traffic that you are doing this, but for occassional use (eg, not streaming/downloading music and movies, etc.) it is generally fine.  The same is true with your present Blackberry issue.  As we mention above it is easier to get around the carrier restrictions on T-Mobile than for Verizon for BB tethering.  

By the way, I found what I used as the best source of BB tethering when I used one.  It might be a bit dated, but should answer all questions of which APN, whether password is needed, etc.
http://www.blackberryforums.com/blackberry-guides/2019-user-howto-use-blackberry-modem-laptop.html
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LVL 11

Accepted Solution

by:
Sudhakar Kumar earned 83 total points
ID: 36571710
You can download the latest version of Blackberry Desktop Manager which has been designed to support tehtering in a great extent. I am using it with my couple of devices in India and has got some good response from the LS couterparts who uses T-Mobile or Verizon Services.

I get good success rate while connecting thru USB. It has options to use Bluetooth as dial-in but I am not happy with the performance. USB is a better buy.

https://swdownloads.blackberry.com/Downloads/contactFormPreload.do?code=A8BAA56554F96369AB93E4F3BB068C22&dl=A2C0D61EB187AB3AFD247A852FAD3647
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Author Comment

by:therearestupidquestions
ID: 36594832
Sorry, I just got an email about this thread being inactive.  I'm posting this message to keep it active.

Nobody will be cheated out of well-deserved points.

Thanks.
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Author Comment

by:therearestupidquestions
ID: 36932656
OK.  Eveyone's obviously finished responding.  I'll award points today.
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LVL 4

Expert Comment

by:duffme
ID: 36932833
You never mentioned if you got this working, or what issues you had when trying the above suggestions.  Did you get it working?
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Author Comment

by:therearestupidquestions
ID: 36951507
I haven't tried it.  It's something I'm holding in reserve.

Thank you everybody for your replies.

I'm awarding points right now.
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Author Closing Comment

by:therearestupidquestions
ID: 36951558
Since I never actually tried the procedure, I can't be sure it was accurate, so I graded it as partially accurate.
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