UPDATE: If you have already been using FoxFi/PDANet+, and it stopped working after you upgraded your phone, please click here.
Ready…Set…Take #2 (This is my 2nd time around writing this post, because I fell asleep in the middle of writing it the first time and for some reason it never autosaved) Can you say FRUSTRATING!?! Anyway, I’m hoping I can do my original justice, so here goes nothing.
For a small endangered species of smartphone users (those with unlimited data), coming across a free wi-fi tethering app that actually works is like finding the Holy Grail of smartphone apps. To top it off, it’s even more exciting when you don’t have to root your phone to use it. If you have no idea what the word “root” refers to, you can either A. click the little grey link above to find out or B. Ignore it, and keep reading on, because it’s probably something you would not be interested in doing anyway. I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say you’re going with option B.
Personally, I have searched high and low for a reliable tethering app, and the one that I keep coming back to is FoxFi. No, I am not being paid to promote this application in any way by its developers in case you are wondering. I like it so much, I paid for the premium version. Here are some advantages of FoxFi, as taken from the developer’s site:
- No rooting required, avoid hassle and risk of bricking
- No need to install anything on the computer
- Supports connection from any tablets including iPad, Kindle, Nook etc.
- Supports connection from PS3, XBox, WII etc.
- Supports multiple connections at the same time
- Secured with WPA2. Avoids the security risk of enabling USB debugging.
FoxFi usage is covered under the same phone data plan you have and no tethering plan is actually needed. So you can see why the unlimited data feature coupled with this app make for a grand old-time. Currently WiFi mode may not support some phone models, and the developers are working to expand the supported list. However Bluetooth/USB mode will work for all phones. To check and see if WiFi mode can be supported on your phone visit http://foxfi.com/devices.
The app is completely free, but currently it has a usage limit that requires you to restart FoxFi to continue using free mode. I found this annoying and well worth the $7.95 that the full version costs, which has no usage limits. You can also rename your network to something really uncool like “iheartJustinBieber4Ever” (I just threw up a tad in my mouth typing that) and then go on to create a security password to keep your pesky neighbors from hijacking your data connection. Everyone has neighbors that get their electric, water, and cable turned off on a regular basis right? No? Then again, maybe that’s just me.
Please note that some model phones running Jelly Bean have locked-down the WiFi hotspot feature, and because of this FoxFi will ask you to install a user certificate on those phones. The side effect is that the Android system will require you to set a screen lock first (and only allows Pattern, PIN or Password) when you install any user certificates. If you are 100% opposed to having to have a sreen lock on your phone, then use the app in USB mode. To undo the screen lock you have to remove the FoxFi certificate first (simply click “clear credentials” in security settings). Also, on HTC phones, you may require to use the app via bluetooth.
In case you are wondering, yes this app currently works for the Samsung Galaxy S3 and Samsung Galaxy Note 2. I’m actually using it right now to write this blog post, because maybe just maybe, I’m speaking from personal experience when I talk about those “neighbors” who periodically get their utilities turned off. Don’t judge me.