Hack31.Use Your Treo as a Modem

Hack 31. Use Your Treo as a Modem

Use your Treo to connect your laptop to the Internet. You can also use your Treo as a backup Internet connection for your desktop machine.

If you've signed up for your carrier's wireless data plan, you can get the entire Internet on your Treo. It may not seem like it at times, because the small screen can really constrain your web-browsing experience when compared to, say, your laptop or your desktop computer, but it's all thereevery last byte. Better still, it is possible to feed the Internet connection of your Treo through to your laptop computer. This is called tethering, and it allows your tethered laptop to work with the Internet as if it were connected via a normal dial-up, cable, or DSL modemonly, you are connected using your Treo. Anywhere your Treo has enough signal strength to connect to its wireless data service, you can tether it to supply a laptop with Internet.

You can also channel your Treo's Internet connection through your computer [Hack #34] if you wish. Though it's not as convenient as using your Treo as a modem, it does come in handy if your desktop's Internet connection happens to be down.

Setting up tethering is specific to the model of your Treo and your cellular service provider and is summed up in Table 5-2. You use either your Treo 650's Bluetooth connectivity to use the Treo as a wireless modem for your laptop or desktop, or you need a third-party Windows application called PdaNet, which allows you to connect your Treo (as a modem) to your laptop or desktop via the USB sync cable.

Tethering might be frowned upon by your carrier. Carriers will argue that tethering is abusing a network infrastructure that is set up in anticipation of the light bandwidth consumption of average smartphone users. Power users will argue that when paying $45 per month for "unlimited Internet," you are entitled to get that for which you've paid. So it's important that you become familiar with your service provider's policy on tethering if you plan to use it frequentlyyou may be surprised.

Table 5-2. Wireless providers



Tathering technique

Treo 650


Built-in Bluetooth DUN is now supported, provided you apply the "Treo 650 Updater 1.12 for Sprint PCS," found at http://www.palm.com/us/support/downloads/treo650updater/sprint.html.

You may also use PdaNet for tethering over your USB sync cable or wirelessly over Bluetooth.


Verizon and Verizon and other CDMA carriers (e.g., EarthLink)

Built-in Bluetooth DUN is not supported, and no firmware update is promised

Hack your device to enable Bluetooth DUN now, without waiting for Verizon's firmware update. The hack is fairly stable.

You may also use PdaNet for tethering over your USB sync cable or wirelessly over Bluetooth.


Cingular and other GSM carriers (e.g., AT&T Wireless, Rogers)

Built-in Bluetooth DUN is not supported. Cingular promises a firmware update "later this year," according to a Palm support page dated March 31, 2005.

Hack your device to enable Bluetooth DUN now, without waiting for a firmware update. The hack is fairly stable.

You may also use PdaNet for tethering over your USB sync cable or wirelessly over Bluetooth (no hack required).

Treo 600


This device does not support Bluetooth. Your only option is to use PdaNet for tethering over your USB sync cable.

5.4.1. Treo 650 Bluetooth DUN

To enable Bluetooth DUN on your Treo 650:

  1. Run the Bluetooth application.

  2. Enable the Dial-up Networking settings, as shown in Figure 5-8 (if you don't see this setting, you need to check for a firmware update for your Treo 650, or apply the shadowmite patchsee the sidebar "The 'shadowmite' Patch").

Figure 5-8. Turning on the Dial-up Networking setting on a Treo 650

The "shadowmite" Patch

The Treo 650 Bluetooth DUN hack, also called the "shadowmite" patch after the handle of the developer who discovered it, exposes the Dial-up Networking setting in the Bluetooth preferences panel for those devices that don't already showit. For various reasons (some say politicalremember, some carriers would rather you didn't know about tethering), Palm disabled this DUN setting at the last minute before shipping the Treo 650 device. That means that hacking this setting to appear and subsequently enabling it is certainly not going to be supported by the technical support departments of Palm or your carrier! The good news is that the shadowmite patch appears stable, it's totally reversible (to un-patch, simply delete the patch file), many people are using it without incident, and there's an online forum where you can post questions. Before you go this route, make sure that your carrier hasn't already released a firmware update that enables DUN support (as Sprint has)! For more information on the shadowmite patch, including the patch itself, visit http://www.shadowmite.com/HowToDUN.html.

The steps in getting Bluetooth DUN set up on your laptop (or desktop) varies with operating system and Bluetooth hardwareplease consult your manuals for help here. But in general, you want to do something like this:

  1. Make sure your Treo is on and Bluetooth has been enabled.

  2. Open the Bluetooth control panel/system preferences on your laptop (or desktop).

  3. If you area PC user, your Treo 650 should be discovered. If you are a Mac user, set up a new Mobile Phone device.

  4. Establish a connection between your laptop and your Treo 650.

  5. Look for your Treo 650's Dial Up Networking service on your laptop; if you only see its Object Exchange service, try performing a soft reset on your Treo 650.

  6. Create a dial-up connection to your Treo 650's Dial Up Networking service on your laptop. See Table 5-3 for the values that should work for you. A quick phone call to your carrier can get you going if these don't work.

Table 5-3. Carrier data connection information




Phone number


YourSprintPCSVisionUsername@sprintpcs.com (you may not need the "@sprintpcs.com" part)

YourSprintPCSVision password



YourPhoneNumber @vzw3g.com











5.4.2. PdaNet

You can download the PdaNet application from June Fabrics PDA Technology Group at http://www.junefabrics.com/. It has a 15-day trial, after which the application costs $34 to register to your Treo device.

For Treo 600 users with a Mac, the picture is grim. (Treo 650 users with a Mac should opt to use the Bluetooth technique described earlier.) PdaNet suggests it can run under Virtual PC, though that only gives your emulated PC access to the Internetand this usage is not supported. There is also WirelessModem, which you can download from http://www.notifymail.com/palm/wmodem/. It has a 14-day free trial; then it's $37.50 to register the application. Be very careful with this application; many users are unable to maintain an Internet connection to their Mac for more than five minutes, and there is no return policy.

There is a great guide to connecting your Treo 650 to a Mac using Bluetooth at http://vocaro.com/trevor/treo-dun/.

Once you've downloaded and run the installer for your specific Treo model (check carefully!), you are prompted to select the appropriate cell phone service from the screen in Figure 5-9.

Figure 5-9. Selecting your carrier in PdaNet's installer

The Windows component is installed to your desktop, and then you are prompted to HotSync the Palm component onto your Treo (see Figure 5-10).

Once the installation is complete, you will notice a new PdaNet icon in your System Tray (the icons by your clock), which indicates your connection status, as shown in Figure 5-11.

The PdaNet icon indicates whether you have an active Internet connection through your Treo; right-click on it to get to the advanced PdaNet settings.

After you've installed the PdaNet application onto your Treo, make sure your device is connected to your laptop with a USB HotSync cable (serial HotSync cables will not work), and then simply launch the PdaNet application on your Treo. Figure 5-12 shows PdaNet running on a Treo.

Figure 5-10. PdaNet's installer queues up a PRC to install onto your Treo

Figure 5-11. PdaNet's icon indicates a connected or disconnected state

Figure 5-12. PdaNet is ready to connect your laptop to the Internet

Your Treo automatically attempts to establish a connection to its wireless Internet service, and if successful, PdaNet will then tether that connection over your USB HotSync cable to your laptop. Figure 5-13 show PdaNet's desktop component confirming its Internet connectivity.

You should now be able to use any Internet applications on your laptop, as long as your Treo is able to keep connected to its wireless Internet service. Be sure to disconnect your Treo when you're done!

Figure 5-13. After your Treo connects to its wireless data network, the Windows component tethers to it

Though some service providers' wireless data plans offer unlimited usage, most allot a certain number of kilobytes per month and will charge you a fortune for overages. Check into this before you consume too many KB on your Treo.

Jeff Ishaq

Palm and Treo Hacks
Palm and Treo Hacks: Tips & Tools for Mastering Your Handheld
ISBN: 059610054X
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2006
Pages: 115

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