MacBook Air and Android device with Verizon 4G LTE: A winning combination

MacBook Air and Android device with Verizon 4G LTE: A winning combination

Summary: Need an Internet connection on your MacBook Air that actually works? Try tethering your Android device to share its 4G LTE (or equivalent) connection! Works like a charm.

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Directly on the heels of my plea to Apple to please fix their WiFi issues, I thought I would share a solution that works great for me when using my MacBook Air in locations where there is no WiFi or the WiFi connection is wonky due to the problems many MacBooks seem to have currently.

First, you need a Verizon 4G LTE device. For me, that's a Thunderbolt, which runs Android. Next, head on over to the Android App Market and download an application called EasyTether Pro. It costs $9.99, and though there's a free version (EasyTether Lite), it doesn't allow https access (take a moment and let that one marinate so you can understand how many sites you won't be able to access with the free version). While $9.99 may seem steep, it has been totally worth it for me, personally. I've had this setup for almost a year and a half now between multiple laptops running OS X and Windows, and the experience is always incredibly facile, no matter what I use.

Next, you need your MacBook and you need to go download the appropriate drivers from EasyTether's Web site. After you install them and restart, all that's left is to connect your phone to your MacBook via USB with your charging cable, then run the app and follow the quick configuration wizard. If all went well, you should be tethered to your phone and using its blazing-fast 4G connection with absolutely no interruptions on behalf of Apple's end!

Personally, I like to write and be connected to the Internet in places that typically have no sort of WiFi or Internet access whatsoever, so this solution has been well worth the $9.99 price tag to me. For those of you who would like to do unmonitored browsing at work, this is your ticket, for sure. Likewise, for those of you traveling, you've undoubtedly been in your fair share of hotels with a shoddy Internet connection. No more of that!

The only thing you may need to watch out for is your data usage, depending on your plan. Lucky for me, I was grandfathered in with my unlimited data package that I've had practically since Verizon first offered it way back when. But that doesn't mean they won't change things up on me, and, thus, you as well, if you're in the same boat as me, so exercise caution with the whole data plan thing and you'll be good to go.

If you're currently paying for your phone to be a mobile hotspot that you only use one device with (like a MacBook), then this little trick could essentially replace that for you and save you that monthly fee (for now, until Verizon decides to make restrictions based on deep packet inspection or something similar).

Last of note, I used a MacBook Air and Verizon's 4G LTE network as my examples in this post since they're what I have. So long as you have Internet access on your phone and a way to tether it to your computer -- be it a MacBook or a PC -- you can create a similar setup. I just wanted to throw this quick tip out there for anyone who may find it useful!

And now, back to your regularly scheduled browsing...

-Stephen Chapman

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Topics: Verizon, Apple, Hardware, Laptops, Mobility

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17 comments
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  • When Verizon Catches you

    Watch out for a huge bill....
    itguy10
    • He doesn't have to worry about being "caught"...

      ...like me, he has had an unlimited data plan for a long time. So far...Verizon hasn't changed this. So far.<br><br>I've used 15+GB on a few occasions, but usually between 5-10 GB monthly, and NEVER have had an overage charge...because I didn't go over anything...because it's UNLIMITED.<br><br>I'd just like to know how he has moved up to LTE without losing the unlimited usage, but maybe it has to do with his owning a "smartphone" since they became available, and the plans were changed. When I have inquired about it, Verizon has said that because I don't currently have a smartphone (using a 3g Rev.A LG envTouch for a few years now), I would need to upgrade to one, and that would kill my unlimited data plan. So, for the foreseeable future, 3g is working for me just fine thank you.
      IT_Fella
      • RE: MacBook Air and Android device with Verizon 4G LTE: A winning combination

        @IT_Fella

        Verizon is cracking down and most likely they will catch you. They've already shut many of the backdoors and I'd be surprised if they didn't continue.
        itguy10
  • RE: MacBook Air and Android device with Verizon 4G LTE: A winning combination

    Technically... by the 'rules' I think your supposed to be paying an extra tethering charge no matter how your doing it... while some programs like that are currently circumventing it.
    doh123
    • RE: MacBook Air and Android device with Verizon 4G LTE: A winning combination

      @doh123
      Only wireless tethering, for whatever reason. Probably due to multiple devices.
      hoaxoner
  • Why necessary Android? WP7 has 4G LTE, too

    The subject.
    DDERSSS
    • Last paragraph of the post.

      The subject.
      StephenChapman
    • &quot;...WP7 has 4G LTE, too&quot;

      Ahhh...no they don't. Not Verizon...or anyone else yet.
      IT_Fella
  • RE: MacBook Air and Android device with Verizon 4G LTE: A winning combination

    I use PdaNet. It's free and works well for me, though it requires a bit of extra work, as it uses either USB or Bluetooth to do it. I mainly only uses it when the internet goes down at my house, but it hasn't failed me yet.
    Aerowind
  • RE: MacBook Air and Android device with Verizon 4G LTE: A winning combination

    Surely you will never be caught after posting this on a widely read technology site...
    mesanford
    • RE: MacBook Air and Android device with Verizon 4G LTE: A winning combination

      @mesanford

      LOL!
      dsf3g
  • @itguy10...Nothing for Verizon to &quot;crack down on&quot;.

    @mesanford & @itguy10<br><br>I pay, and I assume the author also pays, USD$59.99 per month for this unlimited data plan...and as far as my case is concerned...Verizon has told me repeatedly that as long as I do not upgrade to a smartphone...nothing changes.<br><br>What part of this don't you both get? <br><br>No one is hiding anything. No one is "pulling the wool over the eyes" of Verizon.<br><br>There aren't any "backdoors" to this plan. It's something they offered FOR YEARS.

    It's called "Mobile Broadband Connect".
    IT_Fella
  • RE: MacBook Air and Android device with Verizon 4G LTE: A winning combination

    He's not breaking any rules, as of yet. Verizon doesn't charge for wired tethering at the moment. And, one of the selling points of the Thunderbolt was LTE unlimited. I also have one. Now, will they close that little gem? Probably. Hopefully later rather than sooner. Will people be grandfathered in as early adopters? Again, hopefully.
    hoaxoner
  • RE: MacBook Air and Android device with Verizon 4G LTE: A winning combination

    Just remember that making your smartphone wears out the battery life pronto. I plug in my phone when using it as a hotspot.
    dweiums
  • RE: MacBook Air and Android device with Verizon 4G LTE: A winning combination

    Beware the quickly dying battery when using your smartphone as a mobile hotspot. I always plug my phone in when using it as a hotspot for my tablet. Otherwise, it dies fast.
    dweiums
  • Sprint EVO 3D makes a great hotspot for my Air and iPad

    I've never had a problem with the Wi-Fi on my 13" Mac Air. I use the Sprint EVO 3D as my hotspot - the "hotspot" software comes with the phone so there are no extra apps to install on the phone or computer. And as a regular Wi-Fi hotspot it works with my iPad, and anyone I happen to be in a meeting with can also use my hotspot.
    rstoeber
  • RE: MacBook Air and Android device with Verizon 4G LTE: A winning combination

    RE: MacBook Air and Android device with Verizon 4G LTE: A winning combinati
    Kindly excuse a stupid question. From what i read providers block tethering in usa. Am i correct? All around europe i use my android (froyo 2.2) which needs no additional software to share internet connection via wifi, obviously it is crucial to have a roamning subscription with your provider otherwise international billing works per kbyte of traffic and it is huge.
    QatQat