User could give up cable internet for Dell Streak

Streak-pdanet-gh I wouldn't suggest trying this without an appropriate data plan, but Dell Streak user Grayharley is almost two weeks into his 30-day experiment of using the device as his sole internet connection at home to see if he can eventually cancel his cable internet service.

The Streak is at the heart of a WiFi hotspot he's got set up at home, but he's not using Wireless Tether or Barnacle WiFi Tether (apps that turn rooted Android phones into free wireless hotspots) to do it. Instead, he's using PdaNet (no root required) to tether the Streak to his laptop via USB. Then he's connecting his laptop to a standard Linksys router, which is using the Streak's data connection and sharing it with all the other devices in the house.

To set it up, all he did was unplug the cable modem from the router, tether the Streak to his laptop, and go into the computer's network connections settings where he right-clicked on PdaNet, and clicked Properties -> Share -> Share using my wireless connection. Then he reconnected the laptop to the router (not using DHCP) and was done.

He says that while video streaming sites like Hulu and Netflix aren't as reliable as they are over cable modem WiFi, everything else is working extremely well. The connection is consistent/reliable and the Streak stays cools, even when left on overnight.

I don't know how often the Streak is untethered for use as a standalone device or whether it's ever used as a phone, but I'm going to keep an eye on Gray's progress. I have a friend who canceled his cable service in favor of Hulu and a Slingbox set up at his parents' house, but I don't know anyone who gave up cable internet for tethered 3G.

[] Thanks, Dave!

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Jenn K. Lee

Jenn K. Lee is the founder of Pocketables. She loves gadgets the way most women love shoes and purses. The pieces in her tech wardrobe that go with everything are currently the Samsung Galaxy Note II, Sony Tablet P, and Nexus 7, but there are still a couple of vintage UMPCs/MIDs in the back of her closet.

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23 thoughts on “User could give up cable internet for Dell Streak

  • Avatar of James Foster

    Greyharley obviously lives alone or has decided to give up using his Streak a a mobile device. My reasoning being that if I used my streak as the only internet source for my house then decided to leave the house, taking my streak with me, my wife would not be a happy bunny with no internet!

    Nice experiment though!

  • PdaNet works so well that I can unplug my Dell Streak every time I leave the house, and reconnect when I return with just two taps on the Dell Streak and one click on the laptop. Bluetooth allows me to make and receive phone calls while the phone is tethered.

    Hi Jenn, thanks for the mention.

  • It’s just me and the wife right now, but we talked about that and I could buy her an android with her own data plan for less than we pay for charter internet. The real issue is how much data the house uses per month.

  • Avatar of gilrad

    You hear that? It’s the sound of wireless infrastructures everywhere committing suicide.

  • There is no way in hell I could drop my 50MB cable internet package.
    This seems like an idea with very limited appeal

  • I think this is cool. In the right situation, it certainly could be a way to get the most out of your Streak and plan.

    For me (a wife and 3 kids) it’s not an option.

    But I enjoy hearing the story.

  • This sounds very cool, but I’d reach the AT&T 2GB data limit in no time, especially with bittorrent…

  • How hard is it to install? I followed the instructions on the PdaNet site and I am sure I am doing something wrong.

  • Avatar of barry99705

    Yea, there’s no way I could do this. We’ve downloaded 14.7Gb so far this month. I also couldn’t go back to “dial up” speeds. 1Mbps is just too damn slow!

  • My install was hard only because I had used PdaNet before with an HTC so I thought I could just plug in and it would work. Because PdaNet installs as a network device using the driver for your phone I had to uninstall and then install from scratch.

    If you are getting a PdaNet error code look for it on the PdaNet FAQ page. It was a lot of help and they have links to a few different versions of PdaNet just for people that get errors.

  • Avatar of Rob

    I did that for a couple months with my iphone. It was working out ok but I needed an extra connection for my Sling and magic jack so I went back to a home plan.

  • Avatar of ClippinWings

    Yeah If I wasn’t running 50mbps up/down Fiber, This might have some appeal… but I couldn’t imagine going back to such low speeds now.

  • Avatar of ClippinWings

    So glad I got grandfathered in with my unlimited data… 2GB would suck

  • I was low on dough with a bunch of doctor bills. So we got rid of cable internet and tv for a few months. I used My HTC 7500 with my unlimited A.T.+ T. for internet for three months. Speed was slow DSL.

    Found two things:

    I use my handheld more than my laptops at home. That’s because on my HTC, but even more on my Streak so much is convenient on my handheld. Web surfing, quick email answering, wikipedia, news and sports, and of course text messaging.

    I would tether my laptop to finish or email big work docs. Also would tether directly to wife or our daughters laptop when they needed internet. It worked well but they found it inconvenient.

    Second thing, I did more internet stuff in work office rather than at home.I use both and did a bit more at home before. With no home cable did more at work. We read and talked more at home. Wow!

    So, the idea of putting the cell phone internet at router is good. The speed will never be enough for most though

    As soon as my bill got paid back to cable internet. We have ready avoided tv though! Netflix online has been awesome and fun.Plus, we only watch tv that we chose to watch, that’s a god thing!

    Oh yeah, we also got same internet speed for half price for a year.They are desperate for customers. Just that made it worth it.

  • i used to do this with my pantech duo. the speed wasn’t all that great, as i had been used to a 10mbps cable connection prior to it, but the money was tight, and i had the unlimited plan… so, it worked. used it that way for like 8 or 9 months. AT&T never complained about it. :)

  • Avatar of Aceofspades

    If I had DSL it wouldn’t really both me to drop it and just tether. My Fuze was faster than my DSL anyways.

    However, comcast is frickin’ awesome. I have DOCSIS 3.0 and my internet is 30mpbs. Cable is rediculously good especially if you live in a DOCSIS 3.0 area. They are actually quite rare though …there is only a couple cities in Florida…and in many states that don’t have as much telecom infrastructure (florida always gets the cool shit) their aren’t any cities at all with DOCSIS 3.0.

    For anyone who doesn’t know DOCSIS 3.0 is double the speed for the same price. When they upgrade to DOCSIS 3.0 they will even call you up and say “We doubled your speed for your plan, please reboot your modem so you can get the new speed.”

    BTW Uverse is a joke, don’t let AT&T make you think otherwise. AT&T can make it sound as flashy as they can but their actually isn’t much potential for improvement for them because a phone wire can only send so much data. Unless AT&T can upgrade their wiring, cable will continue to open up a wider gap as the equipment is able to utilize the extra space in the cable. I mean just compare a cable wire to a phone wire. A cable wire is as dense as an HDMI cable for god sakes.

  • Avatar of nick

    I have been tethering my streak for the past month using EasyTether.
    Using the 3G watchdog I have downloaded about 6-7Gb. Ive not had any problems with normal web page browsing, sometimes flash videos will forget to load half way through but that’s all I can think of.

  • Can you tell me how did you install it on your phone? Both ways doesn’t work on my phone which is on the ATT network

  • Avatar of borisdamole

    my SBC internet went out….

    LUCKILY i got my streak to tether….

    i am on my laptop, and my streak is broadcasting off my desktop….

    GREAT if your in a fix!!!!!

  • From the PdaNet FAQ page you can bypass the android market and down load directly to your phone. If ATT is blocking Jen did a post not too long ago on allowing 3rd party app on ATT. On my streak I went O2 with 2.1 love it.

  • Avatar of brian

    how do you install barnacle wifi tether on your dell streak? I’m running the O2 2.1 Leak (build 6941) and i think the market and amazon mp3 store are the UK version and therefore barnacle wifi tether is not showing up as a search result….anyone?

  • Avatar of brian

    nevermind, downloaded the apk from his site and installed it via terminal.

  • Avatar of james

    I cant get barnacle to work with rooted att 1.6.


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