A recent, rare, Internet outage at my house made me think about a backup Internet option. Since my Moto Q has Internet capabilities, I thought it would be possible to use it as a connection device if connected to a PC.
I first tried using the phone with Motorola Phone Tools software. Unfortunately, the software did not recognize the phone. So I did a search for Moto Q software and found the site everythingq.com. On the site was a program called pdanet which purported to do exactly what I was looking for – using the phone as an Internet connection device.
After unsuccesfully trying to download the software from this site (pdanet has a 7 day trial period), I found the author’s site and was able to download from there along with installation instructions and an FAQ.
The only requirement was Microsoft ActiveSync. After installing both to a laptop, I connected the phone to the laptop so pdanet could install on the phone. The only hiccup I encountered was because I had the USB connection on the phone set to Mass Storage instead of ActiveSync RNDIS.
Connecting with pdanet is simply a matter of connecting the phone to the PC (via USB in this case, although Bluetooth is supported), then clicking pdanet in the system tray and clicking connect. With my connection in a moving car driving on the highway far from any cities, I was able to achieve 213Kbps download / 88Kbps upload on AT&Ts Edge network. When I could get 3G connection, the speed increased to 871 Kbps download / 225Kbps upload.
The software works very well, but I’ve had problems with it seeing my phone or connecting. I think this is more of a problem with the phone, USB connection, and location than the software itself (I had to restart the phone, I am using a VM of Windows XP for this, and driving on highways that are sometimes out in the boonies). I recommend this software – it’s a lot cheaper than buying a dedicated data connector and a data plan.