We at TechNorms have covered wireless tethering before. Tethering is when an Android phone uses its data connection to provide internet access to another device. It’s not as fast as a good WiFi network, but sometimes you might not be within the range of a wireless network. That’s where tethering comes in – a slow connection is better than no connection. If you’re interested in some legal (and less than legal) tethering solutions, we highly recommend you check out our comprehensive post on tethering methods for Android.
Well, it’s not quite comprehensive. In the time since that guide was published, a new app for tethering has been released and made quite a splash. ClockworkMod Tether is a new product from developer Koush. He’s the guy who made the excellent custom recovery ClockworkMod, hence the similar name for his tethering app. CWM Tether is a good product that is targeted at a specific audience. Should you use it? Read on to find out.
Who Is ClockworkMod Tether Intended For?
Simply put, ClockworkMod Tether is meant for non-rooted users. Although the eponymous recovery system is meant solely for people with root, Tether is targeted more at a casual audience, users who don’t necessarily know or want to root.
It is also intended for those who don’t mind flouting the carrier restrictions. Using ClockworkMod Tether is legally questionable, so be aware of what you’re doing when you install this. This guide is for informational purposes only.
What Can ClockworkMod Tether Do?
Simply put, CWM Tether makes unrooted tethering easy. It provides decently fast internet over a wired connection to any computer. The good news is that Tether supports Windows, Mac, and Linux. The bad news is that it’s strictly wired. No wireless tethering here.
ClockworkMod Tether uses a phone-side app and a desktop client to link together to form a wired internet connection for your computer. The desktop program is necessary because the app doesn’t have root access on the phone.
How Do I Set It Up?
Easy. Download ClockworkMod Tether from the Android Market and install it on your phone. Note: You have some trouble as the carrier may have blocked the app installation from the Market. You can still sideload a copy from ClockworkMod Site.
Now download the desktop client from ClockworkMod’s website. Installation is a breeze, just let the program do its thing and set itself up. Once it’s installed, start the program and connect your phone.
Once the phone is connected, enable USB debugging in the Settings. That should do it. Now hit start and watch ClockworkMod Tether do its thing. If all goes well, you should see a wired connection to the internet.
How Does It Perform?
As with all tethering apps, your internet speed depends entirely upon the strength of your data connection. Tethering in a populated city will always give faster speeds than trying the same in rural areas. We tested our 3G connection and got decent results. Light web browsing works just fine over a tethered connection.
Unfortunately, ClockworkMod Tether is not yet totally stable and it shows. But barring a few connection breakdowns, the app performed well.
ClockworkMod Tether is a good app but somewhat difficult to recommend. Other tethering solutions like PdaNet and EasyTether offer similar results with fewer technical issues. The app is also limited to a fourteen-day trial before mandated purchase.
Still, the connection issues are ironed out, ClockworkMod Tether is a good way to get internet while on the road. If you have root, Open Garden is better. However, for what it offers (no hassle tethering), ClockworkMod Tether is impressive.