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