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Old December 15th, 2010, 12:34 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Confused MAC Addresses, Tethering, and Wi-Fi

I've only had my Galaxy 5 (running Froyo 2.2) for about two months and I've barely scratched the surface of what it can do. Lately I've been trying to experiment with trying to set up tethering on it.

I have a few questions, though. (Some of 'em would most probably be noob-ish but hey, noob is as noob does.)

Firstly, I understand that tethering allows me to hook up my laptop to my phone and get on the internet using the phone's GPRS/HSDPA signal, is it possible to tether and use the phone's Wi-Fi signal instead?

The reason I'm asking is because I go to a university that allows students to access the WLAN but only on a ONE MAC address per person basis. Meaning: I register my laptop's MAC address and they assign me a unique pass key to get on the WLAN. The problem is I also want to be able to use my phone to get on the WLAN. However, the pass key will only work for the registered MAC address (my laptop and phone, of course, having different addresses.)

I'm thinking if it's possible to use the phone as an alternate Wi-Fi antenna for my laptop while in school, then I just need to register my phone's MAC address. This assumes that the MAC address that will show up on the school system will be my phone's regardless of whether it's tethered to a laptop or by itself. Would this work?

An alternative might be would be to try and change the MAC address on my phone to match with my laptop so I can use either one to access the school network. Is this possible to do?

Would really appreciate some tips. Or, if I should make my way over to another thread please do point me in the right direction.

Peace!

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Old December 15th, 2010, 01:28 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by pjmanalo View Post
I'm thinking if it's possible to use the phone as an alternate Wi-Fi antenna for my laptop while in school, then I just need to register my phone's MAC address. This assumes that the MAC address that will show up on the school system will be my phone's regardless of whether it's tethered to a laptop or by itself. Would this work?
I don't see why not as long as you turn off the wireless receiver in your laptop and you tether via USB. However, you may find the WiFi antenna in the phone is less receptive (because it's smaller) than the antenna in your laptop. And, WiFi sucks power like crazy so even though you have a voltage source from USB you still may see battery drain. And, you'll need to keep your phone with your laptop all the time. A better solution would be to approach the IT department (nicely, with cookies and doughnuts and several cups of fresh coffee) and ask them politely if it would be possible to get a second WiFi access for your smartphone ... and promise on pain of impalement and torture that you will never ever ask for tech support for the device.

Quote:
An alternative might be would be to try and change the MAC address on my phone to match with my laptop so I can use either one to access the school network. Is this possible to do?

Would really appreciate some tips. Or, if I should make my way over to another thread please do point me in the right direction.

Peace!
Spoofing your MAC address as a means to identify devices on a private network is usually a violation of the user agreement and in some instances a crime. Not a good solution.
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Old December 16th, 2010, 07:35 AM   #3 (permalink)
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i can confirm that pdanet worked fine usb tethering my home wifi to my laptop. i had no reason to need that feature but i just got tethering working but didn't want to use up my data plan when i still had home internet so i switched it to wifi and continued tethering for a while to test the app. it worked fine.
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