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How do I setup PdaNet connection over WiFi?

Here are the basic steps needed:

  1. Launch PdaNet and make sure WiFi router mode is enabled.
  2. On the computer create an ad-hoc (aka peer-to-peer) WiFi network and connect to it.
  3. On the iPhone go to Settings->WiFi and you should see the ad-hoc network name of your computer, tap on it to connect.
  4. On the iPhone launch PdaNet and if the above WiFi connection is truly successful, you should see a screen with number of bytes transferred. Otherwise WiFi connection has failed and you should scroll down and read the trouble-shooting section below.

How do I create an ad-hoc network on my computer?

*In each of the following instructions WEP network key is optional but strongly recommended. Without it all computers/iPhones nearby could potentially connect to your computer AND your iPhone!

On Windows XP,

  1. Go to Control Panel->Network Connections, then right click on Wireless Network Connection and select Properties from the menu.
  2. Select Wireless Networks tab, under Preferred networks, click Add.
  3. Give a name to your network in the SSID box such as "iPhoneNet".
  4. Check "This is a computer-to-computer (ad-hoc) network and select "OK" to close the settings.
  5. Now on your iPhone go to Settings->WiFi and "iPhoneNet" should show up in the list unless your computer is already connected to a router. Tap on it and your computer should go online.

On Mac,

  1. Click on the Airport icon at the top of the screen.
  2. Select Create Network, give it a name such as "iPhoneNet".
  3. Now on your iPhone go to Settings->WiFi and "iPhoneNet" should show up in the list. Tap on it and your computer should go online.

On Vista,

  1. Right click on the network tray icon at the bottom of the screen.
  2. Select "Connect to a network", then "Set up a connection or network".
  3. Select "Set up a wireless ad hoc network and "Next", then enter a Network name such as "iPhoneNet". Also check "Save this network".
  4. Now on your iPhone go to Settings->WiFi and "iPhoneNet" should show up in the list. Tap on it and your computer should go online.

Wifi setup troubleshootings:

  • It has been a very common problem that some users are not able to establish ad-hoc WiFi connection between the computer and the iPhone or do so consistently. This is caused by compatibility problem between the WiFi module on the computer and the one on the iPhone. In reality WiFi adapters work a lot better when connecting directly to an Access-Point (WiFi router) but not between each other through the ad-hoc network. Sometimes the problem may go away with a reboot or a different WiFi channel. If nothing helps you will have to connect using USB Mode.
  • To verify the WiFi connection between your computer and iPhone has established properly, the DNS IP of your computer should become 68.28.*.*. If it is empty or has a different range then DHCP hasn't done its work and that further means WiFi handshake has failed. If the computer and the iPhone fail to establish the Wifi connection, they normally do not show you any errors but will self-assign an address and "appear connected". That is especially true if PdaNet still asks you to establish the Wifi connection even though you you already did. In this case you need to reconnect.

    If you have created the ad-hoc Wifi network on the computer end but your iPhone does not see it, it could be because the wifi adapter is in power saving mode. Try to connect to the ad-hoc network explicitly on the computer, and while the computer is searching for wifi connection, check and see if the network name shows up on the iPhone this time.

    The best way to reconnect is to select the Wifi connection on your iPhone and tap "Forget this network". Now wait for the computer end to indicate the connection has been dropped. After this connect to the network again on the iPhone.
  • If you have a hard time establishing an ad-hoc connection, you might want to change the channel number of your computer's WiFi adapter to use a different value. On Mac you have this option when you create the network name. On Windows you need to open Device Manager (run: devmgmt.msc) and right click on the WiFi adapter and select Properties->Advanced tab and you may see an option to change the channel.
  • If the WiFi connection or Internet connection drops when there is no network traffic, try to run a continuous ping like "ping -t www.google.com" to keep the network busy and see if that helps.

  • If "Acquiring Network Address" takes longer than 10 seconds on the computer, something may be wrong with the WiFi signal and you should try to disconnect and reconnect.
  • If you are able to connect WiFi but your computer could not open any web pages, try to open the Weather app on the iPhone and see if the signal icon turns into "3G" on your iPhone. If the Weather app fails to update eventually then something is wrong with either the WiFi settings or the data signal.
  • Having slow data connection? PdaNet connects as fast as your iPhone does and a lot of users have reported at least 1.2Mbps at some occasions. However "3G" is not always "3G" - there is a time and there is a place :-)

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