How to tether your BlackBerry for free via Bluetooth (Mac and PC)

112 Comments

blackberry bluetooth

After our post about TetherBerry, a good friend and BlackBerryCool reader Horia sent us a letter saying the process could easily be done for free via Bluetooth. Here is what he had to say:

It depends how much time you have to look into it. For OSX it was a two step process, I didn’t install any 3rd party apps or even the blackberry desktop manager (don’t even know if they make it for mac) but I did have to add a “modem script” to osx so that it can use the blackberry as a Bluetooth data modem, essentially the equivalent of installing a driver in windows. Once that was done, I just had to create a new dial-up connection, select the modem, put the APN, username and password (all of which are dependent and unique to the cell phone provider, Rogers in my case). After it’s all set and done, I literally just hit connect, wait 3 seconds and I’m online via Bluetooth with the phone still in my pocket.

The details of the setup instructions can be found on the CBForums. There are also lots of hints to help you out if your having setup problems. Here are the setup details:

Under network options goto Bluetooth
Telephone number: wap.cingular
Account name: WAP@CINGULARGPRS.COM
Password: CINGULAR1

Click Advanced
Under Modem

Vender: Option
Model: GSM
APN: WAP.CINGULAR
CID: 1

Apply and hit connect

The only issue might be for newer 8900/9000 devices, which according to the post in that link, can use the modem scripts for a 8300/8700/8800 and work just fine. I still have a Curve so I’m not too sure.

For Windows it was even easier, install the desktop manager (which also installs the modem-driver), then create a dialup connection, but this only works via the USB cable. There seems to be a problem with the vista Bluetooth stack (or maybe it’s compatibility with blackberry modems in particular). Some Google results seems to say there might be a fix, but I haven’t looked into it too much (I have a Mac laptop and I’ve only used it a few times at home via USB once when my cable internet was down).

Check out this post on BBForums for a good How To.

Supported Carriers
Carrier AT&T: Success!
Carrier Rogers: Success!
Carrier Vodafone: Success!
Carrier T-Mobile: Success!
Carrier Verizon: Sometimes Successful
Carrier Cingular: Sometimes Successful
Carrier Nextel/Telus: May need to use www.mobishark.com
Carrier Sprint: May need to use www.mobishark.com
Carrier Bell Mobility: 7130e Confirmed, Must use www.mobishark.com otherwise
Currently, Rogers, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Vodafone UK are reported to work. Sometimes and Cingular works, but is much harder to setup. No confirmations for other carriers yet.
Important: If you are using a BES 4.0 server, your BES 4.0 server, you should not use the “Disable IPmodem” setting. BES hosting providers such as eOutlook/Mailstreet/BES4U/MyBlueberry must avoid setting the “Disable IPmodem” setting.
.
Connect Your BlackBerry
Make sure your BlackBerry is connected by USB cable, and your BlackBerry Handheld Manager is running (just launch BlackBerry Desktop to run it.) This is necessary for using the BlackBerry as an external modem. You cannot use BlackBerry as a modem unless you have BlackBerry Handheld Manager running in the background!
.
Modem Driver Install
If you installed a recent version of BlackBerry Desktop that came with a 7100t, 7290, 7250, or 7520, it should include modem drivers and already be automatically installed. In the event you need to manually install them, the modem drivers should be located in this directory:
C:\program files\Common Files\Research In Motion\Modem Drivers
However, if you are having problems with these drivers, uninstall, delete all leftover RIM files, and then reinstall the latest version of BlackBerry Desktop.
.
Verify The Modem Driver Exists
Go to Control Panel -> Phone & Modem Options. In the Modems tab, you should see a new “Standard Modem” on a new port (such as COM6 or COM11). If you do, jump to the next step.
However, if your modem is missing:
If this modem entry is missing and cannot be found using Plug n Play, you may have to manually add it. Verify you have “RIM Virtual Serial Port” drivers installed. Find out which COM ports the RIM Virtual Serial Ports are, go to Control Panel -> System -> Hardware -> Device Manager -> Ports (COM & LPT) … This will tell you which COM ports your BlackBerry Modem is on. Next, go to Control Panel -> Phone and Modem and Remove the modem. Re-add the modem by clicking on Add. You MUST select the “Standard 33600 bps Modem” (correct) INSTEAD OF “Standard 56000 bps Modem” (wrong). Click Next. You will be asked for the ports to add this modem to. Add this modem to all COM ports that the RIM Virtual Serial Port is on. You must choose the “Standard 33600 bps Modem” because of incompatible AT commands that result in an Error 628. Don’t worry, the speed won’t be slower.
.
Verify The Modem Driver Is Functioning
Go to Control Panel -> Phone & Modem Options. In the Modems tab, you should see a new Standard Modem on a new port (such as COM6 or COM11). Click Properties -> Diagnostics -> Query Modem. You should see the following:
Quote:
ATQ0V1E0 – OK
AT+GMM – BlackBerry IPmodem
AT+FCLASS=? – OK
AT#CLS=? – OK
AT+GCI? – OK
AT+GCI=? – OK
ATI1 – Research In Motion / BlackBerry IPmodem
ATI2 – Research In Motion / BlackBerry IPmodem
ATI3 – Research In Motion / BlackBerry IPmodem
ATI4 – Research In Motion / BlackBerry IPmodem
ATI5 – Research In Motion / BlackBerry IPmodem
ATI6 – Research In Motion / BlackBerry IPmodem
ATI7 – Research In Motion / BlackBerry IPmodem
Note: This may look different on Nextel 7520, or Sprint/Verizon/Bell Mobility 7250. This is normal. Just make sure there is a response at all, rather than no response.
.
IMPORTANT SPECIAL CONFIGURATION STEP
Click Properties -> Advanced and add only ONE of the following Extra initialization commands with the appropriate carrier-specific APN Setting:

TMOBILE USA Users (Success!)
+cgdcont=1,”IP”,”wap.voicestream.com”

Rogers Users (Success!)
+cgdcont=1,”IP”,”internet.com”

Cingular Blue/AT&T Users (Success!)
+cgdcont=1,”IP”,”proxy”

Cingular Orange Users (Success!)
+cgdcont=1,”IP”,”ISP.CINGULAR”

UK Vodafone Users (Success!)
+cgdcont=1,”IP”,”internet”

Verizon Users (Success!) – Keep blank
Nextel/Telus iDEN Users (untested) – Keep blank
Sprint/Bell Mobility CDMA Users (untested) – Keep blank
.
Add A New Internet Connection
Close the Phone and Modem Options and the Control Panel. Create a new connection with Start -> Connect To -> Show all connections -> Create a new connection.

1. Click Next

2. Select “Connect To The Internet” then Next

3. Select “Set up my connection manually” then Next

4. Select “Connect using a dial-up modem” then Next.

5. Check only the Standard Modem (if prompted).

6. Give the connection a name such as “BlackBerry Modem”, then Next.

7. On the next screen, pick one of the following phone numbers, depending on your carrier:
….If you use GSM/Cingular/AT&T/TMobile: Enter phone number *99#
….If you use iDEN/Nextel/Telus: Enter phone number S=2
….If you use CDMA/Verizon/Sprint/Bell Canada: Enter phone number #777

8. Click Next.

9. On the next screen, pick one of the following, depending on your carrier:

….If you use Cingular Blue, AT&T or Nextel:
………Username: (blank)
………Password: (blank)

….If you use Rogers Canada:
………Username: wapuser1
………Password: wap

….If you use Cingular Orange:
………Username: [email address]
………Password: CINGULAR1

….If you use T-Mobile:
………Username: (Your existing TMobile.com Username)
………Password: (Your existing TMobile.com Password)

….If you use Verizon, replace 8005551212 with your phone number:
………Username: [email address]
………Password: 8005551212

….If you use Sprint:
………Username: (Your existing Sprint PCS Username)
………Password: (Your existing Sprint PCS Password)

….If you use Bell Mobility, replace 8005551212 with your phone number:
………Username: [email address]
………Password: (Your Bell Mobility Voicemail PIN)

10. Clear all checkboxes (“Use…when anyone…” and “Make this the default…”)

11. Click Finish

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Disable IP Header Compression
Make sure TCP/IP Properties (Advanced) “Use IP Header Compression” checkbox is NOT checked. To verify this, do these steps:

1. Start Menu->Network Connections->”BlackBerry Modem”
2. Click Properties Button
3. Click Networking Tab
4. Select “Internet Protocol (TCP/IP)”
5. Click Properties Button
6. Click Advanced… Button
7. Disable “Use IP header compression” checkbox
8. Click all OK buttons to close all dialogs
Also make sure you clear all these checkboxes, if you see any of these checked:
Turn off “Enable Hardware Flow Control”
Turn off “Enable Modem Error Control”
Turn off “Enable Modem Compression”
.

BES Configuration
Skip this step if you are not on BES. You only need to follow this step if your company gave the BlackBerry to you. If you are at a company and you are on a BES 4.0, your Administrator must enable the “BlackBerry IPModem” setting on the BES. This is a new setting in the Version 4.0 of BES.
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Surf On The Laptop!
Connect to the Internet on the laptop by clicking the “BlackBerry Modem” icon via Start Menu->Network Connections. No username or password is needed.

This is a “Mark Rejhon BlackBerry FAQ” article.
Copyright (C) 2005 by Mark Rejhon, All Rights Reserved. Some portions may be Copyright (C) by respective forum members.
Mark Rejhon grants permission to use this article only for private use. For all other uses, please ask Mark Rejhon at Mark Rejhon – aka Marky – Home Page of Mark D. Rejhon to ask for permission to use this article. If any content of this article also contains content by other forum members, please ask them for permission too as well. This includes commercial use, public use, reposting in full/part anywhere on the Internet, publication in magazine/book or any other media, or any other use than private use. This copyright notice may not be edited or removed in any manner. Mark Rejhon reserves exclusive right to edit, remove, or restore this article, and this article may not be edited, removed, or restored by any other individual or organizations.

  • prez

    I was able to succesfully connect, but I need to know whether it matters that my blackberry shows “Modem Mode Enabled”.

    Will Telus know that I am using tethering?

  • prez

    I was able to succesfully connect, but I need to know whether it matters that my blackberry shows “Modem Mode Enabled”.

    Will Telus know that I am using tethering?

  • http://www.itssiemens.com/ Matt Zinn

    I have tried everything above, and it looks like I am connecting to the modem, I have put the special configuration in for AT&T, (Blue), but when I try to query the modem I get the following error: The modem failed to respond. Make sure it is properly connected and turned on. If it is an internal modem or is connected, verify that the interrupt for the port is properly set. What am I doing wrong?

  • http://www.itssiemens.com Matt Zinn

    I have tried everything above, and it looks like I am connecting to the modem, I have put the special configuration in for AT&T, (Blue), but when I try to query the modem I get the following error: The modem failed to respond. Make sure it is properly connected and turned on. If it is an internal modem or is connected, verify that the interrupt for the port is properly set. What am I doing wrong?

  • JWS

    I believe I followed all the instructions correctly but when I try connecting, I get an error that says Error 692: There was a hardware failure in the modem.

    Thoughts?

  • JWS

    I believe I followed all the instructions correctly but when I try connecting, I get an error that says Error 692: There was a hardware failure in the modem.

    Thoughts?

  • JWS

    I figured it out. I saw the post above about needing to type in the APN manually instead of copy/paste. Now, I get a different error when trying to connect: Error 734: The PPP link control protocol was terminated.

    Thoughts?

  • JWS

    I figured it out. I saw the post above about needing to type in the APN manually instead of copy/paste. Now, I get a different error when trying to connect: Error 734: The PPP link control protocol was terminated.

    Thoughts?

  • David K

    I have a Pearl 8110 that I think I want to tether to my Laptop running XP Pro. My service provider is AT&T. I also have a Sprint Aircard that I would like to eliminate. My question is about performance. What should I experience using my tethered Pearl as a modem as compared to the Sprint Aircard I am currently using?

  • David K

    I have a Pearl 8110 that I think I want to tether to my Laptop running XP Pro. My service provider is AT&T. I also have a Sprint Aircard that I would like to eliminate. My question is about performance. What should I experience using my tethered Pearl as a modem as compared to the Sprint Aircard I am currently using?

  • http://www.lolamarya.com/ lolamarya

    T-Mobile allows you to tether your BB and that is included in the data plan. They have the slowest service, but it’s not bad for basic web surfing.
    When I had Sprint, I downloaded the software from their website and tethered free of charge. I had a friend who did the same, but one day they cut her off. They are supposed to allow it with the data plan, but they would charge you if you asked about it (they told me it would be $70/month because I had the World Ed. BB, but it worked without them adding anything).
    I’ve heard that Verizon will not allow it without you paying additional to tether and I don’t know anything about AT&T’s service.
    For me T-Mobile is the best way to go. Their tech support will walk you through the tethering process and all of their data plans are unlimited. With this new BB Desktop Manger that I just downloaded, it configures the tethering for you.

  • http://www.lolamarya.com lolamarya

    T-Mobile allows you to tether your BB and that is included in the data plan. They have the slowest service, but it’s not bad for basic web surfing.
    When I had Sprint, I downloaded the software from their website and tethered free of charge. I had a friend who did the same, but one day they cut her off. They are supposed to allow it with the data plan, but they would charge you if you asked about it (they told me it would be $70/month because I had the World Ed. BB, but it worked without them adding anything).
    I’ve heard that Verizon will not allow it without you paying additional to tether and I don’t know anything about AT&T’s service.
    For me T-Mobile is the best way to go. Their tech support will walk you through the tethering process and all of their data plans are unlimited. With this new BB Desktop Manger that I just downloaded, it configures the tethering for you.

  • Confused

    I’m confused. where are the instructions about tether BB to PC via BlueTooth? All I’m reading is tethering via USB Cable which I can already do.

    I can connect to the internet via tether from PC to BB and the BB is used as a MODEM.

    Am I missing something here?

  • Confused

    I’m confused. where are the instructions about tether BB to PC via BlueTooth? All I’m reading is tethering via USB Cable which I can already do.

    I can connect to the internet via tether from PC to BB and the BB is used as a MODEM.

    Am I missing something here?

  • http://www.TetherBerry.com/ Bruce Millwood

    I’ve gotta say these instructions are pretty complicated and from the looks of the comments it seems like a hard and unreliable solution. I think this is why TetherBerry came about, to provide a easier solution.

    I don’t know about anyone else, but I’d rather pay for something that works then spend all my time messing around with these instructions. That’s my opinion.

  • http://www.TetherBerry.com/ Bruce Millwood

    I’ve gotta say these instructions are pretty complicated and from the looks of the comments it seems like a hard and unreliable solution. I think this is why TetherBerry came about, to provide a easier solution.

    I don’t know about anyone else, but I’d rather pay for something that works then spend all my time messing around with these instructions. That’s my opinion.

  • Marfell

    Why can’t I type in the “Extra initialization commands” field when trying to set up a blackberry modem. I can’t get past that step. The box looks ready to be typed in, but I can’t get a curser in there to start typing.

  • Marfell

    Why can’t I type in the “Extra initialization commands” field when trying to set up a blackberry modem. I can’t get past that step. The box looks ready to be typed in, but I can’t get a curser in there to start typing.

  • Edward TLS

    Well.. I found this article and read the first part and tried setting it up without the instructions…
    I got it to work in less then two minutes on my Mac(snow) and my NEW Bold 9700 on the Vodafone NL network…
    seems very fast and it’s really great!

    - just do the bt pairing
    - number is: *99***1#
    - setup APN and u/p
    - on advanced set vendor to RIM
    - Model to Blackberry GSM modem
    - CID = 1
    - APN you should know.

    that’s it…

    e

  • Edward TLS

    Well.. I found this article and read the first part and tried setting it up without the instructions…
    I got it to work in less then two minutes on my Mac(snow) and my NEW Bold 9700 on the Vodafone NL network…
    seems very fast and it’s really great!

    - just do the bt pairing
    - number is: *99***1#
    - setup APN and u/p
    - on advanced set vendor to RIM
    - Model to Blackberry GSM modem
    - CID = 1
    - APN you should know.

    that’s it…

    e

  • Blackberry fan

    good news people if you download the new blackberry desktop it has a bilt in tethering program!!! no more need for costly software like mobishark or tetherberry just download the new desktop app and in a couple clicks your surfing the net. thanks to all of you that tried your best to get us up and running on this inraging ordeal my hats off to you!!!!

  • Blackberry fan

    good news people if you download the new blackberry desktop it has a bilt in tethering program!!! no more need for costly software like mobishark or tetherberry just download the new desktop app and in a couple clicks your surfing the net. thanks to all of you that tried your best to get us up and running on this inraging ordeal my hats off to you!!!!

  • http://www.angrysam.com/ ColdFusion Developer

    FYI: T-Mobile charges for this service when you tether using Desktop Manager. I’m not sure if there is a way to get around it or not, but I used about two megabytes and was charged about $3. Pretty pricey if you ask me.

  • http://www.angrysam.com ColdFusion Developer

    FYI: T-Mobile charges for this service when you tether using Desktop Manager. I’m not sure if there is a way to get around it or not, but I used about two megabytes and was charged about $3. Pretty pricey if you ask me.

  • Sprint_Stuck

    I have a BB 8330 with Sprint. I have the Simply Everything Package and, until Oct 2009, was able to tether mine. Now it will not work. Sprint says the “BB as a modem” is not compatible with the Simply Everything. They want to overhaul my plan in order to allow it to work. Any suggestions? Tried the Mobishark without success. I could not get it to recognize that my BB was attached.

  • Sprint_Stuck

    I have a BB 8330 with Sprint. I have the Simply Everything Package and, until Oct 2009, was able to tether mine. Now it will not work. Sprint says the “BB as a modem” is not compatible with the Simply Everything. They want to overhaul my plan in order to allow it to work. Any suggestions? Tried the Mobishark without success. I could not get it to recognize that my BB was attached.

  • BigBo on Storm 9530 on T-Mobil

    Walked theought the steps and it works great for me. patience paid off and all for free

  • BigBo on Storm 9530 on T-Mobile

    Walked theought the steps and it works great for me. patience paid off and all for free

  • TLO

    I am getting error 734.. The PPP link control protocol was terminated. Help.

  • TLO

    I am getting error 734.. The PPP link control protocol was terminated. Help.

  • TLO

    I am getting error 734.. The PPP link control protocol was terminated. Help.

  • TLO

    I am getting error 734.. The PPP link control protocol was terminated. Help.

  • TLO

    Got that taken care of. Now Modem shows connected but not connected to the internet…what am I missing?

  • TLO

    Got that taken care of. Now Modem shows connected but not connected to the internet…what am I missing?

  • anitaBB

    THANKS!!
    Followed the instructions and went to the provided links for even more detailed instructions!
    Didn’t know I could accomplish this with my BlackBerry Curve.

    Got to say- I’m liking this BlackBerry Curve more and more each day!!
    -couldn’t do this with my Samsung Behold-[that phone was cool but this one can do a liitle more-]

    If you don’t want to pay for tethering and you have about 6 minutes, go here:
    http://www.blackberryforums.com/blackberry-guides/2019-user-howto-use-blackberry-modem-laptop.html

    very detailed; you will not get confused! For T-Mobile, it definitely works!
    Very Awesome!

  • anitaBB

    THANKS!!
    Followed the instructions and went to the provided links for even more detailed instructions!
    Didn’t know I could accomplish this with my BlackBerry Curve.

    Got to say- I’m liking this BlackBerry Curve more and more each day!!
    -couldn’t do this with my Samsung Behold-[that phone was cool but this one can do a liitle more-]

    If you don’t want to pay for tethering and you have about 6 minutes, go here:
    http://www.blackberryforums.com/blackberry-guides/2019-user-howto-use-blackberry-modem-laptop.html

    very detailed; you will not get confused! For T-Mobile, it definitely works!
    Very Awesome!

  • anitaBB

    THANKS!!
    Followed the instructions and went to the provided links for even more detailed instructions!
    Didn’t know I could accomplish this with my BlackBerry Curve.

    Got to say- I’m liking this BlackBerry Curve more and more each day!!
    -couldn’t do this with my Samsung Behold-[that phone was cool but this one can do a liitle more-]

    If you don’t want to pay for tethering and you have about 6 minutes, go here:
    http://www.blackberryforums.com/blackberry-guides/2019-user-howto-use-blackberry-modem-laptop.html

    very detailed; you will not get confused! For T-Mobile, it definitely works!
    Very Awesome!

  • http://www.angrysam.com/ David Levin

    Note: T-mobile customers will be charged per kilobyte downloaded using this method. It adds up quickly so be careful. I wish there was a way to do it for free.

  • http://www.angrysam.com David Levin

    Note: T-mobile customers will be charged per kilobyte downloaded using this method. It adds up quickly so be careful. I wish there was a way to do it for free.

  • http://www.ginye.com/ Philipp

    Hi, I cannot enter anything for the Extra initialization commands. Any idea why???

  • http://www.ginye.com/ Philipp

    Hi, I cannot enter anything for the Extra initialization commands. Any idea why???

  • Tim

    StormPrestige, what settings did you use to connect your verizon blackberry for free? Thanks.

  • JC

    Thanks for the information. After two hours of laboring over the internet, this is the one that worked for me. I have AT&T, BB 9700 and MacBook Pro (OSX 10.6.2).

  • markbytes

    I've used the tethering instructions very successfully on my old BB Curve 8310 (EDGE). Now I've upgraded to the ATT BOLD 9700 which supports 3G. I can use the same settings as suggested (CINGULARGPRS….and model GSM), but am I really now getting the 3G speed? Or are there new settings to access via 3G?

    thanks!!!

  • markbytes

    I've used the tethering instructions very successfully on my old BB Curve 8310 (EDGE). Now I've upgraded to the ATT BOLD 9700 which supports 3G. I can use the same settings as suggested (CINGULARGPRS….and model GSM), but am I really now getting the 3G speed? Or are there new settings to access via 3G?

    thanks!!!

  • Mike

    To all that are asking about entering the init commands, make sure you select the Change Settings button on the General tab, before selecting the advanced tab.

  • Jeri Creson

    I spoke with TMobile – they tell me that if you already have a blackberry data plan on your phone, there will be no data charges. Is that your experience?

    They referred me to instructions at: http://www.tmobile.com/phoneasmodem

  • Jason

    Tethering a Blackberry as a wireless IP modem may be good for those networks where wireless modem connections won't be charged by the carriers. Came acrocss an interesting article at tetherbridge.com/TetherPrimer.html about why certain ways of tethering may be charged by carriers while some others may not.

  • Sunny

    It is much easier to use the tether app by TetherBridge (available from tetherbridge.com). It allows you to share your Blackberry data plan without paying a tethering fee. Best of all, it has a free mode and you don't even need to purchase a software license.

  • Nuppsandra

    This works really good, I really enjoy the easy of use. But I have a major issue now, I upgraded and now have windows & on my PC and this no longer works!!! I get a error message re PPP. Does anyone know how to run this on windows 7, I have tried everything?