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

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
Password: CINGULAR1

Click Advanced
Under Modem

Vender: Option
Model: GSM
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
Carrier Sprint: May need to use
Carrier Bell Mobility: 7130e Confirmed, Must use 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:
AT+GMM - BlackBerry IPmodem
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.
Click Properties -> Advanced and add only ONE of the following Extra initialization commands with the appropriate carrier-specific APN Setting:

TMOBILE USA Users (Success!)

Rogers Users (Success!)

Cingular Blue/AT&T Users (Success!)

Cingular Orange Users (Success!)

UK Vodafone Users (Success!)

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 Username)
………Password: (Your existing 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

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.
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.

10 Responses to “How to tether your BlackBerry for free via Bluetooth (Mac and PC)”

  1. 1 CB, Sr

    Somehow, I think that the Big Red One (VZW) will find out that you are ‘tethering without paying’, violating their TOS. I would not want to test that theory and get hit with outrageous charges.

  2. 2 Verizon 8130 user

    I’m on Verizon and when connecting it redirects me to a Verizon page wanting me to add the Mobile Broadband Connect for $30 in addition to my current BlackBerry plan. I passed.

  3. 3 Simple

    I think you guys are making it more complicated then it needs to be. If you have BIS you can teather via that on your Mac by simply walking through Apples “Use your bluetooth phone as a modem” wizard. The username and password is your BIS username and password. No drivers required.

  4. 4 Fails on VZW

    I tried it on Verizon… and they got me. As soon as you try to open a webpage, a vzw page appears about adding tethering and how it is $15 a month if you do, and .25 cents if you don’t

  5. 5 MM

    Same problem here with VZW — it brought up a page about tethering and asked me to sign up.

  6. 6 David

    I set this up late summer and it cost me a whopping $1,000 when roaming in Italy using an Etisalat (UAE) Blackberry.
    Tetherberry tell me that an APN is required for ‘most’ carriers in which case I don’t see the point.
    What I want is a way to access the net from my laptop via BB BIS - I only need it sparingly like for on-line flight check-ins. Anybody help with that?

  7. 7 C M Rea

    BT works for me with or without DTM. BB Curve 8330 Alltel Windows Vista Business x64.

    If you have ?’S Pin me: pin:31a50c60

    Best Regards

  8. 8 Psy

    w00t, this combined with the user comments from, I succeeded in getting connected.

    Two additional notes. I am former cingular user on att network with my bold.
    init string was: at+cgdcont=1,”ISP”,”wap.cingular”
    Blackberry DT manager did not need to be running
    used blank username and PW

    Now, the only concern I have is will ATT catch this and charge me for it? Has anyone been doing this long enough to see if it shows up on the bill?

  1. 1 Tethering.. for free? - BlackBerry Forums at
  2. 2 Does anyone know if there is an app for our phones to make it a wireless router???? - BlackBerry Forums at

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