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Android Cellphones Networking

Ask Slashdot: Which Android Phone (and Carrier) For WiFi Proxy Support? 125

Posted by timothy
from the good-luck-with-all-that dept.
frisket writes "My current phone contract is about to run out, and I'm due a phone upgrade. My HTC Hero has been fine except for the notorious lack of Android proxy support for wireless connections, so I want a new Android phone which provides this. None of the phone companies hereabouts (Ireland) seems to know anything about this, and the forums offer conflicting advice. Is it true that wifi proxy support is disabled to force users to use their phone company's IP connection? What choices do I have (if any)?"
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Ask Slashdot: Which Android Phone (and Carrier) For WiFi Proxy Support?

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  • Not so much a matter of the phone companies not knowing about it, but not knowing about it with the kind of vigor a dieter is aware of a big slice of chocolate cake, but is determined not to eat it. I wouldn't expect much help from them.

    I won't do contracts again, myself, so I'm quite interested to see what pops up here. Mobile phone service companies are nearly as evil as the Nazgul as far as I'm concerned.

  • by hawguy (1600213) on Tuesday October 18, 2011 @01:40PM (#37752106)

    What is Wifi Proxy Support?

    • by Aryden (1872756)
      tethering.
      • Well, it's WiFi, so technically, tetherless tethering. Kind of like wireless cable.
        • by Sancho (17056) *

          I knew someone who gave away free wireless ethernet cables with purchase of a wifi card. Until it became too much trouble to explain the empty boxes.

          • by tepples (727027)

            I knew someone who gave away free wireless ethernet cables with purchase of a wifi card. Until it became too much trouble to explain the empty boxes.

            He could have at least included the antenna in the box, as that's the closest thing to a cable in Wi-Fi.

      • by tixxit (1107127)
        Hrm... I've never tried wirelessly tethering my phone, but my HTC Hero can be tethered with a normal USB cable. I used it quite a lot during my last road trip w/ the wife. However, I suspect that these types of features have much more to do with the carrier than the phone itself. My carrier allows tethering with its data plans, but I've heard of ones that don't.
      • by __Paul__ (1570)

        No, he doesn't mean tethering. Android phones can already do tethering.

        What they can't do - and Android is very notorious for this - is use a web proxy over their wifi connections. It's a bug that annoys many Android users, but Google is either refusing to fix, or just plain ignoring.

    • by frisket (149522) <.ei.liramlis. .ta. .retep.> on Tuesday October 18, 2011 @06:29PM (#37755672) Homepage
      It's when a wireless access point sends packets to the Internet via a proxy server. This is standard on all large-scale wireless networks (eg industrial, campus, conference centre, etc). Lack of proxy support means I can connect to the AP, but my web/mail/twitter/etc requests go nowhere because the device is sending them to the AP instead of to the proxy.

      All comments below about proxy support being something to do with tethering are complete rubbish.

  • by jeffmeden (135043) on Tuesday October 18, 2011 @01:45PM (#37752166) Homepage Journal

    Root your phone and install a copy of Barnacle Wi-Fi tether. It works on just about any Android phone with a 2g/3g data connection, it is lightweight and easy to set up. At an MSRP of free, it won't break the bank. All hail our open source overlords!

  • If so, my HTC wildfire has that, bought it from the carphone warehouse here in England and didn't ask for anything special, I imagine it's likely to be similar in Ireland. The magic word you want is "tethering"; stupid name, but it's what people call it.
  • Wifi Proxy Support isn't available on any Android phone that I am aware of by default. CyanogenMod supports it out of the box and as a result so does MIUI. But you will need to root the phone for this. Only way I know of. I use it on my MyTouch 4G (running MIUI) without any real issues.
    • by Stephenmg (265369)
      my HTC EVO 4G supports this, have to pay Sprint an extra $30 a month to use it which I don't. I went the root and install wifi tether option which is what I suggest.
      • by rrossman2 (844318)

        So does the verizon samsung facinate and my Samsung galaxy s gt-i9000 that came unlocked from my carrier

    • by afidel (530433)
      Sprint has it out of the box on their Android phones but it requires a $30/month wireless tethering plan! This is in addition to the $10/month extra for it being a smartphone!!
      • by Govno (779519)
        Sprint also now secretly caps the tethering data to 5GB, after which they start charging $0.05/kb. Sprint claims unlimited only applies to phones, not hotspot usage.
    • by neonleonb (723406)

      My Nexus S (on T-Mobile) has built-in wifi tethering. I know that some carriers lock it down, but then I guess that's the magic of an unlocked phone.

      • He's not asking for WiFi tethering. He's asking for proxy support while tethering.

        • by rogabean (741411)
          Correct. I read the submission as he is looking for Proxy support on wifi connections, NOT tethering to another device.
  • Buy an unlocked phone, I got mine for 150e. I havn't had any problems with "tethering" and it allows me to create a wifi AP

    Remember lads, unlocked phones are *not* expensive. Only if you buy them in a mobile phone shop that gets kickbacks for selling contracts
  • While there are programs and apps that allow for tethering, there is no real need to root your phone as others have suggested. Well at least not permanently. Most of the customized ROMS that the carriers place on their devices have tethering disabled by default so they can charge you for a service that you already pay for. Data is data.. it does not matter how you use it, so fuck the carrier.

    Initially you will need root to install a rom manager, once you have that complete, go peruse XDA Developers and f

    • Yes, Any stock Android ROM from 2.2 and onwards has tethering via USB cable, or wifi by default, it is under the network settings

      HTC stopped upgrading the Hero at 2.1. I got so frustrated with MMS messages filling up my phone built-in memory (compacting database bug) that I rooted and put on CyanogenMod and never looked back. In addition to wifi tethering and app2sd, it all just behaves better.

  • by meloneg (101248) on Tuesday October 18, 2011 @01:53PM (#37752268)

    Well, lots of people have addressed tethering. If you mean using a wifi hotspot that requires a proxy to actually connect to the outside world (think corporate environment here), then I've had real good luck with ProxyDroid from the market. It requires root, but that wasn't an issue for me anyway.

  • I just looked into wifi tethering and got it working on my Samsung Fascinate last night in about 20 minutes. Open Garden is what I went with. I had already rooted my phone quite a while back to get a newer version of Android so that requirement was no problem for me. It was interesting to find that some wifi tether apps require you also to use a modified kernel. Neither Barnacle (mentioned above) nor Open Garden require a different kernel.

    I passed 25MB down / 6 MB up over the course of a couple hours on

  • I have a Samsung Vibrant on T-Mobile and it has been great for tethering/proxy support. The ability is built into the phone and very easy to use. The only down side with T-Mobile is they will slow your connection when you get within a certain amount of data usage. We've used this ability to link the laptop and keep the kids busy while on the road. It's one of my favorite features of the phone and android. I've had the phone for a while, but Samsung has a new phone available which looks really good. I
  • by Zouden (232738) on Tuesday October 18, 2011 @02:01PM (#37752366)

    No wonder the phone companies haven't heard about it, since judging by the comments, no one on Slashdot has either. Perhaps you mean tethering?
    I have a contract with Vodafone (Netherlands). It came with a HTC Desire. The phone came with an app called "Wifi Hotspot". It works perfectly.
    My girlfriend has a Desire S. It also has the Wifi Hotspot app. So... where's the problem? You're in Ireland, not the US.

    • by jo_ham (604554)

      If he had meant tethering that is what he would have said. What he is asking for is not the same thing.

    • by __Paul__ (1570)

      He doesn't mean tethering. He means accessing an HTTP proxy over wifi. Which Android, ridiculously, can't do.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by pedrop357 (681672)

        My Epic 4g can.

        Settings->Wireless and Network->Wifi Settings-"Menu" Button->Advanced->Proxy
        Settings->Wireless and Network->Wifi Settings-"Menu" Button->Advanced->Port

        Didn't see any options for username/password though.

  • I have a G2 on T-Mobile. Put cyanogen on it and use any carrier. That does involve rooting the phone, but if you buy a phone fro mthier list of supported devices its really really easy.
    http://www.cyanogenmod.com/ [cyanogenmod.com]

    -Darkseer

  • ...through the machine that is tethered to the phone, right? You can do that now with your HTC Hero + PDANet. But Heroes are woefully underpowered, so you might as well upgrade anyway.

  • Just jai- sorry, root the phone. Then you can do whatever you want.

  • Even your current phone if you can install Cyanogenmod on it. Android 2.2 and greater have tethering support built in already so no need for a separate app.

  • Use ConnectBot (free) to create an SSH tunnel to another computer, with dynamic port forwarding. This creates a SOCKS5 proxy. Then use Firefox (free) with the Firefox add-on Proxy Mobile installed. Set the proxy settings in Firefox to the SOCKS5 proxy set up with ConnectBot.

    Done. Secure proxy over WiFi when browsing.

    However, if you want system-wide proxy support (everything going through the proxy), you'll very likely need to root.

    • You don't need an add-on. You can just use about:config in Firefox to setup the proxy. That way you can do http or https proxys too.
  • Official ticket (Score:5, Informative)

    by shutdown -p now (807394) on Tuesday October 18, 2011 @02:30PM (#37752778) Journal

    See this ticket - there are many user reports on which phones have it working and which don't in the comments:

    http://code.google.com/p/android/issues/detail?id=1273 [google.com]

    Samsung Galaxy S2 in particular supports it with updates (2.3.4+), and is otherwise the single most awesome Android phone on the market today (at least until Nexus Prime is officially announced tomorrow).

    • Re:Official ticket (Score:4, Informative)

      by frisket (149522) <.ei.liramlis. .ta. .retep.> on Tuesday October 18, 2011 @06:40PM (#37755820) Homepage
      Thank you...it looks like a Galaxy S2 or Prime will do the job.

      Google's decision to omit proxy support was a sweetener to the US telcos so they could make more moneyselling their sucky expensive G3 networking by making it impossible to use Androids with company or academic wireless networks. They didn't know that outside the US, G3/Edge/H/etc connections are very cheap, and that they would lose a huge number of student and business potential users because of the omission of proxy support.

  • Rather, it just means being able to hook up to a wifi network that requires logging in to a proxy server in order to access the web.
    This is a very common setup at many companies, where wifi is provided, but you must authenticate yourself to a proxy server in order to use it.
    (This is beyond authenticating yourself to the wifi access point.)

  • Even though it is a HUGE requirement for anybody that wants to use Android on WiFi behind a proxy. It was a top-five issue for some time on the Android Issues forum (http://code.google.com/p/android/issues/detail?id=1273), with nary a word from Google. Lots of work-arounds are discussed in that thread, none of them worked for me using an original Droid, or the original Nexus phone. Finally Honeycomb 3.1 was released and finally added support (see http://developer.android.com/sdk/android-3.1-highlights.html [android.com]
  • I got a Droid Bionic in September, no tethering plan (Verizon, New York City). I intended to get a tethering plan later, should I need it

    My laptop has bluetooth. I paired the phone and the laptop just to do it and see what speaker sharing was like, etc. I right clicked on the phone when it showed up on my laptop's list of available bluetooth devices, and there was a menu option I never saw before: "Join Personal Area Network"

    I clicked it and it just works.

    I never heard of such a thing before. I realize you

  • OP is asking about proxy support for the phone's wifi connection. The college that I work for uses a proxy and devices need to set their proxy settings in order to access the internet while on campus. Android started supporting proxies in version 2.3. Basically any phone with Gingerbread or higher will work.
    • by roc97007 (608802)

      My understanding, though, is that you can turn the proxy on or off only globally, which means you have to dig through the settings and set up a proxy when you're on campus, and then dig back through the settings to turn it off when you're at Starbucks and want to use their wifi.

      I have the same issue. Turning the proxy on or off depending on whether I'm at work or ... anywhere else ... is a time consuming task, so much so that I don't use wifi while at work.

      What Android needs is wifi proxy settings on a per

  • My Motorola Atrix on Gingerbread has the ability to set a proxy server on an individual basis for wifi APs. I suspect this would be the case of most recent Motorola phones.
  • Here is the link http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?p=13877540#post13877540
    It requires root and iptables support. It automatically starts proxy when you connect to access point and remembers which proxy to use for which AP SSID.

    TransProxy is pretty good too http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=766569 but you have to switch it on and off manually.

    • by roc97007 (608802)

      In my case, the problem is I'm not allowed to root a company phone. I'm pretty sure that's going to be true (at least technically) for most corporate users.

      • I feel your pain, especially if you don't have transparent proxy on your network, such simple technology is apparently outside of grasp of lots of IT organizations.

        • by roc97007 (608802)

          > such simple technology is apparently outside of grasp of lots of IT organizations

          It didn't used to be, but the local IT guys are gone now.

  • If they're talking about using a web proxy, I joined the bug report describing this, and got a note a couple months ago that it was fixed in Android 3.0. So all you have to find is an Android phone running 3.0 or above. I still haven't seen any. But it's nice to know they fixed it.

  • Proxy settings is an already existing application for configuring the proxy for wifi access, just search in the android market (works with google nexus one at least)
  • I've confirmed that there is a proxy and port option for the Samsung Galaxy S 2 on ATT. The caveat here though is twofold:

    1. The proxy setting does NOT allow for a username and password (credentials) to be passed, only proxy IP an port.
    2. The proxy setting only appears to affect applications that know that this setting is there. The web browser works flawlessly with this; the Facebook application for Android does not - to name two examples.

  • I'm Irish, and can suggest two phones if you're looking for something... cost-effective ;).

    Samsung Galaxy 5 Europa, 45 euro: http://three.ie/shop/products/samsung-europa-black.html?_selectedTariff=prepay&_defaultPriceplan=9 [three.ie]
    Vodafone Smart, 60 euro: http://www.vodafone.ie/offers/vodafone-smart/ [vodafone.ie]

    Why do I recommend these? Well, a disclaimer: I develop unofficial CyanogenMod 7 ports for both of these phones ;). Although CM7 doesn't support wifi proxy natively, you can use a third-party app such as TransProxy

  • Palm/HP Pre/Pixi/Veer + Preware + freeTether No muss, no fuss, no rooting. kthxbye
  • I am posting this comment using wi-fi tethered to my desktop using HTC Desire H. This phone is "unrooted" and did not any third party application and running on Gingerbread. I can tether both 3G internet as well as wi-fi internet (in this case must be connected to the computer using USB cable). At the moment the speed its showing is 9.7 Mbps. For this to work as Remote RNDIS device, you must have appropriate usb driver. Installing HTC Sync should solve this problem. I could do this on any OSs Windows XP and
  • Wow /. reading comprehension has dramatically fallen, the OP wants to connected to a proxy server whilst using wifi (as is required on most corporate networks).
    Android does not have this as an inbuilt feature, he is asking for an app which would enable this. I think it is unlikely this is a carrier issue, just a missing feature.

    Also a lot of /.ers seem to think that Android does not support tethering, which is part of the default install, I have yet to see an android phone which does not support tethering
    • Ummm... couldn't resist pointing out that your reading comprehension is not quite right either...

      You wrote:

      he is asking for an app which would enable this

      but what the OP actually wrote was:

      I want a new Android phone which provides this

      ...just sayin'

      Otherwise, I agree with you and add the point about how ironic/moronic it is that when people don't have a clue what you're talking about they jump to the conclusion that you don't know what you're talking about. The OP asked a legitimate question about proxy support and then more than half of the responders started talking about tethering support...

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