Use OpenGarden to share connectivity from your Android via Bluetooth

Break free from your connectivity limitations by using Open Garden to share Internet among your devices and maybe even other devices around you.

Screenshot by Nicole Cozma/CNET


If you're looking for a way to share Internet connectivity from one of your Android devices to another tablet or laptop, this guide can help you. Open Garden is an app that will broadcast your Internet signal to devices around you via Bluetooth, in hopes of creating a seamless mesh network. The idea behind the app is to make the connection process easier so you can spend more time being productive or surfing the Web. Here's how to get connected:

Install Open Garden on your mobile device that has a connection to the Internet. This would be your mobile network, i.e., 3G or 4G service. If Bluetooth is not enabled, you will see a pop-up asking for permission to turn it on.

Next, install Open Garden on the device to which you need to share connectivity. They offer clients for Android, Windows, and MacOS.

Once the app is installed, you will see a prompt to install Firefox for your Android device if you don't already have it.

Screenshot by Nicole Cozma/CNET

After that, you'll also need to grab the Open Garden Proxy add-on for Firefox mobile.

Please note: By using a Open Garden's proxy setting with Firefox mobile, you will not be able to use Firefox on your regular connection like WiFi without some behind-the-scenes tinkering. The proxy settings can be adjusted by typing about:config into the address bar, or by removing the add-on from your device. However, if you don't mind dedicating the Firefox app to Open Garden connection sharing, that's probably the easiest route.

Screenshot by Nicole Cozma/CNET

You should be able to start browsing right away. If not, try tapping on the Open Garden app and you should see the connection diagram with a confirmation that you're connected, and also the bent connection signal icon in your notification area.

When you're ready to stop sharing the connection, just turn off Bluetooth on the original device and the connection will be terminated.

The mesh networking offered by Open Garden is a great feature if you're comfortable sharing the same connection, but there may be some security concerns if you're in a public place. In the future, according to Open Garden's Community forum, there may be more tools for managing data.


 

Join the discussion

Conversation powered by Livefyre

Show Comments Hide Comments